Cats are famous for their laziness. But when they are awake? Different story. So yes, you do need cat toys for indoor cats, even if you allow kitty to roam the great outdoors. I’ve already had a bit to say about why inside is the best place for asthma cats, but then what? You can take the cat out of the jungle, but you can’t take the jungle out of the cat, so let’s have a look at the ins and outs of making your kitty bounce.
Keeping Indoor Cats Happy
It’s a nasty myth that cats need to go outside – in fact, outside can be downright dangerous for the health and safety of our feline friends. The added concern for chronic illness such as asthma should raise a pretty good argument for not letting the cat out. The flip side of this is that you then become kitty’s main playmate and supplier of all things fun. With a little ingenuity, you can turn your home into an adventure playground for your cat, without making the place look like a circus. Or a jungle.
Here’s another common myth for you: cats are low maintenance pets. They’re really not. They are fussy and demanding; they also need physical exercise and mental stimulation to get their happy on. Asthma cats are a little more special, as their moods tend to be brought down by their breathing difficulties and general un-wellness. The first step to a happy kitty is to make sure all the basics are taken care of – the litter box is clean and in an appropriate place, their food is nutritious and their company is delightful and friendly. If these things are not covered you run the risk of making your feline very, very sad.
How do Cats Like to Play?
Is there anything better than watching a pile of kittens frolicking and beating each other up? I think not. Kittens play to build co-ordination and social skills as well as mental and physical prowess. Beyond that, adult cats continue to play just because it’s fun.
Cats are predators by nature – they like (and need) to run, stalk, climb, jump and pounce. Any kind of play that mimics this natural tendency to prey on things is not only good for kitty, it’s also hilariously entertaining for you.
Why do Cats Need Toys?
Cats don’t like to be bored when they’re awake, so they will naturally look for ways to entertain themselves. Even though staring out the window can provide hours of entertainment for kitty, sometimes what he needs is something to do. Having a collection of things for your cat to play with will keep his mind and body active and keep him from destroying your stuff. Everybody wins!
The Best Cat Toys For Indoor Cats
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars or turn your home into a zoo to keep your feline entertained. Cats have a special ability to turn just about anything into a toy. Bottle caps, batteries, the cardboard bit out of the toilet paper roll are all fair game as far as your cat is concerned. Even something simple like a balled up piece of paper can provide hours of entertainment, but you do need to be wary of small things like rubber bands and hair pins – anything that could become a choking hazard should be kept out of reach of little paws.
Having said that, there are a few basics you should have in your home to ensure maximum happiness and entertainment for both you and kitty:
- Scratching post – cats need to scratch for the health of their claws and to get a good stretch in their muscles. Ideally, your scratching post should have both vertical and horizontal surfaces for maximum scratching fun.
- Something to climb – cats are tree-dwelling predators, they feel safest with a high vantage point. Cat trees that provide scratching surfaces are great space savers for small places, just be careful you don’t get pounced on!
- Something to chase – there are so many options here, but basically what you need is something kitty can run after and pounce on. Toys on sticks and strings are great for this – I often just stick the stick in my back pocket and let Sparrow chase it around as I go about my household business.
- Something kitty can play with unsupervised – you can’t be home all the time, so it’s important to have safe toys that kitty can play with when you’re not around. Cat tunnels and ball in track toys such as the CatIt Senses 2 Super Circuit are safe and entertaining for kitty.
Cat Toys…or Just Toys?
Cats don’t hold back when they’re playing, so make sure your cat’s toys are safe and as indestructible as possible. Feathers, plastic eyes and anything that could become detached from the toy is a choking hazard, so it’s important to always supervise and put these toys away when you’re done playing. Toys designed for cats are obviously the best choice, but really anything your cat enjoys is fine. For maximum fun, be sure to have a range of toys and rotate them frequently to make sure kitty doesn’t get bored and start destroying your stuff.
How do you keep your cat entertained indoors? What are some of your kitty’s favourite toys? Drop me a comment and let me know!