Does your cat have a favorite toy? What’s her favored way of playing with it? I find that even cats raised together can have very different ways of playing and expressing their joy and their silly-self.
Lily, as many of you know, loves small stuffed toys. She has quite a collection of stuffed animals, including a baby possum, owl, lamb, eagle, kitty, moose, bunny, bears, and her newest, a baby otter. But she doesn’t play with them. She captures them from her toy basket and brings them to me one at a time, until I’m surrounded by an army of little critters. With each delivery, I get a “Prrrrt!” I’m not sure if that means, “I love you, Mommy,” “Here, take care of my kids,” or “I’ve told you a million times I don’t want these things in my toy basket!”
Sophie loves toy mice with tails. She tosses them into the air and pounces on them. She’s at her most delighted when she’s playing with a tiny toy mouse.
Max used to meet me at the door when I returned from the grocery store, eager to see what I brought him. Boy did I have him spoiled. Usually, I’d unpack a new mouse for him—I had to keep buying new ones because as soon as I’d hand him one, he’d chew the ears and tail off. Then he’d rip the little pompom nose off the mouse and play with the pompom for hours. I think he purposely pushed it under the refrigerator about a dozen times a day. He’d let me know where he’d hidden it by his kitty dance and I’d get a flashlight and dig it out with a yardstick. All the while, Max would lie next to me on the floor, cheek-to-cheek, eagerly waiting for the little red pompom to appear.
Smokey, my model for Rags, likes his hanging toy better than any of the toys in his basket. He’ll often pull his basket from the shelf and dump it. Sniff around for a moment, then walk away and spend several minutes batting at a toy that hangs from a doorjamb. That toy has to be replaced fairly often because his brand of playing means shredding it so it’s unrecognizable.
And then there are non-toys that cats seem to see as toys—like shoe laces. Do you get help when trying to tie your shoes? And the cords on blinds. Now, you know those can pose a serious danger to a kitten, right? Always tie cords up out of the way of a kitten because they can become entangled in the cords and hang themselves. We learned the hard way that some cats like to chew the cords off. Sophie ruined a few pair of blinds in our house when she was small. Thankfully she outgrew that habit.
What are some of your cat’s favorite toys? Have they ever claimed something of yours? In our house, Lily has taken a few things out of the grandchildren’s toy box for herself. And she took some of my own small stuffed bears. I think that’s what started her large stuffed animal collection, which now numbers around twenty.