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I have two ragdoll cat's and honestly their favorite toys arent actually toys; i have tried all kinds of things from the store, in fact i have tried everything they sell from cheap toy stuffies to battery operated balls that spin about and most they don't find all that intresting at all. The thing they enjoy the most is a fishing rod with a string connecting to a red feather with a bell on it but even this comes a very distant secound to all of the household objectS below.

Empty yellow kinder egg's, Ear plugs, Q-tips, Underground wire pull string, empty precription bottles (they prefer orange or dark red compared to blue or clear.) They always tend to prefer things that are on the larger end of the light band things close to 700nm particularly ( red, dark oranges or yellows) This is especially true when they play fetch with ear plugs, though it seems that its mostly because it easier for them to see them with the ear plugs. (neon colours like pink and green, even orange are more difficult for them to find.) They also really like to play fetch with rubber bands, hair elastics, bobbypins and litterally anthing wrapped in bubble wrap, though i do my best to keep them from getting ahold of these items as they may be dangerous for them. (it is difficult though as they are good at opening drawers and containers to get at hair elastics or q tip boxes.)

Would love any other suggestions for things for them to play with and advice if anything i listed might be dangerous for them.

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  • I had posted an answer with a link to a cat toy that SE editors/admins decided wasn't good enough so... :shrug: good luck.
    – nasch
    Sep 8, 2022 at 15:25

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Sounds like you've come up with a lot of things they find enriching! We have a cat who went through a phase of only wanting to play with hair elastics and bottle caps.

As far as dangerous, it seems like you're aware that string, wire and hair elastics/rubber bands can be quite dangerous for cats so I'd advise not allowing them to play with these items unsupervised and not leaving them out. When cats ingest string or anything long and thin (called 'linear foreign body' in vet speak) they usually can't pass it. Instead, the linear foreign body becomes lodged in their intestines and then the intestines start bunching around the LFB. A surgery is needed to safely remove the object.

So again, only play with these objects under strict supervision! And if you ever see a string dangling from a cats anus or out of their mouth DO NOT PULL IT. Instead cut the string that is visible and take your cat to the vet immediately.

My 'expertise' on this matter comes from paying $4,000 USD to save my cat's life after she ate an entire shoe string. (the vets were able to save her and her surgery was successful but man, I wish I had known earlier how dangerous string/yarn is for cats.)

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This is such a common problem with cat owners that it's become a bit of an in-joke: "I bought my cat a fifty dollar cat bed and it prefers the box it came in," and, "instead of the new toy, my cat is playing with the sales receipt."

I feel like there's a couple of reasons why this happens:

  1. Cat toys are designed to be safe, but this makes them less appealing to cats.
  2. Cat toys are also designed to be appealing to people. After all, people are the ones that buy them, not cats. But what appeals to cats is very different than what appeals to humans. Cats often like things like bottle caps, but humans usually think that is a lame toy, I'm going to go out and get my cat a good toy.

A good example of this is that cats often seem to like very small toys. But very small toys are potentially dangerous because they could be swallowed, and also humans don't like them because they're very easily lost.

My advice to you is to observe what your cat likes and then go with the flow. Look for cat toys that might have similar attributes to its favorite things to play with, or simply get more of the things it's playing with that are safe to play with. The Kinder eggs are probably fine, as long as they're clean of chocolate. Similarly, my cat really loved playing with plastic Easter eggs that opened up so you could put candy in them. You could probably get a pack of those for cheaper than buying more Kinder eggs.

Just be careful your cat doesn't accidentally swallow something.

As Lizbee already said in their answer, definitely keep rubber bands and strings away from your cat. Those are easily accidentally swallowed, and have a chance of killing the cat if swallowed. Bubble wrap can also be potentially bad because the cat might tear off pieces and swallow them. Basically, anything that has a potential to be accidentally swallowed is probably best taken away.

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