If there’s one thing we all know by now, it’s that staying active has far ranging benefits that extend beyond physical health. Cats are no different, although being a couch potato somehow looks better on them than it does on us. The reality is that many cats tend to be overweight and underactive, especially those who spend most of their days indoors. Building exercise into their daily routine is crucial to their mental and physical wellbeing as it reduces stress and boredom, improves muscle tone and can even prevent behavioural problems. However, adopting an active lifestyle can take a bit of encouragement. That’s where cat toys – and meowbox – come in.
Though you wouldn’t necessarily know it by looking into their tiny furry faces, cats are natural predators. Cat toys can activate their innate stalking and chasing instincts by simulating the movement and sounds of prey. Just as dead prey can’t be chased and stalked, neither can a toy that’s not moving. Interactive toys – those that require your involvement – provide both physical and mental stimulation and are highly effective at drawing out your cat’s natural instincts. These are cat toys that you can drag across the floor by a string or something similar while mimicking the movement of prey. Incorporating a variety of movements and speeds allows the stealthy predator – your cat – to plan and strategize her moves while honing her agility.
In addition to the obvious benefits of getting your cat up and moving, interactive play helps build trust and can even boost their confidence. Provided you offer plenty of opportunities for your cat to execute successful attacks on her prey, she should walk away from the game feeling victorious. Play should decrease in intensity as the game winds down, leaving your cat with a final satisfying “kill” before the toy gets put away. Putting the toy away and out of sight is important as it helps keep the game interesting and realistic. A dead mouse wouldn’t simply come back to life when it was convenient, now would it?
Though interactive games are great, you don’t need to be involved for your cat to benefit from playing with toys. In addition to being just plain fun, they can provide distraction from a stressful environment and act as an antidote to boredom. Nobody likes exercise (OK some people might) but most people can agree that physical exertion is more fun when it involves playing. Achieving optimal health and wellbeing doesn’t have to be a chore, which is great because cats are notoriously bad at chores. At meowbox we select cat toys carefully, always keeping your kitty’s best interests – and refined tastes – in mind. They’re worth getting off the couch for – and in a cat’s world, that’s no small feat.