1.Toys are very important for your cat, especially interactive toys - the kind you and your cat play with together.  Some Somalis will actually fetch their favorite toy - a furry mouse or sparkle ball - and bring it back to you to throw again.  Remember, though, that some things that are attractive to cats are very dangerous for them.  Any type of string or yarn or ribbon that they can swallow is very dangerous.  They can't cough up a piece of string that they have swallowed.  It will go down into the digestive tract and can get twisted and tie the intestines up in knots.  This can be fatal for a cat.  Some sharper strings like fishing line and dental floss can also cause damage on the way down.  Rubber bands are very attractive, and can also cause problems if swallowed.  Toys with mylar - shiny, flat ribbon that makes some feather toys look more attractive to the cat - can cause problems if swallowed.  I keep these toys on strings and sticks put away, and pull them out when my cat and I want to play together.

2.Toys you can leave with your cat are sparkle balls, ping-pong balls (great fun in the bathtub), furry mice, catnip toys, wadded-up pieces of paper, milk jug rings (unless they chew them up), "bumbly bees" (pipecleaner toys) and similar items.  Nothing so tiny they can easily swallow it.  Any swallowed item can get lodged in the intestines and block them so nothing can get through.  Pennies are especially dangerous, as the copper can leak into the cat's system and cause poisoning.

3.Another marvelous toy is the "laser mouse", a little laser pointer.  You point the red dot on the floor, furniture, and walls, and let the cats chase after it.  It's really funny to watch, and the cats go nuts!  Just be careful not to shine the laser directly into the cat's eyes.

4.Not really in the category of toys, but important all the same, is cat "furniture".  This category includes scratching posts and cat trees.  Cats love to be up high, and having a special thing for them, covered in carpet, that they can claw all they want and then sleep on besides - well, cats think that is pretty cool. If they also have a hiding space, where not everyone can see them, that's even better - cats like to hide in small spaces.  Not everyone can afford big fancy trees, but some sort of inexpensive scratching post is essential to keep the cat's need for scratching satisfied - you don't want him using your couch to scratch simply because there is nothing else available!!!!  Sometimes at cat shows there will be vendors displaying the trees, posts and perches they have available.  Some of them are very expensive, but some are not.  So if you want something large, I recommend not going through the local pet supply store - you will pay a lot more.  If you find the guy who makes them at the cat show, you can probably get something better for the same price as the pet supply store.

5.Sometimes cat beds ARE toys.  Most of my Somalis like to sleep in "beds", little round puffs, usually stuffed with foam, forming a cup for the cat to curl up in.  These beds can just get thrown in the wash when they get dirty.  A basket with a towel inside for padding works well, too.

6.Cats also love to climb and hide in boxes and paper bags.  If the bags have handles, be sure to remove them.  The cat can get it caught around its neck and going running through the house, knocking over everything in a panic because this thing is chasing them!  Also, never let cats play with or chew on plastic bags.  Not only are the handles on these dangerous like paper bags, a cat can suffocate inside a plastic bag, or chew on it (some of my cats love to chew on plastic) and swallow pieces, leading to expensive surgery to remove them.
Toys and Stuff