Is your cat a party freak? When you take out the toys, he just stares at you, wondering why he can’t just take a nap? Or does he play with a toy for 3 seconds and then never touch it again?
While most young kittens are bundles of energy who seem to be constantly playing, some adult cats are not particularly interested in playing. For others, it’s about finding just the right toy to get them off the sofa and move around. Assuming your veterinarian gives you a clean health certificate, and getting those seemingly lazy cats back into action is a matter of trial and error with toys.
To find out which toy best suits your cat’s playing style, we play our own game: “How does your cat like to play?”
- Does your cat like to look out the window and chat when they see a bird or squirrel nearby?
This means that your cat enjoys the hunt and has the most fun with toys that simulate the hunting experience. Toys with movements that look like birds or mice will keep your cat’s engine running. Feathers, wands with toy birds or mice, and small toys that move on their own would be perfect. You can also put a bird feeder near a window so your cat can bird watch.
- Does your cat like to leave toys at your feet or in their water or food bowls?
Your cat will most likely be happy to bring his or her prey with him, so small stuffed animals, small balls, or any other toy he can carry in his mouth would be most attractive. My cat Simba loves to play with those tiny hollow golf balls or his favorite red straw. He’ll bring it to me over and over so I can toss it to him.
- While surfing, did you see your cat couch slide over the bottom of the sofa as it pulls forward?
Your cat would love full body toys to get their paws right around with. Full-size plush toys, long catnip-filled kick sticks, and scratch boxes would be favorites here. Your cat can roll around with them and practice “killing” its toy with its hind feet (also known as the rabbit kick). Do you want some extra fun? Just add some catnip to it.
- Is your cat the first to examine new objects and / or push them to crash the floor?
Curious cats love to explore their world. Breeds like Bengals and Savannahs need just as much mental stimulation as they need to run and jump. These cats love to work on a puzzle toy (like a treat filled with treats), kitten tunnels to examine and hide, or any self toy that requires movement and
- Does your cat get a fall from the Zoomies every now and then?
Get him to chase that laser light (and give him something to catch at the end, such as a treat), throw him some treats so he can hunt, or offer self-moving toys such as a toy toy. Scratching posts are also a must have so he can run upstairs and watch his world from above while planning his next run around the house.
- Have you noticed your cat doing all of these activities?
If your cat enjoys all of these activities then you are a lucky cat parent. Almost any toy is fine, and he’ll enjoy getting all kinds of new toys to play with, as long as he can interact with you in the process.
Now that we’ve figured out what it takes to get your cat’s motor running, get out there and stock up on the toys that really make them come alive. Get your cat involved in an active game at least once a day so that it can use up its pent-up energy and sharpen its appetite.
You won the game and the prize is a happy, healthy cat who is also fun, active, and loves to play with you.
No matter how your cat likes to play, change their toys often so they don’t get bored. Fun, new toys can really make a difference and make playtime a lot more exciting.