Playtime is vitally important to a cat’s mental and physical health, and it’s especially important for indoor cats. Even though cats may sleep up to 16 hours a day, when they’re awake, they need stimulation, and the best way to accomplish this is with play. In the wild, when lions, tigers and other wild cats aren’t sleeping, they’re either hunting, or teaching their young to hunt. And play is nothing more than channeling your domestic tiger’s hunting instinct into play.Continue Reading
Play is vitally important to a cat’s mental and physical health, and it’s especially important for indoor cats. Even though cats may sleep up to 16 hours a day, when they’re awake, they need stimulation. The best way to accomplish this is with play, and the best toys are those that engage your domestic tiger’s natural hunt and prey instinct. The Ripple Rug does this in a super creative and fun way.Continue Reading
Play is essential for your cat’s well-being. It mimics their natural hunting instinct, and it keeps your kitty occupied. And while pet stores (and our product guide!) are brimming with cute and innovative toys, cat toys don’t have to be expensive, and you don’t even have to leave the house to find new ones. If your cat hasn’t already shown you that there are plenty of household items that make great, and perfectly safe toys, here are some suggestions for you:Continue Reading
Interactive toys are a great way to keep your cats stimulated both mentally and physically, and a great way for both you and your cats to get in on the fun.
Interactive toys fall into two categories: toys that your cats can play with on their own, and toys that are designed for joint play for cat and human. I introduced you to Interactive Puzzle Toys for Smart Cats a couple of months ago.
Interactive toys provide fun for cat and human
Toys such as feather teasers,wand toys or fishing pole type toys can provide hours of fun for you and for kitty. Playing with your cat is not only fun, it also increases the bond between the two of you. Here are some of my, and Allegra and Ruby’s, favorites:Continue Reading
The American Veterinary Medical Association recently issued a set of Guidelines for Responsible Pet Ownership, stating that “owning a pet is a privilege and should result in a mutually beneficial relationship. However, the benefits of pet ownership come with obligations.” I think the AVMA is a bit behind the times with still using the term “owner” when it comes to pets. Most of us consider our cats part of the family, which is why I prefer the term “guardian” or even “pet parent.” But they do raise some interesting points in their guidelines. I won’t list all of them – you can read them for yourself if you’re interested – but I thought I’d highlight the ones I consider most important, especially for cats.
Commit to the relationship for the life of the cat
This one should be obvious, but sadly, it’s not. Cats are creatures of routine, and any change is traumatic for them. If circumstances don’t allow you to commit for the life of the pet, you may want to consider fostering instead.Continue Reading
Until Buckley came into my life in 2006, I’d been an “only cat” person.
First, there was Feebee, my first cat, who was the one and only love of my life for almost sixteen years until he passed away in April of 2000. In July of that same year, Amber came home with me as a soon to be “failed foster.” Her gentle, loving, wise presence, not to mention her almost constant purr, brought love and affection into my life for the next six years as my only child, until Buckley came along.Continue Reading
There are hundreds of cat toys on the market, and as anyone owned by a cat knows, there is no way of telling for sure which toy will delight your cat, or which will generate a quick sniff, followed by a look of disdain and a turned tail. So if you’re like most cat parents, you will continue to bring home toys in your quest to amuse and spoil your feline charges.
When shopping for cat toys, the most important thing is the safety factor. Cat toy safety really comes down to one thing: if it can be swallowed, it’s dangerous.
This means stay away from toys that have small parts that can come loose during an energetic play session. Anything with glued on parts, metal pieces, tassles or strings should be a no-no. Sometimes you can remove these parts (which is how Amber ended up with a lot of what we call “blind and deaf mice” – once the glued on eyes and ears are removed, these mice turn into perfectly safe toys). But it’s always best to find a toy that doesn’t require removal of loose parts.
Toys with strings and rubber bands can be fun for your cat as long as you supervise play. Never leave these toys with your cat unattended – rubber bands can loop themselves around your cat’s neck and choke her, strings can be chewed and ingested, and can present a life-threatening emergency if the piece of strings wraps itself around the cat’s intestines.
So which toys are safe for your cat?
Amber loves anything that’s stuffed with catnip. The fewer adornments, the better. A great source for simple, and safe catnip toys is The Mouse Factory – they have a wide selection of fun toys, and their catnip is seriously potent.
The Kong line of cat toys offers a lot of fun and safe choices as well, you can find a sampling in the Conscious Cat Store and you’ll also find them in many pet stores.
Interactive cat toys are great fun for you and your cat – after all, what’s more fun than a rigorous play session with your kitties? Some of these interactive toys, such as the feather teaser (a feather toy on the end of a string) require supervision because of the string part, but they can provide hours of fun for cat and human.
Of course, there are plenty of choices for toys that don’t require a trip to the pet store – paper bags, boxes, empty toilet paper rolls, or even just a wadded up piece of paper can be as much fun for your cat as expensive, store-bought toys.
Whatever safe toy you choose for your cat, have fun!
Amber’s current favorite is a fuzzy crab-like toy on the end of a long fuzzy string. What are some of your cats’ favorite toys?
Featured Image Credit: Onishchenko Natalya, Shutterstock