Games for Pets: 5 reasons to take away your pet’s toys (at least some of them)

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Mickey is at Fox Valley Humane Association in Appleton, WI.

This article is the latest in our series on environmental enrichment for pets, offering easy ways to keep your pet’s mind and body active.

If living with, volunteering with and working with cats has taught me anything, it’s this: Cats hate change — except when it comes to toys.

In my house, we always have a few toys out, but the majority are hidden away. Here are just a few reasons why rotating your cat’s or dog’s toys can be a good thing:

  1. Your pet will think you’re the most generous mom ever — after all, you’ll always be providing “new” toys.
  2. The toys are less likely to end up forgotten under a couch or in a corner somewhere.
  3. The toys will last longer (a bonus for your wallet).
  4. Your house will be less cluttered and your pet’s bed will have more room for him in it.
  5. You can “marinate” the toys in a container with treats or catnip to make them extra appealing when you bring them back out.

Every week or so I switch out a few of the toys. Voila! My cats get a whole “new” batch to play with. Add a DIY cat playhouse and you’re golden. (Money-saving tip: Stock up on toys when your pet-supply store has a sale, and then dole them out every few weeks instead of all at once.)

Finally, don’t forget about your other pets. My three-toed box turtle, Turt, is always more active when I put new turtle-safe objects (such as new rocks, plastic cat toys and non-toxic plants) in her enclosure.

If you have a rabbit, iguana, or other pet, making occasional small changes or additions to his or her environment will do a world of good for your pet’s physical and mental health.

Do you rotate your pets’ toys? Tell us below!


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