WEIRD THINGS OUR CATS CHOOSE AS CAT TOYS
CATS PLAY WITH THE STRANGEST THINGS....
There are so many cute cat toys on the market designed with our cat's preditor instincts in mind, like pink fuzzy ferrets and sisal mice with bells.
Then there are those exciting toys with lots of sparkly and dangly temptations hanging off of them, like colorful feathers and faux tiger's tails.
So what do us caring cat owner's do? We go out and buy a whole bunch of these toys, thinking our cats will be oh-so-thrilled. Then we stand there in befuddlement when they're oh-so-not.
And THEN...to add insult to injury, our quirky kitties trot off to play with our daughter's hair clip, or a lump of crumpled up paper. What's up with that?
Following, is a list of weird things MY cats have preferred over REAL cat toys over the years!
HAZLE NUTS: Due to their excellent "rollability factor", hazle nuts make very attractive cat toys. We had a cat that loved batting these smooth round nuts all around the kitchen and down the basement stairs...where they were never to be found again. (There must be hundreds of hazle nuts hiding all over that basement)!
BINDER CLIPS: I unclipped some writing I was working on, and set the binder clip down behind me. Next thing I know, my Tabby cat Princess is investigating this odd new "prey"....stalking it....eyeing it warily..... tentatively pawing at it.......and finally, coming in for the "kill". She picks the binder clip up in her mouth, then carries it with her out into the hallway. Binder clips as cat toys. Who knew?
EMPTY THREAD SPOOLS: Again, great "rollability factor" is at play (no pun intended). The empty thread spool only works on the kitchen floor, or when it can be innocently knocked off a table or desk.
SMALL STUFFED M & M OR OTHER PROMOTIONAL CHARACTERS: I couldn't find a cat toy one day (where do all the REAL cat toys disappear to when you need them?) so I grabbed this little red M & M character with arms and legs from my daughter's room. I think It came on top of a Valentines' gift. I rubbed some catnip into the toy and tossed it. Next thing I know, I'm hearing this odd mewling sound coming from the living room. It was Princess, trotting around with the M & M character in her mouth. I had never heard her make that weird noise, before! However, since that day, every time I hear strange mewling, it's Princess ferrying around her lost lost "baby."
I had to make a whole category for Bathroom Fun, since my cat Coco-Puff loves hanging out in the bathroom so much.
PONY-TAIL HOLDERS: . Whenever one of these colorful fuzzy loops is laying around the bathroom sink, Coco-Puff gets an excited look in her eye. Then she picks the pony-tail holder up in her mouth, bites it a bit, drops it back down, then bats it off the sink and onto the floor. What fun!
EMPTY TOILET PAPER TUBE: Sometimes, I'll get creative. I'll drop a pony-tail holder into an empty toilet paper roll. Now I have created an exciting challenge! This is good for me, since it buys me some extra time to brush my teeth before Coco-Puff digs the pony-tail holder out of the empty toilet paper tube and bats it onto the floor - where we then repeat the process all over again.
FOAM CURLERS: Foam curlers are also a fun (weird) toy! Foam is enjoyable to bite. Plus, they can also be dropped into an empty toilet paper roll - or perched temptingly on top of a tissue box.
Q-TIPS: More bathroom fun! Need I tell you where these can be dropped? Yes, into that handy empty toilet paper roll. (Just be sure to throw the Q-tip away after your cat has chewed on it)!
TOILET-PAPER: Rip some toilet-paper off the roll and wigglie it enticingly under the closed bathroom door- when your cat is on the other side. There will be a flury of attacking and shredding going on...and yes, a bit of a mess to clean up afterwards, but that's okay. We put up with that sort of thing for our cats. (Besides,the sooner we use up that toilet paper, the sooner our cats will have that fun empty toilet paper tube to play with )!
Of course if you encourage this circus of weird fun, don't ever expect to get any peace or privacy in the bathroom, again.
MY DAUGHTER'S TOYS
I had to give my daughter's toys it's own category, too, since so many of them make great weird cat toys!
BARBIE FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES: Little pink plastic chairs, computers, desks, TV sets, Barbie's cat, Barbie's baby...you name it, all of my cat's have enjoyed batting these around. My daughter, on the other hand, was never to thrilled with this. Most Barbie furniture is okay, but try to keep your cat away from the Polly Pocket accessories. They're way too small and pose a choking hazard.
SOMETIMES, A DOLL, ITSELF!: I caught Coco-Puff attacking a cute small doll with wild orange hair, the other day. Coco-Puff was biting the doll hair with gusto, as the doll happpily smiled on.
HAPPY MEAL TOYS: I'm talking about the little stuffed animals they occasionally give away...always my daughter's favorite. These are just the perfect size for your cat to clamp it's jaws around and claim as their own. Come to think of it, a lot of them really do resemble cat toys. Honestly, how is our cat supposed to know the difference? Another favorite - an old Arby's oven mitt keychain!
WIND-UP THINGS: My daughter used to have this weird wind-up blue.dinosaur thing, with oodles of sparkly pink hair. My cat Cherry adored attacking this weird toy as it merrily glided by. Wind up toys always fascinate my cats, especially when they march into a paper bag, or glide under a blanket.
A MICRO-PET CAT: For anyone who is not a parent of a girl, Micro-Pets are little robotic creatures with glowing eyes that were popular a few years back. They make chirping noises when turned on, and spin around in circles. Coco-Puff periodically feels the need to attack this cute little toy of my daughter's. (Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that I'll turn the Micro Pet on and set it down right in front of her)!
PLASTIC REPTILES; My husband, one time, tied a thread around one of my daughter's plastic lizards. Then he rested the thread on the floor with the lizard attached....the thread was virtually invisible to the naked eye. When Cherry strolled into the room, my husband jerked the thread, making it seem as though the lizard had moved all by itself. Cherry must have jumped ten feet into the air! Then we had fun as we sneakily moved the lizard all over the room, and watched Cherry attack it.
LOOT BAG BALLS: Ahhh, birthday parties. My daughter has been to many, always coming back home with that treasured loot bag full of....(junk?) ahem - I mean, loot. Anyway, the loot usually seems to contain some sort of "ball" with bright colors or a happy face, which my cats always confiscate.! I'm not sure why" party store loot bag balls" are more fun than actual "pet store balls sold for cats"....but they sure seem to be!
CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS: I think decorating the tree is more fun for my cats than for my child! I wonder if every year, they think, "Oh, goody! There's that nice big pile of enticing, shiny, biteable objects, again. Woo-hoo, let me dive in!"
There are certain ornaments our cats will confiscate, believing they are better suited for biting and chewing than for hanging up on a tree that us crazy humans insist upon setting up every year.
(Then again, like with the Happy Meal toys, how can they possibly know that the goofy yarn santa is not really meant to be a cat toy)?
Therefore, I allow the cats their holiday fun with these. But no glass balls..... obviously, or anything breakable (or of sentimental value)!
GARBAGE: A discarded wad of paper, all crumpled up. The plastic top off some juice bottle. A dried up old bread crust. A strip of plastic cut off the top of a freezer pop.
Who would think these things could be so enticing to a cat? But sometimes, bits of garbage constitute the most EXCITING weird toys around!
EMPTY BOXES AND PAPER BAGS: Every cat owner is well aware of the lure of the empty box and the delightfully crinkly empty paper bag. Is there a cat alive that doesn't have a need to go inside one of these fun objects and just, well, sit or lay there for awhile? Maybe our cats think these empty boxes and bags are their own personal little cat holes. What's a cat hole? I'm not sure, but oh well. No matter! The point is, cats love em'!
WHY NOT TRY OUT SOME WEIRD CAT TOYS ON YOUR CAT?
So there you have it!
(Notice I didn't include anything too gross or "adult oriented" in my list of weird toys - although I'm sure people have plenty of funny stories about cats turning those into toys, too)!
That being said.....why don't you try out some of these weird "toys" on your cat?...... Just be sure to ask your child's permission first before offering anything that belongs to him or her. Or else you (and your cat) could be in big trouble!
Also, make sure you never offer your cat anything that could pose as a choking hazard. Watch out for eyes and things that can be bitten off toys.
You can always encourage your cat to play with odd things by offering him a Hazle-nut , plastic milk ring, or empty thread spool. However, it's best to just leave the item laying there innocently on the floor...or perch it enticingly on a chair........ then allow your cat to "discover" it all by himself. That way, he will feel slightly "naughty" for playing with something he thinks he's not supposed to - which naturally makes playing with it twice as fun!
(You see? Kids and cats aren't so different).
You can even deliberately purchase "weird things" for your cat to play with.
Buy some wind-up toys to march into an empty paper bag. Never mind that your child is now 21. These toys are available really cheap - often at Dollar stores. They're also quite plentiful around the holidays.
Also, why not stop into the local Party Store and scoop us some loot bag balls for your cat to enjoy, while you're at it?
Next time you take something out of a cat-size box, leave the boxt laying there in the middle of the floor. Toss some forgotten REAL cat toys into it. Don't worry about how messy this looks. Your cat is worth a little mess.
Wiggle some toilet paper under the door.....roll a hazelnut across the kitchen floor.....you get the idea.
Following, are some weird toys for sale that I happened to come across online. They are made by the Oh Boy Cat Toy company, and will probably leave you scratching your head thinking.....oh BOY, that's weird!