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You’ve just brought home a new cat (or you’re about to) and you want to make sure they have all the toys and supplies. Without knowing what kinds of toys your cat will like, it’s a good idea to offer her at least one from each category to learn her preferences. Here are seven different categories of cat toys to try with your newest family member.
The tree dweller versus the bush dweller: some cats prefer to explore vertical spaces while others like to stay low to the ground. If you think your cat might be the “tree” type, then give her some climbing options, like a cat tree, window perch, or wall installations so she can explore her new home from higher up.
For the bush dwellers, be sure to offer hiding places. Your new cat might need a place she can feel safe, or if she’s confident off the bat, she’ll still love expressing her zoomies by darting through tunnels. Different types of hiding places that provide security and enrichment to a cat include tunnels, a ripple rug, and of course the classic cardboard box. Learn more about why cats like boxes.
Challenge your kitty’s brain with a puzzle toy that requires some extra effort to produce a tasty reward. Some puzzle toys can be filled with treats or dry cat food and provide obstacles for your cat to reach her reward, while others consist of balls or toys suspended in a maze that keep your kitty busy.
Toys to chase
From feather toys to mice to plastic balls with bells inside, there are a plethora of options when it comes to toys your cat can independently bat around and chase. These kinds of toys can keep your cat entertained even when there is no one around. If your cat is technically inclined, try an electronic toy to satisfy her inner hunter.
Wands and teasers
Though these are also toys your cat can chase, unlike the types mentioned above, these require a human’s participation. Wand toys, teasers, and laser pointers are all exciting toys that give your cat the opportunity to get good exercise and spend quality social time with her human.
All cats deserve to try catnip at least once in their lives. For some, it’s a quick energy boost, while others enjoy relaxing and zoning out. Catnip loses its potency over time if you don’t store it in a tightly sealed container, but many toys can still be fun to bat and chase even after the ‘nip wears out. What exactly does catnip do to cats? We explain.
All cats need a good outlet for their scratching energy (lest they take it out on your furniture) which is why we recommend a good cat scratcher. Scratching is an instinctual behavior that also helps to file down those sharp claws. Some cat scratchers double as a toy, others also make a nice place to lounge and hide; there are options galore.
Why cats need toys
Though it may seem like cats just sleep all day long, the truth is that they still need plenty of physical activity. Toys and playtime help your cat get exercise which helps her maintain a healthy weight. They also provide mental stimulation to keep her from becoming bored and finding other (more destructive) outlets for her energy. Plus, cats are natural hunters, and toys give them an appropriate outlet to put their hunting instincts to use.
What kind of toy do you think will be your cat’s favorite?