Have you ever brought home a cat toy, only to have your cat completely ignore it? It happens to everyone! But there is a way to tell in advance whether your cat’s more likely to play with a toy. And it’s as simple as just observing your cat.
A Cat’s Prey Drive, Deciphered
Every cat has a prey drive — that hunting instinct that’s part of survival. And it’s also the basic ingredient of their play drive. But cats each express that prey/play drive differently. It’s that style that determines the best toy for your cat.
So observe how your cat entertains themselves. The activities they enjoy the most can tell you the toys that will most likely appeal to them.
If a bug or a flying insect gets into the house, does your cat go crazy over it? Do they have fun chasing bits of paper or other small things? Then small toys like soft balls or crinkle balls may appeal to them. Also, plastic rings, and other lightweight prey like toys.
If your cat enjoys these, you are in luck because these are among the cheapest toys available!
How you can make it even more fun
Wand or fishing pole style toys that feature small, insect like critters will make your bug loving cat really happy!
Going Crazy Over Blankets
Does your cat like pouncing on your feet through the bed sheets? Or do they enjoy grabbing onto a thick blanket and bunny kicking it? Then kickers or larger plush toys will appeal to them. Bug sized toys may not be big enough prey for these guys, who like to play rough. They want something they can dig into.
Getting even more creative
Take these toys and move them around under blankets. This will be double fun for cats who enjoy this type of play.
The Hide and Tag Player
Does your cat prefer to be the one hiding under the blanket, while someone else on the outside teases them? These kitties are more strategic and maybe a little more on the introverted side. Cats like these usually will enjoy a cat tunnel, or a box full of crinkly tissue paper, where they can hide and hunt at the same time.
Make it even fancier
Give these cats a tent type of bed or play area, especially ones that come with toys attached. Sprinkle in some catnip, if that’s their thing, and add a small blanket with toys hiding inside.
If your cat can’t keep their paws out of holes, and you frequently find their paws sticking out from underneath doors, puzzle toys may be their game of choice. Anything they can reach their paws in to find a special toy or treat.
Turbo track type toys, with a ball that runs around a track, often appeals to these kitties. Anything that has a ball they need to reach in and paw at should be fun for them.
Cats Who Love TV
Does your cat like watching sports, or do they try to catch dancers on TV shows? Then you can encourage their screen time with nature videos, or cat games on a tablet.
Taking it a step further
Cats that enjoy watching TV also often like laser pointers. Cat experts are mixed on laser pointers. Some think it’s frustrating to cats because they can never catch that elusive red dot. But you can help solve that issue by giving them treats at the end of the play session. That way, they feel like they successfully completed their prey/play session.
What Cats Don’t Like
Mechanical and electronic toys. They may find them fun for a brief period of time, but they get bored of them really quickly. Cats like to use their imagination when it comes to prey/play time, and mechanical and electronic toys take away a little bit of the mystery.
Keep in mind that play styles can overlap, and while cats may favor one style of play, they’ll also enjoy others. So if you fail at first, try something different.
If you want to know my preferences, I love bug type toys! Whether I’m chasing them on the rug or jumping after them as they fly through the air, I can’t get enough! Toys I don’t care for? Anything on a screen, and laser pointers — they have no appeal to me whatsoever. And you’ll never find me hiding under a blanket, either. I like doing my stalking out in the open.
What style of play does your cat like? Let me know in the comments!
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