Kittens love to play! And we love to play with kittens!
Not only are kitten toys a healthy and encouraged way to help develop a kitten’s mind but they are a great way for owner and kitten to interact. However, not all toys are made for kittens. Just like with human children, some kitten toys have age restrictions and some “toys” like bottle caps or plastic ties that kittens think are kitten toys are not actually kitten toys and should be kept far away from our tiny furbabies.
Most items found around the house that kittens think are toys are actually a very serious choking hazard or could be toxic if swallowed. When choosing a kitten toy, be sure to choose something safe for little furbabies to play with. Oddly enough, “traditional kitten toys” are often the toys that are most dangerous for kitten. Monitor kitten when he or she wants to play with string, yarn, or ribbon because these items can be easily swallowed and be very harmful to kitten. Even some store-bought toys may be unsafe, especially if these toys have plastic eyes, noses, feathers, or other ornamental items glued to it.
Since kittens like to carry around little toys and pretend these toys are ‘prey,’ be sure to provide kitten with plush items that do not contain beads, nutshells, or plastic beans for filling.
Whew! That’s a long list of things that should not be considered kitten toys.
Thankfully, there are many kitten toys on the market that are safe for kittens. Even some of the aforementioned toys such as string, yarn, or ribbon can be safe but only if you are there when kitten plays with these toys so you can monitor any and all play and help prevent kitty from potential harm. Supervision from adult owners can help kittens stay safe while playing. Not only can we keep kitten from eating something he or she shouldn’t but we can also keep an eye on kitten if he or she is playing too rough or jumping from too high ledges.
Here are a few guidelines to help you find kitten toys appropriate for your furbaby.
Be sure to choose sturdy toys without those small, ornamental parts that could potentially be swallowed by kitten. Dangle toys, such as cat fishing poles, are also a good choice for a kitten toy– just be sure to keep the pole and string low so kitten doesn’t try to somersault off of the couch! Another great kitten toy would be a ping-pong ball or a similar small ball to entice kitten to chase and tumble safely.
And just like human children, some of the best “toys” are simply playing with another friend their age. Kittens love to play with each other. Not only does this play promote positive social behavior but also helps kitten use some of that energy in a positive, safe way.
No matter which kitten toy you choose, just play with your kitten! Playing with our furbabies helps to strengthen the love and bond between kitten and owner!