If you live with a cat, or you’re thinking of adopting one, you are probably aware that cats are very lively. They love to play, need to be stimulated and need their special time with you, their human.
It’s not always easy to keep a cat entertained. Often they sit there, watching you try to get them involved. Or they just turn their back and ignore you. This can be taxing. Other times, they make it very clear that it is playtime, and it’s up to you to come up with something interesting.
This is where toys come in. However, with so many different toys available on the market, it can be difficult to choose what to go for. And, perhaps most importantly, it is not always easy to tell whether or not a specific toy is safe.
One toy that will appeal to almost every feline is a toy mouse. Especially a catnip one. Toy mice are cheap and make for hours of fun. All you have to do is hand it to your cat and watch them play, or skip it around the room and have your cat chase it.
Do make sure the toy mouse does not have bells and/or feathers attached to it (yes, I have seen them). Your feline might try to eat the small bells or get a nail stuck in it. He/she might also try to eat the feather, which likely won’t do much good.
Another type of toy, which is far more interactive, is anything soft on a piece of (preferably elastic) string. This means you can drag the toy around the room, flick it back and forth and have all sorts of fun games with your furry friend. And if your cat gets tired of the toy itself, you can always use it the other way around and have them chase the string instead. I have yet to meet a cat who can resist a piece of string.
It’s important to supervise your cat at playtime. This, of course, is easy when you are spending time together, but it’s also easy to forget the toy is lying around. It’s best to tidy it away after playtime, to avoid your feline getting tangled up or, again, trying to eat any bells and other small parts.
For that matter, it is best to choose a toy that doesn’t have any small parts that can easily come off. It makes it safer and you don’t have to worry about the cat swallowing anything.
Some cats like to play “fetch”. It is hard to figure out why. For this game I recommend small, soft balls or other soft not-easy-to-swallow objects. It’s even more fun when you have stairs, so you can throw the ball all the way up, watch it roll down and watch your cat dash after it. Sometimes he/she will stretch out on the middle of the stairs, in waiting. Cats are smart like that. So you might end up having to walk some stairs to fetch it yourself, but that’s good exercise.
Boxes are good fun. An added soft bit of blanket is a bonus. Cat like to pounce them, hide in them, sleep in them and use them for pouncing unsuspecting other felines.
Of course, the best toy of all is you. You know your cat best. You know what makes them tick, and you know how to spend that quality time together. Experts say you should play with your feline for at least 20 – 30 minutes a day. It’s a great way to de-stress and healthy of all involved.