Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cats and Their Cat Toys

One thing owners and cats enjoy doing together is play, especially with cat toys. There are several reasons play-time is essential to your relationship with your pet.

  1. Playing lets your cat improve their hunting skills. Your cat will be able to practice looking for the target, creating a sly approach, learn to pounce, and enjoying its victory. All of this is achieved through playing with your cat and their cat toys.
  2. Playing gives your cat an opportunity to get some exercise and be able to maintain a healthy weight which is extremely important to their long term health.
  3. Playing is also a way for your cat to be able to release all their negative energy and prevents them from attacking you or anyone in their vicinity frequently.
  4. Playing strengthens the relationship that you have with your pet, and allows for bonding time.
  5. It also helps your cat overcome its shyness and gain more confidence through interactivity.
  6. Playing with your cat, especially with a new one, helps them to adjust comfortably with their new home, new cat toys, and other surroundings.
  7. Lastly, playing is just plain fun for you and your cat!

Cat toys include so many items in different shapes and sizes. You have so much to choose from to keep your cat entertained.

  1. Ball Toys provide entertainment with the addition of a feather, squeezy center, hair/fiber creating a shag look, wires, glittered pom-poms, mice-shaped, or with cat nip scent. They come in packs of two, three, five or even just one piece. These balls usually measure about 1.25 inches to 2 inches thereby allowing your cat to be able to grab it and play with it easily. It's small enough for cats and/or kittens to grab it but big enough so as not to allow for swallowing and accidental choking.
  2. There are also interactive toys that the cat owner can use. These include items placed at the end of a cord or stick and you, the cat owner, waving around the rod while the cat follows it. Interactive toys also include battery-charged mice that run around with the cat trying to catch it. Some of these toys even have remote controls and rattling sounds.
  3. There are mouse toys available to let your cat practice capturing its target. They usually squeak or rattle and measures from two to four inches.

How should you play with your cat? There are no set rules. There are only guidelines to help the cat owner play with their cats to achieve maximum satisfaction for both parties.

  1. Always change up the toys your cats play. If they see the same toy over and over again, they will recognize it and get bored and tired easily. Keep a few different toys on hand for use. Change it up every time you play with your cat. You don't have to spend a lot and buy every cat toy available. You can even use some items in your home like an old stuffed animal, straw, flashlight, etc.
  2. Do some role playing. Be the target that your cat is looking for. Make your toy act and impersonate a mouse or bird. Pretend its running away and hiding. This creates a chase for your cat and will excite him or her. Be subtle though and do not role play too much or the cat can grow bored or think play time is all the time.
  3. Try to pay attention to the different settings that your cat likes to play. He may like to play when it's dark or when you're alone. Pretty soon, you'll be able to get the hang of it.
  4. Let your cat enjoy his victory and don't let him win too easily. Make your cat work hard for his prize.
  5. Once you do something he likes to do, remember to include it in your play sessions regularly. You cat will definitely enjoy this.

Have fun playing with your cat and their cat toys!

Author: Kaila West

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