Cat Toys and Environmental Enrichment!

02/13/12 - by TheCatCoach

I am sure that it won’t come as a surprise to anyone that I am a big proponent of environmental enrichment for cats.

Cats get bored, especially cats left alone for hours every day with nothing to do and no one to interact with. Sometimes these cats can become depressed and/or start exhibiting troublesome behaviors. Interactive toys, lots of high places to climb and horizontal and vertical scratchers can help keep them stimulated. Depending on the situation, a new cat buddy might chase away those boredom blues.

I am always on the lookout for toys that I can recommend to my clients. Although I like puzzle toys and toys that don’t need human involvement, I really like toys that need people on one end and cats on the other—the interaction helps strengthen the bonds between cats and their people.

I usually don’t review products. I don’t like writing negative reviews… so to be fair, I usually don’t write reviews. Occasionally I’ll give in and write a review—especially when I’ve found something that really rocks my socks. In order to rock my socks, the products have to earn top grades from my rambunctious cats. In regards to toys, this means, they have to not only excite and delight, but they have to withstand extreme play from a 22 pound Savannah and a gaggle of Bengals and one cantankerous Norwegian Forest Cat.

Two toys pass with flying colors.

The first are the Nekoflies toys, by Nekochan. These are toys with interchangeable kritters that attach to a wand. My cats paid attention even before I assembled them… I think they have special Cat ToyDar—sensing toys are theirs before they meet them. Neko sent me two wands and a Katarantula, Kragonfly and a Kittenator. The  Katarantula, Kragonfly and Kittenator are the toys that attach to the rods… Anyway, that’s the theory.

My intentions were to start with the Kittenator. As I was removing it from the box, Sudan, my Savannah, grabbed it while it was still in the box and ran through the house with it clenched firmly in his mouth. It was his until something better was unpacked—the  Kragonfly. All of my cats, including my 19 year old Maulee (19 on Valentines Day) went ballistic over these toys. So far the Neko toys have successfully survived sliming, chewing, being buried, chased, pulled and rolled on.

Neko toys should not be left within reach of cats unless there is someone to supervise. These are wand/pole toys and have pieces that can be potentially dangerous.

The second toys that impressed me are the durable Hyendry toys. My Bengals and Savannah enjoy carrying the alpaca and sheep hide toys throughout the house, sometimes throwing them up in the air, sometimes rolling on them. I never know where the toys will end up. Yesterday, during a meeting, I reached for my glasses, but found an alpaca toy filled with cat nip living in my purse. The day before I found a furry toy lump stuffed in my shoe.

They are Bengal and Savannah proof. And, they even withstand being mauled by a cranky Norwegian Forest Cat. These toys come with or without catnip.

Hyendry recently started producing Flutterhyde cat teasers. Since my cats haven’t been exposed to them yet, I can’t comment on them. Based on the other Hyendry products, I am sure they are durable and have extreme cat-appeal.


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