How Cat Toys Can Help When Playtime for Cats is Essential?
As a loving cat parent, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Your pet needs food, water, grooming help (trimming sharp claws, anyone?), and, above all, your time and attention. For working professionals this can be the most difficult, and time-consuming, part of owning a cat. How much interaction is enough? How do you keep your cat entertained enough to keep their claws out of your furniture, your carpeting, and your clothes? Most of all, how do you keep them engaged enough so they’ll be happy? Lucky for us, there are many cat toys out on the market today to choose from. Some are even leaps and bounds ahead of what they used to be. These toys can help your cat depend less on you for interaction while they entertain themselves when you are away.
Here are a few ways that cat toys can help your cat live its best life:
- Cats need stimulation to thrive, especially through their claws. They have an instinctual need to scratch that harkens back to when they were apex predators, and a lack of scratchable things can make for a very depressed feline. In order to feed this need, it’s important to provide cat toys that have a roughened surface that can survive being clawed. Such surfaces, like burlap or braided ropes, have the ideal texture for sinking claws in and grappling. A cat toy with a flat, rough surface is a good choice.
- Cats are also highly visual creatures, so they will naturally be drawn to any cat toy that twitches, moves, or wriggles. While spending time with your cat, you’ve probably noticed how he or she will pounce on anything from a fluttering curtain to your feet as you get up in the morning. If you’re tired of dangling a piece of yarn for them to play with, a cat toy with a separate, loose bit that can twitch or move as your cat plays with it would be perfect. Be sure to look for a cat toy that sports a ball on a spring or string, or perhaps even just a fluttering tail with a tuft of fabric at the end. Your feline friend will thank you!
- As anyone who has a cat can attest, cat toys (and anything else your pet can sink their claws into) can quickly wear out. Those sharp claws are made to shred, and the carpet, couch, and curtains can’t stand the wear and tear. That’s why it’s important to choose a cat toy that’s sturdily made with quality materials. Look for a cat toy with well-sewn seams, thick fabric or other material, and non-flimsy moving parts. If your cat’s toy seems to be worse for wear after a long period of play, be sure to check for missing parts, split seams, or replace the toy altogether.
- Don’t completely replace your time with your pet with cat toy time! Even the best cat toy in the world can’t replace your love and attention, so choose a toy that can double as a work-alone cat toy or an interactive cat toy for you both. A good option would be one that you can easily hold and shake, but can also be played with when just lying on the carpet. While it’s important that your pet learn to entertain itself, your feline friend still needs you and your attention from time to time.
The above tips and tricks can help you and your cat find the happy medium between available time for you and enough entertainment for him or her. While no solution is a perfect one, cat toys can deeply enhance your cat’s life and your time with or without them. Even if the cat toy only saves your carpet and curtains, it’s well worth the time, effort, and money. Who knows, maybe even you will enjoy playing with it! After all, your cat is a member of your family, and he or she will be much better off with a cat toy, a playmate, and an owner who loves them.
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