Household items that can become toys for your cat

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One thing that many cats love is playtime. Since some cats prefer to stay indoors rather than go outside, indoor playtime for cats can be beneficial to their health. This is because playtime allows your cat to act instinctually which can relieve stress.

                Without an outlet to release stress, much like with people, cats can begin to develop emotional or physical problems. The best way for cats to play is to provide them with toys that they will enjoy.

                When it comes to cats enjoying their toys, the toys do not need to be brand new or expensive. Often there are items that you have in your household that you may not think twice about that can be used as toys for your cat. We have included a list of several items that can be commonly found in your household that can be used as toys for your cat.

               Cardboard boxes: Cardboard boxes are a fun toy for cats to explore. Depending on the size you can give them just one to play in, or even set up several to create a cardboard box park. Cardboard can act as an insulator and thus cardboard boxes are a great way to help keep cats busy and warm during the winter months. Be sure that the cardboard box is empty before giving it to your cat to play. This way your cat can stay in the box for as long as they want safely.

                Leaves: As a kid, many of us enjoyed the fall, not just for the weather, but because we would turn leaves into toys by jumping in piles of them. During the fall months, cats enjoy doing the same thing.

               Your cat may push leaves around or jump into a pile of them and tunnel through. Though outdoor cats often get the most joy out of these, even indoor cats can step outside to your yard and have a good time playing with leaves.

               Stuffed animals: Sometimes cats will become attached to a certain stuffed animal. This stuffed animal can be a cat toy or an old stuffed animal that belonged to another family member. It does not matter which kind of stuffed animal your cat ends up becoming attached to if there are no loose or small parts that your cat could chew up or swallow.

               Your cat’s stuffed animal may become their favorite toy, or it may just be what they cuddle up to when they go to sleep. It is often best to try to get them a stuffed animal when they are kittens so that they can grow up with it, but even older cats can enjoy a new stuffed animal too!

                Ping pong balls: Ping pong balls bounce well and generally they move around fast. These make a great toy for cats to bounce and then chase around. Ping pong balls are too large to be swallowed by your cat, so they are safe for your cat to play. Bouncing a ping pong ball around can be a fun way to make sure your cat gets some exercise while indoors.

               Paper ball: If you have some extra scraps of paper lying around, you can use this by making it into a toy for your cat. Take three or four pieces of scrap paper and roll them up into a ball. Toss it to your cat and watch him or her either push it around or even put it in their mouths.  This toy might only last one use, but it is a fun way for your cat to use up some extra scraps of paper!

               Twigs: Though we often think of twigs as a toy for dogs playing fetch, cats can enjoy playing with twigs too. Cats enjoy the shape and size of twigs and can be entertained by rolling them around. All you must do is find one under a tree and let your cat start to play.

               Bottle caps: Plastic bottle caps may be an incredibly fun item for your cat to play with. Plastic bottle caps can bounce around, spin, and slide across the floor as if they were a hockey puck on ice. Much like ping pong balls, plastic bottle caps are safe for your cat to use since they are too large for your cat to eat.

               Yarn: If you have some leftover yarn from your last knitting project, then that can now be used as a fun toy for your cat. Cats love pushing a ball of yarn around. If there is not enough yarn to make a ball, your cat may also enjoy chasing the strings of yarn.  Yarn can be fun for cats to chew, but if your cat is playing with yarn be sure to watch so that they do not eat any of it.

                Laser pointer or flashlight: Cats love to chase lights. This is due in part to the structure of the cat’s eyes being different than that of humans. Cats can pick up on any sort of movement that occurs near them and thus the light moving can excite your cat.

                Using a flashlight or laser pointer can be a fun way to help your cat get some exercise while staying inside. You just simply move the light around the room and turn it on and off.  One thing to make sure of however, is to never shine the light in your cat’s eyes. Be sure to always keep the light at a safe distance from your cat so that their eyes do not get injured.

               Plastic bottle rattle: For this toy, you will have to be a little crafty. You will need a plastic bottle, some rocks, and tape. First, you will put the rocks in the plastic bottle. Next, you will tape the cap shut onto the bottle so that there is no chance for the rocks to fall out. From there you have a homemade rattle for your cat to roll around or shake!

                Most cats love to play if they are provided with a toy that excites them. It may be best to try several of the options listed above and then find out what your cat likes best. You can always rotate different toys in and out as the items become available around your house. What matters is that both you and your cat have a fun playtime together.

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