Toys for cats – an overview of popular, selection criteria
A mischievous, curious and affectionate cat – a source of fluffy joy for all family members! However, sometimes cat owners are frustrated by the antics of pets who do not respond to prohibitions and with stubborn constancy continue to sharpen their claws on wallpaper, furniture, climb curtains, pick the ground in flower pots.
Psychologists have proven that such behavior is not associated with poor upbringing or harmfulness of the cat. It’s all about banal boredom and lack of proper attention to her needs. In this case, the owners will be helped out by special toys that will provide the cat with the necessary leisure and distract from pampering.
1+9 “for” in favor of games
In addition to preventing cat mischief, toys help:
- satisfy the hunting instinct. After all, as you know, cats are passionate hunters;
- prevent aggression towards other individuals. Do you have not one cat in your house, but two or three? Do they not get along well with each other? Keep each game busy, and then there will be much less fights;
- minimize the stresses associated with moving to a new place of residence, weaning from the mother (applies to kittens);
- provide the necessary activity and physical activity. This improves health and prevents obesity;
- know the world. This does not only apply to small kittens, who develop vital skills in this way. By giving an interesting toy to an adult, you will ensure the development of your pet’s intelligence;
- prevent apathy. Playing is great and fun! Not all the same time to eat and sleep;
- improve the relationship between the owner and the pet. Give your pet at least 15-20 minutes a day, and he will definitely thank you with boundless love and obedience;
- sharpen claws. Nail grooming is an important ritual. And with devices such as scratching posts, this can be done during the game;
- take care of your teeth. Separate varieties of toys help get rid of plaque, massage the gums that itch during the change of teeth.
General selection criteria
When buying toys for cats, be guided by the following parameters:
- size of the product. It shouldn’t be too big. Otherwise, firstly, it will be uncomfortable for the cat to play. And, secondly, she will perceive the toy as an adversary. The result of such a game is aggression and overexcitation;
- emitted sounds. Consider the individual characteristics of your cat. Some animals will react normally to sharp or too loud squeaking sounds, others will get scared and will no longer fit into such “entertainment”. Still others will show aggression at all. Remember: the game should evoke pleasant emotions, and the sounds should be natural, reminiscent of the prey of a caudate in the natural environment. They will definitely like the quiet squeaks, ultrasonic squeaks and buzz that flies have;
- material. To understand what your pet will like, buy several toys at once: smooth, soft, leather, hard, with or without feathers. After observing the behavior of the pet, you will draw the right conclusions and you will know what to give preference to next time;
- movement. When buying a toy, evaluate it in the game. Can she create the appearance of a creature that the cat is hunting? Will you be able to imitate the movements of a potential feline victim – a mouse, a bird, an insect?
And the last criterion is, of course, the type of toy. What will she be? For a single game or for contact with the owner? Entertaining or educational? Free or for a fee? Experts say that all these species should be at the disposal of your pet, because they have different functionality and affect the cat in different ways.
Many mistakenly believe that the kid does not care about the entertainment chosen for him. He can play with his own tail. But this is far from true!
A toy for a kitten should be:
- small size. If a novice hunter has trouble dragging prey from one place to another, he will quickly lose interest in it. At the same time, avoid toys that are too small to avoid being swallowed;
- soft but durable. The kitten will chew on the toy. And how long this process will last depends on the time the animal is busy.
Overview of popular cat toys
Let’s take a closer look at products for cats and kittens that can be found in stores today.
All cats at any age prey on rodents. This is a classic, presented in various versions: from fur or latex, regular or groovy. The last solution is the most popular. A mouse running away on its own is much more interesting than one that will lie motionless.
Unlike mechanical and clockwork toys, these “smart” electronic products will keep the pet busy for a longer period of time. They work both independently and on radio control.
An example is a special dance mat. Walking along it and clicking on certain places, the cat will hear sounds that excite the imagination and stimulate further actions – a mouse squeak or a bird’s chirp.
All kinds of mazes and puzzles with treats as a reward are a great choice for a cat. Such products will not only entertain the pet, but will also contribute to its intellectual development.
This is a controversial entertainment that has both pluses and serious minuses. The benefits include:
- minimal action on the part of the owner. You can just lie on the couch, rotating the pointer;
- 100% pet reaction. Cats always enthusiastically rush to the light and pursue the goal with pleasure.
- negative reactions. Remember: you can not allow the cat to constantly lose. Otherwise, the game will quickly get bored or, even worse, will bring down the hunting program laid down at the gene level. As a result, the behavior of the animal will definitely change for the worse. Soon you will notice unpleasant surprises in the form of tattered clothes or damaged shoes;
- damage to the retina. When playing with the pointer, avoid getting the laser into your eyes. In general, try to use this product as little as possible.
The cat follows the point from the laser pointer
Catnip is a plant that not a single purr can resist. This is why catnip toys are so popular among buyers.
The cat will bite the mint, lick it, joyfully drive around the entire apartment. But keep in mind that this pleasure will last no more than 10-15 minutes. Then the animal will switch to something else.
Such products include:
- pendulum toys – mice, feathers, balls on a long spiral that is attached to the base;
- fishing rods – sticks with colorful feathers tied to them;
- balls on a stick. This is a more reliable version of the previous fishing rod. The balls contain a filler that constantly rustles, thereby attracting attention.
Incredibly, modern smartphones can entertain not only people, but also their pets. Today, developers have come up with a lot of games designed for cats. For example, a cat may be required to catch a fish or a bird that appears on the screen. In this case, the target will periodically make characteristic sounds.
The only disadvantage of such games is a high probability of damaging the screen, so it is best to entrust this activity to a pet without claws or refuse it altogether. Moreover, such a game will not bring any physical activity.
What not to play with
When choosing toys for a cat, it is important to consider many points. One of them is a potential danger.
Refuse to buy:
- products with small details in the form of buttons, beads, which a cat can easily gnaw off and swallow;
- models on strings, if your pet is a kitten. A foolish child can simply get confused or even suffocate in such toys;
- entertainment with small holes. The pet’s head should easily pass through the recess. Otherwise, the cat may one day get stuck;
- spring toys. Believe me, picking the mustache bait is not difficult. In this case, the sharp part of the spring will be unprotected, and the pet will most likely get hurt on it.
A separate question concerns the delicacy intended as a reward for ingenuity. Do not use chocolate for these purposes, because it is harmful to tailed ones. Grapes are also not suitable – purrs can choke on them.
Cat toys are optional. If you have the time and desire, try to make them yourself. As an example, we give a simple step-by-step instruction for making a teaser with your own hands.
Everything is very simple:
- Grab an old t-shirt or whatever you don’t need anymore.
- Cut out a small part.
- Cut the cut into 6-8 strips of the same length and width.
- Tie the strips together to form a bun.
- Fold in half.
- Take a string or thick thread.
- Wrap the bundle in the middle and tighten.
- Cut out the folds.
- Tie the pom-pom to the stick.
- Get to play!