As responsible pet owners, we make a concentrated effort to keep our felines in a healthy state of mind. Being that they are house cats and don't have run of the neighborhood, we try to keep their environment interesting and enriching. This involves buying lots of toys and cat furniture and daily visits to the garage for chipmunk watch. Enriching an animal's environment is extremely important as it improves their daily life and welfare which can reduce stress. Stress, particularly in cats, can have a significant negative impact on their health which can lead to urinary tract disease and gastrointestinal issues to name a few. With our most recent feline addition who is a youngster, she plays non stop. She is a bit of a bully to the others so she doesn't have any buddies, therefore she has become quite good at entertaining herself. Remember, I mentioned I have bought lots of toys. I've never counted but I'm sure there are easily 50 or more items that include furry mice, balls with bells, fluffy balls, crinkle balls, and the list goes on and on.
|Toy Chest #1|
But despite this never ending toy chest to choose from, she often finds something else to entertain herself. I'm not saying she never pulls stuff out of the chest to play with, but when she does it never seems to be as interesting to her. Her most recent "toy of choice" is drinking straws. Yep, that's right. I have become a bit of a Diet Coke fan so it is not uncommon to have a fast food restaurant cup on the counter waiting to be recycled. So my counter surfing cat identified her new toy and off she went. She flings them up in the air, carries them around, and bats them across the floor. We have laminate floors so they really fly across the floor and make an unusual sound when they move.
|"Tornado" Tonks and her new toy.|
Drinking straws are not the only cat selected entertainment device. Wine bottle corks, cherry tomatoes, pimento peppers, rolled up plastic bags, and milk jug rings are also popular toys for them. Did I mention I have counter surfing cats? I don't know how many dried up cherry tomatoes I found under the furniture last winter! Which brings me to the next subject.......the long lost toys under the furniture.
|Toy Chest #2|
|This is fun??|
I am not a "Suzy Homemaker" but I do try to make an effort and do a deep clean of the house every so often. It doesn't take long to have ginormous dust bunnies in the corners when you have a house full of cats. This usually includes vacuuming under the furniture as this is a favorite dust bunny hang out. Before I vacuum under things, I have to check for toys so I don't choke the vacuum with mice, milk jug rings or whatever else is lost under there. On occasion, I will see a cat, with a longing look in their eye, gazing under the furniture This a clue that it might be time to do a sweep with the yard stick. I'm amazed at the pile that can collect under there.
|The long lost toys (and flameless candle that became a toy) under the china cabinet.|
|Seems that Harry missed them.|
Even thought the cats will choose their own sometimes unusual toys, I will continue be a doting owner and buy them what I think will excite them and enrich their lives. They never cease to amaze me with their cleverness and antics. It proves that if you have cats, you don't have to spend a lot of money to offer them toys. Of course, safety comes first so you have to take this into consideration if you are looking for home made toys. Think outside the toy box, you might be surprised at what they will consider the best toy ever!