Cats should live indoors to protect them from outdoor hazards, such as infections, cars, toxins, and other animals. Evidence shows that indoor cats are healthier and happier than their outdoor counterparts are. In fact, indoor cats live twice as long as cats that spend much of their time outside. But living indoors has some disadvantages, too. Indoor cats are more likely to become bored without the stimulation that nature and other animals provide.
To keep your indoor cat happy, healthy, and entertained, consider investing in a variety of stimulating cat toys. Commercial cat toys have come a long way in recent years, with many being both interactive and durable. Alternatively, you can make toys for your cat without spending much time or money.
Classic cat toys are generally well liked by most cats. Examples of classic toys include balls with bells inside, hard or fuzzy balls, little mice, feather toys, and fishing reel toys. These toys encourage your cat to run, chase, and jump, and they are fairly durable and inexpensive. Some are designed for solitary play, while others (like fishing toys) require a human playmate. Classic toys are generally the best type if you have multiple cats, especially if your cats enjoy a little competition when chasing prey.
These toys include cat trees, towers, perches, ramps, rope toys, and anything else your cat can use to climb up or hang from. Climbing toys are also good for providing your cat with a safe place to sharpen her claws, which means less damage to your furniture. Commercial ramps and cat trees are usually expensive, but you can make your own with wood, carpeting, or other materials. Instructions for building climbing toys are available online.
Interactive toys are those that respond to your cat’s interaction. For example, an interactive toy may make a noise when your cat jumps on it, or it may be a feather that swings from a battery-operated arm. These toys are great for cats that are easily bored with standard toys and need the extra stimulation. Of course, interactive toys have moving or multiple parts, which means more pieces to become lost or damaged.
Cats do not require expensive, store-bought toys to have a good time. Empty paper bags, toilet paper rolls, crumpled up paper, rolled up socks, and plastic bottle caps can provide hours of entertainment for cats of all ages. Start collecting such items in a bin in your garage and pull out a few new ones when your cat becomes bored with her existing toys. Be careful that the items you collect are not harmful to your cat. Avoid toys with sharp edges, toxic ingredients, and ingestible parts.
Whichever type of toys you select for your cat, it is important to remember that they are not an adequate replacement for human interaction. Your cat will benefit most from time spent with you, whether that time is used for playing or for cuddling. If your cat still seems bored or depressed after you introduce new toys, consult your veterinarian. Health problems may sometimes mimic restlessness, boredom, or depression.
This article was provided by VetDepot.com, a trusted retailer of pet supplies online.