Cat parents should make an effort to enrich their pet’s indoor environment by providing lots of opportunities for their pet cats to engage in natural behaviors while burning excess energy. Cats are wired to be active; they have amazing strength and agility. They are the epitome of a quintessential predator - they are quick to leap, jump, chase, dash, and engage in other predator moves. Even with domestication, their inner predator instincts remain and need to be “fed” and encouraged.
Making your indoor cat happy.
One of the ways to provide a stimulating environment for your furball is to have safe cat toys that it can play with any time of the day. Play is an excellent avenue to let off steam and satisfy their hunting drive while deriving physical and mental stimulation. It is also a chance to bond with you and strengthen ties between owner and pet.
What an indoor only cat misses may be the ancient call of the wild, but cat parents who are willing to walk the extra mile for their pets can still satisfy their predator instincts by creating lots of opportunities for play and motivation.
“Is my cat bored at home?”
Experts are now recommending that pet cats be confined indoors to protect them from various risks and hazards that lurk outdoors. Indoor cats have also been shown to live longer lives than those that are allowed to spend time outdoors. But being confined indoors 24/7 won’t make your kitty bored if you make an effort to enrich its indoor environment. With a huge market for cat toys available, there are many options you can add to your home to keep your pet occupied.
The Best Cat Toys
Among the top recommended cat toys are those that promote play-learning behavior while encouraging natural predator instincts. These toys help cats hone their hunting skills such as pouncing, leaping, swiping and launching sneak attacks. Small stuffed mice will surely bring out your pet’s hunting moves. This is also true with wand toys, which is actually a string with a small toy on one end with the other end tied to a wand. Waving it above your kitty attracts his attention and he won’t waste any minute launching an attack on the moving “prey”.
Read more: What is the Best Toy for My Cat?
All About Catnip Toys
Catnip is an herb that contains a chemical that many cats are attracted to. Some cats become over-stimulated when they catch a whiff of the catnip leading to aggressive playfulness, while others appear to become more relaxed. It should be noted that not all cats respond to catnip since it is influenced to a large extent by a cat’s genes. Here’s a video explaining how catnip gets cats high.
How to Use Catnip
Catnip can be used in various ways to stimulate a cat’s interest and encourage play.
- Dried catnip is used as the stuffing of cat-safe toys. When selecting catnip toys, always go for freshness and density of the filling. Choose toys that are filled with catnip rather than catnip mixed with other fillers.
- Dried catnip can also be sprinkled on cat toys and on places where your cat spends a lot of time in.
- There are also catnip sprays, though their efficacy is still in question. It can be sprayed on a cat’s bed, refresh old toys, or in certain spots to attract your furball.
- The leaves of live catnip plants can be crushed and rubbed on toys or kitty furniture (such as scratching posts, scratching pads, kitty condos, etc.)
- Solid catnip balls are filled with catnip, but they are bigger than most stuffed toys for cats and your pet may quickly tire of playing with them since their size makes it too large for them to carry the ball around, and also, these balls don’t bounce.
- Catnip bubbles are actually the same stuff that kids love to play with, but the liquid is enhanced with the scent of the herb.
Materials Used for Cat Toys
Cats toys come in various textures and materials. Some, like the Kong Softies Fuzzy Bunny, are soft and plush, while others are crinkly like the Paws & Pal Catnip Fish. Other cat toys are made of cardboard such as the bestselling Kong cats naturals double scratcher. In general, cats like soft toys because they can easily sink their teeth and claws on them during play. It’s part of their predator moves, and these toys are usually small enough to carry around in their mouths. It's always recommended to try out a variety of toys to find out which type your kitty likes best.
Read more: The Cat Toys Handbook