The Chase Is On! A look at Petstages’ exciting new range of track toys.
By Sarah Brown, PhD.
Many cats spend a long time alone at home and can become very bored and frustrated without adequate stimulation – this can result in cats becoming sedentary and obese, or may lead to destructive behavior, over-grooming or other stress-related behaviors.
Toys are a great way of providing entertainment and exercise for your cat when you are out and it is important to find products that will stimulate her instinct to investigate and chase without your input. A toy that doesn’t look or smell interesting, make interesting sounds or move when touched is probably not going to achieve much without an owner present to throw it around! Movement is particularly effective at retaining a cat’s attention as it represents what a prey animal might do.
Why a track toy?
Track toys are especially useful for cats alone at home as they create interest through movement whilst avoiding the age-old problem of the cat chasing the toy and losing it under the fridge or couch, never to be seen again! They also provide an opportunity for cats in multi-cat homes to share toys – often the sight of one cat playing can be an incentive for another to come up and investigate. With a track toy two cats may embark on an exciting game of batting the ball back and forth between them around the track, like a sort of cat version of tetherball!
Following the huge success of the original award-winning Cheese Chase toy Petstages has produced a range of different track toys designed to stimulate and encourage cats to play when at home without their owner. They are all based around the same concept of a ball in a track, but each has a variation that gives the toy an added element of interest.
The Cheese Chase has, in addition to the ball in a track, an enticing ball hidden inside the cheese top – the cat can dip its paw through the holes to push the ball around and try and hook it out. In addition there is a catnip-filled mouse on top, providing a scent to lure the cat to come and play.
The Catnip Chaser offers, instead of a catnip filled mouse on top, the opportunity to add catnip yourself to the compartment on top of the track, and to vary the strength of the scent by opening and closing vents.
The Tower of Tracks takes track play to a whole new level – literally – as there are three separate layers of track each with its own ball. This is great for multi-cat situations where everyone wants a ball to bat at the same time!
Finally the Nature Track from Petstages’ new invironment™ range is designed to represent some of what a cat might experience outdoors. It has a central patch of faux grass, inviting to the paws, and its clear top means the cat can see the ball, which spins to enhance the effect of movement, the mirrored surface reflecting the light in an eye-catching way. So much so, some cats, like Bootsy below, may feel the need to examine it from a whole new angle!