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FINDING THE PERFECT CAT TOYS

While your cat may sometimes find a cardboard box more entertaining than her cat toys, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t appreciate the real deal. Providing your cat with a variety of cat toys will not only keep her active, playtime also gives her much-needed quality bonding time with you. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Fishing poles/teasers
    A favorite among cats of all ages, poles and teaser usually come with feathers, ribbons or other enticing items attached. Most cats love it if you animate the target, so keep the line moving and watch as she leaps through the air and performs graceful tricks. This type of play is great for sharpening your kitten’s natural skills like stalking, chasing or pouncing, without making you the prey.

  • Mice and balls
    Cats and kittens love small, furry toys that resemble other creatures. These toys look like prey and stimulate predatory instincts. After your cat has hunted for her toys, she may decide to bring you the prize. Praise her for a job well done to encourage more play. Always supervise your cat to make sure she doesn’t try to devour her toys. Eating these types of toys may not cause a problem right away, but watch for any signs of gastrointestinal distress and call your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

    Mylar balls, plastic balls with bells inside, balls filled with treats or catnip or even light-up balls make a game of fetch exciting and provide a great cardiovascular workout to help your cat stay active, flexible and coordinated.

  • Catnip toys
    Catnip is a member of the mint family and contains an oil called nepetalactone that can neurologically stimulate your cat. Reactions to catnip can vary; your cat may eat it, smell it, roll in it, get a sudden burst of energy or just mellow out and take a nap. When buying catnip toys, keep in mind that a kitten may not develop a sensitivity to catnip until four to six months of age and only 50 percent of all cats respond to catnip.

  • Scratchers
    Scratching is a normal and healthy cat behavior. Scratching helps cats remove the outer layers of their claws. This behavior acts like a cat manicure, and helps your cat mark her territory.

    Cat scratchers not only give your cat an outlet for her natural instincts, they can save your carpet and furniture from wear and tear. Choose from flat scratchers, trees, condos, ramps, towers and perches in an array of shapes and sizes. Some incorporate balls, feathers or toys to catch your cat’s interest, while others provide a comfortable resting spot for an afternoon nap.

  • Interactive toys
    Interactive puzzle toys can help mentally stimulate your cat by engaging her in play when you’re not home. Many include balls and other items that inspire your cat to chase, bat and uncover hidden items. When you are home, a laser pointer can provide hours of interactive entertainment and exercise for your cat as he tries to catch the bright laser beam.

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