If you're someone who is worried about your cat being skeptical of interactive cat toys, you've come to the right place. Cats are extremely curious and cautious animals, so we must understand that before making any judgments about new items we show our furry friends. Let's take a look!
We design our toys with cats in mind. However, sometimes some are more stubborn than others. Here's what you can do to help your skeptical cat:
- Allow your cat to inspect the toy alone
- Give your cat time
- Give your cat space
- Clean up the surrounding environment
- Encourage good behavior
- Timing of play
1. Allow Your Cat To Inspect The Toy Alone
We get it - you got a super cool new toy that you want them to play with instantly! We have seen some cats go crazy for certain toys right away, while others don't. Place the toy on the ground and walk away for 5-10 minutes. You can keep an eye on them from a distance of course, but let them feel like there are no other distractions. We humans are often distracting to our cats.
2. Give Your Cat Time
"Why isn't Pebbles playing with Kittio's Hidey Mouse yet?!" - Pebbles needs more time. After the first inspecting session from the previous tip, put the toy away. The tricky cat got their first impression but has not played yet. That is okay because you should take it back out in a few hours or the following day to see what the next reaction is. The most stubborn cats we've seen can take up to 3-5 short sessions to start going to town on their toys.
3. Give Your Cat Space
"I'm basically sitting on my cat and she keeps running away from the toy?" - Let Pebbles breathe so she can catch her new prey! I've seen many cat owners try to sit and watch their cat play from 2 inches away. Let your cat breathe and explore the toy, don't try to force play right out of the box if your cat is known for being spooked.
4. Clean Up The Surrounding Environment
The roaring washing machine is on, the baby is crying in the other room, and there are boxes all over the floor - Clean up the space people! Would you want to start playing with toys with so many external distractions? We already know our furry friends notice every little movement and noise. Let's help them out so they can inspect the new interactive toys without getting scared by what's around them.
5. Encourage Good Behavior
Whether your cat is playing with the toy first try, or just inspected the toy and walked away, reward them with a treat! Positive reinforcement is key here. You should be doing this after you have play sessions with your cats anyways. This is just a good little tip to give the most stubborn cats out there to know that the new object in their marked territory is a toy and not a threat.
6. Timing Of Play
"I ran upstairs and pulled Pebbles out from under the bed, and she did not want anything to do with the new toy!?" - Would you want to be forced to play when you suddenly get woken up from your blissful dream? I'm guessing the answer is no. Timing is so important. Some younger kittens love to play all day. Some older cats need to be in the right mood. Have you ever seen how crazy your cat gets at night? Take the toy out then and watch your stubborn cat suddenly start to be more interested. Now that they got a play session in at night and finally opened up to the toy, they will remember how much fun they had. Pebbles won't be able to wait for you to take that toy back out
As you can see, it's really just a gradual process if your cat is super skeptical. Again, not all cats will need these tips since our toys are designed with the cat in mind. However, we realize that all cats are different and have their own personalities.