This year certainly has been a very different year for everyone in our household, including Charlie and Socks! My felines have had to get used to us being around a LOT more. Luckily, they seem to be making use of all the advantages this brings them (24 hour care!) and haven’t struggled too badly with the interrupted naps and additional attention. I have found that the best way to keep them relaxed and entertained is by having a good play with them before I start work each day. This also leads to a more peaceful day working from home!
I have heard that it is a good idea to cycle cat toys around the house to keep cats entertained. There are some toys in our house though that, if withheld from the moggies, there would either be mutiny or some serious furniture damage would take place. I thought I would put a fun video together to show these toys that Charlie and Socks have been using the most this year. You can read more about each toy below too! Do your cats love toys like these? It would be lovely to hear your suggestions of any new toys they could try!
I spent a long time online trying to find a good quality, durable tunnel after Socks broke her last one. This one is perfect! She loves kicking about inside it and hiding, getting ready to launch surprise attacks on Charlie as he unwittingly wanders past. I was sceptical about this particular tunnel because it is much cheaper than others I have looked at and it was designed to have a hole in the middle. I thought Socks wouldn’t like this as she may not feel hidden and protected in it any more. It turned out though that this was one of the features she really loves about it!
I am absolutely staggered at the amount of abuse this tunnel has withstood. It has been in the house for just under half a year now and gets played with every day. Sure, there are a few stitches out of place but it isn’t showing signs of serious damage at all. It really is incredible! Socks loves it when we drag her other toys over the top of it while she is inside it. She really digs her claws in and gives it a good thrashing. Sometimes she throws herself into the little hole when she is running away from Charlie, leaving him baffled as to where she has gone. Even Charlie has managed to fit into the little hole when he gets playful (it was a squeeze!) though Socks spends so much time in it he often doesn’t get a look in.
Socks even finds the tunnel comfy enough to sleep in. It has been a major success in our household and I wouldn’t be without one in my cat-filled home.
The Feather Wand
Charlie and Socks absolutely love feathers! I remember going to see them in the rescue shelter and the floor was absolutely covered in them. There were bits of ripped up and half plucked toys everywhere. I could see it would be crucial to keep them occupied with feathers to help save some of the lounge furniture!
I decided to buy a feather wand toy to see if this would encourage them to chase it and burn off energy. It did just that. In fact, catch Charlie on a good day and this toy will make him leap in the air! Almost as rare a sight as seeing the northern lights. This toy is a really good quality and I have even had them chasing it outside in the garden. This is especially entertaining for them when the grass has grown a little so it’s like a big furry worm rustling in the undergrowth. Charlie and Socks both really love to chew it which means that feathers do inevitably drop off but they are easy to hoover up. The toy has done very well so far this year and it is Socks’s favourite victim to be dragged over the top of the tunnel before being brutally savaged. Unfortunately, the toy is no longer on sale but there are plenty of similar versions on the market to be tried and tested!
No list like this would be worth reading without the mention of our famous friend, Kickeroo! Kickeroo features on numerous blog posts because he is the perfect cat punch bag. It is an ideal toy for Charlie to take his pent up aggression out on. Spray it with a little bit of kong catnip spray and Charlie won’t leave it alone for hours (normally using him as a pillow when he gets tired!)
The fact that kickeroo is so big means that the cats can pin it to their side with their front paws and start kicking it with their back legs. This is a really beneficial action for them to do because this simulates them killing a prey animal. Therefore, they are releasing a good amount of that pent up energy they have inside them so they are less likely to take it out on other cats or their humans. I am a big fan of anything that helps the cats recreate their natural behaviours safely indoors, so it wasn’t long before we ended up with an upstairs and a downstairs kickeroo!
Ping Pong Balls
When you have a number of cats together, you refer to them as a clowder of cats. I am very lucky to be blessed with a large clowder of cat-lovers within my family. A couple of members reliably informed me that the key to a cat’s heart is a ping pong ball. Now, we all know that the key to Charlie’s heart is chicken. Socks, on the other hand, was wildly enthusiastic when we bought her her first ping pong ball. She played with it for so long that we had to leave her to it and go to bed.
The following morning, we returned downside to find the ball was nowhere to be seen. Much searching behind doors and sofas took place but it was definitely gone. A replacement was ordered and this cycle continued causing us to order a pack of them. We didn’t work out what was going on until that dreaded day when you have to do a deep clean of the house. We found several ping pong balls lodged within the depths of the sofa bed in the lounge.
It’s handy now we know where they all end up and we can time our next clean for when all the balls go missing again!!
Does your cat have a favourite toy that they couldn’t live without? Let Charlie and Socks know what it is in the comments below!
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