All ages of cats and especially kittens need socialization and most likely enjoy some play time throughout their day. As you probably already know, there are a lot of variations in feline behavior — some cats are very active, for example. Other cats are extraordinary lazy, and hardly rise from a comfortable sleeping spot even when there is food around. Luckily for us as owners, there are plenty of toys on the market to suit any personality of cat.
Catnip toys come in many shapes and sizes — from stuffed mouse animals, to refillable pillows, and even live plants. Most cats enjoy the euphoric sensation experienced from coming into contact with the substance, while others simply like kneading the soft fabric between their paws. These toys are ideal for both active and sedentary cats — they can be used to encourage a mad dash around the house or to cuddle up with for a snooze.
Specifically made for the interactive cat or to encourage more exercise, these toys consist of a long pole-like wand with a ‘teasing’ object strung on the end — usually a feather or a lightly stuffed bird-like animal. These toys are designed similar to fishing poles and can be used to bounce in front of your cat, encouraging a hunting-like behavior. The products are constructed so that your cat will want to chase the toy prey and as a result engage in pouncing, jumping, and running behaviors. Teaser wands are a great way to stimulate both a cat’s mind and body.
Balls are simple toys but can be utilized in a very engaging manner. Some balls light up, encouraging a cat’s curiosity and others are made of desirable fabrics that cats will enjoy rolling between their paws or down the hallway. Any kind of ball can be tossed a short distance away and entice a cat to go chasing after it.
Not only are scratching opportunities important for maintaining the health of your cat by allowing them to scratch their claws at will and relieve their stress, scratching material is used in the construction of toys as well. Many can be hung from doorknobs or walls and will entice cats to leap up to them and attach themselves with their claws. Some scratching pads are built on a small inclined platform whereas others incorporate an entire faux cat palace — depending on your house size and your budget, toys for scratching can be incorporated into the lifestyle of any kind of cat.
With hunting and chasing down moving things being at the top of a feline’s list, using a laser toy during play time is one of the easiest ways to encourage activity and engage your pet. Laser toys are simple and cheap, and used by pushing a button that throws a colored dot of light onto the floor — essentially serving as a target for your cat to pursue. Most are intrigued by the light and will spend endless amounts of energy seeking to capture the unattainable beam. Others simply do not fall for the trick — but laser toys are worth trying out.
Because all cats enjoy small spaces, exploring, and are curious by nature, cat tunnels are an easy and exciting way to physically engage them. Toy tunnels come in all different lengths, sizes, widths, and colors. Visual stimulation combined with the physical attraction of passing through a small area makes a tunnel an ideal addition to your cat toy arsenal.
The pet industry has a constantly growing consumer base and bottomless marketplace, allowing for the production of unimaginable amounts of interactive toys. From motorized mice to water fountains, balls that run on circuits, and electric pounce toys, there is an entire world out there for you to experiment with. Identify a certain behavior your cat enjoys and shop for the perfect interactive toy — there is sure to be something that suits your needs.