Creative and Homemade Cat Toys Toys Your Cat Will Love

Creative and Homemade Cat Toys

Cats love toys and watching your cat play is one of the chief joys of owning a cat. Here are some simple toys your cat will love.

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. Here are some simple toys and homemade cat toys to choose from.

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 your cat. It may be fun to watch a cat play with a ball of yarn, for instance, but if your cat swallows any, you will then have to take them 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, including 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 them. 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. Just remember to end the game with something your cat can catch, to avoid your kitty becoming frustrated.

Toys from Pet Stores

Pet stores offer a wide range of toys, in all kinds of colors and shapes. Look for some of these fun toys:

1) A cat teaser or fisher

This is a 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. You can create your own cat teaser at home with a plastic wand or stick, some string, and a feather.

2) Balls

Cats like chasing plastic balls, especially if there is a bell or other noisemaker inside. Balls can be made of other materials, including yarn, and are often stuffed with catnip. Other balls have crinkly paper in them, and the noise attracts the cat. 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 pique the cat's interest. Cats like to pounce on, bat around, and eventually shred these toys. Fortunately, they're generally not 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.

Mix it Up With a New Cat Toy

Whether you have a new kitten or an old fogey cat, theyโ€™ll enjoy play time with a beloved owner. But just like kids, your cat can become bored with the same old toys. While a few cats may take offense at something new, because it could be dangerous! (thatโ€™s the careful cat talking...), even suspicious felines can be persuaded to try a new cat toy

How to Choose a New Cat Toy

  • For those stuck-in-the-mud cats, try a new version of an old favorite. Remember that cats identify safe and fun with whatโ€™s familiar. In other words, they like the old toy because it smells like them. So if that favorite stuffed mouse toy has seen better days and stuffing has exploded out the seams, just get a new identical mouse toy. Then make it smell like the catโ€™s old toy by rubbing the cat with it, especially on the cheeks. 
  • Cats get bored with the same-old-same-old, though, if theyโ€™re explorer type felines looking for excitement. So when your cat yawns at the idea of another feather wand, try a fishing pole toy with a spider on the end. Or offer a jingle ball or Mylar ball that gives back a fun sound or mouse squeak. The Mini Teaser Wand can create great opportunities for interacting and playing with your cat. Colorful Springs for cats is another great option for baiting your cat and encourage fun play sessions.
  • You donโ€™t have to break the bank with new cat toys, either. Many cats actually prefer cheap thrills in the form of empty paper sacks or boxes, for example. Or just wad up a sheet of notebook paper, and toss it across the room. That may prompt your cat to show off fetch skills, something Siamese-type cats often enjoy.
  • One sure-fire way to engage a catโ€™s interest in new toys is to spike it with catnip. You can fill a baggy with this minty herb, and toss in a couple of the catโ€™s mice toys. Let the toys absorb the aroma overnight before offering them to your cat. Once theyโ€™ve played with a new toy a couple of times, the smell and tattered look of well-loved (and gnawed) toys brings cats back again and again to repeat the game.

Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.

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