Cats are fickle, highly independent creatures, and no matter how much effort you put into finding the best toys for them, they still might ignore all of them and choose to play with the first wrapper they find laying on the floor. Feeling annoyed and frustrated, you might continue buying toy after toy, hoping that he will finally get some enjoyment out of them.
This is a conundrum that all cat owners have faced at some point. But finding the perfect toys for your furry pet does not have to be so hard. It is simply a matter of knowing the ins and outs of the cat’s psyche and choosing the playthings accordingly. Since there are many options on the market, we have comprised a short guide that will make your choice easier. Here is how to find the best toys for your cats.
Types of Cat Toys
While there are several types of play that owners and their pets can engage in, cats benefit the most out of object play and interactive play. The purpose of both of these methods is to trigger the cat’s inhibited hunting instincts and replicate a miniature version of the activities that they engaged in back when humans have not domesticated them yet. You can find these toys in most pet shops and convenience stores at relatively low prices.
The first item that you should include on your list is chewing toys. Since cats are carnivorous animals, they have an instinctual drive to constantly nibble and chew on objects in order to keep their teeth healthy. The list is as varied as you would expect, and it includes products such as organic twigs, dental health ribbons, and toys that contain catnip. For a complete inventory and a better understanding of healthy and safe chewing toys for cats, make sure to do the proper research and read this article on ToyPetReviews before purchasing any products.
Next up, wand toys are one of the most popular cat playthings. These can be as simple as a stuffed object attached at the end of a ribbon, or more elaborate, with feathers, strings, bells and other items that will attract the cat’s attention and stimulate it. By waving the wand near the cat, you will trigger the pet’s hunting instincts and help it release its leftover energy. Make sure to undulate the wand in the sides, otherwise, the cat will get immediately bored. After all, no self-respecting prey will knowingly throw itself in the feline’s claws.
The laser toy is another popular item that will satisfy the cat’s hunting instincts. Unlike other toys which sit around waiting to be rolled by the feline, laser toys can be aimed in different directions. For cats, the ever-moving point will seem like prey in motion, and they will act accordingly.
Finally, some playthings will even contain a little bonus that your feline friend will surely appreciate: catnip. The leaves, as well as the stems of the catnip, generate an oil called nepetalactone. The smell of this oil will increase the cat’s pheromone production, giving the feline a sense of happiness and euphoria.
The Benefits of Playing for Cats
Despite spending a large majority of their time sleeping, cats are active creatures that like to play and engage both with their owners, and other cats and animals. Here are a few mental and physical health benefits of playing for cats:
- Cats, especially those that are neutered, have a higher risk of becoming obese once they reach the middle point of their lifespans (5 – 10 years). Therefore, apart from giving it species-appropriate foods (raw or dry), scheduling frequent play sessions with your cats is a great way of helping them maintain a healthy weight.
- Cats, like other domesticated animals, are prone to stress and anxiety caused by boredom. Since standard households are a far cry from the luscious jungles and thick forests where their ancestors roamed, cats need constant stimulation in order to develop in a healthy fashion and stay happy.
- Playing increases the bond between owners and other animals. We all know that cats are fickle and capricious, and irregular interaction will only encourage them to succumb to their feral instincts. Therefore, playing will develop a bond and teach the cat to be friendlier towards other animals and people.
Finding and choosing toys that your cat will actually use on a regular basis can be a difficult and frustrating process. The best way to find toys that your cat will love is by familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of the cat’s behavior. Since felines are natural hunters, they will usually prefer toys that tap into their predatory instincts, such as wands, laser pointers, and even battery run stuffed animals. Ultimately, whether or not you will find the perfect toys in a timely fashion depends on the cat’s personality, but by following the tips presented in this article you will surely increase your chances of success.