Most house cats sleep around 16 hours a day. Must be nice, right? But during the remaining hours of the day, cats play to stay sharp mentally and physically. Don’t let that cute innocent look fool you. OK, cuteness always wins, but don’t forget that cats are natural hunters and need to be engaged on this instinctual level through play. Playtime helps counteract destructive boredom and provides valuable bonding time for you and your cat. Consider all the ways to play when choosing the right cat toys!

Interactive Play

Interactive play is a rewarding way for cats to use their natural hunting skills. Using a wand toy to dangle their ‘prey’, watch your cat stalk and pounce on the toy. JW Wanderful wands have a variety of feathery, plush and rubber toys that build your cat’s confidence with each capture until she’s ready for yet another nap. Try to keep a regular play schedule. Just 15 minutes of interactive play a day helps cats maintain a healthy weight and releases destructive energy.

Solo Play

When you are away the cat will still play. Pique your cat’s interest by keeping a fresh supply of toys strategically placed around the house. Little fur mice are an all-time feline favorite for solo fun. Aspen Pet Fur Mice are infused with catnip to attract your cat and hold her interest. Cats also love to chase anything that rolls, especially if it makes an amusing noise. The Petmate Double Treat Ball makes a satisfying raddle noise and dispenses treats as it rolls, rewarding your cat for each swat to keep her busy for hours.

Scratch

Cats need to scratch. It is a territorial instinct and a visual way cats mark their turf. Rather than let your cat scratch her claim on your couch, provide her with a dedicated scratching post. Placing scratchers in the more visible portions of your home is effective because your cat wants to mark these main areas as her own. Just think of it as kitty decorating. Fortunately, you don’t need a design tradeoff to save your furniture. FAT CAt's Big Mama Scratch and Play Ramp is a scratcher made from currogated card board that holds up to scratching. Your cat will feel right at home and your furniture will thank you.

Catnip

Cats trip out for catnip. Seriously though, catnip is a mild (and completely safe) hallucinogen that gives cats a natural high. Not all cats respond to catnip, particularly those who are very young or old. But for the 70 percent of cats that do enjoy catnip, it can be effectively used as a treat or as a means to keep them interested in a toy. Many of Petmate’s cat products, from toys to scratchers, contain catnip to pique your cat’s interest. FAT CAT plush cat toys are stuffed with organic catnip to encourage play. JW Cataction Toys have taken this idea to the next level by infusing catnip into plastic toys for long-lasting engagement. It’s so innovative, it’s patented!

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