By Kim Fernandez, For The Baltimore Sun
9:21 AM EDT, May 11, 2013
We are getting ready to adopt a cat but have never had one before. Besides a litter box and food and water bowls, what should we buy ahead of time to be ready for our new family member?
Now that you have the basics covered, it's time to think about playtime. Cats need exercise, and play is a great way to provide that stimulation. Playtime is also a great way to bond with your new pet.
Cats are natural hunters and they enjoy the satisfaction of pouncing on "prey." Wand toys are great fun, and cats also enjoy pouncing on little stuffed mice. Pet stores have a great selection of cat toys, but your new pet will probably also be perfectly happy to play with ordinary household items. Put a large paper bag on the floor, wait for the cat to go in, wave a wand toy near the bag and see what happens!
Cardboard toilet paper rolls are just the right size for cats to bat around endlessly. Round plastic shower curtain rings roll nicely and are fun to chase around. Many cats enjoy a good game of fetch: Crumple up some aluminum foil into a small ball, give it a toss, and your cat will chase it, bat it around, and often bring it back for you to throw it again. Some cats are very interested in the bathtub and may enjoy batting around ping-pong balls in the tub.
No matter what you choose, make sure the toys are safe for the cat. Wand toys should be put away when you are not there to supervise, because cats are attracted to strings and ribbons and may ingest them. Toys with any small parts that could easily break off and be eaten should be avoided.
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