interactive toys

Kitty Whip® Cat Toys: A Safe Alternative to String Toys

kitty-whip-toy

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Wand and string toys are a great way to encourage your cat to play. They stimulate your cat’s hunting instinct, and they’re a wonderful way to strengthen the bond with your cat. Unfortunately, not all wand toys are quality toys. Loose pieces, wires or clamps and strings that can be easily chewed and ingested all pose hazards to your cat’s health. That’s why I’m always excited when I come across well made, well designed string toys like the KittyWhip®.Continue Reading

Sunday Purrs: Make Time for Play

Make Time for Play

Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable.
Without it, life just doesn’t taste good. –  Lucia Capocchione

Cats need to play to thrive. This is especially important for indoor cats. Playing allows them to indulge their natural instinct to hunt. Feline play mimics stalking and chasing prey in the wild, and toys that will encourage this are the best kinds of toys.

Play is important for humans, too. The National Institute of Play (who knew there was such a thing!) believes that play can dramatically transform our personal health, our relationships, the education we provide our children and the capacity of our corporations to innovate.  Play is a vital ingredient for a happy life.

What better way to get play into your life than playing with your cat? Even just one 15 minute play session a day will keep your cat happy and healthy. Interactive toys are a great way for both of you to get in on the fun. Toys such as the Da Bird feather teaser or any number of fishing pole type toys can provide hours of fun for you and for kitty. Playing with your cat is not only fun, it also increases the bond between the two of you.

Odin doesn’t have to be told that he should be playing more – the only decision he has to make is which toy to pick out of the basket.

Do you make time for play – for yourself, and your cat? What is your cat’s favorite game?

You may also enjoy reading:

Keeping your single cat happy

Safe toys for your cat

How to keep your indoor cat happy

Allegra’s World: The Muffin Tin Game

Allegra window perch

Mom has been kind of sad and upset a lot the last few days. I was really worried about her, she’s usually so calm and happy. I want her to be happy! I tried everything to make her smile! I couldn’t understand why she was so sad. Mom explained that something really bad happened in a place called Japan. She said lots of people and animals were hurt, and lots died, and lots more are still missing. When she explained it to me, I got sad, too. I asked Mom whether there was anything we could do to help, especially to help the animals there. Would they have food to eat? Who would pet them and play with them and hold them and love them if they were lost and scared?

Mom said she wrote about how people can help the animals, but I said want to help, too! I told Mom I’d only eat half of my breakfast and dinner, and we could send the rest to the lost and scared kitties in Japan! Mom said that was very generous of me, but that it doesn’t work that way. She said the best we can do right now, in addition to praying for everyone there, is to donate money to groups that are going there to help find the lost animals and reunite them with their families. Those poor animals! I can’t imagine being separated from Mom. They must be so scared!

Mom said it would be nice if I wrote one of my columns. She said it might cheer people up to read about something happy, since so much of what they read right now is bad news. I can do that! So here’s what I’ve been up to.

I’ve been spending a lot of time on my window perches in the sun since I last wrote, and it seems like it’s light out a lot longer than it used to be. I like it! Smart kitten that I am, I have now figured out exactly where the first sunny spot in the house shows up each day, and I follow the sunny spots around for much of the day. Well, that is when I’m not busy doing other things. And there’s always something to do – I’m a very busy kitten!

When I’m not writing here, I keep an eye on the backyard, patrol the house to make sure all my toys are still in the right places (and if they’re not, I make sure to move them around), and help Mom work. I also like to look out our front windows and watch people walk their dogs. I kind of pity the dogs – they all walk on these long rope-like things that are attached to their humans. It doesn’t look like much fun to me. I wonder whether they have to wear the ropes inside their houses, too? I couldn’t imagine that. like running all through the house, free like the wind! Wee!!!

Do you know that I have the coolest Mom ever? The other day, she created a new game for me! She got the idea from one of her colleages over on PetConnection.com whose dog played the game, and Mom thought I might enjoy it, too. She says it’s called The Muffin Tin Game. Huh?

Anyway, she dug around in the kitchen cabinets and pulled out something from way far in the back that looked like a metal square with a bunch of holes in it. Mom said it’s called a muffin tin, and it’s used for baking. I wouldn’t know what baking is, I sure haven’t ever seen Mom do it! Next thing I hear is the treat bag coming out of the fridge. Hmmm… this was getting interesting. But Mom didn’t give me any treats – what was up with that? Instead, she put them in the holes of the muffin tin. Then she took a bunch of my toys out of the toy  basked and covered the treats. What – did she think I wasn’t going to find them???

When she put the whole thing on the floor, I immediately went to check it out, and got to work. Unlike Archer the dog, who managed to empty the whole muffin tin in less than 30 seconds, I took my time. I planned my strategy. I deliberated. I did not act until I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I don’t have to tell you that we cats are way smarter than dogs!

You can watch me play the game here:

httpv://youtu.be/1q8KXz4Yvbc

And yes, I did get that last one out! I just had to take a nice long bath before I tackled it. What’s the hurry? I guess Mom got bored watching me, because she stopped filming.

And now you’ll have to excuse me, I need to practice my acceptance speech for the Acatemy Awards.

Allegra’s World: When Mom Goes Away

I’m back already!  Remember that big black box I was telling you about that showed up in our bedroom, and Mom was putting her clothes in it?  Well, it turned out that the big black box is not a good thing.   The morning after the big black box showed up, Mom left the house and took it with her.  At first, I didn’t think anything of it – after all, she’s left the house before and took things with her.  She always takes a purple bag with her when she goes, even though I sometimes try to lay right in front of it so she can’t get to it!  Anyway, I thought maybe she’d just gotten bored with her purple bag and took the big black box instead.

But when Mom’s friend Renee came to visit around lunchtime, I knew something wasn’t right.  Any other time Renee comes over, Mom is here, too.   But Renee is really fun, she loves kitties, and she played with me and gave me treats and hung out with me, so that was cool.  After Renee left,  I took a nice long nap and didn’t wake up again until it got dark.  Mom still hadn’t come home.  I was just starting to get a little worried when Ronnie came to visit.  Ronnie is Mom’s friend and Mom said she’s also a pet sitter.  I don’t know what that means, and it sounded a little scary.  Does she sit on pets?  Mom said she comes to take care of people’s cats when the people can’t be there to do it themselves.  I don’t really understand that – why can’t the people just stay home?  But Ronnie is a nice person and she, too, loves kitties, so I was glad to see her.  And best of all, she served me dinner as soon as she got there, and I was pretty hungry, so that got the visit off to a good start.  Ronnie played with me after I ate, she brushed me, and she gave me treats.  Okay, this was good.

But then, after Ronnie left, I got a little scared.  Mom still wasn’t home, and even though I can’t tell time, I knew it was way past when we usually go to bed together.  I finally went to bed by myself and eventually went to sleep, but it wasn’t the same without Mom there.  When I woke up, it was light out again, and Mom still wasn’t home!  Where was she?

Thankfully, just as I was starting to get really worried, Ronnie came by again and served me breakfast.  Whew!  At least I wasn’t going to starve!  She played with me again, and that was nice, but where was my Mom?  Anyway – I don’t want to bore you, but this went on for three more days.  I had a good time with Ronnie and Renee, who came by to visit a few more times, too, but I was getting pretty lonely.  I’m used to having my Mom around a lot!

When I heard a key in the door again on Sunday night, I figured it was going to be Ronnie again, but it was Mom!  She was back!!!  I was so happy!!! I rolled around on the floor for her and I even let her pick me up and hug me and kiss me, I was so relieved!  My Mom was home!!!  I followed her everywhere while she took stuff out of the big black box and put it away where it belongs.  I hissed at the big black box a couple of times for good measure.  By the time Mom sat down to have dinner, I had exhausted myself and I knew I needed a nap, but I was so worried that Mom would leave me again, I laid down on her feet and went to sleep there.  That way, I could be sure she couldn’t even get up without me knowing about it.

Turns out she went to something called a cat writers conference.  I don’t understand why I couldn’t go with her.  After all, I’m a cat writer, too!  She did bring back some fun new toys.  My favorite is this pole thing with a dragonfly attached to it – I love playing with it, it’s so fun. Wee!!!  It’s my favorite toy yet!  You can see me playing with it in the video below.

She also brought a bunch of other toys, she thinks I didn’t see her sneak them into the extra bedroom I’m not allowed in.  I heard her say something to someone on the phone about “rationing the toys and breaking them out gradually” – no doubt this is some fancy human speak for spoiling my fun!

Now things are back to normal again, and I hope the big black box stays hidden in the closet for a long, long time.  I don’t like it when Mom goes away.