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Interactive cat toys
Cat NeedsCats Behavior

Interactive cat toys

We all wish to fill the life of our cats with love and pleasant impressions. Many people talk about buying balanced food for pets, special shampoos and comfortable beds. However, not all cat owners understand that a variety of games are also important for the health of their pet. That is why, in this article, we decided to share the secrets of choosing toys for cats. Here, we’d also like to discuss a new trend - interactive toys.

a cat wearing a pair of headphones and a tie
a cat wearing a pair of headphones and a tie

Should one play with older cats?

What do you think your cat does all day long while you are at work? That's right, 90% of the time is usually spent on sleep. Then, in the evening, you begin to hear the crazy running around the house. It is not surprising that our purring friends are prone to a nocturnal lifestyle. Moreover, the energy accumulated during the day needs to be used somewhere. In addition, a cat with an excess of energy can start acting out and tear furniture, carpets and other items. 

Therefore, the answer is obvious: yes, it is necessary to play with adult animals. Just 15-20 minutes of playing 2-3 times a day prevents:

  •  the risk of obesity, which is so harmful to any living organism;

  • damage to property, which is inevitable in the process of uncontrolled release of accumulated feline energy.

At the end of the game, do not forget to let your pet catch the "prey" and treat them with a treat. If every game ends in failure and does not have positive reinforcement for the cat, they may simply lose the desire to play with you.

a kitten playing with a ball of yarn
a kitten playing with a ball of yarn

Why is it necessary to play with kittens?

Well, the question “should I play with kittens” is not a question to be asked at all. It is unlikely that there are cat babies who would not like to chase a mouse or a ball, or catch a perky teaser with their paw. 

Playing with kittens is very important, because, in the process of playing, kittens:

  • form their nervous, muscular, musculoskeletal systems;

  • go through familiarization with the environment, and copy the behavior of their authority - cat moms;

  • develop their hunting instincts, which helped cats survive in the wild before they began to live in our homes.

a cat laying on the floor with a stuffed animal
a cat laying on the floor with a stuffed animal

What do we know about toys?

Currently, the range of toys for cats and kittens exceeds all expectations. Pet stores are full of all kinds of products for every taste and budget. The most common are:

  • balls (plastic or rubber, bouncing off any surface);

  • textile toys like mice, fish, boomerangs;

  • interactive toys (tracks, puzzles, labyrinths);

  • teasers (rods and ribbons).

In the end, you can make a toy for a kitten all by yourself. 

For sure, you must remember how you used to make bows out of paper with an elastic band during your childhood. 

An alternative replacement for a ball can be a container from a Kinder Surprise egg. 

More complex toys can be made from cardboard boxes of different widths and depths. 

Cats love cardboard boxes, as the world-famous cat Maru, who lives in Japan, proved to us. Videos of his "boxed" adventures are gaining millions of views and offer viewers positive emotions.

The most important rule: in no case do not decorate the toy with beads and sequins. Animals can be very reckless during play. The cat won’t even notice how the "prey" gets into their mouth. A kitten can simply choke on swallowing a small decoration. If the jewelry is swallowed, the pet's esophagus and intestines may suffer, because beads and sequins scratch the skin quite badly.

a cat playing with a toy on the floor
a cat playing with a toy on the floor

Best interactive cat toys - keeping up with the times

Want to pamper your pet? Buy them an electronic interactive cat toy! With their help, the cat “goes through” both mental and physical activity. Interactive toys for cats are divided into 2 types:

  1. devices for independent games;

  2. gadgets for spending time together with the owner.

The first type includes the famous one-story and multi-story tracks, which can be played by a whole cat family at the same time. The essence of these games resides in the fact that a bright object moves along a single-level or multi-level tower, and the cat itself, one might say, “with its paws” can change the course of the game and the trajectory of the object being moved. 

In fact, moving objects can be located not only in the tower, but also in an ordinary box with holes, or in any other structure. The main thing is that the cat itself can control the movement of the elements that are placed inside. If they rattle or squeak, you won’t ever be able to stop the cat away from playing.

In addition, pets really like toys equipped with motion sensors. They are created differently in appearance: such toys can be made in the form of a spider, a mouse or a snake - the main thing is that when the cat approaches, they begin to make sounds and move around the room, which instantly intrigues the cat. Interactive labyrinths, in turn, conceal a delicious surprise - as soon as the animal solves the puzzle, a certain dose of goodies falls out of the toy.

The second type of interactive toys for cats includes a variety of games on tablets. In such games, the main task of the cat is to catch as many fish, mice, butterflies, spiders as possible, which are moving faster and faster across the screen. You can even arrange speed competitions with your pet. 

For example, with the Crazy Cat app and 2 Bluetooth enabled gadgets, you can pair the devices and control animated characters that your cat will have to catch. Points are awarded for each target caught by the cat. At the end of the game, you can look at the statistics and understand which one had a better reaction: you or your pet. 

Do not forget that, during such battles, a protective film must be glued on the phone or tablet, because, after an interactive hunt, the screen of the device can be badly damaged.

a group of cats playing with a cat toy
a group of cats playing with a cat toy

What are the benefits of interactive toys for kittens?

These modern toys have the following important properties:

  • satisfy the animal's need for hunting, strengthen their muscles, make them stronger and more resilient;

  • train dexterity and ingenuity;

  • keep your things in their original shape, because the kitten does not tear up wallpaper and furniture, being busy with something more interesting;

  • prevent the occurrence of stress in the cat;

  • helps release energy, after which the kitten can sleep at night.

Most importantly - such toys help you keep your arms and legs intact. Teach your pets to play only with special toys, not with your limbs, otherwise, in adulthood, “cruel games” will become a habit.  In no case should you let your kitten run after your legs and use your hands for games. Shelter staff know many cases when this ended in serious issues in the behavior of the pet, so serious that, sometimes, the owners refused the cat and took them to a shelter, although they themselves have accustomed the pet to just such games.

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two kittens with DNA health insights