Q: What sort of cat toys are both fun and safe?
A: Great question! There are so many cat toys on the market it can be overwhelming. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on toys and I always say the simplest ones are the best — sometimes with unexpected results!
I have an adorable white kitty named Cameo who one day managed to tear off a piece of fake animal print fabric that was attached to a long stick toy she was playing with. She now walks around carrying it in her mouth while meowing softly as if it was her baby (and she is spayed). I can’t begin to tell you how cute it is. Whenever I hear her meowing in a certain way I know she is carrying it. If she is out of the room and I dare to pick up her “baby” she will come flying in to the rescue. I then tell her she should not leave her baby where someone could step on it!
One toy my cats are crazy about is a long flexible wire with rolled cardboard pieces at each end that you can bounce up and down. It’s considered an interactive toy but sometimes I just leave it on the floor and they chase it around. It’s such a hit that I give it to my clients as gifts for their kitties as well.
Catnip toys are always a crowd-pleaser but they should be stuffed with catnip only — no fillers such as cotton, fiberfill or polystyrene beads which could be swallowed if your cat tears open the toy. Balls with bells in them are fun but noisy late at night. I know. Many a night I have spent walking around collecting them. Peacock feathers and fishing pole toys with feathers are great plus you can sit down and let your kitty do the work. However, always put any toys with feathers and string away after playtime — they can be harmful. This is also true of any toy that hangs from a doorknob. You don’t want your cat to get tangled up and into trouble while unsupervised.
Of course, the cheapest toys are the ones you make yourself. You’d be surprised how much mileage you can get out of balls made from aluminum foil and cardboard toilet paper rolls with a bell inside and sealed on each end. Paper bags are fun, but cut the handles off and, please, never use plastic bags as a toy. Some cats eat them and that is real trouble. As always I welcome your comments and stories.