As a cat owner and cat lover, you know how necessary it is to keep your cat occupied throughout the day. A cat who spends time using their mind and body both is more likely to sleep better when they nap, which can help them calm down and reduce the risk of behavioral issues at the same time.
In this article, we’ll show you some of the most important categories and recommendations of interactive toys for cats. You can use this information to find the ideal toy solution for your feline friend. If you have any questions, call Boughton Square Animal Clinic in Bolingbrook, IL at (630) 759-0093.
Puzzle toys for cats are similar to those made for dogs. They are usually available as puzzle boards that allow you to hide treats or food among the pieces. Cats can play with the puzzle in a variety of ways to find the hidden treats.
The Outward Hound company, which makes puzzle toys for dogs, also makes similar products for cats. One of these is the Buggin’ Out puzzle, which has sliders that look like ladybugs against a plastic leaf shaped board. Cats can knock and push these sliders around until they retrieve the hidden food.
Rolling Food Dispensing Toys
Just like dogs, cats have a variety of options when it comes to food dispensing toys that can be rolled around and played with. These toys are problems that cats must solve, so they need to use their bodies and minds both to retrieve the food or treats inside the toy.
There are several great choices among this toy category. One of the most popular is the Petsafe Egg-Cersizer, which is egg shaped and can hold treats or kibble. When a cat rolls this toy around, pieces of the food or treats fall out randomly.
Ball Rolling Toys
You’ve likely seen ball rolling toys for sale in the cat toy departments of pet stores. These toys are circular and feature an inner track that contains one or more toy balls. The balls are held within the toy in a way that prevents the cat from being able to remove them. When the cat bats the balls around, they roll around the toy’s track in a satisfying way.
Some of these toys include scratcher pads in the center, while others are donut shaped. One popular option in this category is the Petstages Chase Meowtain, which includes three levels of tracks with balls suspended in each.
Scratcher toys are available in many styles and sizes. You’ll need to think about your cat’s normal scratching behavior to determine which one is best for her needs. For example, if your cat prefers to stretch on the ground and scratch the carpet or rugs, they might like a long, flat scratcher board. If they like to stand up and scratch while stretching, a scratching post is a better solution.
Some scratchers come with other toys built in, while others are meant for scratching only. Most of these toys are made of cardboard and are easy to replace when the time comes.
Tunnel toys come in a variety of styles and shapes, and you can find several different types on the market to suit most cats’ play needs. These toys may be as simple as a single tunnel or as complex as a tunnel system with towers and other elements for your cat to play with.
One of the best toys in this category is the Catit Vesper cat tunnel and the add-on tower that can be purchased separately with it. This toy combines the tower and tunnel to create multiple stages and levels of play for your cat.
A classic of any cat’s toybox, catnip toys are the perfect way to encourage interactive play and self-entertainment in your feline friend. Be sure to choose a catnip toy for your cat that is safe for them to play with even when they are unsupervised—so stay away from any with sewn-on features such as whiskers, beads, or feathers.
There are dozens of catnip toys to choose from, so picking one for a recommendation can be tricky. Choose a safe toy that is made with real catnip for best results.
With the help of one or more of the toys on this list, you’ll be well on your way to a better-behaved cat in no time. By taking the time to choose a toy your cat can play with comfortably on their own, you are setting them up for better results throughout their life.
Remember that cats, just like dogs and even humans, may eventually get bored with the same toy. You might want to try two or more types of toys from this list, and alternate which one your cat has access to throughout the week. Call us today at (630) 759-0093.
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About Boughton Square Animal Clinic
Since 1979, Boughton Square Animal Clinic has served Bolingbrook, IL and surrounding communities as both a veterinary care provider and a devoted partner in treating your animal family members for life.