- How to Spruce up Old Cat Toys
How to Spruce up Old Cat Toys
Most cat owners have experienced it, so if you have, don't worry. It's normal.
Here's the scenario: you buy lots of adorable, fun cat toys for your kitty and she loves them. But after a few days, a couple of weeks, or a month, she loses interest. The toy is left, abandoned, under the sofa or in the corner. Occasionally, she sniffs at it but then lifts her tail and marches away.
Can anything be done to keep your cat interested in all those toys?
The answer is yes. There are a few things you can do to keep your cat's interest in the toys and to rekindle it if it's been lost.
Rotate Your Cat's Toys
For a cat, most play simulates a hunt. Toys are stand-ins for prey like birds and rodents. When a cat is chasing, pouncing, batting, biting, and bunny-kicking a toy, they are imagining they are great hunters catching prey. Afterward, that toy is "dead" prey. If "dead" prey simply sits around in the home, it can become unappealing to the cat to play with.
Picking up your cat's toys and putting them away, leaving out one or two at a time and rotating often is a great way to keep your cat interested in her toys. Do not leave wand toys out. Those should only be used by the cat under direct supervision because a cat's limbs and neck can get wrapped in the cords. Interactive toys like wand toys should only be used with a human.
Play Hide and Seek with Your Cat's Toys
When you bring a new toy out of the stash, try putting it somewhere she doesn't expect it. Make sure it's a spot that she'll notice but make it interesting. Try perching one on the cat tree or balancing it on the edge of a table, ready to bat off onto the ground—a favorite pastime of cats.
Cats love small spaces. Use a paper bag with the handles cut off (handles can be a strangulation hazard) to put a small toy into. Never use a plastic bag.
Spruce up Old Toys with Catnip or Honeysuckle
If your cat has lost interest in an old toy that used to be a favorite, you can spruce it up with catnip or honeysuckle.
Put the toy in a sealed container with some loose catnip. Put the container somewhere your cat can't get to it and, periodically, take one out and give it to your kitty.
Alternatively, you can use catnip spray to spritz the toy with.
If your cat doesn't respond to catnip, try honeysuckle spray. Some cats that don't respond to catnip do have a positive reaction to honeysuckle.
Get New Toys Regularly
Of course, variety is the spice of life, even for cats. Sprucing up old toys for your cat's enjoyment is a great idea but getting new toys regularly also keeps your kitty engaged and having fun.