Cats are very entertaining, but what is on cats mind, when they start pouncing, bouncing, climbing, cramming, stalking, clawing? These amazing cat behaviors are both amusing and baffling, leaving many of us asking why do they do that?
Throughout history, cats are simultaneously predators of smaller animals and prey for larger predators. The survival of their species till this day depended on these instinctual behaviors that are still observed in domestic and wild cats today.
While your cat's behavior at home may seem very puzzling, in the wild their behavior is what naturally led to their successful survival over millions of years. Due to their preying habits, cats have evolved unique muscular structures and fine balancing abilities that allow them to climb up trees and survey their territory to spot prey.
At home, your cat doesn't need those skills to hunt down food anymore, but instinctually, sitting for long hours on a high furniture or bookcase is exactly what cats were evolved to do. As animals in the wild, cats are opportunistic and hunt for whatever they can get. Usually they would prey on smaller animals using tactics such as stalking, jumping, pouncing and clawing to win over. When cats are still kittens, they often practice these hunting behaviors with whatever is available to them in the woods, such as stones, leaves, sticks and loose feathers, etc.
And this is why your cats at home has the natural habit to chase and pounce on little cat toys, especially the cat teaser toys with feathers and fur which resembles closely to their natural prey. Especially for kittens it is important to engage in stimulating toy play to help them grow physically and practice to become confident adults.
Also, cats prefer to play with smaller fearful toys - cat toys that try to escape from them rather than larger confrontational toys because cats will get more interest and confidence in catching weaker prey. But have you every wondered why your cat get bored with your cat toys? If the toy is too easy to catch, cats will get bored very easily and eventually lose interest completely. This happens a lot with static toys like small teddy bears or furry toys, where there is little interaction and challenge in play.
Cats love the element of surprise because they know that their natural prey can be fast, unpredictable and hard to catch. Therefore the idea is to find the right balance between reward and success rate for triggering the optimal level of interest, excitement and challenge. In my own experiments with our cat Apple, the ideal success rate for catching her cat toy teaser should be between 1-in-4 times up to 1-in-6 times to stimulate her senses the most. This tends to give me and Apple the most fun out of the play/bonding time. Since Apple is a 2 year old cat, she still needs lots of exercise and activity to keep her physically fit and healthy.
After experimenting with many different cat teaser toys such as feather teaser rods, balls, furry stuffed animals over the last 2 years, I found that cats don't like to play with the same cat toy every single day, but switching between a variation of toys is essential to keep the engagement factor high. Still we were able to find 2 highly recommended winners to this cat toy competition:
#1 The ultimate feather cat teaser robot
This new invention randomly sticks its feather teaser out from one of its 6 directional holes. It is designed to mimic the movement of small prey getting in and out of their burrow while being hunted by a cat. It operates so fast that cats would have a split second to react and catch the teaser before it retracts back into the hole. Every time is a new surprise to the cat as the robot never reveals which hole it uses next. This cat teaser toy robot is simply the best teaser toy out there to sharpen your cat's senses and train their pounce & catch abilities.
Very simple to use it activates with a light touch of a button that activates it for 10 minutes of play. Also features an intelligent day/night mode that activates randomly during daytime and shuts down automatically at night for the best balance between element of surprise and good sleep at night.
#2 The 7-in-1 sisal fiber teaser toy set
Made of 100% natural materials like feather, fiber & wood, this teaser toy set offers a environmental-friendly and safe-to-play materials as the best alternative to cheap plastic toys. It includes a full range of 7 essential cat toys that closely assembles toy objects from a cat's natural environment with the scent of real nature. The 7 cat toys include: 2 mice, 2x types of mice on teaser rod, flat medallion, candy roll and round ball. And due to the durable sisal fiber material, these cat toys will last forever.
1 cat toy for every day, it is designed to be switched every day in the week, so your cat will never lose interest.
Have you noticed any of these strange behaviors in your cat? And how does your cat behave differently? Feel free to comment below.