House and feral cats are very mysterious and unique animals. And great solitary hunters too. Even though they’ve been domesticated (their urban lifestyle of today isn’t comparable to their ancestors’), preying and killing smaller animals is still part of their DNA. Maybe this is why many believe cats aren’t as fond of their owners as dogs. Although killer instincts still linger, they’re just as loving. Their affection must be earned though
Brushing, gently stroking your cat’s spine and chin, along with treats will help you get it to like you. However recent research on cat behaviour suggests they prefer social interactions with their owners over food or petting. So, if you want to win the heart of your furry friend, initiate tons of playtime. And given the fact that activities such as climbing and hiding can provide physical and mental stimulation, regular play will keep your feline healthy too. All is required is your presence and appropriate cat toys.
Wand Teasers – These toys are super soft and designed to stimulate the cat’s curiosity and encourage pouncing. They consist of a wand and a string with some type of a soft toy (mouse, bird feather, or a fish) attached at the end to mimic prey. You can either tangle the teaser in front of your cat or toss it around or even drag it across the floor to encourage your pet’s natural instincts to hunt, chase, and bat. Perfect for interactive play, these adorable toys for kittens and cats will not only help you bond with your pet and build trust but will also keep your cat healthy, fit, and mentally stimulated. And the best part is, they come in a variety of sizes, colours and styles.
Roller Circuits – Perfect for indoor cats, roller circuit toys are covered tracks that come with a ball that lights up every time your pet hits it. The elevated undulating track is designed to keep the ball moving around under the cover and the fact that your feline friend has to use its paws to try to reach the ball is what makes these toys not only fun but mentally stimulating as well. For most cat owners, this is one of their favourites.
Puzzle Boxes – Typically containing inner chambers and small holes that can be filled with smaller toys, food or treats, these toys will keep your kitty occupied for hours. They’re all about mental stimulation. And if you’re creative enough, you can make one from a plastic bottle. With a utility knife cut a few small holes large enough for dry cat food to just pass through and watch your pet explore, sniff and hunt.
Laser Pointers – One of the best-selling exercise toys for cats, a laser pointer can entertain even the laziest felines. Simply turn it on and watch your cat chase the red dot or other random patterns. Because cats are very persistent in catching things and often won’t stop until they get what they want, this toy will keep them stimulated. Most models are battery operated and portable.
Scratching Posts – Scratching is every cat’s instinctive habit. It helps them shed loose layers from the claws, flex their feet, and mark the territory. And you shouldn’t discourage it. Instead, you should teach your feline what’s off-limits and what it can scratch. Hence, it’s a good idea to invest in a scratching post. Available in many different sizes and shapes, consider height, stability and surface material before you buy one. It should be large enough for your furry friend, as well as strong and sturdy. Material wise (wood, cardboard, sisal rope and carpet), it should satisfy your cat’s scratching needs. Just make sure the material of the scratching post doesn’t match your carpet or furnishing. Colour and material wise that is.
While cats love playing, they’re also famous for getting extremely bored if not given sufficient physical and mental stimulation. In other words, cats need variety, hence rotating the toys your pet plays with is important to keep it interested and active. Besides toys for kittens and older cats mentioned above, you can improve your pet’s playing experience with simpler and more affordable things such as empty toilet paper rolls, tin foil, balls of yarn and crumpled pieces of paper. Introducing your cat to new things from time to time will make you both very happy!
Just like kids, cats of all breeds have certain preferences too when it comes to toys (regardless of their personality, be it feisty, dominant, impulsive, calm or playful). While some may like chasing small balls, feathers or long fluffy tails, others may prefer noisy crinkling toys. Hence, it’s important to think of your pet’s habits before you buy cat toys.