Cats do not like to be bored when they are awake. Natural predators that they are, they love a toy that they can chase, pounce, capture, carry, bite, and roll around with. Some toys in our house I buy at the store and some are gifts to my cats from my friends and relatives. Those are the store-bought toys like the plastic wand with the long strip of brightly colored material on it, the infamous laser, the ball that races around a track and Mousie – Spirit’s favorite toy. Many toys are laced with catnip which some of my cats are attracted to sometimes. But the ‘other’ toys? Over the years, I have learned that there is no predicting what a cat will consider to be a fun toy. For example, consider the following: cardboard toilet paper holders, batteries, a wad of rolled up dollar bills, a wooden clothes-pin, plastic bottle caps (an all time favorite), paper bags, cloth bags, boxes, jewelry (ear-rings & rings in particular), caps to make-up bottles, toothpaste & mouthwash and make-up brushes. Basically, anything that they can knock off a counter that will skid or roll across the floor, under closet doors, under furniture or under your clothes washer & dryer, etc. The picture above this article illustrates the various treasures/toys that i scooped from under my clothes washer! A cat’s veritable treasure trove!!
Tips for buying cat toys are:
- Don’t buy too many at first and don’t give them to your cat all at once but have enough to entertain your cat
- What entertains one cat will not entertain another
- Learn your cat’s preferences – for example, Spirit and Sophee are high-energy cats that regularly tear through the house at break-neck speed – so a cat exercise wheel was a good toy for them – they run several times per day on it – sometimes I even hear it running at night. The other two cats, Gracee and Inkee-Bear, barely look at the cat wheel and when they do, it is with utter disdain. They have never set a paw on it.
- When choosing a cat toy, be sure to consider safety. Feathers and furry pieces are a common decoration and enticement on cat toys. However, one of my friends told me how one of her kittens swallowed a feather that came loose from a toy. She rushed the kitten to the vet but the kitten didn’t make it. Therefore, I never leave a cat toy with a feather on it in a place where my cats can access it without supervision. Some toys have little buttons or beads on them that can be torn off and swallowed.
Some cats love to fetch. One of my cats, Tigger, who has crossed over the bridge, was an inveterate fetcher. He would keep the game going for hours. I had to hide the little cloth ball from him to make him stop. At that time (about 16 years ago), I didn’t think that cats fetched. I had had back surgery and was laid up in bed. One morning, Tigger jumped up on the bed and dropped a little cloth ball on the comforter. I picked it up and threw it out the bedroom door and down a hallway. Tigger flew off the bed, grabbed the little ball and flew back to me with the little ball. He dropped it almost in my hand. Thus began a great diversion for me and a very fun and intense game for him.
Spirit, like Tigger, loves to fetch. However, I had to work with Spirit to teach him how to make a game of it. Some days, I wish I hadn’t taught him because he can be extremely persistent with his efforts to get me to throw his Mousie for him.
Information for this article was obtained from the website: PetPlace but primarily from experiences with cats that have lived with me, including the Cat Authors.