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For cats, play is an important part of their mental and physical health. This article will explore 6 of the best cat toys to play with your cat and engage their predatory instincts.
Why cats need to play
Like dogs, play provides an outlet for your cat’s energy and a good way to incorporate exercise into their daily routine, but it’s also an important outlet for their natural hunting instincts.
6 Best Toys for Cats
1. Cat Wands
Cat wands are the perfect cat toy for tapping into your cat’s desire to hunt and pounce on its prey.
These toys feature some kind of lure (typically a feature or a small mouse-shaped toy) attached to a small stick with a wire or piece of elastic.
You can use the want to simulate prey, using small, controlled movements to encourage your cat to stalk the wand and give them the feeling of hunting.
2. Interactive, Self-Play Toys
While you should make time to play with your cat for at least a few minutes every day, you can’t play with them all the time. That’s where self-play toys come into play.
These toys can be anything from a robotic cat wand to flopping fish to jingle bell balls. What’s important is that there is some kind of interactive elements, like movement or sound, which gets your cat interested enough to play on their own.
3. Springs or Spring-Shaped Toys
Springs are an under-appreciated cat toy, but one that many cats love. You can buy plastic or felt spring-shaped toys in the store, or you can even make your own out of pipe cleaners.
Their lightweight and unique shape make them perfect for a game of catch with your cat. Flick them, toss them, or bounce them all over the house while your cat tries to catch or chase them.
4. Cat Furniture
Having at least one piece of cat furniture in your home is essential for your cat’s happiness.
Cat scratchers, cat trees, and window perches serve many purposes in your cat’s life. They offer vertical space to explore when your cat is feeling stressed or bored.
And they make the perfect seats for Cat TV next to any window, and they double as interactive toys for your cat.
Many pieces of cat furniture encourage your cat to climb, scratch and even play with attached toys. All of these are great for encouraging your cat’s natural instincts and relieving stress.
5. Food Puzzles
In the wild, your cat would have to hunt for its food every day, and there’s an instinctual part of your cat that enjoys the challenge of finding its next meal.
Licking mats, treat dispensers, and interactive food puzzles help your cat get the sensation of hunting for food in the comfort of your own home.
6. Catnip Toys
Catnip toys are always fun to explore with your cat. While some cats don’t react to the intoxicating smell of catnip, some cats go wild for it.
These toys are typically small plush toys that have catnip also stuffed inside, but you can also buy catnip sprays to turn any toy into a catnip toy.
Cats that do love catnip will be naturally drawn to its smell, and it can help relieve your cat’s anxiety, stress, and even stomach pain.
Which Toy is Right for Your Cat?
Your cat needs at least 20-40 minutes of dedicated playtime every day to maintain a healthy weight, fight boredom, and release pent-up energy.
Explore all of these toy types with your cat to find what works best for them, and rotate your cat’s toys often to keep them exciting.
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