If you have ever bought a bunch of toys only for your cat to sniff them for a second and ignore them, do not worry, all cat owners have gone through this conundrum. It is very frustrating to spend your hard earned one on the best toys, and then see the cat spends the whole day in an empty cardboard box.
Fortunately, finding the perfect toys for your cat is not so hard. It all comes down to putting yourself in the cat’s shoes and thinking from her perspective. To make the shopping process easier, we have formed a brief list of tips, general advices, and anecdotes that will help you make the best possible choice.
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Categories of Toy Cats
Since cats are of the most popular house pets in the world, pet shops are adequately stocked with a wide variety of toys to accommodate the demand. As a new cat owner, you might feel overwhelmed about the wide variety of choices, so here is a brief list of the most common toys, with a few brief explanations:
- Learning toys. These are great learning instruments and will teach your cat good eating habits and how to accomplish certain tasks. Make sure to occasionally limit your cats’ access to these toys. Cats are smarter than they let on, so they will quickly figure out how to get the most food out of the toy and risk becoming obese.
- Cats love hiding and accessing weird places, so you should consider getting a few concealment These comes in the forms of tunnels, cat homes, jungle gyms and dedicated scratching posts which the cat can claw instead of attacking your leather couch.
- Balls are basic toys that every cat should have in hand’s reach. The best thing about them is that they are multipurpose – cats can stalk, scratch, roll and pounce on them. Balls are good enough to keep the cat busy in a lazy, moody day, but not enough to grab their attention permanently, so you might want to mix things up by adding bells or buying balls that make noises.
- Pillows and mousies. While they might not seem to exquisite, the cat will surely find them attractive because they are usually filed with Valerian root oil or catnip.
Other toys that can’t be included into a specific category are wand toys (more on that in the next entry) and chewing toys. The latter type is vital to the cat’s healthy development, especially during the early stages of their lives. Ideally, you want to provide them with alternatives to leather, shoelaces and the wire of your phone charger.
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Toys That Cater Towards The Cat’s Hunting Instincts
As you probably know, cats are natural hunters and predators who enjoy the thrill of the chase and engaging in elaborate play rituals. The simplest toy that will trigger the cat’s hunting instincts is a rope with fluffy toy attached to it, preferably smaller in size than the cat, in the form of a bird or a mouse.
If you do not want to buy one, you can simply attach an old stuffed animal that you do not use anymore and let the cat go to town on it.
The important thing here is to not undulate it front of the cat, otherwise it will get bored very easily (after all, no respectable prey will intentionally go right into the predator’s mouth). Try to undulate it within the cat’s peripheral vision and see if the feline will react to it. You can also drag the string around, which will encourage the cat to stalk it and pounce on it.
If the said toy makes some sort of noises, all the better because you will have a better chance engaging the cat and grabbing its attention. Cats have a great sense of hearing, so simply rubbing the toy against the carpet is enough to make your cat go berserk.
Despite sleeping for most of the day, cats are very playful and energetic in their waking hours, but they usually get bored as quickly as they get excited. Therefore, as a cat owner, it is important to get those toys that will trigger its natural hunting instincts.
The toys can be as simple as a small stuffed animal attached to a string, or more advanced, such as feeding puzzles or balls that make various noises to attract the cat’s attention. Regardless, if nothing else seems to work, apply the old method of trial and error, and you will certainly find something that your cat will enjoy.