Which toys are best for my cat?

Which toys are best for my cat?

Whether you are looking for something to keep her busy while alone or games to play together, here are some helpful pointers when choosing a cat toy.

From the latest tablet apps to the humble cardboard box, there are a huge number of toys available for cats and kittens. Playing together helps your cat perfect her hunting skills, and strengthens the bond between you to create a solid groundwork for later behaviour training sessions.

Playtime is also great exercise for your cat, and helps keep her at a healthy weight, while releasing any pent-up aggression. Most importantly, toys enrich her environment, keeping her active and content. Keep a stock of toys ready, rotating them regularly or adding some catnip to keep her interest. Remember to pack them away once playtime is over.

Homemade toys

Cats and kittens love anything that mimics real prey, and there are lots of toys available that do just this. Wand toys - a long stick with feathers or objects suspended from a string - are popular, along with balls, bells and wind-up mice. More high-tech toys are also available, including dedicated tablet applications and lasers, which cats can’t resist chasing.

There are also plenty of toys you can make using simple items around the home. Try a cardboard box with the ends opened up to create a tunnel, and cut holes into the sides for extra fun. For a great homemade toy, take an old sock, stuff with crinkly paper and a bit of catnip, and tie the end to create a wallet-friendly ‘mouse’.

20 minutes per day is the minimum amount of playing time you should aim for to see real benefits in your cat's health and behaviour.
Adding some catnip to your cat’s toy may add interest, although kittens are often not attracted to the herb until they’re older.