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Cats are playful creatures, and playing games with our feline companions is a hugely enjoyable way to bond with them. Whether you’re looking into gifts for cats, need to direct your cheeky kitten’s attention away from your toes, or just want a toy to keep your pet occupied when you’re trying to get that important piece of work done, there are a few things to consider. Cats all play differently: kittens use toys differently than adult cats, some cats love to chase, and others love puzzle toys. Read on for more information about the best toys and games for your cat.
Once you know all you need to know, check out our selection in the FirstVet shop. You’ll not only get the best cat toys, but you can also get free shipping over £39 and a speedy 1-3 day delivery!
The domestic cats we know and love as pets today are not hugely different from their wildcat ancestors. Cats are built to chase, hunt, and catch prey and are designed for an active lifestyle. The domestic cats we share our homes with today are often inside for large periods of time, provided with all their nutritional needs in a bowl of cat food, and may not get so many opportunities for physical and mental stimulation. Boredom and physical frustration can lead to undesirable behaviours such as playing with household objects - or your toes!
Toys can provide excellent mental and physical stimulation when you’re not there, but equally are a lovely way to bond with your cat when you can spend time together.
This depends on many factors: your cat’s lifestyle, their activity level, their age, and how much time they spend alone. Outdoor cats who spend most of their time actively outside will require fewer toys and stimulation provided than indoor cats. Kittens have large amounts of energy and use play as a learning tool, so providing plenty of toys is essential at this age. It is helpful to have enough toys that you can rotate them so that your cat doesn’t get bored.
Cat toys and games are designed with cats in mind, and are made to be played with: pounced on, chewed, tugged, and clawed, so should be pretty robust. However, there are some basic safety considerations.
Many cat toys involve long pieces of string, hanging feathers, small bells, and other fascinating objects to cats. These are fun for your cat to play with, but can be hazardous if swallowed. Regular checking of toys to make sure no parts are coming loose is a good habit to get into.
Toys need to be appropriate for age and size. Kittens can be very destructive, so their toys need to be very robust. Balls should be of a size that they cannot be swallowed accidentally.
All cats require mental and physical stimulation. Some cats will find that for themselves, especially if outdoors – climbing walls, chasing leaves, or stalking prey. Others will get bored and frustrated if they are not provided with some stimulation at home. Cats vary in their motivation to play, and will often make it obvious that they need more activity. Spontaneously playing (or destroying!) objects in the home, having a ‘mad ten minutes’ racing around, sudden freezing, and then very sudden movements and vocalisation can all be signs that your cat would enjoy some playtime.
There is a wonderful selection of different types of cat toys and puzzles. Cats will have individual likes and dislikes when it comes to toys, based on shape, movement, texture, scent, and noise. Some trial and error may be necessary to see which types of toy your cat favours. Popular options include those which include catnip, toys that involve movement/chasing (such as the rods with feathers on the end), and light toys that can be batted around easily by an inquisitive paw.
There are lots of excellent options in our shop, so buy with us for 1-3 day weekday delivery, free returns, and free shipping over £39!