Part of the fun of having a cat is watching their antics. Cats, especially young ones, can be quite playful and lively. They can also be destructive if they're bored and lonely. So, in the interest of keeping your cat happy and your furniture unclawed, get your cat some toys. It is especially important for the cat to have toys if 1) the humans in the household are away for hours at a time, and 2) there are no other animals around to keep the cat company. Cats can play very nicely with another cat or even a dog. Having an animal companion around keeps the cat happy and entertained, which is why some animal shelters in the U.S. will only adopt out kittens as pairs. Besides, watching two kittens or cats play with each other is a lot of fun.
Household Items as Toys
Cat toys don't have to be expensive. In fact, many of them aren't, and a few can even be found in your house. Be careful with household items, though, as some can be dangerous to the cat. It may be fun to watch a cat play with a ball of yarn, for instance, but if the cat swallows it, you will then have to take her to the vet. Rubber bands and similar items should also not be used as cat toys, as there is too great a risk of the cat swallowing them.
There are, however, a few household items that can work as cat toys:
1) A paper bag
Cats love crawling into small places and thus like crawling into and out of paper bags. If you have two or more cats, one will crawl into the bag, and the others will pounce on her. Replace the bag after the cats shred it.
2) A laser pointer
This office tool appeals to a cat's chase instincts. Flick it on and wave it around and watch your cat go nuts chasing the little red dot. (There are laser pointer toys at the pet store.
Toys from Pet Stores
Pet stores offer a wide range of toys. The advantage of buying from a reputable pet store is knowing that the toys are safe. Toys found at pet stores include the following:
1) A cat teaser or fisher
This is so-called "interactive" toy because it only works with a human controlling it. A cat teaser looks something like a small fishing pole, with a rod and a string. The string can have a lure-like toy at the end or be made of feathers. In any case, wave it, and get your cat to chase or pounce on the string.
Cats like chasing plastic balls, especially if there is a bell or other noisemaker inside them. Balls can be made of other materials, including yarn, and the latter are often stuffed with catnip. Other balls have crinkly paper in them, and the noise attracts the cat. Some balls also have feathers attached to them. These are among the least expensive commercial cat toys available, as a ball or set of balls typically cost only a few dollars.
3) Catnip toys
Catnip basically gets cats high and makes them act silly. Most catnip toys are made of cloth and some have noisy, crinkly paper inside them to further whet the cat's interest. Cats like to pounce on, bat around, and eventually shred these toys. Fortunately, they're generally not that expensive.
4) Motorized cat toys
These include things like robot mice. Turn them on and watch Kitty chase them. (Notice a theme? Cats are hunters and like to chase things, so many cat toys will appeal to a cat's hunting instincts). Motorized cat toys tend to be among the more expensive toys, but even they generally don't cost more than $25.00, although there are exceptions.
5) Track toys
These toys consist of a circular track with a ball in it, and the ball may or may not have a noisemaker like a bell in it. Cats like to bat at and chase the ball around the track. Like the motorized toys, these tend to be among the more expensive cat toys available.
6) Cat videos
Videos designed for cats will depicts birds and other small animals. The animals' movements will keep the cat entertained. Cat videos cost about the same as videos for humans do.
There are many toys for cats available, and most appeal to a cat's interest in movement and noise. With some looking, you're sure to find something for your cat.