By now you’ve probably noticed cats go nuts when you bring out their favorite wand toy. Or maybe you’re wondering why your kitty doesn’t seem as interested in wand toys as other cats are. Either way there’s a simple explanation for both.
The secret is all cats love to be active. Yes, I know, they sleep a lot, but that’s really just to conserve energy for hunting. Since indoor cats don’t need to hunt to survive, they look for different ways to entertain themselves and meet their hunting instincts. Guess what indoor cats do when they feel the urge to hunt? That’s right, they play.
Now here’s where you come in. Unless you’re engaging your cat in play that mimics hunting, she may easily lose interest. Toys should resemble prey, and when you’re using a wand toy, that means you have to make it move like a bird, small reptile, or rodent.
All cats have preferences so it’s important to figure out what your cat likes to “hunt.” Some cats like to catch birds, so they’ll want their wand toy to float through the air like a bird. Some will prefer a slithery snake, or even a skittering mouse.
It’s also important to remember that a cat who watches, but doesn’t pounce, is still using her hunting instincts. Look up videos of big cats hunting. They lie in wait for long periods before attacking their prey. Some cats are more cautious than others. Don’t give up on your feline friend if she doesn’t engage right away.
If you’re not sure of your pet’s style, do a little trial and error. Of course, I recommend our Wiggly Wand, because it has a variety of available attachments that can be swapped out depending on your cat’s preferred prey. But I’m happy to announce we’re releasing a new attachment called the Buzzer that appeals to cats of all hunting styles. It has both “wings” and “fur,” and it can be dragged on the ground or fluttered through the air to mimic several kinds of prey. In fact, one of my clients has several cats with all different hunting styles, and every last one of them loved the Buzzer!
Lastly, be sure to let your cat catch her prey once in a while. In the wild, cats are successful about 30 percent of the time. A cat who never gets to go in the for the “kill” will become frustrated and lose interest in play.
Overall, it’s important to remember that our cats need to “hunt.” And the indoors provide limited options. The more we play with our cats and can give them “prey” to pounce on and capture, the happier they will be.