Cats are very playful and loving pets. They make great companions that love to cuddle, knead, purr, and visit with their human friends. When not sleeping, many felines often walk around the house observing and playing. Play provides many positive benefits for your cat’s well being. Primarily, playing with toys is a great outlet for cats to release their energy and to stimulate their minds. Play helps improve their motor skills and agility as they mimic hunting skills. Cat toys and objects around the house become prey that cats can leap, jump, and attack. Therefore, it is important to offer a wide variety of toys for your cat to play with.
Most cats love balls of any kind and size. Balls may be made with yarn, smooth rubber, pom-poms, fur, or crinkle style. Felines enjoy using their paws to bat or flick the ball across the floor which is often followed by a short chase. This process can last for a few moments or several minutes depending on the mood of your cat.
Other types of cat toys focus on engaging the animal’s natural hunting instinct. Feather toys simulate a bird while small furry stuffed animals may imitate a rodent. These toys encourage cats to stalk and pounce. Often times, cats will walk through the home carrying a stuffed animal by the tail or leg. Some cats will even present these toys to their human companion as a gift or they may hide them away for a later treat.
Wand toys are a fun way for humans to interact and play with their cat friend. Most wand toys have a flexible string attached to one end of a wooden or plastic stick. At the end of this string is some sort of object to attract the cat. It can be a few feathers, a soft ball, or a stuffed toy mouse. Cats enjoy reaching for the object as you tug and scurry it across the floor. Interactive toys like this help build a stronger bond between you and your cat.
Motorized toys are also very popular. These battery operated items should be supervised by the human friend. Cats enjoying watching the automated mouse with wheels roll and turn across the floor. The laser operated toys that shoot displays of colored light are also very enticing. Many kitties enjoy watching the toys scurry about and eventually chasing after them.
Catnip is a crushed and dried herb found in many cat toys. It is a stimulate that attracts cats and encourages them to react. It is a safe option to entice your cat to play with their toys.
Although many cat toys may be purchased from a pet store, cats equally enjoy toys made from common items found around the home. For example, a crumpled ball of paper or plastic lid from a milk jug can entertain your cat for hours. They also enjoy the quick movement of a ping pong ball and the crinkly sounds and texture of gift bows. Empty paper bags and cardboard boxes often invite cats to pounce and climb inside. In fact, some owners have created unique cat condos by securing several empty boxes together of different sizes and shapes.
Since most cats are very curious and insistent, it is wise to regularly check your cat’s toys to ensure that they are safe for your cat. Remove any loose pieces that could become a choking hazard. Also, keep thin ribbons, dental floss, rubber bands, and pins away from cats because they could cause great harm if ingested. Most cats are intrigued with plastic bags but these pose a suffocation hazard.
Play is important for all kittens and adult cats. It keeps them physically and mentally healthy as they entertain themselves or play with their human friend. Be sure to provide a wide assortment of fun and engaging toys for your cat to play with.