Choosing the right toy for your cat

Here at Myhills, we understand how daunting it can be standing in the toy aisle trying to choose something you think your cat will enjoy. All toys claim to be a perfect addition to your cat’s toy box, so how do you decide which to go for?

So often, toys are left at the bottom on a storage box or stuffed down the side of the sofa, maybe it’s time to re-think the type of toys you are choosing for your cat/s, and think about how they may get used. Although the buying of a toy is very basic, here are some tips on increasing the chances of toy selection success.

Type of toy

Cats are beautiful, intelligent animals and they love to play. Some like to roll small balls around the house while others would be happy clawing at a scratch post. There are toys meant for solo playtime and ones meant for interactive sessions. Although cats are naturally curious and playful, don’t depend on solo playtime to provide all of their enrichment.

When it comes to solo playtime, there are toys meant to simply be batted around, stalked, pounced on, carried and even nibbled on. Bells are a lot of fun to a cat; they’re noisy and interactive. However, it’s critical that you are careful when kittens are playing with bells, as if they become too excitable and the bells comes apart, they could swallow it.

As with bells, all type of balls are magic to a cat. Ensure you provide a ball of the correct size for your cat to avoid accidents. Interactive toys are great for highly intelligent cats, or cats that have an aggressive disposition. If this is the case, the cat will be able to take his/her anger out on the toy, rather than you. In addition, if your cat seems depressed or is timid by nature, it will have to become more anima

ted and trustful during interactive toy play.

Scratching posts are also a great outlet for aggression, as well as providing them with the surface they require for scratching.

Movement

Cats are predators so a toy’s movements that resemble that of prey are best. Little fake, furry mice are hugely popular with cats. They commonly throw a mouse around, drag it around by the tail as, in the wild, this is how they play with prey before then finally consume it. It’s simply part of their nature, as even though your cat gets top quality nutrition and his daily existence doesn’t depend on being able to actually capture a meal, his natural play instinct is based on hunting.

Cats want to stalk, chase, pounce and ultimately capture. Does the toy resemble prey either in its appearance, size, shape or movement? Will the cat be able to bat at it, pick it up in his mouth or pounce on it comfortably? Offer a variety of movements to keep your cat enticed. Even if the toy is meant to be waved in the air to mimic a bird, do some on-the-ground movements too the vary the action to fi

nd out what your cat prefers.

It’s important to offer your cat a selection of toys to establish what they enjoy playing with. You may find they love all types of toys, or only one. Give them the option – they’re all different with their own unique personalities.

Safety and Durability

It’s important that you check over any toys that have any glued-on parts, such as eyes or nose pieces, along with strings or anything sharp. You need to be happy leaving your cat alone playing with the toy.

Prior to purchase, make sure you are happy with how robust the toy is so that it can withstand many play sessions. If you have a very animated, interactive cat, check that it’s made with heavy-duty string, that is attached securely, and that there are no sharp pieces sticking out that they could bite down on.

We stock a range of varied cat toys within our stores, so why not pop in to see what’s on offer.