Cats may spend a large percentage of their day sleeping, but play is important too. Play is more than just a way for a cat to pass time. It is a way for cats to get exercise, develop and maintain physical coordination, challenge themselves mentally, and satisfy their natural drive to hunt. Finding the right cat toys can help your cat get in the playtime that he/she needs to be healthy!
Cats Need to Play
There are two big problems that can develop when a cat isn’t getting the playtime that he/she needs. First, the cat may become overweight, because more calories are being gained than being lost. Being overweight can lead to a whole host of medical problems, like diabetes, that can cost a ton in veterinary bills.
Second, the cat may become destructive. Cats get bored too! Without proper cat toys, a cat may decide to entertain themselves by playing with their human’s things instead. This is sometimes misinterpreted as the cat having behavioral problems when really he/she is a good cat without a properly enriched home.
Types of Cat Toys
Looking at the aisle of cat toys at your local pet store can be intimidating. There are so many different ones out there! Despite the variety on the shelves, there is really only about 5 different types of cat toys.
Choosing the Best Toy for Your Cat
The best way to determine what cat toys are best for your cat is to try out the different types of toys. Each cat has their own personality and needs. It’s a good idea to have a mixture of toys that your cat can play with on his/her own and toys that let you two interact. Playing with your cat helps to develop a positive relationship! Don’t underestimate the value of interacting with your kitty.
Cats like to play with toys that best imitate their favorite sort of prey animal. Some cats prefer cat toys that can move like a bird (floating and flying), while others prefer toys that move like a mouse or a lizard (hiding, peeking out, crawling on the ground, etc). Make sure to mimic these prey creatures during interactive play with your cat!
If your cat needs to lose some weight, interactive toys may be the best thing to get them moving. Overweight cats are often lazy and won’t take the initiative to play with a toy on their own. Puzzle toys may incentivize these cats to play, but you have to watch how many calories they are consuming with the treats.