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How To Choose The Right Toy For Your Cat

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Cats are super-intelligent, majestic creatures who need mental stimulation and environmental enrichment.

Statistics show that indoor cats lead longer, healthier lives than outdoor cats. Indoor cats live on average 10 – 15 years, while outdoor cats live on average 2 – 5 years. However, indoor cats are often frustrated by the inability to do what comes naturally to them, which is to explore, forage and hunt.

Because they are generally inactive and unable to do what comes naturally, they don’t get the exercise they need, they often experience depression, high stress levels and weight problems. It is estimated that around 55% of cats worldwide are overweight.

Becoming overweight can lead to a range of medical issues for the cat, such as diabetes, which can cost a ton to treat in vet bills. Furthermore, the cat could become destructive.

When cats get bored, they become stressed and may decide to occupy themselves by playing with whatever catches their fancy. This can sometimes lead to the cat being misdiagnosed as having behavioral problems when she’s likely just bored.

Dogs on the other hand, get plenty of exercise. They go for walks and play fetch in the park. If your kitty is piling on the pounds while you’re at work, increasing her physical activity can help her shed unwanted pounds, reduce her stress levels and help her get back to her fighting weight.

Cat Toys

Pet toy companies understand the problems facing domesticated cats, and are always coming out with cool new toys that can mentally and physically stimulate indoor cats.

Before you go out and buy all kinds of toys for your cat, it is really important to understand that every cat is different, with its own unique traits and characteristics. This is why one cat might find a mouse hunter toy exciting and fun, while another might ignore it altogether.

This is because some cats are born with the hunter personality, and are just naturally more predatory. According to a study from the University of South Australia, all cats have one of five different personalities, and some cats are more hunters and some are not. You need to find out what type of personality your cat has so that you can get her the ideal toy that matches her personality.

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The Hunter

Cats with the hunter personality never stop wanting to be predators. However, they do not need to ‘kill and eat’ anything to satisfy their primal hunting desires. They simply want to hunt for the satisfaction of successfully catching something, rather than to actually eat it – particularly if they are regularly fed.

You can help your hunter kitty nurture her basic instincts with play and toys that taps into her innate desires to stalk, chase and trap prey. This will improve her overall well-being and make her feel like the natural predator she was born to be.

Food Puzzles

Cats are natural foragers, and you can keep any cat active and stimulated by making them work for treats and their food. In a new study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, a research team from the University of California at Berkeley highlight the benefits of food puzzles, which are toys that make cats work for their food.

Food puzzles can be something as basic as putting some holes in an empty container and filling it with food. They take advantage of the cat’s natural instinct to forage for food, fulfilling one of their most basic tendencies. They are ideal for households with multiple cats, however, researchers also suggest that each cat should have their own toy.

By allowing your kitty to forage for food in this way, she will become more physically active, healthier and happier. Good times for food puzzles are just before you go to work, and in the evening. Playing and interacting with your cat on a frequent basis can help to lower any high-stress levels they may be experiencing. It is also an effective way to build a strong bond between you and your cat.

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Conclusion

All cats love to be mentally and physically stimulated, and indoor cats need the right toys to help them get the stimulation they really need. It is important to get the right toy that matches the personality of your cat because getting the wrong toy will do nothing for them, as they will most likely ignore it.

Make sure to identify anything inside the house that your cat might find attractive, yet might actually endanger their health and safety. As much as possible, lock away any string, yarn, needles, rubber bands or other objects that could easily be swallowed by cats. These things could be lethal to cats.

Note that displaying all toys at the same time may not be a good idea, as your cat easily get tired of seeing the same toy again and again. Variety is what will work best. However if kitty definitely forms a bond with a specific toy, let her play with it, or sleep with it – whatever she wants to do.

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