Any cat owner will tell you that cats love a good cardboard box and adore chasing a balled up piece of paper. But providing them with proper cat toys offer the next degree of stimulation and are an important part of having a happy and healthy cat. So how do you pick the perfect toy?
Poles and teasers
Fishing poles and teasers are great toys and also a great way for you to play with your cat. They can be as elaborate or as simple as required but usually have a fluffy or feathered target on a string at the end of a pole. You swing it through the air or drag it around the ground and the cat chases it. But remember to let them catch it or they will get bored – a good kicking and biting is an excellent finish to a game.
Balls and toy mice
Balls of all sizes and variation are always popular with cats. They particular like the hollow ones with lots of holes that they can hook with their claws and throw around the room to then chase. Always make sure the balls are large enough that they cannot be swallowed. Toy mice are another perennial favourite and can come in simple, furry mouse shapes with a tail right up to complex toys that have a mechanism in them to make them go flying off across the floor. Cats will love chasing them and carrying them around, often bringing them to you to show you the proceeds of their hunt. Scratch and Purr
Not all cats have the patience for interactive toys but they are worth a try as the stimulation gained from solving the puzzle is second to none. Often they include hidden items for the cat to uncover or toys within toys. A laser pointer is another simple toy you can use to play with them, running it around the floor for them to chase.
Catnip or not?
Despite the idea that catnip is irresistible, this isn’t completely true. Around half of cats are drawn to the herb and therefore toys that contain a trace of it will not be irresistible to them. But the same number aren’t interested in it and therefore spending extra to get toys with catnip in is a waste. Try a single toy with the herb in to judge their reaction – if they like it, you will know straight away!