Cat loves toys. Toys pique their interest and encourages activity which satisfies their natural predatory instincts. This is so important for their physical and mental health. When they are engaged in physical activity, it prevents boredom ,feeling of frustration and separation anxiety which if let unchecked can lead to unwanted behaviors such as scratching, chewing and even depression.
There are toys that requires your participation which means your pet gets your attention and affection and cats love that. Cats that get attention from pet parents are healthier and happier. This nourishes bonding between you and your feline friend.
There are wide variety of cat toys available on the market. Understandably picking the right one can be confusing and overwhelming. Relying solely on the manufacturer’s instruction is inadequate.
Here are 5 tips for choosing a toy for your pet.
Understand your cat’s personality
Imagine spending hundreds of dollars on cat toys only to be ignored by your feline friend. Thus, before you go shopping see what your cat preference is, understand his/her personality. Every cat is different with their own habits and play styles and can be very selective with what they play with.
At first introduce them different selection of toys to observe what they play with.Some cats like toy mouse they can play stalk-pounce-catch with or toys that squeak or make sound. Some cats show interest in toys that mimic bird or toys that encourage catching bugs movements while others prefer toys they can hide and cuddle.
A scratching post is suitable for most cats because cats love scratching.
Offer variety of toys
Cats get disinterested in toy rather quickly so you will be needing to buy more than one toy but do not buy similar toys. Try buying different types and styles of toys so that when the novelty of one toy has worn off they will have other toys to stimulate interaction. Also, give your cat one toy at a time. Let them play with toy and stashed them away when they are finished playing with it. For next playing session give your cat other toy to play with. This rotation of selection toys will extend your cat’s interest in toys.
Although toys are great way to keep your cat occupied and entertained,you should be aware of potential dangers it poses to your pet. Toys that look harmless may actually be hazardous to your cat well being so it is essential that you inspect every toy before giving it for play.
Any small glued-on decorations like eyes or nose on mouse toy or small items that can be chewed off and swallowed should be removed. If toy is showing signs of heavy tear and falling apart discard them. It poses potential choking hazard to your cat. Always consider buying toys big enough so that your pet will not choke. Also, look out for pointy ends and sharp edges that can injure cat’ s eyes, mouth and body.
Most of the toys that require human participation are unsuitable for unsupervised play. Keep them out of reach of your cat when you are not there. Items such as paper clips, pins, needles, ribbon, strings, rubber bands and plastic bags should also be kept in area inaccessible to your cats as they can cause serious or even fatal injury if swallowed or if they become entangled.
Although, it it not very common in pet toys but be aware of lead, cadmium and mercury in the toys.
Consider Your Cat’s Age
You should factor in your pet’s age when purchasing toy. For example, softer toys should be given to kittens to avoid injury to teeth, gum and soft tissues of the mouth as they are not fully developed. Hard toys can also cause injury to older cats. Thus, they enjoy soft and cuddle toys.
Purchasing age appropriate toys is important to stimulate cat’s interest. Kittens may just ignore huge toys since they can not move it around. Usually kittens find cat apps, fishing poles or rattly balls more appealing where as adult cats prefer toys like exercise wheels, tunnels or laser pointers. Adult cats enjoy play where they can unleash their predatory behavior.
It is naturally for kittens and adult cats to be intrigued by new and different types of toys and plays while senior cats are less interested in new and different types of toys and plays.
Household items can be just as fascinating and exciting to your cat as any store bought toys . A rolled up balls of paper, cardboard boxes, paper bags, empty toilet paper rolls or any bouncy items can be ideal and fantastic toys for your cats. They all can provide hours of entertainment to your playful pet thanks to their inquisitive nature.
It is not uncommon for a cat to completely ignore new toy and instead play with the packaging that the toy came in.
Their favorite toys might just be items lying around the home but be aware of what sorts of items they are playing with. For safety of your cat, prevent them from playing with anything sharp object, dangling string or small items that can be easily swallowed by cats.
You can even make your own toys for your cat out of household items. You do not have to purchase any cat toys. You can sew toy mouse or turn cardboard boxes into cat toys. There many DIY cat toys ideas on internet.