Cats and kittens are like children in that they enjoy the stimulation and interaction of toys during their day. Just like children’s toys, cat toys can be seen lying around the house used or unused. Many cats will also have their favorite cat toys, like children, and become possessive of them.
Cat toys and playing can greatly improve the physical and emotional health of your cat. Cats have a very strong instinct to stalk and hunt and playing with cat toys is the closest most domestic cats get to expressing these instincts. A cat who is not encouraged to play and develop their abilities will quickly become shy, scared, lazy, and overweight, which does not make for a very happy cat. The best thing you can do for your cat is playing with them.
The best time to play with your cat is in the morning before you leave for work. This way they are receiving the attention they need before they are left alone for the day. They also use up their energy and are ready to rest for the day, which also means there’s less chance they’ll scratch your lounge or furniture. By the time you get home, they are ready to play again. Play before dinner time, that way once they eat they can settle down for the evening.
Try to play with your cat for about 10-15 minutes, but this will depend on your cat and how interested they are in their cat toys. You will notice the benefits of playing with your cat over time as it has the following effects:
- it prevents boredom, depression, and unhappiness
- it helps to build confidence in your cat, especially if its shy
- it keeps cats healthy by keeping bones agile and improves circulation
- it controls aggressive behaviors that may be a result of frustration
- it is a good exercise which helps your cat maintain a healthy weight
- and lastly, it strengthens your bond with your cat.
The type of cat toys you choose for your cat will depend on what your cat likes. Different cats like different toys so it’s important you find cat toys your cat will play with; otherwise, they will be left untouched. Ask yourself what does your cat like to do- hunt? Climb? Run around? Or all three? Some of the most popular pet toys for hunters are small, furry cat toys that look like mice and make sounds. For cats who like to climb look for cat and pet toys that are on string or dangle. They mostly will have attachments like feathers and will require cats to jump. For those cats that like to run around cat toys that you can throw, are slippery and roll are good as the cat can touch it and it will keep moving.