cat care

What toys do cats like – make it yourself

Play is a critical activity for the social development, physical and cognitive development of many animal species, and although cats are largely solitary creatures and need to play a lot, new cat owners may not know how these animals actually play.

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What toys do cats like


It is essential to learn ways to keep a cat properly active in order to live with it, and science can give you some useful tips for you and everyone in your household.


Cats are predators by nature


“We have to remember an important fact, play is very similar to predation for cats,” says cat owner and associate professor of clinical behavioral medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Carlo Siracusa.

Siracusa explains that although cats are small and cute, they are deadly hunters that can kill between 15 and 20 prey a day. Therefore, it is necessary to stimulate them with activities that mimic predation.

He also says that you can use toys 3 or 4 times a day for short periods, such as a stick with a string and a mouse doll, and make sure that the cat eats something at the end of each play session, as this will be a satisfactory reward for her efforts.


Predatory puzzles

One of the important lessons that all predators learn is getting their prey out of burrows. This process activates the brain of cats, makes them happy, and keeps them healthy, just as solving puzzles does for humans. Siracusa recommends toys like mouse-shaped treat dispensers, which you can hide at various points in the house.

You can get the same puzzle benefits by punching holes in an old plastic box, shoebox, or cardboard box, and putting toys in, and the cat will try to figure out ways to get treats out of the holes.


Watching TV and playing video games with the cat

Cats love to watch screens too, so make sure you provide that for them. Cats don’t necessarily watch TV shows dedicated to them; She can watch online videos of birds flying in the forest, which is very entertaining for her.

If you have a tablet computer, you can use apps designed specifically for cats, and you can replace them with physical games. For example, Cat Fishing 2 (available for Android and iOS) turns your device’s screen into a pond containing one, two, or three fish that disappear when your cat paws them. You can use several similar apps that contain mice and birds if fish are not attractive enough for your cat.

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Failing to catch intangible prey, such as fish in a puddle on a device screen or a bright red dot on the wall (the reflection of laser light), can be frustrating for your cat, so be sure to give her treats or some wet food with a spoon.


Climbing places

Cats sometimes jump on the table and drop things that may be sensitive; Try not to get angry with her, as she is acting according to her natural instinct.

“Cats tend to be in elevated positions because they have natural predators, and watching their surroundings from a distinct perspective makes them feel safe,” Siracusa explains. The cat is also more likely to be stepped on if it is kept on the floor of a crowded house, so it is a good idea to allocate high points for it. You can install a cat tree, a low-cost bookshelf, or any piece of furniture that is high and safe for your cat to sit on.


Don’t punish your cat, even if it continues to break your valuables after setting up the high places it can climb. Losing these items is certainly annoying, but Siracusa warns against disciplining her because of her natural behavior. As this may prompt her to show aggressive behavior toward you.


Your house is full of cat toys


Experienced cat owners know that these animals can play with just about anything, and can find joy in the simplest of things; From cardboard boxes to small paper balls. So before you spend your money at the pet store, here are some items cats love that you may already have in the house.


Toilet paper rolls

Let your cat play with old, used toilet paper rolls before throwing them in the recycling bin. You can decorate these rolls with little woolen balls to keep her interested, but make sure they are too big for her to swallow.


Belted shirts

Cut an old T-shirt into squares and tie a knot in the center of each square to make it look like a butterfly. Toss these butterflies here and there and see how the cat will chase them, or hide them in a box with holes to try to get them out. You can fill these clothes with a small amount of catnip to make the game more interesting for your cat.


Crumpled paper and ping-pong balls

You can make a puzzle game by placing crumpled papers or ping pong balls in a shoebox with holes, you can also distribute these papers and balls around the house for the cat to chase.


Think like cats

To work out the best way to interact with cats, remember that each cat has a unique personality and tends to socialize on their own terms.

“I try to remind people that cats are what we call a facultative social species,” Siracusa says. This means that cats can follow a social lifestyle and live with humans and other animals, but they only acquired this behavior recently. Siracusa explains that the ancestors of cats weren’t social animals.

The ideal environment for cats is one in which they can always engage and play, but also where they can refrain from doing so if they want to. Trying to force cats to play or prevent them from these activities when they need them can lead to bad behaviors such as isolation and aggression.


Keep you and your cat safe


Cats should not be given any toys or food that could choke them, just as is the case with dogs and children. If your cat swallows something she shouldn’t, she may have to undergo surgery which can be avoided, as this can lead to her death.

“If your cat likes to chew on cloth or any other type of fiber or yarn, keep those items away from her,” Siracusa says. This means that you hide these materials; As cats can reach high places.

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Contrary to popular belief, loose yarns and threads can also be dangerous for cats, especially kittens. You could get stuck in it, swallow it, and choke. Make sure the yarn is wrapped tightly when petting the cat, and if you have kittens, always supervise them while they play.

Cats aren’t the only ones you have to handle carefully; You should not use your body to pet cats either. It goes without saying that cats’ claws and teeth scratch your skin, and wounds contaminated with cat saliva can lead to infections.

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