Picking a Great Cat Toy
June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, and we’re marking it by sharing some of our favorite cat toy ideas.
I’m not ashamed to admit that my cat, Junebug, was my first child. I rescued her many years ago before I brought my (now-teenage) human children into the world. When I went on a mission to find Junebug the perfect toy all those years ago, I only discovered catnip-stuffed mice.
Since Junebug was special (of course), she didn’t like catnip, so she turned up her nose at my find.
How things have changed: When I admire today’s array of cat toys, I’m amazed by the variety of feline entertainment available. So much so that I imagine it can be tough for a new cat-owner to choose the right ones.
That’s where we come in.
This list outlines the elements of great cat toys, so that you can choose the toy that’s best suited to your one-of-a-kind cat.
I’m sure that Junebug would approve.
Feature #1: It’s Elusive
Cats are naturally curious–even more so when something seems to be just out-of-reach. Toys that make your cat stretch, jump, and seek are sure to keep her occupied until she drops into a heap of exhaustion.
Laser cat toys (the pet version of laser tag?) are especially popular with felines—and they have the added bonus of entertainment for you, as you can watch your kitties scurry and pounce. Some are automatic, so you can set it on the floor and watch the fun; others are handheld.
Feature #2: It’s a Challenge
Toys that spark your cat’s natural inclination to stalk and hunt are sure to keep her mentally stimulated and happy.These peekabo toy boxes let you hide a ball or other object for your cat to seek.
Another great options is s remote control mouse. For best results, and to prevent feline frustration, use remote control toys on even surfaces in areas that give your cat plenty of prowling room.
Feature #3: It Offers Variety
Prevent kitty boredom from turning into naughtiness by providing cat toys that offer plenty of alternatives for fun. A kitty version of a baby activity mat gives your feline friend numerous chances for amusement, including textured areas for clawing, refillable catnip pouches for sniffing, and snap-on toys for batting and biting fun. And when she’s sufficiently worn herself out, she can curl up on the mat and take a snooze.
Feature #4: It’s Unpredictable
Cats perk up when something unexpected happens, and today’s electronic cat toys allow you to surprise kitty. Powered cat mobiles with timers, for instance, enable you to set pre-scheduled play sessions throughout the day. Kitty may be snoozing but will rouse immediately when a beep announces that a play session is about to begin.
Feature #5: It’s Interactive
Cats like to get an immediate response. Introduce toys that react when kitty takes a swat by swinging, hopping, rolling or making noise. Your cat will be delighted, for instance, when she smacks a kitty ball and it rolls across the room, and even more pleased when it responds by ringing a bell or spitting out a treat.
Feature #6: It Involves You
If you find that a cat toy entices you to get down on all fours to play, chances are that your cat will be that much more delighted (although she’ll never admit it).
Tell us about your cat’s favorite toy.