Cat toys are an important part of the feline’s grooming needs. If you’re wondering what’s in them, well, apart from their teeth, claws and fur suitable for eating, they also contain bits and pieces to help with various aspects of their activity and welfare. For instance, there are pieces made of special materials designed to give comfort, especially if it’s been cold or damp outside. These might include a special type of foam or cotton for extra softness or even a special type of fabric to stop your cat from moving about and having fun on rough tiles or other surfaces. All this is designed to create a better environment for your cat.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, how do cat toys actually work? Well, like any toy, they encourage certain behaviours. The most obvious is of course the stimulation provided by the cat toys themselves. This is usually a fun mix of sensory stimuli. There are rattles, bells, squeaky toys, etc…
And then there are the cat toys themselves – normally small but useful things such as balls, bags, mirrors, books, small containers, bowls, and other useful items. You may also find there’s a different type of object to stimulate each behaviour. And finally, there are the cat toys that are used for ‘training’ purposes – these are generally bigger in size and make more of an impact. For example, there are cat toys that have a sticky tape attached to them so that the cat has to crawl inside and play with it; or there are small containers which the cat has to put its weight on to open.
mylittleandlarge like to point out that one of the most common reasons why cats behave badly is because their owners don’t understand their need to be stimulated in order to keep them happy. And this is where most people go wrong. Most people simply buy toys which look nice but which are not structured to provide any kind of stimulation for cats, leading to boredom and behavioral problems.
One obvious problem with this situation is that you don’t know which toys will work best with your cat. The best thing to do in this case is to avoid buying a large number of small, unattractive cat toys and simply buy one toy, preferably the one with the most personality that your cat will like. To some extent, this can be achieved by picking out kitty furniture such as cat beds and other furniture pieces which look attractive but which are also structured to provide your cat with sufficient stimulation. It’s actually surprising how many owners simply stock up on cat toys which are unattractive, without bothering to think about what they’re going to do with them when they’re done playing with them.
Another way of avoiding disappointment is to buy kitty furniture only if you know your cat well enough to know what it likes to play with and how much. Otherwise, you might end up with furniture that doesn’t fit your kitty’s needs and therefore won’t provide any fun or stimulation. For example, a cat bed or scratching post may be a beautiful piece of cat furniture but it might not be comfortable for your cat because it’s too narrow for him or her to get into. This means that, instead of just having an unattractive piece of furniture, you may end up with a cat scratching post which your cat finds extremely unpleasant and which leads to your cat refusing to use it.
The second problem you have to deal with when shopping for cat toys is that you never know what’s going to be popular amongst cat lovers in the future. To make sure that you get good value for money, you should go online and read the reviews of different cat toys. You’ll often find that when a certain style of cat toy was reviewed by a number of cat lovers, it was very popular. If a particular product becomes extremely popular, then you can almost always bet that you’ll see a huge surge in the price for the same item, making it a steal. Similarly, you could quite easily find reviews from people who bought the same toy but who were dissatisfied. After all, most people will write about something they’re not happy with if they don’t like it – so you can almost always expect to find a few people who are happy to complain about any product.
Finally, most people will choose one of the two most traditional cat toys on offer – the wooden catnip log, or the plastic, soft cat balls and mouse traps. However, there’s also a third option which is becoming increasingly popular: the cardboard box. The reason why cat toys in boxes with holes are so popular is because, although they’re a bit square and plain, they provide a great deal of variety as well as providing your cat with a place to hide and sleep. Boxes are easily moved about, so your cat can enjoy staying in his or her own space all day, whilst you can clean up. Although a lot of cat toys are shaped in such a way as to resemble small, mobile homes, cardboard boxes look just as attractive and they can be purchased in a huge range of sizes.