Selecting a Cat Toy
Choosing the right toy for your cat should be easy, but as most owners know cats can often be quite particular! Toys offer entertainment and comfort, and give you a chance to play safely with your pets. Here are some of the main things to consider when toy shopping for your cat.
When choosing toys, ensure that there are no small, detachable parts, or anything that might be swallowed by your cat. You should only choose toys designed for cats, as these will be built to withstand plenty of clawing and grabbling, and shouldn't fall apart while your cat is chewing on them!
Cats' playtime usually involves the same motions they use while hunting - seeking out prey, tracking it around the room, and pouncing on it. This is why most of the toys for cats include something that can be dragged around the floor, to mimic the movements of smaller animals. While some cats may enjoy bird-like toys which flutter and dangle in the air, others will prefer rodent-like toys like the traditional stuffed mouse or teaser wands with fluffy teasers.
Cats also like to discover new things, so you'll find objects that act in an unusual way are quite attractive to most kitties. Noisy toys that crinkle or squeak are popular among cats, as are laser lights that they can chase and swat at!
It might take a while to determine which your cat's favourite toy is, but when they're younger you'll find them entertained by just about anything, so keep experimenting!
Playing with your cat
While kittens will happily play together, older cats are sometimes not as eager to play with others. However, they'll usually still be happy playing with their owner, so make sure you have access to a number of toys that allow you both to entertain each other. The most popular type is the teaser wand, a long stick with a fluffy teaser attached to a piece of string - these are perfect for playing with your cat, as you can keep your hands out of the way and prevent them being scratched or nipped by boisterous pets! Some cats will also appreciate catching balls and soft toys being rolled or tossed across the room.
Try to keep a good variety of toys on rotation so that your cat doesn't get bored of what they have to play with, and aim to play with your cats for around 15 minutes per day. Pets at Home offers a wide range of cat toys, including some impregnated with catnip, which should keep your pets entertained all day!