Cat Toys

Written by Sarah Provost
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Cat toys run the gamut from ping-pong balls to an interactive, remote-controlled "virtual mouse." There are danglers and rollers, hidey-hole toys and chaos balls, but basically your cat needs toys that fall into four categories: toys to carry, toys to chase, toys to cuddle and toys to "kill." Some toys fit into several categories, and these are usually favorites. My cat's favorite toy is something that looks like a raccoon tail. She carries it, cuddles it and kills it; if it moved on its own, it would be perfect.

Fuzzy balls or balls wrapped in sisal are better than solid or hard plastic balls, because the cat can get a better grip on it and carry it around as well as chase it. A bell inside adds to the fun and adds auditory stimulation. Cats also love crinkly noises, such as paper bags. (One cat of mine used to steal onions to bat around.) Crinkly fabric sacks that your cat can play and nap in are fairly new on the market, and seem like a great idea.

Some New Features in Cat Toys

Most cat toys are variations on a few basic themes, but there are some new improvements on the old favorites. The basic dangler is great for interactive play, but when you hang it on a doorknob, it loses a lot of its appeal. New varieties use a metal strip with a bend on one end so it can be closed in a door. The dangler sticks out several inches away from the door, giving the cat more play opportunity, and the flex in the metal strip gives the toy the bouncing motion cats love.

Cats love catnip, an herb in the mint family, and toys that aren't stuffed with catnip can be rubbed with it to increase their attractiveness. Cats also love to chase bubbles, so why did it take so long to come up with catnip bubble soap? Wind-up cat toys have long been favorites, but newer kinds are able to move unpredictably, rather than in a straight line. We cat lovers get a kick out of buying new toys for our favorite feline, and when they have fun, we have fun.

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