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Cat toys are a great way to keep your cats entertained and occupied. They consistently arouse the cat's curiosity and they spend considerable time chasing, twisting, mangling, playing with the toys. The toys that excite them most are those that make sounds, swing on strings or are easy to catch. However, cats have a limited attention span. It therefore makes sense to rotate the toys on a weekly or monthly basis. Otherwise they loose interest.

Toys need not be bought from the stores alone. You can 'invent' an end number of cat toys at home. There are a number of household objects that appeal to the cat's fancy; these include toilet paper rolls, plastic drinking straws, plastic milk bottle rings, aluminum foil balls, pipe cleaners, Popsicles, cardboard boxes and even walnuts!

However, you should carefully examine each item, and reject the ones that have sharp edges. You should also avoid small objects that can be swallowed, or objects that tear easily or those which give off color. These can cause unnecessary injuries to your cat.

Pet shops, of course, have a variety of toys, and these are relatively safer. There include line-based toys, which have an object dangling from a string or rod for your cat to chase or jump at; and wire-based toys that are based on the principle that 'cats love chasing birds'. These flying toys make for good play. Also, there are the popular 'bat and swat' toys, which come in an array of shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. You can choose from a simple ping-pong ball to a fluffy pom-pom. A major advantage with the bat and swat toys is that they can be used by your pet on its own; you don't have to be close to to entertain it.

Catnip toys are other useful entertainers and are liked by cats. However, these toys must never be given to kittens less than four weeks old since these can have a hallucinatory effect. Also, always ensure that the catnip you purchase is fresh because it could lead to serious health complications for your cat. Fresh organic catnip toys can be found at many arts and crafts shows and cat shows.

The most popular toys among cats are those shaped like rats, birds, insects or other small creatures; these add a hint of realism to the sport and stimulate even the laziest cats into action.