Last updated August 1st, 2020
Breathe new life into your cat’s old toys with just a touch of mystery, creativity and knowing what your cat wants.
As a cat owner, you’ve probably found your fair share of treasure troves of your cat’s forgotten old cat toys under the couch or fridge. Perhaps some toys have suffered the inevitable unfortunate fate of being sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. Or sometimes they just lie around, looking tired, sometimes tattered and mostly forgotten.
Until you trip over one and stub your toe against a chair and mutter to yourself through gritted teeth, “I should really get rid of these cat toys!”
What is Sheer Fun for Cats?
But before you throw out your cat’s old toys, there is a way to put a spring back into them. Sheer Fun For Cats presents a different way for your cat to enjoy interactive play.
It’s an interactive enrichment cat toy meant to make your cat’s playtime more interesting by covering their toys for them to seek out, stimulating their sense of eager anticipation and exploration. Essentially, engaging your cat in a game of hide and seek during their interactive play hunting.
“It’s a curtain with a crinkly paper border and two velcro fasteners sewn on both top corners. It comes with two velcro strips you can attach under furniture to hang the toy, and also includes a Fancy Felt toy made from 100% Merino wool.”
For pet sitter, Carolyn Keene, the spark for the idea was born while observing her cats playing with the curtains. She set out to create a cat toy that “makes old toys new and playtime more fun!” Our cats got to explore a Sheer Fun For Cats when she reached out to us for our kitties to try it.
Disclosure: We received a free Sheer Fun For Cats in exchange for our honest review, but this did not influence our opinions at all. Sheer Fun For Cats is not responsible for the content of this post and our opinions are our own based on testing by the Chirpy Cats testing team! This post contains affiliate links.
Cats have unique needs that stem from their wild predatory instincts. While they happily co-exist with us in domesticity there is one trait that we cannot ignore. He’s the most adorable hunter you will ever have the good fortune to grace your living room. Once we peel back those layers of furry cuteness you start to gain an understanding of his connection to his wild roots and how it relates to his strange hunting ritual in your living room.
Reasons why your cat will want a Sheer
Cats love to act out their hiding, stalking, and pouncing behavior mimicking the hunting rituals of cats in the wild. An indoor cat is exposed to an array of unmoving, ‘dead’ prey which loses any meaning or appeal for your cat. That is why it’s so important to arouse your cat’s inner tiger with toys that trigger the ‘seeking circuit.’
Sheer Fun For Cats triggers your cat’s natural instinct to hunt, stalk, pounce and play in a safe environmentCombats boredom, introducing a new way to play with toys Gets couch potato kitty moving and engaging his hunting skills which are important for both mental and physical well-being Gives your cat the impression of being invisible to prey, or the prey being invisible to your cat, thus engaging that seeking circuit. If your cat likes to help you make the bed by diving under the bedsheets and ‘tenting’ in wait until something moves, he will love this!
What is the seeking circuit
Cat behavior expert and author of The Cat Whisperer, Mieshelle Nagelschneider explains, “When it comes to cat toys, the excitement of the chase is important, but it’s the seeking out where the prey (or toy) is hiding that is most important. Your cat wants the prey to disappear so that he can experience the best feeling known as the seeking circuit, which fires in the reward area of the brain when the cat searches for prey they cannot see.” (article, Modern Cat Magazine Fall/Winter 2019)
You have probably noticed how your cat will sometimes make a game interesting and actively play hide and seek during an interactive play session. I find this incredibly endearing. Our old cat Earl Grey (bless his sweet soul) would do this by showing great interest in a toy and just when you think things are heating up, he runs away. To the uninitiated, this might look like he’s lost interest. But on the contrary, he’d gone to hide around the corner of the wall or chair to make himself invisible to the prey and then pounced when least expected. Cats are oh so clever, right!?
At first, my husband found this behavior confusing and frustrating. He grew up with dogs and loved to roughhouse and wrestle with them. Cats, on the other hand, are more tactical in their approach to a game/hunt. Because for your cat it’s all about the eager anticipation of “what’s going to happen next.” My husband soon learned that the cats want to dictate the game and be in charge of the stalk and pounce.
Looking at it this way, you may begin to appreciate why your cat sometimes bats his toys under the couch or fridge to ‘hide’ it. This intrigue is what makes their hunting rituals so utterly adorable.
In her book, Catwise, cat expert Pam Johnson-Bennett explains that when a cat hunts, the feel-good neurotransmitter, dopamine is released creating a feeling of eager anticipation for your cat. Even just the nearness of prey that cannot be seen, triggers this release.
How we used the Sheer
I grabbed a heap of toys that became a little lackluster and dropped a few toys underneath the sheer on the floor. Our cats certainly had a good time hiding under the sheer while another cat would come pouncing on top.
There are different ways you can use the sheer toy. You can hang it from a chair to mimic a curtain if your cat is into that! Your cat can sleep on it, burrow under and ‘tent’ in it.
One particular favorite suggestion I like was to drape it over a cat carrier when going to the vet for your cat to be able to see out but feel safe in her shroud of security.
Ollie says, “Oh, this is new! What’s in the box? Interesting!”
Mr. Jack says, “Go and find your own Sheer Fun For Cats to play with.”
The fabric will get scratched up a bit but it has withstood some vigorous beatings from Scout’s sharp little wolverine claws.
So, how many toys did Tigger bat under the fridge today? Have you found his stash of spring toys? How many times have you tripped on ‘dead’ prey in your living room? Please chirp us a line in the comments below.
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