Well-made refillable toys are some of our favorites, because just a TINY pinch of Cloud Nine Silvervine gets Elvis VERY toasted and he loves that. A lot of experts recommend one or two 10-15min. play sessions daily, especially before (your) bedtime if he's very energetic at that time. I don't let Elvis catch the "prey" every time! When he catches da Bird, he rips the feathers out. That's not great for the toy or for him. I have extra lures, but I want them to last awhile, so I make him work for it, and only let him catch it a few times. I intervene when he starts getting to serious about destroying the lure. We still have our original Cat Dancer of many years and many cats. I "steep" his catnip toys in bags of loose catnip, too, to keep them fragrant and interesting. I don't think it's necessary to replace these if they're well made and durable, and it isn't necessary to spend $$$, either. A few favorites are preferred here, and although we have boxes and baskets full of toys I've bought over the years, the favorites are the tried and true. I do rotate toys according to the season, as we have different colors for the seasons (see hauspanther.com) but it's just an aesthetic thing, not a cat-specific thing. Twinkle balls, curliques, and "jacks" are other non-catnip, non-fishing-pole toys cats have loved over the years. But at 15, Elvis is not as interested in play as he was; he's happy with a pinch of silvervine on some of his toys, and dried catnip leaves on his scratchers, along with catnip spray.Thanks for all the great suggestions! Willy is starting to get bored of toys more quickly.
The one exception is his original mouse "buddy" that never left his side for 8 years.
Willy's favorite toy mouse has seen better days...
We've discussed Cat Dancers before, which are some of his current favorites, but he destroys them very, very fast. It's hard to let him win and chomp down on the cardboard ends, while also not allowing him to completely destroy the toy in one play session. They are really cheap so cost is no problem, but I'm trying to figure out the best method of conducting play sessions (like which toys to engage him with, and for how long) as he ages to continue to give him the most exercise, without throwing my money away.
I've actually NEVER heard of silvervine before! I was just looking it up. I might try that, because Willy has never cared at all about catnip (I tried many toys, including refillable ones, with fresh catnip and he never cared about them).Well-made refillable toys are some of our favorites, because just a TINY pinch of Cloud Nine Silvervine gets Elvis VERY toasted and he loves that
I've read that most cats will be more responsive to play when you let them win every time. At least, eventually, maybe at the end of a play session. That's what I usually do... I make him chase the toy until I can tell he's either getting tired, or losing interest, and then let him win.I don't let Elvis catch the "prey" every time!
That's interesting, because Willy has destroyed so many of them, I order them all the time. As I described above, when I let him win, he really chomps down and shreds the cardboard pieces at the end of the Cat Dancers. He has always been a paper/cardboard shredder, though. So his first instinct is to rip the cardboard off the end.We still have our original Cat Dancer of many years and many cats.