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Playing With Cats

Hints & Tips

All cats have boundless energy and they love nothing more than playing with cat toys of virtually any variety. Many pet stores, supermarkets and other stores have different varieties of cat toys in stock, but you do need to be careful when you're considering toys for your cat. Wild cats are hunters by nature so chasing toys is second nature to them. The old adage 'curiosity killed the cat' is a very accurate summing up of how cats behave. If you've left a bag or box lying around near your cats you'll know that they love nothing more than to jump in and see what they can find.

This natural curiosity and love for chasing things is vital to a cat's development. It strengthens muscles and increases your cat's alertness; it keeps them healthy and young and improves their general health.

When you're considering a toy for a cat, remember that simple is often best. A small ball with little bells will provide weeks of entertainment for your cat. Many cat toys use catnip; this has an incredible effect on any cat, acting as a hallucinogen.

Allocating time each day to play with your cat will enhance the bond between you, and you will be surprised at how much fun it is to play with them, and watch them chase around.

Making your own Cat Toys

It is quite reasonable to make toys for your cat, as anything that moves is an instant attraction to cats and kittens alike. Screwing up a ball of paper or enticing them with a piece of string will grab their attention. A table tennis ball, especially bounced on a wooden or kitchen floor, can provide hours of entertainment as a simple flick of a paw will send it bouncing away and your cat won't be able to resist chasing after it!

If you make your own cat toys make sure the paper or material you use has no dye on it, and even though cats like toys much smaller than they are, make sure they can't swallow and choke on them.

If you don't provide toys for your cat you may find they create their own toys from anything they can find lying around. In fact, quite often you will find they do this anyway. Anything that they see move, or makes a quiet noise is an attractive prospect for a toy.

Scratching Posts

Having a scratching post is vital if you do not want your furniture and carpets ripped to shreds! Cats have sharp claws and enjoy sharpening them on anything they can find that will do the job; this may be the end of a sofa arm, or your favourite Persian rug - so buying or even making a scratching post yourself will save your belongings!

A scratching post will also aid your cats exercise, as they will normally stretch while sharpening their claws. Some scratching posts also have toys attached to them, acting as an entertainment centre for your cat.

Make sure you provide fresh drinking water for your cat so they do not become dehydrated. You can usually leave a bowl of water where they have their meals, but some cats enjoy a running tap or even licking freshly watered plant leaves - just make sure you have no poisonous species in your house and garden. It doesn't matter how your cat gets their water, just make sure that it is always available.