Choosing the Right Toys for Your Cat
Toys play an important role in your cat’s life. They help encourage your cat to exercise, and they provide stimulation for your furry friend. But choosing the right toys for your cat can seem overwhelming. There are just so many options! It’s important to consider your cat’s temperament when selecting toys. Understanding your cat’s preferences will help you choose the right toys for your cat. Help keep your cat healthy and happy by selecting the right cat toys!
The Importance of Toys for Cats
You may be surprised to know that toys can have many benefits for your cat. Some benefits include:
- Helping create a strong bond with your cat: Taking time out of your day to focus on playing with your cat can help strengthen your bond by building affection and trust.
- Providing much-needed enrichment: Cats are natural hunters, and even if you have an indoor cat, he still has those hunting instincts. Choosing the right toys for your furry feline can help satisfy your cat’s hunting instincts.
- Encouraging your cat to exercise, which helps prevent obesity: According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), 59.5% of cats in the United States are classified as overweight or obese. Unfortunately, pet obesity can be dangerous and lead to a variety of health conditions.
- Offering both mental and physical stimulation: Cats need mental and physical stimulation to thrive. Unfortunately, some people believe that cats are low-maintenance and don’t need to play as much as dogs. But this simply isn’t true. Engaging and stimulating toys can help keep your cat happy and well-adjusted.
- Keeping your cat entertained to help avoid boredom and negative behaviors: Being cooped up indoors can be hard on people and their pets. It can lead to boredom and destructive behavior, cause irritability, and fuel anxiety. Boredom in cats can lead to scratching, chewing, and other negative behaviors.
Choosing the Right Toys for Your Cat
- Interactive wand toys/fishing pole toys: Interactive wand toys can provide hours of entertainment for your cat. Many are colorful and include fun additions like feathers. These types of toys help satisfy your cat’s hunting instinct by encouraging them to leap, dash, stalk, and pounce. You should always put away wand toys and other toys with long strings that may entangle your cat or cause an intestinal blockage if swallowed.
- Toy mice and hunting toys: Because cats are natural hunters, toys that encourage them to tap into their prey side can help keep them enriched and entertained. Toy mice, motorized hunting toys, and other hunting toys should do the trick! Toy mice come in several different options, including plush, rubber, and squeaky.
- Food-dispensing treat toys and other puzzle toys: According to PetMD, encouraging cats to play to earn their food activates the cat's area of the brain that releases dopamine, which makes your cat happier and more relaxed. Puzzle toys provide mental stimulation for your pet and help keep him entertained if you’re not around.
- Catnip: Not all cats respond to catnip, but if your cat does, it can provide a fun change of pace. You can find cat toys infused with catnip or you can simply add some catnip to your cat’s favorite toys.
- Scratching posts: Providing your cat with a scratching post can provide many benefits. First, it helps cats stretch their muscles and exercise. It also helps keep their claws in proper shape. Finally, it helps keep your cat from scratching your furniture!
- Laser pointers: We’ve all seen the videos of pets and their reactions to laser pointers. While a laser pointer can help encourage your feline to get some exercise, they can frustrate some cats because they can’t be caught. PetMD explains: “They cannot satisfy the urge to capture prey.” One way to prevent frustration from laser pointers could be to lead your cat to a treat.
- Homemade toys: Sometimes the best cat toys are homemade or simple household items, like a cardboard box. If your cat isn’t impressed with a cardboard box, you can make it more fun by cutting holes in the box or hiding treats inside for your cat to find. These activities will help your cat tap into his predatory instincts and provide hours of fun.
There’s no need to constantly go out and buy new toys. Simply rotate them! Rotating your cat’s toys can keep him stimulated and minimize boredom. Having a variety of toys that you rotate on a regular basis can help provide ongoing entertainment and interest.
Inspecting Toys for Safety
It’s important to inspect your cat’s toys on a regular basis to make sure they are still safe. Be on the lookout for any loose pieces, sharp pieces, rips, or tears. If you notice any damage, be sure to dispose of those toys immediately. We hope these tips help you choose the right toys for your cat! Remember that toys serve a bigger purpose than just playing, so choosing the right toys has the potential to help keep your cat happy and healthy!