https://www.catswillplay.com Cat Toys For All, Because Cats Will Play! Thu, 17 Oct 2019 10:17:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 https://www.catswillplay.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-Logo-1-Pre-Edit-32x32.png https://www.catswillplay.com 32 32 153234126 Catnip Bubbles – Yea or Nay? https://www.catswillplay.com/catnip-bubbles/ https://www.catswillplay.com/catnip-bubbles/#respond Tue, 15 Oct 2019 23:00:05 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2829 One day, while doing dishes, I found out that my little Miles likes bubbles. I discovered this because I also like bubbles and have a habit of squeezing the soap bottle. While I watched his tiny face light up as the first sud gracefully fell to the ground, I started to wonder... are there cat-safe options available? I ran across a bunch of catnip bubbles and found some conflicting opinions.Today, we'll look into what I found and whether or not these choices are safe. Finally, we'll cap it off with a fun little DIY project! Cats Will Play is a

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Catnip Bubbles - Yea or Nay?

Image by Alexas_Fotos via Pixabay under Pixabay License

One day, while doing dishes, I found out that my little Miles likes bubbles. I discovered this because I also like bubbles and have a habit of squeezing the soap bottle. While I watched his tiny face light up as the first sud gracefully fell to the ground, I started to wonder... are there cat-safe options available? I ran across a bunch of catnip bubbles and found some conflicting opinions.Today, we'll look into what I found and whether or not these choices are safe. Finally, we'll cap it off with a fun little DIY project!

Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

What Are Catnip Bubbles

Catnip bubbles are essentially just like the bubbles you might find in the toy section of any store. The only difference is that the soaps used to create the bubbles – generally glycerin – are infused with a catnip substance. The catnip used is occasionally an extract, but may also be a diluted essential oil.

What People Are Saying About Cat Bubbles

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of conflicting opinions. On the positive side, a lot of people love them. In a few cases, people have said that the catnip itself is fairly effective; however, the majority of users like them simply because their felines just love bubbles. On the negative end of the spectrum, people have called the catnip ineffective, while others state that the bubbles are too thick or heavy, or don't actually bubble up at all. Thus far, I haven't encountered any complaints regarding safety, but I do have one personal qualm with many of the available catnip bubbles – the essential oils.

The Problem With Essential Oils

Essential oils can be a bit of a sticky wicket. For a very long time, people thought that essential oils were every bit as good for cats as they were for people. Eventually, though, they discovered that some oils – mints, tea tree, eucalyptus, etc. - contain compounds that can be toxic for cats.

The problem is that some are safer than others and proper dilution can be tricky. It's hard to say with any certainty if the oil you're using is both appropriate in and of itself, and if it's been carefully handled. Although fresh and dried catnips are generally safe, the oil is so concentrated, it can present problems. When you're buying pre-made catnip bubbles, you don't actually know the level of concentration. If the concentration is too low, it will have little to no effect. On the other hand, if it's too high, it can potentially harm your fuzzy little friend.

Although I have no doubt that most companies create their products with the health and safety of the animal in mind, when it comes to things like essential oils, I do genuinely believe that it's best to err on the side of caution.

So Are Catnip Bubbles a Bad Idea?

Well, yes and no. There are a few things to bear in mind. Whatever floats into the air may end up in your kitty's eyes, on his fur, and in his mouth. As with food, medicine, or soap, it's important to know the ingredients and weigh the pros and cons of each. If you want to try cat bubbles, they can definitely be a lot of fun; however, if you can't find the ingredients list – be it on the bottle, the company's website, etc. – then it's a good idea to just pass on that particular brand. Failing anything else, you can also try calling or E-mailing the manufacturer directly. Again, if you can't get all of the details, then move on to someone else.

What's the Alternative to Pre-Made Catnip Bubbles?

If you're really itching to try kitty bubbles, but you're feeling a little iffy about the available options, you needn't worry! You can make them all on your own. When it comes to making DIY catnip bubbles, you have two choices.

Option One

What You'll Need

Instructions

  1. Boil up about a cup or so of water. While it's boiling, take a pinch of dried herb, and place it in an infuser or a coffee filter. Once the water has boiled, pour it over your dried herb, and let it steep until the tea cools. Alternatively, you could use pre-made catnip tea bags.
  2. Fill a bottle about halfway with the pre-made, non-toxic bubble solution.
  3. Pour in about a teaspoon of your catnip tea, then give it a stir with the wand.
  4. Try the combination out on your kitties. If there is no effect, then add another teaspoon. Keep trying it out until you get your ratios right.
  5. Go ahead and drink up the rest of the tea, or stick it in a spray bottle for use around the cat toy box.
Option Two

What You'll Need

Instructions

  1. Follow the instructions for brewing the catnip tea in option one.
  2. Mix water and dish washing soap until the solution is thin.
  3. Mix in about a teaspoon of your catnip tea, then test the solution on your cat. If it's strong enough, play away. If not, add more – a teaspoon at a time – until you get a reaction.
  4. Drink or save your remaining tea.

Whether you use option one or two, be sure to give your solution a good shake before use to ensure that the soap and tea are well integrated.

Should I Use Option One or Two?

The benefit of option one is ease. You put together your brew the same way you would any soft, loose leaf tea, then go ahead and start testing it out. The downside of this is that you don't really know for sure if the bubbles will irritate your kitty.

The benefit of option number two is that you control how it's made and can make some choices based on important things, like whether the soap is scented or unscented (I would recommend unscented, but some kitties can't get enough of certain odors, so that is up to the pair of you!), if it's tear-free, and if it contains cat-safe, natural ingredients. On the downside, it does require some extra steps and may not be as effective as a proper bubble solution.

Conclusion

Catnip bubbles can be a ton of fun – in fact, me and Miles can confirm that – but not all bubbles are created equal. If you're willing to do the research, you will likely find a few really serviceable options on the market. However, if you want to be certain of the safety of the end product, I would definitely recommend simply making your own. Not only will you know for sure what goes into your funky new toy, but you'll also have the joy of making something really cool at home.

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Kitty Break: October 2019 Jigsaw Cat Puzzle https://www.catswillplay.com/october-2019-jigsaw-cat-puzzle/ https://www.catswillplay.com/october-2019-jigsaw-cat-puzzle/#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 23:00:43 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2777 The October 2019 Cat Jigsaw Puzzle is a tricky, spooky take on our usually adorable feline friends! Feature image by Tania Van den Berghen via Pixabay under Pixabay License

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The October 2019 Cat Jigsaw Puzzle is a tricky, spooky take on our usually adorable feline friends!





Feature image by Tania Van den Berghen via Pixabay under Pixabay License


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Why Do Cats Like to Play With… ? https://www.catswillplay.com/cats-like-to-play-with-2/ https://www.catswillplay.com/cats-like-to-play-with-2/#respond Tue, 01 Oct 2019 23:00:35 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2753 So you've invested hundreds of dollars in ritzy cat toys. You've spent hours building DIY playthings. You've fretted over inventing the perfect game. And you're cat just wants to play with your balled up socks. At some point in every feline-lovers life, the words, “Why do cats like to play with...” are uttered, and in this little piece, we hope to help you answer that question. We'll talk about some of the most common weird things kitties like to get into, and look over the possible reasons why they're so obsessed with them. Why Does My Cat Like to Play

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Why Do Cats Like To Play With...? Image by filatovvlad0 via Pixabay under Pixabay License

So you've invested hundreds of dollars in ritzy cat toys. You've spent hours building DIY playthings. You've fretted over inventing the perfect game. And you're cat just wants to play with your balled up socks. At some point in every feline-lovers life, the words, “Why do cats like to play with...” are uttered, and in this little piece, we hope to help you answer that question. We'll talk about some of the most common weird things kitties like to get into, and look over the possible reasons why they're so obsessed with them.




Why Does My Cat Like to Play With Cardboard?

The image of a feline hunkering down in a cardboard box has become almost as iconic as the picture of kitten batting around a ball of yarn. But why do cats like to play with cardboard? The story of their fixation with boxes is a little more complex than one might expect. Play does feature fairly high for this particular item, as a cardboard box is unquestionably an ideal place for a small creature to hide out and plot devious sneak attacks. But more than that, these cozy little things act as perfect insulators for our warmth-loving companions. Furthermore, because they tend to be decidedly snug, our cats can – and do – use them as a sort of stress-reducing safety zone.

Why Do Kitties Go Crazy for Paper?

Whether they're using your sketch pad as a scratcher or wildly chasing after a crinkled ball of waste paper, a lot of cats kind of lose their minds over the stuff. But why do cats like to play with paper? The answer is simultaneously simple and multifarious. Some feel that it all boils down to the noise. The sound of crushed up paper can be mysterious and fascinating to our clever companions. What's more, that same noise-making capability can be harnessed to get the attention of their otherwise oblivious humans. Another possible reason is that, like cardboard, paper can be insulating, so once he's finished harassing it, you might find that he uses it as his favorite new sleeping spot. Finally, if you regularly notice your friend trying to play with paper that you're using, he might have simply decided that it belongs to him – because as we all know, our things are actually their things.

Why Do Felines Fawn Over Hair?

There are many likely answers to the question, “Why do cats like to play with hair?” It could be something fairly simple. For example, your hair smells amazing to your fuzzy little buddy. Maybe it makes an interesting swooshing sound, or falls in mesmerizing ways when it moves. Perhaps your cat just can't get enough of you. It could also be a little more complicated. One potential answer is that your hair reminds your cat of his kittenhood, which makes a lot of sense – especially if you have a head full of luxurious locks. In this case, he will not only play, but may also try to nestle into it, or even knead and nurse. It could also be a matter of hygiene and bonding. Cats will sometimes groom each other for both practical reasons – cleaning areas their pals can't reach – and as a sign of affection.

Why Do Cats Like to Play With Feet and/or Hands?

If your cat can't keep away from your appendages you might be wondering why that is. If your companion is a kitten, it's likely a matter of his untrained instincts kicking in. During the early days of his life, he doesn't know right from wrong, doesn't know what is and isn't pray – all he knows is that he has an undirected need to hunt. Your wiggly toes and gliding fingers, for all intents and purposes, look a lot like something they can and want to attack, wrestle, nibble, and generally manhandle. This might seem cute, but it can be problematic later on. If your adult kitty likes to play with your extremities, then it really boils down to the same two things: instincts and bad habits. Your mature feline may have never learned house rules, and now he thinks that your hands and feet are fair game.

Why Can't My Cat Get Enough of Plastic?

Imagine walking into a cafe. They're playing your favorite music, the chairs are made up of delightfully soft velvet, and in the air you detect the scent of buttery cookies baking in the oven. That's what plastic is to cats – a true sensorial experience. So maybe that was a touch of hyperbole, but your kitty's passion for plastic really does come down to his senses. For one thing, that grocery bag you caught him wrestling with contains substances like salty acids, cornstarch, and animal byproducts like gelatin. Furthermore, they may contain the residue of whatever was in them – for instance, your package of ground beef might have sprung a tiny leak. Finally, the sound and physical sensations might just remind him of prey, which will obviously make him a little frisky.

Why Do Cats Like to Play With My Clothing?

This can depend on a lot, and there are some things that you will need to consider in order to get your answer. What sort of clothing is he playing with? Is it clean or dirty? Is it just your clothing, or can the clothes in question belong to anyone?

We'll start at the first question. While most synthetic materials will not be all that enticing, certain natural fibers can be really attractive to cats. For instance, those delightfully soft wool socks that both you and your cat just love? They likely contain lanolin, which many felines simply cannot resist.

Next, if your pal has a preference for dirty laundry, it's likely that he is attracted to the scents secreted by apocrine sweat glands – namely, fats and protein, which cats are pretty crazy about. On the other hand, if they are equally happy with the clean stuff, they probably just find them cozy.

Finally, if your cat has a preference for your clothing, chances are he simply likes the way you smell, so fiddling with your stuff seems like a fun idea. If any clothing will do, then he probably either simply likes the texture, or he's claiming the item for himself.

Conclusion

“Why do cats like to play with that?” A question that will echo through history because, let's face it, our kitties are an enigma. Although we'll likely never get a clear answer to our question, we have some pretty solid guesses, and I hope that this article has helped you understand your feline's unique playtime choices.

So what strange things do your cats like to play with? Tell us in the comments!





Feature image by filatovvlad0 via Pixabay under Pixabay License


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Cat Toy Spotlight: Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree https://www.catswillplay.com/spotlight-catit-senses-2-0-food-tree/ https://www.catswillplay.com/spotlight-catit-senses-2-0-food-tree/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2019 23:00:11 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2687 Have a brainy, food-driven feline living in your home? Then you'd do well to look into a toy-style feeder. Why?  For starters, food-driven cats tend to also be gobblers, which can lead to all sorts of digestive issues – and maybe some ruined carpeting. Second, if your fuzzy little friend is also exceptionally smart, there's a good chance he gets bored pretty quickly. All that said, you can see why a slow feeder bowl that doubles as a maze toy would help to keep your cat both mentally stimulated and appropriately full. Today, we're going to be discussing one such

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Cat Toy Spotlight

Image by Renato Laky via Pixabay under Pixabay License

Have a brainy, food-driven feline living in your home? Then you'd do well to look into a toy-style feeder. Why?  For starters, food-driven cats tend to also be gobblers, which can lead to all sorts of digestive issues – and maybe some ruined carpeting. Second, if your fuzzy little friend is also exceptionally smart, there's a good chance he gets bored pretty quickly. All that said, you can see why a slow feeder bowl that doubles as a maze toy would help to keep your cat both mentally stimulated and appropriately full. Today, we're going to be discussing one such contraption, the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree. We will look into what it is, how it can benefit your cat, and what users are saying about it.

Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

What is the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree?


The Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree is an interactive slow feeder toy. Or perhaps it's a puzzle-style cat food bowl. Depends on how you look at it, really. Whether you label it as a toy or a bowl, though, it is a very cool little gizmo that is meant to satiate your cat's hunger for both food and play. This unique item is made up of a stable stand with a bowl-shaped food catcher and a large “tree.” The tree section is the most important part, as it contains several holes where your kitty can coax out pieces of kibble, trying to puzzle and hunt his way to dinnertime.

One thing that makes this toy a real standout is your ability to change difficulty levels, which means no matter how clever your kitty, you can always switch things up to outsmart him. Another neat thing to note is that this toy is made to be expandable. Catit has created a ton of very cool and innovative products, and this food tree is meant to be mixed and matched with other 2.0 products – for example, the Wellness Center, Scratcher, and Grass Planter.

Made up entirely of BPA-free materials, this toy is both useful and safe. In addition to the good quality materials, recent upgrades from earlier iterations have improved the toy's stability, while the tray at the bottom lessens whisker stress by sheer virtue of its size and shallow depth.

What Does the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree Do?

In essence, the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree is simply a cat food bowl. In practice, though, it is more than just a place for kitty kibble to rest. As we mentioned in the beginning, this bowl is perfect for rapid-fire eaters, as it only dispenses small portions at any given session. Assuming your cat is fairly persistent, he will get his appropriate level of food over a much longer period of time. The result of this? Less stomach upset, fewer bouts of vomiting (due to gorging), and an overall happier household.

If your kitty isn't a quick eater, but likes a challenge, this feeder toy might work for him as well. The maze-like tree, with its high walls and narrow opening, requires plenty of thought and concentration. Even if your fuzzy little buddy gets the hang of one setting, there are two others that will help to keep him guessing. If your cat is a hunter, he might also enjoy the puzzle quality of this feeder, as it requires him to work for his food. Additionally, because he has to reach into the holes – which can be quite slippery – the odd movement of the kibble can stimulate his hunting instincts.

Features
  • High-walled holes designed to challenge cats of any size
  • Spill-preventing, whisker-safe bowl
  • Stable base
  • Cheat-proof opening
  • Three difficulty modes
  • Customization options (with other Catit 2.0 products)
  • Easy assembly
  • Easy to disassemble and clean

What are People Saying About the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree?

The Cons

One of the downsides of this sort of product is that rapid eaters who are otherwise less active will not really want to bother with this toy at all. Some users report that their lethargic felines will completely ignore the feeder, opting instead to follow their people around and complain. Similarly, some people have said that their cats will only go so far in swatting down their kibble, then demand that their humans do the rest of the work.

On the opposite end, folks with very active or particularly sharp cats have stated that this puzzle is a little too easy. In this case, the kitties in question either figure out all three levels in a short amount of time, or discover that the hole sizes are a little too large to present a real challenge for them.

Finally, some users have said that the learning curve for this can be a little steep, with some extreme cases never learning how to use this contraption at all.

The Pros

One of the things that users love most about the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree is its ability to help out quick eating and overweight cats. Many users have stated that once their kitties got the hang of this toy, they were not only slowing down and reducing their intake, but they were also more physically active.

Some users have stated that in addition to reducing gobbling, this toy helped curb other undesirable behaviors. For example, multi-cat households with food-guarding issues have benefited from this as the guard cat sees the tree as more of a toy, while the cat that misses out on dinnertime gets regular, unguarded access.

Lastly, many users state that the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree has simply made life easier. For one thing, it holds plenty of food that is dispensed quite slowly, thus reducing time spent on feeding. Next, it is simple to take apart, clean, and put back together. And finally, it keeps their felines entertained and well fed, even when their people are away from home.

Conclusion

Whether your kitty is a genius, a speedy eater, or a mishmash of the two, then a puzzle-type feeder is a great option. The Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree is just one option; however, it's one of the better options available.

Have you tried this Catit product? Has it helped your kitty? Let us know in the comments!


Image by Renato Laky via Pixabay under Pixabay License


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Kitty Break: September Jigsaw Cat Puzzle https://www.catswillplay.com/september-cat-puzzle/ https://www.catswillplay.com/september-cat-puzzle/#respond Tue, 17 Sep 2019 23:00:13 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2342 According to the CATalyst Council, September is Happy Cat Month - and any time we can celebrate happy, healthy kitties, we're going to take that opportunity! So enjoy September's Cat Jigsaw puzzle as much as that cat is enjoying his head rub! Image by Adina Voicu via Pixabay under Pixabay License

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According to the CATalyst Council, September is Happy Cat Month - and any time we can celebrate happy, healthy kitties, we're going to take that opportunity! So enjoy September's Cat Jigsaw puzzle as much as that cat is enjoying his head rub!





Image by Adina Voicu via Pixabay under Pixabay License


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Wool Cat Toys: What Are They And Which Ones Are Best? https://www.catswillplay.com/wool-cat-toys/ https://www.catswillplay.com/wool-cat-toys/#respond Tue, 10 Sep 2019 23:00:48 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2334 If you haven't heard about them yet, you'll soon be hearing quite a bit about wool cat toys. They are rapidly gaining in popularity, and it makes a lot of sense: most wool toys are eco-friendly, ethically made, and extra appealing to our feline friends. Today, we'll talk about what wool cat toys are and why cats love them. We'll also look over some of the best on the market. Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising

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Wool Cat Toys: What Are They And Which Ones Are Best?

Image by stux via Pixabay under Pixabay License

If you haven't heard about them yet, you'll soon be hearing quite a bit about wool cat toys. They are rapidly gaining in popularity, and it makes a lot of sense: most wool toys are eco-friendly, ethically made, and extra appealing to our feline friends. Today, we'll talk about what wool cat toys are and why cats love them. We'll also look over some of the best on the market.

Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

What Are Wool Cat Toys?

The majority of wool cat toys are simply high-quality wool that is felted into fun shapes. Often times, they are dyed in bright colors to be more aesthetically appealing to human users, usually with vegetable or other pet-safe dyes. Sometimes these felted playthings are made into simple shapes – the circular ball toy being the most popular – while at other times they are molded into animals, bugs, or food-shaped items, often with a thin wire or plastic ball to help the toy keep its shape. From time to time you might also see felted toys that are sewn together and contain other cat-enticing accouterments, like catnip, silver vine, or bells. Though less common, wool playthings are also sometimes attached to the ends of other toys, for instance, a felted ball dangling off the end of a teaser wand.

Why Do Cats Love Wool Cat Toys?

There is actually quite a bit of debate on this matter, and no clear and absolute answer. One of the main arguments is that wool contains lanolin. Lanolin – which is also referred to as wool grease – is a wax that is secreted by sheep, as well as other wool-bearing creatures. In nature, it protects the animal's skin and wool from harsh elements, amongst other things. So what does lanolin have to do with felines? Well, that useful wax also has a fairly strong scent. Now this is where the theory branches off a bit. One party states that the robust odor of lanolin reminds kitties of the scent of their mothers. Others, however, feel that it simply taps into their natural instincts by smelling strongly of delicious, delicious animals.

The other side of the debate states that it's simply a matter of texture. Unlike smooth or plastic gadgets, wool toys are easy to grab, and sink their claws and teeth into. Additionally, they have a more “realistic” feel to them, which might also account for our cat's woolly passions.

In the end, it doesn't really matter why cats love wool toys. All that's important is that your cat will likely spend hours chasing, kicking, biting – downright harassing – his fuzzy little plaything. Oh, and a nice side effect? It will take him a good deal longer to lose interest. So that is always a plus!

Are There Any Downsides to Wool Cat Toys?

Although most wool cat toys are produced with safety in mind, some kitties may not do well with them. If your feline tends to lick, suck, or chew on fabrics, these playthings may not be right for him. A third theory regarding why cats like wool toys has to do with something called pica. Simply put, pica is an unusual eating disorder that involves consuming non-food items. This is sometimes due to boredom or stress, but in cats, it's most often associated with early weaning. If theory number one is correct – that lanolin smells like mom – and your cat suffers from pica, then wool toys will likely not be the best option for him.

Are Wool Cat Toys Hard To Take Care Of?

Because wool toys are environmentally-friendly, some people assume that they're not as tough as their synthetic counterparts. While these fun little contraptions can sometimes lose their shape, they are easy to reshape, clean, and generally care for. If shape loss is an issue, you can simply squeeze the toy back into its original shape, throw it in a laundry bag or old sock, and give it a run through the washer and dryer. Just be sure not to use scented soap or fabric softeners, as the strong smell of your detergent may deter your furry little pal.

Good quality wool tends to be hard to rip apart, but if your felted toy is sewn together, ripping might occur near the seams. This should also be easy to fix with just a few simple stitches.

Wool Cat Toy Recommendations

Now for the fun part! There is a large variety of options available, so we'll break it down into a few categories: stand-alone toys, attached toys, and beds.

Stand Alone Wool Cat Toys

KAMY's ZOO Felted Wool Ball Toy With Catnip Capsules

Wool cat balls are great – they're simple, they're efficient, and they're bright enough to find when they get lost under the couch. But balls can be kind of dull. This particular plaything takes the basic spherical design, and adds an exciting extra touch. In addition to the play-inspiring scent of wool, this ball also boasts a slot for inserting small catnip capsules, thus making it all the more appealing. These balls are made of 100% wool, and are colored with non-toxic dyes.

Le Sharma Eco-Baba Cat Teaser

Teaser toys can be a real joy for many cats, but a teaser made entirely of wool? Now that's something else altogether. This toy is meant to be dangled and shifted around much like a regular teaser-style plaything; however, it does differ a bit in that it is made up almost entirely of soft parts – that is, no hard plastic handle. The beauty of this design is that it can be both a teaser for your hunters, and a fetch toy for your chasers. One of the neatest things about this toy, though, is that it is not only eco-friendly, but also helps support disadvantaged female farmers and artisans – so you and your kitty are helping to make the world a better place.

Earthtone Solutions Felt Wool Ball and Mouse Toys

Like the teaser toy, this particular plaything is handmade by women artisans, is eco-friendly, and made of pet safe materials. One of the interesting things about this set is that it takes the traditional mouse and ball toys and gives them a neat, earthy twist. Each toy is hand felted, solidly built, and decently-sized – the balls being a little over 1.5 inches around and the mice being roughly the size of the real deal. Furthermore, because each toy is made by hand, they will all be unique.

Attached Wool Cat Toys

Designer Cat Toy Wand with 100% Wool Felt Ball

So why should you try a wool teaser toy when you have a million of the traditional sorts lying around? Because the wool version is much more likely to catch your kitty's eye. Or, rather, nose. As with all wool playthings, this 100% wool ball has that all-too-alluring scent. When you combine that with the flitting, flicking, and high-flying movement of a wand toy, you have yourself a winning combination.

Litterboy Dragonflies Wand Toy Attachments

All right, so... yet another teaser. I know, I know. But here's the deal, for one thing, they are made to be attached to popular wands – so if you have a few naked string or wire swivel poles sitting around your house, these will be perfect. And two, they're made up of all sorts of exciting things. Although they're not built entirely of wool, like most of the other toys in this list, they have enough to be enticing to your feline, plus they boast other equally entertaining things, like feathers.

FOFOS Interactive Cat Toy Ball With Wool Attachment

Now we're onto something entirely different. This automatic cat toy ball has a bunch of really neat features and a wool attachment, making it an excellent choice for earth-loving technophiles. This funky little gadget shimmies, shakes, and whips its “hair” around, all while never falling over – due namely to its spinning tumbler-style body. So where does the wool come in? Why, in its hairdo, of course. This toy comes with two interchangeable hairpieces: yarn pom-poms, and wool balls.

Wool Cat Beds

Meowfia Premium Felt Cat Cave

So I know what you're thinking... in a list of wool cat toys, why are you including beds? Good question, but the answer is simple. Beds are never just sleeping places for cats – they're also fortresses, hidey-holes, and secret ninja attack zones. This particular cat bed ticks off all of those boxes as it's built to be both a padded mat, and a super-secret cave. It's made up of 100% Merino wool, and is totally free of anything synthetic or harsh.

100% Natural Wool Large Cat Cave

Like the bed above, this cave is both a cozy cat bed and super exciting play cave. It is made up of fine quality, all natural wool from New Zealand, and is built using a boiling technique that utilizes nothing but water and soap – so, no nasty chemicals or weird synthetics. It can be either puffed up and used as a proper cave, or tamped down into a sort of bowl shape for a nice, comfy play mat.

Fur Pet Luv 100% Merino Wool Cat Window Perch Bed

Who doesn't love a good window perch? I mean, your kitty gets to enjoy the outdoors while still remaining safe. There are a ton of excellent perches on the market, but what makes this one special is that – you guessed it – it has a Merino wool bed! The perch itself is made up of sturdy metal cables, PVC pipes, and strong suction cups. The wool cover is handmade in Nepal, and is designed to be used either on the perch itself, or taken down and utilized as a standalone blanket. So it's not only fun, it's also incredibly cuddly!

Conclusion

Although wool cat toys aren't as ubiquitous as their synthetic counterparts, they are rapidly becoming more popular. And why not? These things are every bit as fun as other toys, but are also pretty earth-friendly, usually handcrafted, and are made with your kitty's natural instincts in mind.

Have you and your feline friend tried out wool toys yet? If so, let us know how it went!


Feature image by stux via Pixabay under Pixabay License


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Why Playing With Your Cat Is Good For You https://www.catswillplay.com/playing-with-your-cat-2/ https://www.catswillplay.com/playing-with-your-cat-2/#respond Tue, 03 Sep 2019 23:00:04 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2323 It goes without saying that playtime is good for your cat, but you might sometimes find yourself looking for excuses to avoid getting up and having a good romp with your feline friend. Totally understandable. I mean, your kitty gets to stay home and lounge around all day. You, though, have things to do! But consider for a moment that playing with your cat is not only good for him, but also good for you. When you think of all the benefits that you can both reap, you might be more inclined to get in a good ten minute play

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Why Playing With Your Cat Is Good For You - Image by Yerlin Matu via Unsplash

It goes without saying that playtime is good for your cat, but you might sometimes find yourself looking for excuses to avoid getting up and having a good romp with your feline friend. Totally understandable. I mean, your kitty gets to stay home and lounge around all day. You, though, have things to do! But consider for a moment that playing with your cat is not only good for him, but also good for you. When you think of all the benefits that you can both reap, you might be more inclined to get in a good ten minute play session after your long day. Today, we'll talk about how interacting with your fuzzy little buddy can be a real positive for the quality of your own life.




Bonding With Your Cat

This is a big one for pet owners – and cat lovers especially. Kitties don't bond with just anyone, so it's always a plus when you can find activities that endear you to your fickle feline. Not only will they be left feeling like you're part of their sporting party (or like they're teaching their massive, highly inept fellow feline how to hunt), but you'll become more familiar with who your cat is as an individual. I know it may sound strange to the uninitiated, but every kitty has his own style, his own likes and dislikes, and his own way of playing. When you get to know him on this level, you can't help but feel a little closer to him.

Increased Physical Activity

You've heard it a million times before – modern humans lead sedentary lives. Even if you're not exactly a gym junkie, small amounts of exercise can really add up for your overall well being. Furthermore, any good trainer will tell you: find some form of exercise that you actually like to do, and you'll be more likely to stick with it. And what could be better than playing with your cute, furry little ball of energy? I mean, get yourself a teaser wand, and watch your kitty trail behind you while you walk up and down the house. The best part of all of this is that, even if you're just not all that into being up and about that day, most kitties will wind down pretty quickly. So, your cat gets a nice play session, you get a quick burst of exercise. Everyone wins!

Cognitive Stimulation

Cats can be capricious. A toy they can't get enough of one day is forcefully wedged under the couch the next. That said, you have to stay on your toes when it comes to keeping cats entertained. Playing with your cat is a great way to stay mentally sharp, as you never know what will please and what will annoy from one day to the next – despite all that bonding I mentioned above. You'll have to deeply ponder the merits of one toy over another, make brand new playthings out of household items, invent games, and dream up surprising puzzles. In addition to being mercurial, cats are also incredibly smart. No matter how brilliant you are, you're going to have to figure out how to outwit them in order to keep your play sessions exciting. No question: playing with your cat is a workout for the brain.

Mental Health

Kitties are... funny. Frankly, they are strange little creatures, and sometimes we just don't get them. But that's all right... their weirdness is so impossibly endearing. And at no time is that more obvious than at playtime. Depending upon how your cat plays, you may be witness to a tiny re-creation of a wild cat prowling the Sahara for his next prey – or his favorite mouse toy. You might see a graceful choreography made up exclusively of butt wiggling, ear gyrating, and the occasional crazed holler. If you're lucky, you may get to watch him perform scientific research with paws, jaws, and a massive set of inquisitive eyes. Regardless of how he goes about executing his personal brand of craziness, it's certain to make your day just a little bit better. Moreover, if you can see a serious play session through to the end, you'll possibly be rewarded with a nice warm cuddle – thus giving you that fuzzy, stress-reducing Oxytocin boost.

Keeps You Busy

If you ever find yourself sitting at home with all of your chores done, work finished, and your regular go-to entertainments growing a little stale, then playing with your cat will definitely help you shake off the dust. Especially if you have to start creating novel games or building new toys like we mentioned earlier. And while that's good enough by itself, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that playing with cats can also keep your social life busy. Well... sort of. It'll probably only jazz up your social life with other kitty-loving companions. Why? Because you have some new funny stories to tell. Or pictures to show. Or knowledge to impart. There's only one problem with this. While you're busy sharing your anecdotes, you'll probably start to wish you were at home... playing with your cat.

Your Cat Will Love You

...Mostly. I mean, there will be times when you want to play and he doesn't, and then you get all crazy. So there's that whole thing. But remember how we mentioned bonding? That goes both ways! Great, right? The same thing that applies to your kitty also applies to you – he'll get to know you better, and will start to learn the best ways to interact with you. Furthermore, relating in a positive way, expressing your desire to be near him – without ruffling his fur or loudly smooching his head – will make him feel cared for. And in return? Love!

Conclusion

Playing with your cat can be a joy, but it's even more joyful when you know that both your kitty's life and your own will be improved by it. So get up and get to playing – you'll be glad ya did!




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Cat Toy Spotlight: SnugglyCat Ripple Rug https://www.catswillplay.com/spotlight-snugglycat-ripple-rug/ https://www.catswillplay.com/spotlight-snugglycat-ripple-rug/#respond Tue, 27 Aug 2019 23:00:19 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2309 Cat activity mats are a thing. And they are multi-purpose extravaganzas! All right... so that's a bit of hyperbole, but they are multi-purpose, and incredibly fun. They are also really useful if you have a multi-cat household, because they can benefit just about any play style. But here's the deal... some kitty play mats look suspiciously like the mats you would buy for babies. While that could also be pretty fun for your feline friend, this type of toy doesn't really address all of your cat's needs – for instance, the urge to scratch or the desire to hide. That's

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Cat Toy Spotlight

Image by Renato Laky via Pixabay under Pixabay License

Cat activity mats are a thing. And they are multi-purpose extravaganzas! All right... so that's a bit of hyperbole, but they are multi-purpose, and incredibly fun. They are also really useful if you have a multi-cat household, because they can benefit just about any play style. But here's the deal... some kitty play mats look suspiciously like the mats you would buy for babies. While that could also be pretty fun for your feline friend, this type of toy doesn't really address all of your cat's needs – for instance, the urge to scratch or the desire to hide. That's where a toy like the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug comes in. Today, we'll discuss some of its finer points, look into its benefits and drawbacks, and see what other users think about it.

Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

What is the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug


The Ripple Rug from SnugglyCat is a one-of-kind activity mat made expressly for cats. This unique contraption is sort of a mashup of a cat tunnel, bed, scratcher, and hidey hole. In appearance, it's rather unassuming: a piece of ruffled up carpeting in a neutral color. That's pretty much it as far as appearances go, but what it may lack in aesthetic appeal it more than makes up for in function.

The Ripple Rug is made up of two separate rugs. The bottom is a simple flat piece that has a non-slip coating. The top consists of several holes, as well as “touch points,” which are used to help attach the top piece to the bottom. What makes this contraption so special is that it is made to be reconfigured, so as to prevent the dreaded cat toy boredom. This is accomplished by moving the top rug and readjusting “touch points” to create new shapes, move around the holes, and expand and condense play areas.

So how can cats play with this interesting toy? Pretty much any way they please. The neat thing about this is that the recycled materials are meant to withstand quite a beating, holding its own as a scratching mat, keeping its shape through a heavy-duty sleep session, and resisting frays and rips after vigorous bouts of gnawing. The material is also incredibly useful for grooming sessions, allowing your kitty to rub, roll, and sharpen, all while picking up any excess loose fur. Because of its ability to be reshaped, you can use it to create all varieties of caves, hills, and tunnels, hide loose toys, and make interesting mazes that can be navigated with a teaser or laser toy.

What Does the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Do?

Creators of the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug state that this toy will help prevent what they call “Same-Old-Toy-Syndrome,” and really, that makes a lot of sense. Your imagination is truly the limit with this thing, given that it's so easy to change shape and create a basically brand new toy each time. They are also ideal for hiding away other playthings, making each venture into the depths of this play mat a fantastic hide and seek game. Finally, if you've ever attempted to fold towels around your cat, you know that a lot of kitties like to be involved when you're trying to get things arranged, so even the act of reconfiguring the toy will be a game.

Features
  • Reconfigurable shape that allows you to create a new layout practically every day
  • Touch points that let you reshape your rug and reinforce new tunnels and caves
  • Varying hole sizes for different types of play
  • Heavy-duty recycled materials with a ribbed needle-punch carpet design
  • Anti-fraying, non-raveling edges
    Large size suitable for most cats
  • Mold, mildew, flame and stain resistant
  • Non-slip backing that is suitable for both carpeting and hard floors
  • Safety slits that allow for hole expansion

What are People Saying About the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug?

The Cons

One of the biggest complaints that users had was the softness of the materials. Some users thought that the material was too soft to begin with, while others found that it broke down with regular use. SnugglyCat states that this is due to the polyester materials softening over time – sort of like a well-worn t-shirt – and give instructions on how to re-stiffen the rug. However, some users still consider the softness to be problematic.

Another common complaint is the size of both the rugs and the holes. The average cat, as well as kittens, seem to fit just fine; however, larger breeds seem to have some issues getting in and out of the holes, while other users think that the size of the rug itself is too small for multiple cats to enjoy simultaneously.

Finally, some users found that their cats were just sort of confused by this toy. Given that it doesn't really look like a usual plaything – say, upright like a post – they just don't seem to understand that this is something that is meant to be used by them. Others say that their kitties get the concept, but just aren't all that interested unless there's some sort of incentive – like catnip, or a mouse toy thrown into one of the holes.

The Pros

Although some felines just aren't that fascinated by this toy, others can't seem to get enough of it. Many users claim that their kitties use their Ripple Rug as a sort of toy chest, take long naps in it, play super stealth attack games, and just basically use it as an all-purpose playhouse.

A lot of users find that the adaptability of this toy makes it perfect for their fickle felines. These users regularly change up the mat, noting that the frequent changes help their cats to keep sharp both mentally and physically.

Lastly, users find that this toy has vastly helped keep their homes safe from sharp claws and gnashing little teeth. Because this rug is so durable, and is made to be heavily abused, many users have found that their kitty's clawing and biting habits have been redirected in a positive way.

Conclusion

If you're like me, then you love anything that is multi-purpose, and anything that you can get a little creative with. The SnugglyCat Ripple Rug is something that definitely ticks off those boxes. So should you get one for your fuzzy little pal? If you don't mind doing a bit of upkeep and like changing things up all the time, then this could definitely be a worthwhile investment. If not, you might want to look into some standard cat caves and tunnels instead.


Image by Renato Laky via Pixabay under Pixabay License


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Kitty Break: August Jigsaw Cat Puzzle https://www.catswillplay.com/august-cat-puzzle/ https://www.catswillplay.com/august-cat-puzzle/#respond Tue, 20 Aug 2019 23:00:12 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2279 Summer has been hot and long. So follow the example of August's Jigsaw Cat Puzzle kitty, and just hang out inside! Image by Daga_Roszkowska via Pixabay under Pixabay License

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Summer has been hot and long. So follow the example of August's Jigsaw Cat Puzzle kitty, and just hang out inside!




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Conflicting Play Styles: How to Bridge the Gap Between Human and Feline https://www.catswillplay.com/conflicting-play-styles/ https://www.catswillplay.com/conflicting-play-styles/#respond Tue, 13 Aug 2019 23:00:39 +0000 https://www.catswillplay.com/?p=2270 All right, so you know your cat's personal play style, and you're familiar with your own, but there's a problem... the pair of you don't match up! Not to worry. There are plenty of ways to bridge the gap – from finding the right toys, to making small tweaks to your routine. This article will show you the way so that you can both have a happy, satisfying playtime experience! Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising

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If you feel like you just don't know how to play with your cat, it could be that your play styles differ. Find out how to bridge the gap here!

Image by Uschi Dugulin via Pixabay under Pixabay License

All right, so you know your cat's personal play style, and you're familiar with your own, but there's a problem... the pair of you don't match up! Not to worry. There are plenty of ways to bridge the gap – from finding the right toys, to making small tweaks to your routine. This article will show you the way so that you can both have a happy, satisfying playtime experience!

Cats Will Play is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Your Personal Play Style: Enthusiast

You are all about frolicking with your feline. That is absolutely fantastic! But here's the deal... while you might be an energetic player, your cat... well... might not be. And believe me, there's nothing more disappointing than bursting into a room, wand in hand, only to find yourself rebuffed. Cats who might find your vivacious style less than desirable usually fall into the categories of Wrestlers and Problem Solvers. Although these two types like to play, they tend to tire or get bored fairly quickly, and aren't as vigorous in their playtime activities as you. That's all right. There are plenty of things you can do to get things moving.

Wrestlers

Wrestlers tend to stay low to the ground. Their energy levels come in quick bursts, but peter out pretty quickly. If you're the type who likes to trail a feather around the room at a rapid pace, you'll likely be let down when the game comes to an abrupt halt after your kitty has caught his “prey.” To remedy this problem, you might want to slow your pace a bit. Instead of trying to get your furry buddy to run around the room, simply come down on the floor next to him. Pick up toys that are long enough to keep your hands safe, but full and fluffy enough to incite a rousing wrestling match. Just remember, once your little pal snatches the toy away from you, you might have to sit and simply watch for a spell. You can also try a tug-of-war game – just remember to be gentle, and keep your hands out of bounds.

Recommendation

Deluxe Hot Cats Four Link Catnip Sausage Toy

 

Problem Solvers

Your cat isn't lazy. Nope... he's mentally active, if not so much physically. And that's all right. Although you two might rest on the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as physicality goes, that doesn't mean you can't find a nice middle ground. Problem Solvers need their brains stimulated in order to get excited about any game, so in order to keep your kitty interested, you'll need to come up with a variety of amusements. As an enthusiast, this shouldn't be a problem for you; in addition to your passion for actually playing games, you like to come up with them. One of the best ways to ensure that you're both having your needs met is to create large puzzles and mazes. The beauty of doing something like this is that you get to unleash your creative side, and your kitty will have both his mind and body moving. Mazes can be made up of anything from strategically-placed perches, to trailing and elaborate compounds made up of corrugated cardboard.

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Hi Animal Modern Cat Tunnel Cubes & Modular Cat Tree

 

Your Personal Play Style: Hands Off

Maybe you lead a busy life and just want to conk out when you get home, or perhaps you're just not a very enthusiastic player. That is perfectly all right! If your pal prefers a vigorous play session, though, you're likely to have a very frustrated kitty on your hands. And a frustrated cat can be a destructive cat. If your feline falls under the categories of Hunter, Chaser, or Interactor, then you might need to amp up your own play just a tad. But not to worry! There are plenty of things that you can do to keep your cat busy, without having to overtax your already overly-taxed-self.

Hunters

Hunters draw from their wild ancestors and simply thrive on every aspect of the sport: from the stalk, to the chase, to the “kill.” Their games tend to be extraordinarily active and can seemingly go on for hours. Because you have a busy schedule – or you might just be exhausted from a long day – you may not have that many hours to dedicate to satisfying your kitty's killer instinct. On the upside, though, Hunters don't necessarily need a lot of human intervention when it comes to playtime. Sure, it would be great if you could offer a little bit of time to indulge your feline friend, but if not, you might want to consider investing in some electronic gadgets to keep him busy, even when you're not around. Some of the best options for Hunters allow for the full hunting cycle to be satisfied. That is: stalk, catch, kill, consume.

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VARRAM Pet Fitness Robot Toy

 

Chasers

Although Chasers do require some hands on playtime, you'll be happy to know that after their initial burst of frenetic energy, they fizzle right out. Why? Because Chasers like to chase, but unlike their Hunter counterparts, their vigor is not quite so long-lived, and their commitment to the “hunt” wanes after a short period. Of course, they don't mind lazily batting around a dangling toy – even after their outburst – but their energy level will have significantly decreased. With this play style you're left with two options: you can set up a game with an RC-style toy, or you can take ten or fifteen minutes and drag around a fuzzy feather teaser.... then have yourself a seat and let the game continue in a more leisurely fashion. Whatever works!

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Assorted Interactive Cat Toys

 

Interactors

Interactors can be a little tricky, as they often have a secondary play style. No matter what their secondary play style is, though, the main feature that influences them all is the need to be involved with you – or anyone in the home they're particularly attached to. With this style of player, you had better be ready to distract them when you're say... paying bills... typing up a report... trying to read. Or... actually, attempting to do just about anything. It might not be a bad idea to see if your darling little Interactor isn't a fetch enthusiast. Believe it or not, some cats are, and carrying around a small handful of shiny, noisy, or otherwise attractive balls in your pocket might not be such a shabby idea. That way, if you're otherwise occupied, you can keep your nosy feline out of your business, yet thoroughly entertained. Otherwise, you can look to his secondary style to see what might work best for him.

Recommendation

Friendsheep Eco 100% Wool Pet Toy Ball

 

Your Personal Play Style: Happy Medium

You absolutely love playing with your cat, but when life gets a little out of hand, you're more than happy to sit back, relax, and watch your furry little friend play by himself. And there's nothing wrong with that! The only problem you may have is that there will be days when your energy level simply won't match up with your cat's – that is to say, when you're feeling lively, he may not be, and vice versa. But never fear! No matter what sort of day you're having, there are plenty of options to keep both you and your kitty happy.

Hunters

So, on your down days, you and your little Hunter may simply not see eye to eye. He wants to play safari and you... want to sit on the couch. No problem! Believe it or not, there are plenty of choices that will keep your Hunter busy while you still have the option of indulging in a lazy day. If you have a touch of energy, you can always set up a hide-and-seek style game made up of your kitty's favorite toy – especially if it's a noise-maker – and several different hidey holes throughout the house. If that's too much for your current mood, you might do better with an electronic cat toy. That way, you can keep your cozy spot on the couch, but still watch your kitty gleefully terrorize his “prey.”

Recommendation

PetDroid Interactive Electronic Cat Toy

 

Chasers

If you've had an exhausting day, but your excitable little Chaser needs some play time, you might have a problem on your hands. But thankfully, it won't be too big of a problem, as Chasers tend to lose steam fairly quickly. There are plenty of ways that you can help your feline friend power through his energetic spell. For example, a quick run with a fuzzy tail wand might be ample, as might a vigorous game of wool ball fetch. If you're really just dragging, though, an RC toy might be an ideal option. These toys will not only provide that oh-so-satisfying, well... chase... but will also allow you to watch your companion go through his crazy motions, all from the comfort of your favorite chair.

Recommendation

Smartphone Control Mouse Toy

 

Wrestlers

So you're feeling pretty peppy today, and you're ripe and ready for a good game with your cat. But your cat would rather roll around with his toy. So what do you do? Get yourself engaged! Although wrestlers are great solo players, you can simply interject yourself into the game, provided you find a toy that is easily harassed by him and absolutely safe for you – or, rather, your hands! Some of the best toys for engaging Wrestlers consist of soft, heavily-stuffed plushies that are slightly elongated. Thinking outside of the box a little also works well with your grappling partner. For example, certain dog toys may be appropriate, as they provide your kitty something to grab and gnaw on, but also allow you some space and freedom to play without injury.

Recommendation

Tug of War Toy

 

Problem Solvers

What's the one problem your Problem Solver can't solve (that was a mouthful)? How to keep his hyper human happy when all he wants to do is play with a puzzle! Generally, you and your problem solving feline get on exquisitely – he's neither exceedingly active nor exceedingly lazy. But on days when you're feeling especially vibrant and just want to run around the house with your favorite little friend, you might be a tad... well... overwhelming for him. So what's the solution? One of the best options for your Problem Solver is to create a sort of agility-style maze, one that you can lead him through with his favorite teaser or with the temptation of a delightful treat. This way, you both get your brains and bodies moving in perfect harmony.

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UTEX 8 in 1 Pop Up Children Play Tent

 

Interactors

The beauty of Interactors is that the best thing in the world to them is spending time with the ones they love. You could do practically anything, and they'd be thrilled to pieces to join you. Interactors often have a secondary play style; however, even if they're big time Wrestlers or hardcore Hunters, they'll be pretty content to play with you in whatever manner you choose on any given day. Which makes life so much easier! To keep both you and your little Interactor happy, make sure to keep a variety of toys on hand, that way you can whip out whatever works in the moment.

Recommendation

Cat Toys Set

 

Conclusion

When you and your cat first come home together, neither one of you really knows the other. As time goes by, though, you get more familiar with each other. Unfortunately, during this process, you may find that although you've bonded in many ways, you might not have been able to find a happy middle ground with regards to your play styles. That's perfectly fine. With a little knowledge, patience, and plenty of experimentation, you're certain to find a way to commune over the essential act of play!

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