Decades ago, when 100% vegetable diets were first used in dogs and cats, this concern about the appearance of stones...
Why are lasers not suitable toys for cats?
The cat is a natural predator like its closest relative, the tiger, whose natural instincts are to stalk, chase and hunt its prey. Toys that allow them to follow this sequence are the most suitable for them, but what about the famous lasers? Are they good toys for cats? The answer is: No, they're not suitable for our furry friends.
With this "toy", the animal cannot finish the sequence mentioned above and we can create frustration every time it tries to hunt and fails to do so. In some cases, we can even create a compulsive behaviour whereby the cat ends up seeing lights and shadows and, therefore, causing it chronic anxiety. But not only that, we can also create changes in their behaviour, damage their retinas and, obviously, cause accidents.
That is why we will leave such toys aside and provide them with their natural behaviour, with toys such as:
• The well-known duster sticks.
• Esparto toys to play catch and provide the complete hunting sequence.
Because it is made of this material, cats can throw it themselves by hooking their nails.
• Plush toys, scented inside or not, will also stimulate them on an olfactory level.
• Route toys: we can create a route with toys, such as tunnels with plush toys and esparto mice inside, so that our little buddy can work out and lower the risk of obesity.
• Interactive or intelligent toys: their purpose is to exercise the cat in terms of cognition and smell. There are many sorts, such as food dispensers or others with a little ball that rolls from one side to the other.
These types of toys will not only allow them to carry out their hunting behaviour with a prize, but also, by playing with you, you will be able to improve the bond. Cats are not solitary animals, on the contrary, they are social beings who will have fun sharing playtime with you.
Cats that are cognitively and physically stimulated are highly well-behaved and it is very important to keep them active around the house, especially if they are not outdoor cats.
It will also be important to give them access to windows - with cat towers and scratchers - and offer them a three-dimensional space with different level platforms where they can comfortably sleep or hide.
Alba Serrano, Canine and Feline Psychologist and a Master in Clinical Ethology from the UAB, @enlamentedelosanimales.