In the wild, cats rely on their speed, stealth, cleverness and cunning for our very survival. In your home, we have to be able to express these instincts to stay happy, healthy and well-behaved!
NOTE – This blog post is just a small excerpt adapted from our FREE guide: Keeping Kitty Happy: The Ultimate Guide to Indoor Cat Enrichment
The best toys mimic cats’ most natural instinctive activity – hunting! Hunting involves two primary behaviors:
1. Stalking & Chasing – when potential prey is spotted, the cat gets low to the ground and creeps toward it trying to remain undetected. Once the cat believes it is within striking distance, or if they prey notices and bolts, the cat will give chase at full speed.
2. Trapping & Catching – if prey is cornered in a shed or under some branches, the cat will diligently root around, scratch, sniff, pounce, reach and retrieve.
HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT CAT TOYS?
1. Stalking & Chasing Toys – There are countless simple toys that get kitty moving. Here are some of our favorites!
Remember, cats rely greatly on our senses of smell and sound, so consider toys that stimulate their nose and ears as well! Toys that squeak, scratch and crinkle, and those with a scent (think catnip!) are sure to be a hit!
Look for durable toys made with organic materials and dyes. Avoid small detachable parts (googly eyes, glued-on strings, etc.) or remove them after purchase.
2. Trapping & Catching toys – There are many options to satisfy this play behavior, and each works in a different way. It's recommended to try a variety of options for your cat.
Food is a powerful motivator. Puzzle feeders turn snacking into a game – getting their paws moving and their gears spinning! Look for puzzle feeders that offer a variety of challenges and multiple difficulty levels to keep your cat engaged as their skills improve!
Puzzle feeders aren’t just fantastic enrichment – they also slow down eating, making them highly recommended by veterinarians for weight management and digestive health.
Tunnels are a feline favorite – providing mystery and unpredictability as well as an opportunity to pursue “prey” into a “burrow”. It’s also the perfect place to stage an ambush on an unsuspecting passer-by!
A playmat is a versatile item where cats can play with abandon – and the king of the playmats is undoubtedly the Ripple Rug by Snugglycat.
Durable, washable (air dry!), made from recycled materials and infinitely reconfigurable into new peaks and valleys for fresh adventure every time. Throw some treats or a catnip toy inside for a foraging frenzy! Outside of our own products, this is the one we recommend most often!
REMEMBER – This blog post is just a small excerpt adapted from our FREE guide: Keeping Kitty Happy: The Ultimate Guide to Indoor Cat Enrichment