I am frequently bemused by my cat, Norie’s rather prejudicial opinions of the toys I bought for her. Because she is a pretty smart, slightly chubby cat I aimed for mentally and physically challenging toys. Unfortunately I have failed multilpe times to engage her interest after a brief period of peaking her curiosity. The successes of twelve years can be counted on two hands.
Squeaky toys were introduced when she was a year or so old. She wouldn’t have anything to do with them! I figured since she was a huntress of bugs, lizards, and whatever she could find on my screened in porch, she would not want something that could betray her presence to some victim. One squeak from a toy and her cover would be blown!
Thinking since she is a huntress I bought a remote control mouse that I could control to give her exercise. I was hoping she would chase the mouse. Norie watched me install the batteries, place the mouse on the floor and press the button to make the mouse move around.
Norie sat and watched for a minute. I turned it off by clicking the button. She looked quickly to my hand with the remote control. I clicked the mouse on again and she looked at the mouse then the control. After two or three repetitions of this, she got up and walked off, thinking, “It’s not real!” I returned it and got my money back.
When she was young, she loved to fight with the scratching post!
There was one toy she enjoyed as a one or two year old for at least a month. The yellow round skirt with a motorized pole with a feathers or something just showing on the edge of the skirt. The toy could be started by pressing the center mound. Let’s just say I was the only one who did that part, but she loved chasing that pole. It could be set for different speeds and changing directions. After a month she laid down beside it and just watched it! Then ignored it soon after. So I donated it to a thrift store. Norie was not getting the exercise she needed that way.
There were ping pong balls which on some occasions she really enjoyed batting around and chasing, especially in a tub. At least she enjoyed them until she hid them or they ended up under the couches!
Now that Norie is almost 13 years old, with a less than sleek figure, it is even more important that she get exercise. I know that sounds stupid because you can not get a cat to willingly do something she doesn’t want to do .
I bought a three track level pyramid shaped toy with one ball for each level to be batted around. Norie didn’t even touch it! I hit the balls around a few times to show her how it worked. “B-or-r-r-ring!” She walked away in dismay that I would play with such a silly toy!
Recently there was at last something I had never seen before. A hard round thing that could be rolled on edge or lie flat. The picture on the package showed a cute, cozy cat lying on its side within the horizontally positioned toy. Seemingly he was content to be in a “round” box. Norie wouldn’t look at it twice!
Of course there were myriad of toys with catnip, kicking pillows (which she sometimes enjoys trying to eviscerate), toys with yarn, things strung on a stick to entice her to chase or play with.
One very successful toy was a two story “apartment” of cloth and rods to support it. She has hidden in it, jumped up to the top level, stored toys she does like, and on occasion has flipped it over on its side and on its edge! This is the best toy I ever bought for her!
The cat tree is also very successful. She can look out the window from a higher vantage point or flip around inside the cave.
Another toy I never thought she would play with but she did briefly is a toy mat.
Several successes were not even expensive.
Of course Norie, like all cats, loves the red light! Which she occassionally plays with at night but only briefly. When she gets tired she lies down and watches “the light show.”
There is just something about a box, a drawer, or even a reusable cloth grocery bag, that causes her “inner kitten” to be freed. She can hide, stay warm, pounce on unsuspecting victims, and even nap in one.
The two most recent toys which I will return shortly are the “flopping fish” and a plastic snake that slithers, both nicely rechargeable but only brought a few minutes of curiosity from my cat.
There is a problem with cloth grocery bags. When the “cat gets out of the bag” literally they can get caught on the handles. Please cut the handles off of the cloth bag for your cat before she plays with it. Once after taking a nap in one, Norie came out through a handle which caught around her neck. The bag followed her as she bolted trying to escape it. I caught her and released her. She was really terrified.
Feathered toys from long fingered gloves to fake birds, or other such creatures may amuse her. However, those feathers eventually come loose and she ends up looking like the proverbial “cat who swallowed/ate the canary,” with feathers everywhere. Plumed objects are only fun to play with for a while, and only if you are involved with the playing.
So I guess she has enough toys. She seems quite content with the simple things in life. If only we people could find more contentment in the simple things.