It can be hard to choose toys that your cat will actually use. I’m sure most of us can relate to having a basket of toys that rarely get noticed. The bread tie is far more exciting. Still, we’ll continue to shell out money for toys with the hope that this one will finally be loved. Finding toys your cat will actually use and love doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. You just have to look at the toys from the perspective of your cat and take your specific home into consideration. Here are 5 tips for choosing toys for your cat.
#1 – Catnip or honeysuckle Did you know that only 50-70% of cats are affected by catnip? Whether or not a cat goes wild from one sniff of it depends on whether or not they are genetically predisposed to being sensitive to nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip. Many cats who aren’t affected by catnip can have a similarly crazed response to honeysuckle. If your cat is affected by catnip, add a few catnip-stuffed toys into your regular play routine. Remember to put them away when playtime is done though, because cats need some time away from catnip to “reset” so they can be sensitive to it next time. Catnip also loses its potency as it ages and becomes stale. Storing the catnip toys in a sealed bag or container in the freezer when your cat isn’t using them will keep them fresh for longer. Aren’t sure whether your cat is sensitive to catnip or honeysuckle? Some companies make toys that are filled with a bit of each to cover all of the bases. Related: Does Your Cat Go Bonkers For Catnip? Here’s Why (Or Why Not)
#2 – Shiny
Shiny toys work best if you live in a well-lit home. Light will bounce off of the toy with the slightest movement, which can drive your cat wild. Each small movement will be amplified by the light.
#3 – Rolls or moves with slight touch If your home isn’t carpeted, add a few balls to the toy basket. With the slightest touch from your cat they’ll zoom across the room, activating her prey response. Just be careful where you step, since a stray one can send you zooming across the room too.
#4 – Easy to carry in mouth
Since most cat play is based on the prey response, it’ll be a great bonus if your cat can pick the toy up in her mouth and carry it after she’s successfully “killed” it. Look for toys that are plush, relatively small, and lightweight. If you’re lucky, a toy like this may even encourage your cat to play fetch with you!
#5 – Moves or lights up on its own
If you aren’t home a lot to engage your cat in play sessions, add an interactive toy or two to your home. Your cat will love a battery operated toy that moves on its own, makes prey-like noises, or shoots out a laser to catch.