Ever give ur favorite cat a nice toy as a present and discover that they r more interested in the packaging? Maybe it had just enough crinkle or texture to get them going, but before u know it the toy has been dismissed in favor of shredded paper or an empty box. What is going on here? R hoomans just too dense to make toys cats really like or is something else afoot?
I submit that your cat is trying to tell u something about sustainability, waste and their individual preferences. U can buy them hundreds of toys and maybe they gel with a few, but crumpled paper and boxes almost always pleases – for free. So maybe expensive fancy toys meant to entertain hoomans are really for the dogs; but cats do like toys right? Absolutely!
What us cats really want is control. Control of our environment and entertainment. To use, reuse, re-purpose and destroy (or consume) is the way of nature – thus it is the way of cats. Toys with multiple practical or exciting uses that mimic something they’d find in nature generally are preferred (that’s why toys with catnip are winners), but the more hooman pleasing or impractical the toy, the less your cat will probably approve.
Of course each cat will have its own tastes, just like a hooman. One cat might like things with feathers that mimic birds or flying things, while another might prefer things that mimic snakes. Its the Hooman’s job to figure out the tastes of their cats, usually by trial and error. If your cat rejects a toy, try it with another cat. Or when in doubt – add catnip, or attach some crinkly paper. Try to think like your cat. Are they hiders who like tight safe spots – get them a nice hidey hole to replace the empty boxes. Are they excited by things that move fast? Get them toys that move or roll. Do they like interactive play? Get some hooman powered toys like wands with toys on a string. Or if its crinkly things that start their engine, then get toys that make that same noise and can be scrunched by wee paws n teeth.
Bottom line, getting the best toys for your cats requires you to know what they like individually and to always remember they are fierce (almost) wild creatures, not children in fuzzy bundles. Does it look like a mouse in a cartoon, or a real mouse? Cuz cats don’t watch cartoons.