Chris Kouwenhoven

Toys for your cats

In his highly entertaining and informative book, "How to Get Your Cat to Do What You Want," Warren Eckstein states that you should have no less than two dozen toys for your cat. Cats, being the intelligent creatures they are, need stimulation. Of course, all 24 toys should not be available to Kitty at all times, but they should be rotated with some being retired for awhile. When they are taken out again, they will seem new and exciting.

It is not necessary to spend a fortune at the pet store to please your cat's playful streak. Some of the most popular toys are freebies or are home-made. Try out some of the following on your favorite feline:

Lightweight items for the "catch and kill" game, such as balled-up tissue or waxed paper.

Plastic rings that hold down the lids of plastic milk jugs--great for sliding along the kitchen floor.

A couple of ping pong balls in the bathtub--purrfect for feline raquetball.

The centers of toilet paper, tape, and calculator rolls, empty plastic film containers, nuts in their shells--all useful for batting practice.

Cotton socks of varying sizes stuffed with cotton balls and catnip and tied at the end.

Cats love hide-outs. From time-to-time let your cat explore a paper grocery bag (without handles) or a cardboard box. Never let your cat play in a plastic bag due to the danger of suffocation.

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