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As a cat owner and avid cat lover, I can tell you one thing about them: they don’t care about what we want. I’ve gone out and spent a fortune on cat treats, toys, foods, beds, bowls, trays, collars and much, much more, only for my little shadow to feign ignorance and climb back into a year-old box from Amazon to play with a shoelace.

The point of my anecdote, I suppose, is that no one can tell you what toy is right for your cat. Only your cat knows, and they have literally no inclination to tell you; even if they could. Considering this, today we’ll be listing a cat’s top five toys and the preferable alternatives that you can offer them!

No. 5: The Tallest Shelf in Your House

Cats, for one reason or another, have an instinctual need to be the tallest animal in the room at any given time. It helps them assess potential dangers, prepare surprise attacks and remain out of harm’s way. The same, unfortunately, can’t be said for whatever happens to be inhabiting their chosen perch, especially if it sits at the very edge of said perch. A fantastic option for the high shelf is a cat commode or cat-flat. These structures give your cat a designated climbing zone that’ll help keep Mary safe and your cat’s claws sharp. Sure, they’re expensive, but they can provide oodles of fun for any cat looking to try-out for Total Wipeout.

No. 4: The Couch

You can’t always be around to watch your furry friend and sure enough when you’re not, they like to sink their claws onto the couch. If you’re unlucky like me and your couch is part leather, the part they like the claw at the most it seems, then this is especially not ideal. Nothing says I have a cat like your sofa having those little holes left from your cats claws, or worse, rips! We love our new little kittens but the couch was a sacrifice we had to make for them. A good alternative to the couch is a scratching post or sisal post. In hindsight we should have gotten one from the very start. These cat toys are infinitely better at gritting claws and will save you the earache of listening to a peeved family member. To help your cat use their new post, you can find sprays and oils that use natural scents to draw your cat’s attention to them. Once they realise the usefulness of their post, they won’t touch the couch again!

No. 3: The Curtains

Similar to the couch, as much as you love your cat you don’t really want all your furniture to have evidence of their existence. Or simply be destroyed by them. A few hairs here and there…or even a lot of hairs all over you can deal with. Your cat will love to swing out of the curtains, especially their tassels if present. Or if they’re anything like our little Lilo they’ll climb straight up them as if gravity was a myth. A good alternative to curtains are ropes, feathers and dedicated swinging toys that your cat can bat, claw at and eat. These require some effort on your part, but will provide your cat with endless hours of entertainment. Most of them are cheap, too.

No. 2: A Glass of Water, Perched Precariously at the Edge of a Table

Cats have no preference on what county your crystal comes from, they only care about one thing: its destruction. Leaving a glass, or any container really, at a precipice or edge is as good as an invitation for your cat to knock it off, watch it break and laugh as you sweep up the remnants. A far more durable alternative to this costly method of entertainment is an abacus-style board or a mouse on a rope that engages your cat’s prey-drive. Your cat, in their head at least, is a hunter, and like most hunters it needs the hunt; not to have its prey handed to them. A rattle-y ball is also a good choice and most cats will instinctively want to play with a noisy toy like that!

No. 1: The Box

Laugh all you want, a plain, cardboard box is a powerful tool in the hands of the right cat owner. Best of all, the less you fuss over the box, the more your cat will want to be in it. Seriously, a box is the key to a happy and satisfied cat. If you’re like me an jumped on the lockdown deliveries, when the parcel arrived it was a treat both for you and your cat! Win win. Though, you should replace it whenever it gets haggard-looking; the box, not the cat!

So, there you have it! With this information in your repertoire, couches, curtains and glasses will be saved from the ire of our favourite felines. I wish I could say that cats don’t mean to break all our prized possessions, but… I’d be telling lies. Still, we love them all-the-same and at the end of the day they’re worth it, aren’t they? (Don’t answer that if you’ve recently discovered claw-marks on the couch)

Have you any suggestions for purr-fect alternatives to popular cat toys? Let us know! For now, Cat-Fans, we say adieu!