Don’t Encourage Aggressive Play

 

Read this article on how to teach your new kitten (and even your old one) to play gently.

 

Safety First

 

Inspect your cat toy for parts that can be chewed or broken off and swallowed. Be mindful of toys with strings. If swallowed, string can be life threatening for a cat.

 

Size

 

Keep cat toys small relative to your cat. Larger toys can appear less-like prey and more like a competitor or even a predator and elicit more aggressive behavior from your cat.

 

Sound

 

Stay away from toys that make buzzing or loud, sudden explosive sounds. Squeaks and shrill sounds are best for cat toys because they mimic the sound of what cats typically prey upon.

 

Food Puzzles

 

Encourage your cat to exercise and stimulate his or her mind with food puzzles. These clever devices encourage your cat to use his or her cunning to find food and get at it.

 

When exploring food puzzles, start with this article on enriching your cat’s environment.  And then look at puzzle toys here.

 

Cat Nip

 

About 75% of all cats have a strong reaction to catnip. One chemical in catnip, nepetalactone, induces a fleeting, non-addictive, safe euphoria in cats. Typically fresh catnip can be found at the various farmer’s markets around the city or forage for your own on your next trip to the country. Catnip is instantly recognized by its mint-like appearance and the odor of its leaves. It is a hardy perennial that enjoys sandy, well drained soil and full sunlight. Be mindful that cats that eat catnip often vomit it back up, so serve up the fun away from the oriental carpets.