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Last Updated on August 25, 2017

10 Cat Toys to Make Your Cat Love You So Much

10 Cat Toys to Make Your Cat Love You So Much

Our feline friends have a reputation for being aloof, but the cat people out there know that cats have a complex inner world. It’s a common misconception that cats don’t need love and attention.[1]

It’s true that cats sleep about 16 hours per day, but when they’re awake they need plenty of mental stimulation.[2] Bored cats find ways to entertain themselves with or without your help, and despite their small size, they can be quite destructive. The issue is aggravated if you have to be away from home for long periods of time, or you’re too busy to play with your feline friend.

At Lifehack, we know all about what it means to be busy people who love cats. We’ve handpicked 10 awesome cat toys and products to keep your feline entertained when it’s awake and pampered when it’s asleep.

1. Petcube Play: Interact with your cat even when you’re away

    Amazon customer rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (546 reviews)

    Best for: busy owners, playful cats

    If you’ve ever wondered what your cat does when you aren’t home, the Petcube Play provides you the opportunity to find out. It not only enables you to see and hear your cat, but you’ll also be able to play with it.

    The Petcube Play connects to your smart phone via an app. You can talk to your cat throughout the day, and if you see that your kitty is bored, you can control the built-in laser toy from your phone.

    Petcube Play: Pet Camera with 1080p Video, 2-Way Audio, Night Vision, and Laser Toy, $199.00

    2. WANTi Cat Toy: Interactive and automated remote-controlled cat toy

      Amazon customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (11 reviews)

      Best for: playful cats, felines who grow bored of their cat toys easily, busy owners

      Some cats seem to get into almost everything. They’re hopping on the counters, knocking over the trash can, or stomping on your keyboard while you’re trying to work. Cats who are energetic and easily bored need to have lots of play options in order to stay out of trouble.

      The WANTi has six different play modes, which gives you the freedom to vary your cat’s play routine every day. Each mode (ball tracking, spinning, batting, slithering, remote control, and wiggling) consists of a different attachment and style of motion.

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        These cat toys are perfect if you need to keep your cat occupied for a few minutes. The WANTi can be set to run for 10 minutes, which is a healthy amount of time for burning off excess play energy. You can set it and forget it, or you can use the cute paw-shaped remote control to shape the movement from the comfort of your chair.

        WANTi Cat Toy – Interactive and Automated fun with Ball, Wand, Feather and Remote control, $69

        3. Interactive Cat Tunnel Toy: A brain game and a hunter’s hideout

          Amazon customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (298 reviews)

          Best for: people in small living spaces, cats who love brain games, cats who love agility exercises

          Cats like the security of an enclosed space, they love sneaking up on prey, and they loathe being bored. The Easyology Pets Cat Tunnel satisfies all of these needs.

          Your cat may get a mental workout figuring out the best way to crawl through this tunnel, but you can up the ante by attaching several of these tunnels together to form a maze. The tunnel material is durable enough to withstand sharp claws, and it’s easy to store if you need to clear your space.

          Interactive Cat Tunnel Toy- Best for Playful Cats And Kittens – Fun Cat Hideaway with Tunnel Attachments- SOFT and 100% Pet Friendly – Extra Large Pet Tunnel, $15.97 (originally $29.99)

          4. Satisfy Prey-Drive: SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toys Catnip Mice

            Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,423 reviews)

            Best for: cats who like to hunt, catnip fans, environmentally conscious owners

            Your cat needs to hunt, and while it may think it’s doing you a favor by leaving a mouse corpse on your doorstep, you may not always appreciate the gesture. Skitter Critters by SmartyKat are the perfect size and shape for simulating the hunt. Cats love batting these around the house, carrying them in their mouths, and (if they’re generous) depositing them somewhere where you’ll see their gift.

            While not all cats love catnip, those that do will experience 10-15 minutes of rambunctiousness followed by the need for a nice long nap. Environmentally conscientious owners should know that these cat toys are filled with stuffing made of 100% recycled plastic.

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            SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toys Catnip Mice, $5.14

            5. Meowfia Premium Cat Bed Cave: A cat’s hideaway

              Amazon customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (230 reviews)

              Best for: cats of all sizes and ages, chronic cat-napping, sneak attacks, and environmentally-conscious consumers

              We know that our cats spend most of their time asleep. They’ll curl up in any old cardboard box, but this Cat Bed Cave by Meowfia seems much more comfortable. Whether your cat is an energetic kitten or a senior citizen, they could make use of this cat bed.

              I love the idea of a cat cave because it satisfies our felines’ instinct to find a secure place to rest. This bed works well for sleepy cats, but it’s also a great hiding spot during play. The Merino wool is an eco-friendly alternative to chemical-soaked synthetics. It is easy to clean and cozy.

              Meowfia Premium Cat Bed Cave (Large) – Eco Friendly 100% Merino Wool Beds for Cats and Kittens, $54.99 (originally $79.95)

              6. Keep a Strict Feeding Schedule with the Feed and Go Automatic Pet Feeder with Built In Webcam and Wi-Fi

                Amazon customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (235 reviews)

                Best for: busy pet owners, cats who need several meals throughout the day, cats with special dietary considerations

                When you work long days, it can be tough to keep your cat on a good feeding schedule. Free-choice feeding can lead cats to become obese because they’ll overeat, and it can make it tough to see if they have a good appetite.

                Feed and Go’s Automatic Pet Feeder allows you to dispense meals, medicines, and snacks from afar. The dish connects to Wi-Fi, and it allows you to monitor your pet from a built in camera using your smart phone. There are six compartments in the feeder, and you can set the food to disburse on a schedule.

                This feeder could also be helpful if your cat has an illness which requires you to feed it multiple times per day.

                Feed and Go Automatic Pet Feeder with Built In Webcam and Wi-Fi, 18 L x 16 W x 3 H-Inch, $187.49 (originally $199)

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                7. Armarkat Cat-Tree Furniture Condo: Plenty of places to perch and scratch

                  Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (3,730 reviews)

                  Best for: felines of any size and age, cats who love to sit up high, cats who love to scratch things, decor-conscious owners

                  Some cats love to climb, and when they don’t have an appropriate place to do this, they can get into trouble. At 52 inches high, the Armarkat Cat-Tree Furniture Condo gives cats a great place to perch, scratch and hide.

                  The soft faux fur on the the platforms and the sisal on the posts gives cats a place to relax and satisfy their urge to scratch. Many people are reluctant to spring for a kitty condo because they are worried about sturdiness. One customer addresses this kitty condo’s stability:

                  My 26 pound Maine Coon/Bengal mix LOVES this. I was nervous to buy at first, because of the sheer weight of my big boy. Not only does he love this tree, he never has any issues ever with his weight on it. I think he may actually like me more because of this cat tree.

                  In addition to providing a variety of scratching and sleeping options, we like this Cat-tree because it looks nice. Some cat furniture can clash with your decor, but this one looks sleek. It’ll serve it’s purpose without dominating the room.

                  Armarkat Cat tree Furniture Condo, Height -50-Inch to 60-Inch, $52.52

                  8. Channel Their Destructive Habits: Bergan Turbo-Scratcher Cat Toy

                    Amazon customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (5,741 reviews)

                    Best for: cats who love to scratch, cats who love to chase cat toys, owners who want a cost-effective way to manage an unwanted behavior

                    Scratching is a natural feline urge that tends to get them in trouble. Bergan’s Turbo Scratcher keeps cats entertained and offers them a place that they can claw to their heart’s content.

                    The 16″plastic base has a replaceable corrugated cardboard scratch pad at its center. The outer ring of the base is a channel where you can place a small ball. Cats love nudging their toys around in the ring or pouncing from the scratch pad.

                    This is such a simple and cost effective tool for keeping cats from tearing up your furniture. The replaceable centers, which are much cheaper than a new sofa, enable you to give your cat a satisfying scratching surface without having to invest in a whole new scratcher every time they wear out their old one.

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                    Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy, colors may vary, $9.34 (originally $10.99)

                    9. Cat Craft 3-Tier Cat Climbing Tree

                      Amazon customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars (412 reviews)

                      Best for: cats who love to climb, felines of all ages and sizes, owners with limited space, design conscious consumers

                      Avid climbers will enjoy Cat Craft’s 3-Tier Cat Climbing Tree. This tree will accommodate ceilings up to 9 feet high. The white piece at the top ensures that this cat furniture remains stable and safe to use.

                      This model is slim and sleek, which means it’s less likely to take over your space than some cat trees. The neutral colors and soft carpet make this an unobtrusive addition to a cat-lovers home. This is a safe alternative to climbing your curtains.

                      Cat Craft 124003 3-Tier Cat Climbing Tree, $39.02

                      10. Take Ball-Batting Up A Notch (Or 2): Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

                        Amazon customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,079 reviews)

                        Best for: playful cats of all ages and sizes, cats who are easily bored, owners who prefer to keep cat toys contained in one area

                        Stepping on cat toys in the middle of the night can be almost as thrilling as stepping on wayward LEGOs. Ouch! The Tower of Tracks by Petstages allows pet owners to contain the fun while still giving cats a chance to work their brains.

                        This tower comes with three different types of balls which stay secure in their tracks. Cats love batting and chasing the balls around the tower, and this model is big enough to support more than one kitty’s urge to play.

                        Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy, $13.99

                        Reference

                        More by this author

                        Brian Lee

                        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                        How to Control Your Thoughts and Become the Master of Your Mind

                        Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

                        Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality.

                        I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

                        You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                        Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

                        When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                        I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                        Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                        Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                        Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

                        1. The Inner Critic

                        This is your constant abuser. He is often a conglomeration of:

                        • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
                        • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
                        • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
                        • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                        He is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

                        Why else would he abuse you? And since “he” is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                        2. The Worrier

                        This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

                        He is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it.

                        Occasionally, he is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                        3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

                        He is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                        He can be set off by words or feelings. He can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                        He has no real motivation; he has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

                        4. The Sleep Depriver

                        This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                        His motivation can be:

                        • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                        • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                        • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
                        • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                        How can you control these squatters?

                        How to Master Your Mind

                        You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                        Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                        There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                        • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                        • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                        This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

                        The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

                        Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                        For the Inner Critic

                        When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                        You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                        For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                        You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

                        “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                        If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                        • He riles up the Worrier.
                        • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                        • He is often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                        • He is a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                        • He is the destroyer of self-esteem. He convinces you that you’re not worthy. He’s a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get him out!

                        Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                        Replace him with your new best friend who supports, encourages, and enhances your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                        For the Worrier

                        Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                        Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

                        You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                        • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                        • Muscles tense

                        Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                        If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                        Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                        “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                        Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                        If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

                        Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

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                        Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                        For example:

                        If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                        “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                        Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                        “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                        Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                        For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                        Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                        The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

                        • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
                        • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                        • Muscles tension

                        I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                        Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                        Breathe in through your nose:

                        • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                        • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                        • Focus on your belly rising.

                        Breathe out through your nose:

                        • Feel your lungs emptying.
                        • Focus on your belly falling.
                        • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                        Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

                        Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

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                        One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                        Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                        For the Sleep Depriver

                        (He’s made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                        I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                        Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                        1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                        2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                        When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

                        From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                        For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                        If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                        You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                        • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
                        • Shut down your thinking.
                        • Calm your feelings.
                        • Simply focus on the present moment. 

                        Becoming the Master of Your Mind

                        Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

                        You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                        Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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