Your cat is a real bundle of joy and affection. But when she is not spending her moments with you, she probably tries to direct her attention to other objects in your home. A cat scratching post is a must for people who want to save their expensive furniture from the claws of our cute but ferocious pets. But have you ever wondered why cats have a natural instinct to scratch objects? In the following article, we will dive deep into the world of cats’ instincts, and we will also list some categories of cat toys you can purchase to exhaust your cute little hunter.
The Importance of a Cat Scratching Post for Your Feline’s Health
Your bundle of joy can sleep for up to eighteen hours a day in the comfort of your home. But the moments it spends awake can mean real bursts of excitement that can spell disaster for you and your furniture. Cats scratch because, in nature, this is a natural way for them to mark their territory. Like dogs, cats have natural scent glands in their paws, and scratching objects helps to send a message to other nearby mammals. Furthermore, when they scratch, they shed the outer edge of their claws, which gives them a pleasant sensation.
The domestication of cats dates back 12,000 years, a more recent development than dogs. And this affects their ability to follow commands. While dogs can generally be trained without much effort, cats’ instinct to hunt and scratch is powerful. In many cases, it can’t be eliminated, so the best option for your home would be to offer them a distraction, which can come in the form of a cat scratching post or cat toys. But what exactly should these toys look like?
A Variety of Options
Cats’ hunting instincts make toys that mimic the movements of prey particularly appealing. And because of this, one popular choice among cat owners has become the feather wand, which simulates the movement of small animals like birds and encourages cats to stalk, chase and pounce. These interactive cat toys are highly engaging and can quickly tire out your pet, providing them with a healthy outlet for their hunting instincts.
Another option for you may be toys that contain catnip. These toys are popular among cat owners, as they provide a natural and safe way to stimulate and entertain their feline companions. The catnip plant, also known as Nepeta Cataria, contains a compound called Nepetalactone that has a stimulating effect on the majority of feline companions. Once inhaled, it can lead to positive changes in behaviour, such as increased playfulness, energy, and affection. The effects may vary from cat to cat, but catnip is considered safe, and its non-addictive compounds transformed it into a popular option for seasoned cat owners.
However, not all cats are affected equally by the plant, with around 30-50% showing no interest in the euphoric effects of catnip toys. The sensitivity to catnip is inherited and is more common in cats over six months old. It is also worth mentioning that catnip accessories come in different forms, from dried leaves to sprays and stuffed cat toys. In addition to providing entertainment, one advantage of catnip toys is that they can be used as a training tool to encourage cats to use scratching posts, play and even as a form of relaxation, which can be a great way to keep your cat entertained when you’re not around and prevent them from getting bored or destructive. But it would be best if you didn’t let them use it too much, as excessive catnip consumption can lead to digestive issues like diarrhea and vomiting.
Don’t Forget the Laser Pointer
When it comes to cat toys, there are many options to choose from, but none are as famous or versatile as laser pointers. The natural chasing instinct of cats is triggered by the moving light of a laser pointer, making it the perfect toy to keep them entertained and engaged for hours. But laser pointers aren’t the only toys that can keep cats occupied.
Balls or stuffed mice plushies are also great options, as they mimic the movement of prey and encourage cats to hunt their target. But it’s important to remember that cats can find entertainment in almost anything, whether a box, a rope, or even a cat scratching post. These items can fulfil their instincts, like scratching and marking territory, while also providing a form of exercise.
While cats may not be picky regarding their toys, they must have access to various options to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Otherwise, they may become bored and use their energy on your furniture or clothes, which can be costly. Puzzle feeders are a great option to challenge their minds and keep them entertained while they eat. And catnip toys are a great way to encourage play and relaxation. The choice is yours, but as luck has it, we live in a day and age where you can successfully make an informed decision about your next purchase.
Entertain Your Fuzzy Companion
Providing your cat with the comfort they need is of the utmost importance, and to achieve this, there are a few tools that can help. A cat scratching post is an inexpensive accessory that can prevent finding potential unpleasant surprises in your home, such as damaged furniture or torn garments. On the same note, cat toys can be ideal for keeping your cat active, entertained, and help prevent boredom which can eventually lead to harmful tendencies.
Caring for a cat is a big responsibility, but it’s a labour of love that’s most definitely worth it. You love your cat, and she loves you back. Therefore, it’s essential to do your homework before venturing into the cat ownership process and ensure you are prepared to provide your cat with the best life possible. With a few extra accessories and a little effort, you can create a comfortable and happy home for your beloved feline companion, which should be the utmost priority for any respectable cat owner. And the rewards are boundless, for the experience of keeping a cat as a companion is one of life’s most enriching pleasures.