With Christmas just around the corner, you may be thinking of getting your feline friend something of their own to play with on Christmas morning. But when it comes to choosing the right toy for your cat, what things should you take into consideration?
First and foremost, any toy which you buy for your cat needs to be safe for them to play with. Almost all cats like to grab, chew, and claw at their toys, so it’s important that they can withstand a lot of wear and tear. There should be no small detachable parts, or anything which could be swallowed by your cat.
Choose toys based on your cat’s behaviour
Most cat owners will know the feeling, you spend money the latest shiny new toy for your cat, but when it comes to playing they are not interested, or would rather play with the packaging that the toy came in!
It’s important to remember that, for many cats, play is often a mimic of the behaviours they would use whilst hunting. They may enjoy seeking out small toys, tracking them around the room, and pouncing on them as they would an animal in the wild.
For some cat’s this will take the shape of a small rodent-like toy, or a feathered toy which flutters or dangles in the air. Other cats may prefer something which makes a noise as it bounces along a hard surface, such as a ping-pong ball or other plastic cat toy.
Cats can also enjoy toys which mimic the high-pitched sounds they would hear from prey in the wild, so squeaky or crinkly toys are often popular.
Before buying an expensive toy or activity for your cat, try to put yourself in their place and decide if it’s something they will really want to play with. Whereas some cat’s will be more than happy to play with balls in plastic ring and tracks, others may prefer more natural toys. It’s also worth remembering that younger cats and kittens may be more open to playing with different types of toys, but whilst it’s still important to play with older cats, they may be more set in their way and less open to new types of play.
If you would like some advice on what would be best for your cat, or if your feline is showing signs of not being happy in their environment, then please feel free to get in touch and see how I can help.