Did you know your cat needs just as much play time and interaction as your dog? Dogs are more obvious about their needs while cats are often viewed as aloof. However, playtime is just as important for your cat’s health and well-being. Let’s take a look!
Why Play is Important for Cats
Interaction and play are important for your kitty’s health in a number of ways, especially for indoor-only cats. Note: We don’t advocate letting cats outside without a harness and leash for their protection and safety.
- Exercise – Playtime gives kitty exercise to help maintain a healthy weight.
- Express Natural Instincts – The right combination of toys and accessories help your cat express the natural instincts for scratching, chasing, hunting and pouncing that they’d need in the wild.
- Avoid Behavior Issues – Show us a kitty with behavioral issues and we’ll show you a kitty who is bored and not getting enough engagement and interaction. Cats act out behaviorally when their needs aren’t being met.
- Stimulation – Cats, just like dogs, need to be mentally and physically stimulated for their well-being. Playtime and toys help stimulate kitty’s mind and body.
- Bonding – Interacting and playing with you helps build a bond between you and your cat or enhance the bond you already have.
Choosing Toys for Your Cat
When choosing toys for your cat, it’s a good idea to get a mix of things that stimulate his senses in different ways. Toys that crinkle and chirp stimulate his sense of hearing, catnip stimulates his sense of smell, scratching stimulates his sense of touch and visual toys like feathers and laser pointers stimulate his sense of sight. Here are some toys to check out for your kitty.
Scratchers – Cisal, cardboard, carpet and any other kind of surface suitable for scratching. You really can’t have too many scratchers for your kitty. It also makes them far less likely to scratch furniture.
Bark Appeal’s Cat Teaser Wand with Feather – The bright feathers stimulate your cat’s sight and sense of hunting. This is an interactive toy for you and your cat to enjoy together.
SmartyKat Chickadee Chirp Electronic Bird Sound Toy – This toy stimulates your cat’s sense of hearing and hunting with bird chirp sounds and has catnip added for extra fun.
Frisco 47-in Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel – Play tunnels are great for kitty playtime. They give kitty places to hide and pounce from and stimulate their natural stalking behavior.
Catit Design Senses Play Circut – When no mere ball spinner toy will do for your cat, this toy has a peek-a-boo track design and the layout of the tracks can be changed into over 100 configurations. Your cat will be chasing the ball through this track for hours.
Ethical Pet Wide Durable Heavy Gauge Colorful Springs – These bouncy spring toys are great for playing fetch with your cat. Throw it once and watch your kitty go crazy chasing these bouncy springs all over the house.
Hartz Just for Cats Toy Variety Pack – This variety pack comes with a few different styles of balls, a few mice and more. Give your cat plenty of things to chase and stalk through the house with this handy pack.
SmartyKat Skitter Critters Mouse Toys – There is no end to the different types and styles of mouse toys you can find for your cat. These particular mice are a major hit with most cats (thanks to the catnip) and won’t break the bank.
Laser Pointers – There are a variety of laser pointer toys available for you to use to play with your cat. A quick note, some cats and dogs can become overly fixated on this type of toy and begin chasing any light they see. If you notice this behavior in your pet, discontinue use immediately as it can escalate into a source of stress for your pet.
Playtime and interaction is important for your kitty’s health and well-being. Play and toys give them exercise, stimulate their senses and help them bond more deeply with you. So, when it’s time to play, don’t forget about kitty!