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Kittens love playing with toys and it is a healthy outlet for their developing minds. There are a number of toys on the market that are designed to stimulate your cat’s senses and intellect. But just as is the case with children, your cat might like the plastic cap he finds in the cupboard more than the expensive toys you buy for him. You need to be careful about the items you let him play around with. Many of them can be toxic or a choking hazard if your cat swallows them. When buying a cat toy, you need to consider the following:
- Some of the items that are considered as traditional cat toys are often the most dangerous. Ribbon, string, rubber bands and yarn are fun to play with, but deadly if swallowed. And they are swallowed very easily as cats have rough, porous tongues that make it hard for them to spit out yarn and similar items. These objects tend to travel length-ward through their intestines if swallowed. They can cause their short intestines to scrunch up like an accordion, leading to an intussusception.
- Fishing pole-style toys are a lot of fun, but you need to ensure that they are placed out of reach when you are not around to supervise your cat.
- Also, make sure that the toys that you give your kitten are good quality ones. Most of the furry mice that are found in the market have plastic noses and eyes glued onto them. Your kitten could easily chew them off and swallow them. If you buy one of these toys, make sure that you pull off the nose and eyes before you hand it over to your kitten.
- Kittens like plush toys that they can carry around like pretend prey. They also like large stuffed toys with which they can pretend to fight.
- Remote controlled toy mice are fun for both you and your kitten, but do not leave devices with batteries inside them, especially if your cat can get the battery out easily.
- Kittens love playing with paper bags and they love to get all the way inside. So, make sure that the bag is not in a location where somebody can step on it without knowing that there is a kitten inside.
- Toys and balls must not be small enough for them to be swallowed or inhaled. Ping pong and golf balls are the right weight and size for kittens. Place them in a captive area, like a bathtub to maximize the fun your kitten can get out of them. Or put it in an empty box so that your kitty can fish around for it.
- Kittens under the age of 6 months do not usually notice catnip. So, wait for them to get older till you introduce catnip.