play therapy

Fitness Toys for Your Cat

fitness-toys-cats

This post contains Amazon Associate links.*

Regular exercise is just as important for our cats as it is for us. Exercise not only helps keep your cat physically healthy and prevents her from becoming overweight or obese, it also keeps her mentally stimulated. Helping your cat get more exercise can also be a wonderful way to increase and strengthen the bond between you and your cat.

Admittedly, it can be challenging to get some cats to exercise for any length of time, but as with so many other things, having the right tools can make all the difference. The following toys can help get even the most reluctant kitty off the couch.Continue Reading

Hide & Sneak Paper Bag Cat Tunnel from Dezi & Roo

hide-and-sneak-cat-tunnel

Sometimes, the best toys are the simplest ones, and what cat doesn’t like paper bags? The folks at Dezi & Roo have taken this concept just a little further and created the Hide and Sneak Paper Tunnel.

This expandable tunnel made from the same material as brown paper bags will provide hours of entertainment and fun for your cats.Continue Reading

Best Interactive Cat Toys

Allegra with Neko Flies Kattipede

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

Cats and Birds: The Joys of Birdwatching for Indoor Cats

cats_birdwatching

With the recent bad press cats have been getting with regards to birds (read my post Faulty Science Spread Lies About Cats and Their Impact on Wildlife for more information), I thought I’d highlight one area where birds can not only coexist peacefully with cats, they can also provide stimulating entertainment for indoor cats, and the best part: nobody gets hurt.

The topic of indoor vs. outdoor cats can be controversial for many, but for me, it’s pretty black and white. All of my cats have always been, and will always be, indoor cats. Indoor cats live longer and safer lives, and as long as you provide plenty of environmental enrichment, frequent playtime, and lots of love and attention, cats will never miss the great outdoors.

A strategically placed birdfeeder could turn out to be one of the most popular choices of entertainment for your indoor cats. I happen to love birds, and love watching the activity at our feeder almost as much as Allegra and Ruby do (although I won’t chatter my teeth when I get excited…)Continue Reading

Allegra and Ruby give new Neko Flies toys four paws up

Allegra with Neko Flies Kattipede

Allegra and Ruby were super excited to test three new attachments for the popular Neko Flies interactive toy. Neko Flies is a perennial favorite at our house.

Nekochan Enterprises, Inc., a company specializing in the development, manufacturing, and distribution of unique, high quality pet products, was started by Ellen Tsuyuki, a multiple cat owner, because she was dissatisfied with toys available in the cat toy marketplace. Ellen decided to create a toy that would measure up to her and her cats’ particular needs. Ellen named the company after her mother’s Abyssynian cat Nekochan (“neko” means cat in Japanese, “chan” is a term of endearment). The Neko Flies attachments mimic critters cats might encounter in the wild. For someone like me, who is not fond of creepy crawlies, the likeness is almost a bit eerie at times!

The three newest attachments will be available late October/early November. We received the Kattipede, which looks like a green and red centipede, complete with wiggly legs, the Kiticatterfly, a butterfly with beautiful shiny irridescent wings, and the Foxifur Kittenator, which resembles a very furry mouse.

Allegra with Kiticatterfly

As you can see from this action shot of Allegra playing with the Kiticatterfly, the toys were a big hit.Continue Reading

How to Keep Your Cat from Waking You Up

cat_in_bed

Do your cats wake you at the crack of dawn? Are they keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep? As much as we love our feline family members, most of us would prefer to not have that love expressed by a pounce on our chest at 4am.

The first step in changing this behavior is understanding why cats do it. Cats are, by nature, nocturnal animals. They hunt and eat primarily at night. Even though studies have shown that domestic cats adapt their activity cycles to their environment and to human activity, in many cats, this natural instinct still dominates. Add to that that most of our cats are left alone for much of the day and probably spend the bulk of that time sleeping, and it’s no wonder that they become active at night.Continue Reading

Our new favorite: Da Bird Interactive Cat Toy

 Da Bird interactive cat toy recommended by Jackson Galaxy

If you’ve been watching My Cat From Hell, you’ve probably noticed that there hasn’t been a single episode when the Da Bird toy hasn’t come out of Jackson’s guitar case. And I’m embarassed to admit that until recently, Allegra and Ruby did not have a Da Bird of their own. Since they’ve registered complaints about this oversight on my part after every single episode for the past six weeks, I finally caved and got them their own Da Bird.

It was a huge hit, especially with Allegra. As I’ve mentioned before, Allegra’s play style is very strategic and deliberate. Unlike Ruby, who will pounce on and chase after anything that moves, Allegra watches and waits. She also often takes a step back to Ruby’s more exuberant play. When I spoke with Jackson Galaxy about this, he explained that this is a personality thing: some cats are natural hunters while others are quite happy to sit back and let another cat do the hunting.Continue Reading

Allegra’s World: Allegra Gets Advice from Jackson Galaxy

Allegra-cat-stretching

It’s been almost a whole month since I got to write something on here. I guess Mom has been so busy writing her own stuff, she hasn’t made room for me! This doesn’t mean that I haven’t been busy myself. Keeping my sister in line is just about a full time job, and I still have to take care of Mom, too. It’s a wonder I find time to nap and play with all of that going on.

And speaking of playing – something really interesting, and fun, has been happening with that here. A couple of weeks ago, Mom was on the phone with this man she calls the Cat Daddy. She asked him a lot of questions about something called My Cat From Hell.

I know what that is! It’s something that happens on the big screen in our living room. I started watching it with Ruby the other night, but I had to leave the room. It was just too frustrating for me. Some of the cats on that show are so upset with their humans, it got me all upset, too. Of course, Ruby wasn’t bothered by any of it. In fact, she practically stuck her nose into that Cat Daddy man’s face!Continue Reading

Are Laser Toys Safe for Cats?

cat-with-laser-toy-safety

Some cats go wild for laser toys, chasing the little red dot around the house, up and down furniture, and, in Ruby’s case, even up walls. Well, she tries, anyway. Allegra will chase any reflection of light, even if it’s just the sun reflecting off my watch on the wall, so the laser is definitely a hit with her as well.

But are laser toys really such a good idea to use with cats? And more importantly, are they safe?

How to use a laser toy the right way

I consider laser toys the lazy cat guardian’s toy – and don’t think I haven’t used them occasionally. After all, all you have to do is sit and point, and your cat does the rest. But is it really as much fun for your cats as it seems to be? It can be, if you use the laser toy the right way.Continue Reading