A Guide to Cat Toys

Pictures_cat_stalking.jpgWhen choosing a toy for your cat you want one that is both safe and good for giving your cat exercise. You can buy some of these toys in the store and you can make some of them at home.

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1. Balls:

Cats love chasing balls. Just about any ball will do. Ping Pong balls are great because of their size. My cat has even played with my kids' balls from their ball pit. Balls are safe because they can not be chewed open or swallowed whole. For added pleasure give your cat a ball with a little bell inside. Then when the cat bats at the ball it will hear the bell. This only works with cats that aren't skittish. A final ball choice is to scrunch up some aluminum foil in to a ball. Most cats like shiny objects.

2. Yarn with a feather attached at the end:

Only use this toy when playing with your cat. Don't leave it out for the cat to play with alone because the yarn can get caught around the cat's neck and suffocate it. Hold the yarn out in front of the cat and slowly pull the yarn away from the cat. The cat will them leap at the feather. This is a hunting reaction that a cat would have in the wild. It will pounce on the feather like it is catching its prey. It is great way to encourage your cat's natural instincts and promote exercise at the same time.

3. Buy a remote controlled mouse:

pictures_cats_crouching.jpgThis is a funny toy to play with and also helps encourage a cat's hunting skills. You can use any remote controlled toy, but a mouse is a more natural choice. Use your remote to move the object around the room. Stop when the cat catches it so the cat can feel a sense of accomplishment. Then start up again. Play as long as the cat is interested. This is a great way to get your cat exercising.

4. Buy a catnip sack or make your own:

Make a pillow out of burlap and fill it with cat nip. Then sew it up. Cats go crazy for cat nip and will want to play with the toy when they get a whiff of the scent. If the cat goes too crazy and tries to rip open the burlap then you are going to have to take the toy away. Most cats should be fine with it, however.

5. Buy or make a climber:

Cats love to climb above all else. That is why so many of them get stuck in trees. A climber is essential if you don't want your cat to start climbing up your drapes. You can buy some that are fairly inexpensive or you can make one yourself out of wood. Just staple carpet on each step of the climber so that the cat doesn't jump up and slide off the smooth wood surface. Make sure the climber is secure and won't tip over when the cat plays on it.

Nicholas Hunt writes for a site offering information on pet insurance for cats as well as more obscure kinds of policy such as horse insurance for horse riders and owners.

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