Cat toys for independent play:
Catnip and valerian toys – for your cat to fight with and cuddle
Catnip is a member of the labiate family. The name “catnip” comes from the fact that cats, in particular, are attracted to the smell of the plant. Around 50% of cats are attracted to the smell of catnip – and this attraction is genetic.
If your cat doesn’t react to catnip, try valerian (a smell that almost all cats love).
For the other 50% of cats, this is often the only alternative in terms of scented cat toys – meaning that you can also give these cats “stimulating” moments full of enjoyment.
Unlike with humans, the smell of valerian does not calm cats. Instead, it stimulates them, and greatly encourages cats to play with the toy. Your cat will cuddle the toy, lick it passionately, and rub its body against it. The reason for this attraction is the actinidin in the valerian root – a compound which is also found in catnip.
NB: Many cat toys from China and the Far East are advertised as containing catnip – but there’s often very little catnip in them. So that you can really tell if your cat likes the smell of catnip, you should buy catnip from the USA or Canada. This catnip is famed for its high quality. But, as with all herbs, the smell goes away over time.
Tip: When your cat has to go to the vet, we’d recommend putting a toy infused with your cat’s favourite smell in the carrier. This distracts your cat so it doesn’t find the journey too frightening.
After playing: If you think that your cat has enjoyed the scent for long enough, let the cat toy dry out, and keep it in a safe place where your cat cannot reach it. This means it will remain interesting, and the irresistible smell will beguile your cat once again.
Mice, balls, corks – everything you can throw, push and kick – for your cat to chase and hunt
These cat toys are a must for every house with cats. What cat is not entranced by a ball rolling through the sitting room!
Your cat can play with these toys independently until it’s exhausted. Of course, balls and mice are happy to disappear under cupboards and beds – you can fish them out again when you are cleaning, and your cat will certainly be happy to see the toys it thought were lost for ever and start its games of pushing and hunting once again. Of course, it’s best if your floor is smooth and made of something like parquet, stone or laminate. The selection of beautiful cat toys above can be found in our cat shop, under “Mice and Balls”: http://www.profeline-shop.com/cat-toys/toy-mice-balls
With these active toys the ball stays within the cat toy and cannot disappear under cupboards. Cat tracks are also ideal for when your cat is not supposed to run through your entire home and is supposed to just stay where the toy is. For all these toys – no matter whether the ball is in a round bowl or in a track – the cat has to get the ball moving and chase after it. Cat tracks offer young, active cats an exciting hunting experience.
The magic of cardboard boxes – scratching toys and scratching furniture made from cardboard – for cats to play with, hide in and scratch on.
Cats love cardboard – they get so excited by boxes and packages, in particular. They like to play with boxes and hide in them, and can sleep in them for hours. Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to make your cat happy. From a cat’s perspective, you take away all the “amazing” boxes and packages much too quickly – but some cat owners also have the appearance of their home in mind! New modern cat furniture made from cardboard is the answer. This is available in many colours, shapes and designs: your cat will be happy, and the new piece of furniture is eye-catching in your home. Good-quality cardboard furniture is great in terms of design – and in terms of the quality of the cardboard used and the finish. These pieces of furniture are perfect for cats and are durable.
I hope I have helped you choose the right cat toy – have fun playing with your cat every day!
You might also find part 1 of my tips for cat toys interesting.