All cats love to play, and there are all kinds of toys for cats. But did you know that your cat has a play type? Every cat has a definite leaning toward a certain type or types of play, which can be enhanced with certain types of toys. Fortunately, it is easy to figure out what “type” your cat is! Here’s how.Put all of your cat’s toys away in a closed area, and start with just one toy. Play with your cat for @ 10 minutes and make note of how your cat reacts to the toy. Cats tend to be most active either at dawn or dusk, so try playing with your cat just before bedtime. Are they engaged? Do they tire of the toy quickly? Try the exercise again the following day with a new toy. Chances are your cat will be drawn to one or two of the toy types below.Interactive:These include toys such as fishing wand toys with birds, feathers or string at the end of a stick. These toys require you to be involved for two reasons – one obviously to move the stick, the other because feathers and the like present a choking hazard and string could get swallowed or tangled around your cat. Make sure to put these toys away after use to be safe.Another type of interactive toy has some kind of moving part, such as a toy attached to the top of a scratching post on a spring, or a ball that moves around a groove in large round plastic piece as the cat pushes it. These toys are often connected to scratchers and can often be enhanced with catnip.Chase: These are usually balls, either plain or stuffed with some type of treat or bell. Be careful of the quality of the toy. Make sure that the ball can’t come apart easily, or if it could, that there is nothing inside the cat could choke on. Light “bouncy” balls are usually favorites, as cats love to jump and try and catch them, and they are easier for the cat to bat around and chase than heavier balls.Fabric: The most common type of fabric toy is the standard mouse. Some have a squeaker, noisemaker or catnip inside. Find ones that are small enough for your cat to toss in the air, but big enough that they can “bunny kick” the toy once they catch it. Make sure there are no small beaded eyes that could come off and cause a choking hazard and be sure that the tail is fastened securely.Light toys: Some cats – mine included – absolutely love light and shadows. Laser toys have become popular, and some cats can play with these for hours on end. Be careful with a laser toy that your cat does not look directly into the light, or you could damage its eyes. If you’re worried about this, catching the sun with your cell phone and shining it around the room works great too!At the end of play, put all the toys away until the next day, unless your cat has a favorite cuddly toy, which is OK to leave out. Within a week you should be able to determine your cat’s preferences. Go ahead and buy a few new toys of the type(s) your cat likes most, and rotate them each week so that your cat doesn’t get bored.And remember, you don’t have to spend a lot. Sometimes, just like with kids, the box the toy came in becomes more fun than the toy itself!
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