Dear Porky & Buddy,
I just adopted a kitten, Esmeralda, from the Humane Society. She’s six month old and very playful, so I went to the pet store to buy her some toys and was shocked at the prices of things.
What do you recommend I should buy and are there other alternatives, household things I can let her play with instead?
Well bless your heart for adopting!
Now the fun begins!
For toys you buy, look for things that are sturdy and that will satisfy Esmeralda’s natural urges, which are generally to act as though she is some sort of deadly tiger and/or to take a lot of naps.
Cat furniture that you build yourself or buy is fun and will last for years. It should have places to climb, places to perch and survey the household, and preferably a comfy place to nap.
Toys that have both an activity, such as a ball to chase, and a scratching surface are also perfect.
There is one called a Turboball that we like a lot. Remember that as Esmeralda grows and gets stronger, she will be able to quickly destroy most of the flimsy cheap plastic toys that you see everywhere and they will not hold much interest for her.
Stuff with catnip will hold her interest (probably, not every cat likes it). Simple little balls will hold her interest. Tiny mice in fluorescent colors will hold her interest. (We recommend the bright colors for your sake, so you don’t constantly wonder whether she is bringing you a real mouse!)
Crumpled up balls of foil will entertain her for just the cost of the foil. We have a friend who is utterly transfixed by the little plastic ring that comes off a milk jug when you open it. It’s almost embarrassing. She goes into a frenzy of delight whenever she finds one. The one household thing you should not give her is string. Cats love string, but they can swallow it accidentally and it can cause all kinds of problems.
And you know what will be her favorite toy of all time?
And you are free, so get playing!
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter assistance, information and referral, adoption assistance to pet owners, humane education programs, foster care and adoption for pets in urgent need, assistance with lost and found pets.
Our administrative offices and spay/neuter clinic are located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Check our web site at www.oswegohumane.org or call (315) 207-1070 for more information or to be placed on our mailing list for our newsletter.
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.