Cats do not get enough exercise, especially indoor cats, so they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation and that means hunting, or at least engaging in hunting behaviours. Cats need to stalk and pounce, which is what their instincts drive them to do. By engaging in these behaviours, they feel a sense of accomplishment, and it feels natural and good to them.
Interactive toys help cats move, promote playing and keeps their mind active.
What Are Interactive Cat Toys?
Interactive cat toys are either toys your cat engages with himself or with you. They are designed to provide cats with the exercise and mental stimulation they crave and can keep indoor kitties busy and out of trouble.
Some cats are not people orientated.
If that sounds like your cat, they may enjoy interactive cat toys that allow them to entertain themselves. On the other hand, if your cat loves human interaction, they may prefer to play with you and their favourite wand toy.
You have to try stuff, There is no easy answer on which interactive toy is right for your cat. That’s why there are so many out there.
When you do find the few your cat likes, the trick is to rotate them which helps keep things exciting and to prevent your cat from getting bored. You should have two or three activities and toys to alternate to keep your cat interested, active and healthy.
Different Types of Interactive Cat Toys
There are some creative products available to help keep cats engaged and entertained.
Teaser cat toys do exactly what they say—tease your cat in all kinds of ways that provide mental stimulation. Teaser toys include wand toys, catnip toys, spring toys and mice toys. Most cats will interact if their owners are involved.
This is why most wand toys, like the Trouble & Trix Bliss Wand, are usually a hit for kitties. You can wave the wand around to get you cat to chase and jump in an effort to catch it. They are not only great for stimulation, but it can be the perfect thing to do together to bond with your cat and get them moving.
Puzzle and Treat Toys
Puzzle toys stimulate the feline mind by encouraging the cat to figure out how to get to the prize, usually a treat or a toy. The KONG Wobbler Treat Dispenser, for example, works by teaching the cat to swat and chase the ball until a treat falls out. Another great one is the Trixie Fumble Scratch Game, which offers a variety of activities for your cats, it has a wide play area with tennis rattling balls and scratching board.
But first, you have to find a treat your cat likes. After all, if your cat is not tempted by the treat, he would have no desire to play.
Tasty treats, like the Feline Natural Healthy Bites beef treats and the NZ Natural Pet Food Co Meow Duck Freeze Dried Cat Treat, are good treats to try out to see if they pique your cat’s interest before stuffing them in a cat puzzle toy.
Game toys can be great for a cat that has a very high prey drive, Bulanda says.
Some of the game toys can be electronic, which could be a hit or miss for cats.
Anything that is mechanical tends to make a lot of noise. Your cat may get excited from the noise or it can be a deterrent.
Because of this, it could be ideal to start them off young. Kittens almost go for anything,If you give a kitten an electronic toy when they are young, they may continue to play with it when they are an adult.
Different types of game toys to try out include Trixie Catch the Balls - 3 Tier, the Petstages Tower of Tracks cat toy and the Bergan Turbo Scratcher cat toy.
Tunnels and Hideouts
A cat tunnel and a cat hideout both appeal to a cat’s natural instinct to hide and burrow. On top of that, they are also great for playdates.
These kinds of products are best for two cats, so they can play and hide from each other … cats love playmates and the tunnels and hideouts provide a fun way to interact when playing.
Some tunnels, like the Trixie Crunch Rustling Tunnel crinkle play tunnel, crinkle when moved and multiple have entry ways. The Trouble and Trix Bliss Tunnel includes a hanging catnip ball to play with.
What Interactive Toy to Try First
It can be hard to know which toys your cat will like best without trying them out first. Talking to other cat parents and checking online reviews can help you decide which toys to try out first.
Choosing a toy is purely a matter of guess work. “All cats are different, and what one cat may like, another will not. That said, most cats would rather have their owners play with them and the toy than play alone.”
It’s much easier to get a young kitten interested in a particular toy than it is to get an older cat to play with a new toy. But knowing the kinds of toys your cat enjoyed in the past can help you make a good decision when picking the best interactive cat toys for kitty now.