We’re dedicating an entire week to cat toys because they’re an important part of a cat’s world, especially for indoor-only cats. Toys provide a way for your cat to satisfy her prey-chasing instincts, plus, when you’re away, kitty will entertain herself by batting a ball around or throwing a mouse in the air. When you are at home, she will love it even more if you engage her with one of her favorite toys in some interactive play. Playing with your cat is a great bonding activity and it’s always lots of fun.
There are many cat toys on the market plus endless household items that seem to make great cat toys, but there are several safety concerns that you need to be aware of. First, always avoid any type of long string like yarn, thread, ribbon, or even dental floss. Kitty may be attracted to an unraveling ball of yarn, but she may also start eating away at the end and because her tongue has little backward-facing barbs, she may not be able to spit out the string. If a length of string is ingested, it can cause internal blockages and intestinal damage.
When choosing cat toys, make sure the toy does not have any small decorative items that could come loose and be ingested. Also, if it is a stuffed toy, make sure to check that is does not have any dangerous filling like nut shells or polystyrene beads. These can also cause problems if ingested.
Paper bags are great for playing inside, but avoid plastic bags which kitty could chew on and swallow. Also, avoid other small items like paper clips and rubber bands.
Here are some words of wisdom from the Humane Society of the US on how to get the most out of your cat toys:
- Don’t keep all of your cat toys out all the time, instead rotate them, bringing out a few different toys once a week. This will keep kitty interested in what’s new. I do this all the time, we have a big bowl and certain toys get buried at the bottom. It’s a big surprise when I go digging through the bowl and pull out an old favorite!
- Provide a variety of types of toys — some for carrying, some for pouncing on, some for kicking and wrestling and others for snuggling. We have a lot of toys for chewing, that’s Ando’s favorite thing.
- Play hide and seek with some toys. Kitty loves making a discovery behind the chair or hidden in the curtains.
- Make sure to have interactive toys, kitty will love these the most because she loves spending time with you.