Best Interactive Cat Toys for Mental Stimulation
Purchasing a couple of interactive toys for your cat is a great way to keep your feline friend mentally and physically stimulated throughout the day. Some of the best toys offer your cat an opportunity to entertain themselves even when you are out of the house.
You may have noticed that cats tend to get bored and destructive when they aren't given enough attention. If you have a cat that scratches the furniture and carpets when left unattended, now is the right time to get them some interactive toys and we will help you pick the best options.
What are the benefits of cat toys?
Cat toys can significantly contribute to your cat's happiness, health and keep them engaged in basic yet crucial feline behaviours like scratching, playing, hunting and feeding. By keeping your cat active, you are reducing obesity, strengthening the connection between a pet and owner, reducing boredom, allowing a healthy display of feline aggression, improving circulation and lowering the risk of anxiety.
When purchasing toys, you should remember that not all toys are made equally and that different toys have different benefits. For example, a catnip is great for picky eaters, while active toys help aggressive cats release stress and anxiety.
What types of enrichment toys for cats can you get?
Pet owners can explore several types of cat toys. In fact, different cat toys used in different and unique ways can serve different purposes. Usually the best toys mimic or provoke natural behaviour, like hunting or scratching. Here are some of the most popular toys:
Stick toys: At the end of the stick you will often find some ornament attached, which will have your pet chase and jump after it.
Feather toys: These are designed to satisfy the feline's desire for hunting.
Balls: As the ball moves across the floor, it mimics the behaviour of prey. A ball with bells attached to it provides extra stimulation to your cat.
Catnip: Some toys include compartments where you can hide catnip. Your feline friend will try to get to the catnip, satisfying their need for hunting and food.
Scratchers: These are probably the most popular toys among cats and cat owners. They help your cat scratch all they want without destroying furniture. It doesn't matter what type of scratching post you get if it isn't placed in the right spot. Putting a scratcher in the far corner of the basement won't do you any good. But putting it in front of the window will make a significant difference and your cat is more likely to use it.
Household items: Cats love cardboard boxes. They prefer dark, enclosed spaces where they can hide and observe the world. The box gives them a sense of protection, while the texture of the cardboard draws them to scratch. You can cut holes in the cardboard and offer endless hours of entertainment for your cat as they hide. Consider hiding treats inside and watch your cat retrieve them. This will engage their predatory instinct.
Interactive feeding toys: They will stimulate your cat's mind and help entertain them when you aren't around.
Climbing toys: Felines love trees, so it's a good idea to give your cat something to climb when you aren't home. Also, they enjoy being on high surfaces.
When buying cat toys, we don't have to focus only on one. You can explore different types and give your cat several options. Keep in mind that cats tend to get bored with their toys over time, so it's good to include some variety.
Are cat KONG toys any good?
A perfect way to stimulate your cat's instincts is to get them a refillable mouse toy. They are usually made of soft plush materials designed to tempt your cat to play. This toy provokes the cat's natural instinct to play, pounce or stack.
It also helps your feline friend stay in great shape and promotes daily exercise. Remember that the best KONG toys are interactive, durable and match your pet's play style. They don't use a one-size-fits-all approach. You can buy toys in multiple sizes with different levels of durability and for various development stages, whether for kittens or adult cats.
What are the best toys used for cat treats?
There are plenty of cat treat toys you could choose from, but if you need a boredom buster for your feline friend, consider getting them a LickiMat. This product will enrich their feeding time and keep your pet entertained. It's perfect for spreads, yoghurt and wet food.
LickiMat will ensure your feline friend experiences feeding as they would in the wild, in a crouching position, with a full view of their surroundings. Its pockets tend to provide licking action and slow down eating while extracting food.
This product is designed to minimise stress and calm your cat as they are enjoying their favourite meal. When leaving home, you could feed your cat this way to keep them entertained and stress-free. You can replace all your feeding bowls with a LickiMat and serve wet, dry, raw or liquid food without making any mess.
Why is it important to play with your cat?
Playing with your cat boosts their mental and physical health and helps with behavioural problems. A bored cat can become unruly and difficult to manage, usually chasing other pets, playing bite or resorting to frequent vocalisation.
If your cat is surrounded by toys, it's more likely to attack stuffed toys than your feet. Keep in mind that buying a toy and leaving it there won't be enough for your cat. Felines are most interested in play when they have someone to play with them. For example, a catnip mouse isn't really a mouse until you wiggle or slide it.
You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to keep your feline friend satisfied; they can be entertained with simple household items like a cardboard box. Cats simply want to have a playmate.
How to play with your cat?
If you are new to this concept and are just introducing toys to your cat, you might want to check out the following tips:
Pay attention to small parts
Like you wouldn't give a toy made of small parts to your kid, you also want to ensure your cat has the same treatment. Consider that every toy can pose a choking hazard and be particularly mindful of strings.
Your pet might ingest them, which could lead to a life-threatening condition. Never let your cat play with items like bracelets or rubber bands.
Read the label
It doesn't matter where you buy a toy; whether in a pet store or a shopping mall, make sure to read the label. The toy needs to be made of toxic-free materials that aren't dangerous for your cat.
Let your cat win
Once you are ready to finish the playing session, allow them to catch the prey and reward your pet with a treat for their good behaviour. This will prevent them from being too focused on a toy.
Focus on your cat's body language
This is particularly true during long play sessions because you don't want your cat overextending themselves or hyperventilating. You should take as many breaks as they need.
You might need some time to find a perfect toy for your pet. Think of this as a process of trial and error. Over time, you will figure out what toys your cat loves the best.
What to expect from interactive toys?
The best interactive toys are designed to encourage natural hunting behaviour in cats and they ensure your feline experiences stalk, chase, pounce, catch and shake hunting sequence. You should avoid using toys that encourage cat catching and pouncing humans' hands since such behaviour can lead to injuries.
Choose toys that will make your kitty move. A good interactive toy should entice them to roll, pounce, jump and offer mild aerobic exercise, the same way they would experience while hunting prey in the wild. This toy also needs to be mentally challenging to keep your cat from boredom.
Pay attention to materials since your cat will chew and bite this toy, so it needs to be made of durable materials. Make sure to follow cat toys Australia safety standards.
Cats can experience many benefits from toys and in addition to keeping them entertained, they promote physical and mental health. That's why choosing the right toy for your feline friend is important. We gave you some ideas and hope you and your pet will have a great time playing together.