So I have a few crazy kitties and a personal fascination with toys. Always have, and it's only gotten worse with the inclusion of three playful creatures. Up to this point I've been recommending a lot of really cool stuff, but today, I want to show you some of our favorite cat toys. Each of us has a preference, so I'll let you in on what works best for each individual personality. That way, if you spot some of the same traits in your own kitties, you might have a better idea of what they'll like!
Big Cat's Favorite Toys
So I have to admit, since the little boys have come into the house, Big Cat is infinitely more interested in wrestling with them than he is with any toy. But from time to time I can still entice him. My big kitty is, and has always been, a bit on the lazy side. When I first brought him home, he would play for hours; however, as he matured, I could only manage to get him to actively play for a few minutes, then he'd flop down and idly bat at whatever I had in hand.
In addition to some gentle swatting, he also likes to grab and hold things. This grabbing is often followed by a good deal of toy biting, which I can only assume is the "death blow" bite. I just don't know, but our favorite cat toys seem pretty done for after he's through with them.
Big Cat-Style Recommendations
This style of toy is pretty perfect for Big Cat. With his indolent ways, it allows him to get some of his excess energy out while still reclining. It is kickable, biteable and filled with dried Matatabi, or silver vine. If you're unfamiliar with it, Matatabi is a nontoxic plant in the Chinese gooseberry, or Actinidiaceae, family. My Big Cat isn't really a fan of regular catnip - his attitude ranging from indifferent all the way to mean drunk - so silver vine is an excellent alternative, as it is said to be more effective than your run-of-the-mill catnip. As for me, I think this thing is adorable. This toy is colorful, made up of a durable cotton and polyester, and although Nyagomidokoro warns that you'll be able to smell the silver vine, you'll likely find that the scent is less objectionable than catnip. According to the manufacturer, if your cat is a big biter, this toy may wear out a little quicker than it otherwise would.
Since Big Cat likes to stay low to the ground, this is another excellent option for him. Though it looks like a pretty standard teaser toy, this little contraption is meant for those who prefer to stay out of the sky and firm on the floor. One of the things that make it so special is the wire. Initially, I was a little iffy on whether or not this would be a good idea - I mean, most of these toys tend to have a soft, ropy string - but the wire helps to create a unique pattern of movement that better replicates the movement of prey animals. The other thing that I really love about this is the telescoping feature, which gives you a lot more control when it comes to directing the toy itself. Another benefit of this toy is that the toy is interchangeable, which is great if it gets worn out or if you want to change things up a bit. The one downside to this toy is that it can be a little too fragile for more aggressive players.
Murphy's Favorite Cat Toys
I remember the first time I took Murphy to the vet. As she carefully lifted him from his crate, she held him up and exclaimed, "Ooooh, this one's a lover!" And she was right. Murphy is my little buddy - that cat goes wherever I go, is shockingly affectionate, and is just generally a good fella. That said, he is an absolute Sour Patch Kid. He can go from sweet and lovely to ninja stealth attack in the blink of an eye. It's just a little bit hilarious. Maybe because I'm generally not the object of his sassiness, I don't know.
Either way, this kitty needs things he can sneak up on or out of. He also requires something to roll around with, as, in addition to wrestling with his brother, he also likes to manhandle his toys. I guess you'd call him a hugger; he doesn't bite or kick, just grabs and squeezes. I'm not sure if this is sweet or slightly ominous.
Since Murphy is a cuddlesome creature by nature, this toy is ideal. Unlike most other cat toys, this contraption is less stimulating and more soothing. It's made up of a small, buckwheat-filled pouch that is covered by a soft plush cover. The buckwheat pouch can be microwaved to give it a bit of extra warmth, while the cover can be removed when it needs a good washing. The shape makes it great for hugging, while the relatively small size is good for cats who like to carry their toys or have wrestling matches. Unfortunately, if that wrestling match gets a little too rowdy - or, more accurately, pointy - this toy can snag, so keep that in mind.
One of our favorite cat toys, without exception, is the cat tunnel! Murphy, however, is particularly fond of it. Not only does it fulfill his need to sneak attack, but it also provides an excellent spot to hide or hang other toys - you know, for more sneak attacks. That's kind of his thing! This particular tunnel is a really cool option, as it has multiple entries, a peephole in the center, sections of crinkle paper, and dangling ball toys. Although I am a huge proponent of cat tunnels, the downside of them is that they can be a pain to collapse, which is especially problematic if you live in a small space and can't just leave it open.
Miles's Favorite Cat Toys
Though they are brothers, in many ways, Miles is the opposite of Murphy. Don't get me wrong, he gets occasional bursts of love, and out of the two, he has the gentler touch when it comes to interacting with his playmates. By and large, though, he's pretty aloof. Also unlike his sibling, he tends to be a bit more athletic and aggressive - with his toys, that is. Miles is the household rooster kick champion, and he likes to pick apart the noisier of his playthings.
Because Miles is a more energetic player, his favorite toys are typically climbable. Some of you may remember a post about how to turn your cat tree into a massive cat toy - yeah, that was for him! In addition to being a very physical creature, Miles is also the thoughtful type. He loves a good chase, but if he has to stop and think about it, all the better!
One day I shall live in a place where I can provide my kitties with a Kitty City castle. In the meantime, though, the duplex-style cat furniture will do just fine. This sort of cat furniture-cum-toy is ideal for cats like Miles. It provides plenty of places to jump, navigate, and hide. Furthermore, they can scratch at all the posts, and bat away at all of the hanging toys. Although this may not be a castle, it still takes up a bit of floorspace, so keep that in mind if you're living in a condo of your own.
Considering he's both smart and energetic, Miles loves a good fast-paced, interactive toy. This particular toy is great as it is made up of an eight piece circuit with varying heights around the track. The ball that zips around said track lights up and is motion activated, and the cover over the track has plenty of holes. These holes are important for curious kitties, as they require the cat to try to figure out how they can get to their prey, while the motion activation kicks in that urge to chase. Although this toy is very, very cool, it isn't exactly ideal for larger cats, as the holes do tend to be on the small side.
Our favorite cat toys are pretty varied, as they reflect the particular personality and preference of each individual (kitty and human alike). Although I would recommend everything I've mentioned here, it's important for you to keep in mind your own feline's preferences, and make that the deciding factor in any purchase you make.
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