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What Is The Purpose of Cat Toys?

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What Is The Purpose of Cat Toys?

Although cats often have different play styles than canines, toys are a necessity for both cats and dogs. Toys help combat boredom and provide an outlet for cats’ instinctive prey-chasing behavior. When you move a toy and your cat fishes, chases it, or jumps after it, playtime becomes a bonding experience for you and your cat.


Rotate your cat's toys weekly and offer only a few at a time. Keep all types easily accessible. If your cat has a favorite item, such as a soft "baby" that she loves to cuddle, you may want to keep it away at all times.

Provide toys that serve multiple purposes - at least one toy for carrying, one for wrestling, one for rolling, and one for "baby."

Hide and seek is a fun game for cats. "Discovered" toys tend to be more attractive than toys that are clearly introduced.

Many of your cat's toys should be interactive. Interactive play is important for your cat because he or she needs active "play time," and such play can also strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Cats typically engage in three types of play—"fishing, flying, and chasing"—and all types of play are more appealing to cats when you become part of the cat.

Many of these factors depend entirely on the cat's size, activity level, and preferences. Another factor to consider is the environment the cat spends its time in. While we can't guarantee your cat's enthusiasm or safety for any particular toy, we can provide the following guidelines.

Activity toys:

Round plastic shower curtain rings are fun whether used as a single ring to wave, hide, or carry, or joined together to hang in an inviting spot. It can be a plastic ball with or without a bell inside.

Comfort toys:

Soft stuffed animals that serve many purposes: For some cats, stuffed animals should be small enough to carry around. For cats who want to wrestle with toys, the stuffed animal should be roughly the same size as the cat. Toys with legs and tails seem to be particularly attractive to cats.


Catnip-filled stuffed toys cats love to kick, hold and rub: Catnip is non-addictive and safe for cats to roll around on, rub against or eat.

Regular catnip can be crushed and sprinkled on the carpet, or for easier cleanup, placed on a towel on the floor. Catnip oils often stay on carpets, and although they're not viable for us, your cat will still be able to smell them.

Catnip sprays are rarely powerful enough to attract cats.

Not all cats are affected by catnip. Some cats may become overstimulated to the point of aggression, while others may become relaxed.

Kittens under six months of age appear to be immune to catnip.


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