Toy therapy for a bully cat

Bully cat from a hoarding situation harassed other cats and was mean to them, but toy therapy helped calm this feline's attitude and make her happier.
By David Dickson

Persephone the cat doesn’t like to think of herself as high maintenance. No, she prefers "fascinating." And most definitely never, ever boring. Want a cat who will guarantee your life never has a dull moment? Persephone is your girl. Just be sure you have a generous toy budget!

Attitude cat from a hoarding situation

She came from Best Friends’ Great Kitty Rescue in Pahrump, Nevada. Cats from this rescue had lived in horrible conditions, and came to the sanctuary with a whole list of physical and emotional hang-ups. It’s no surprise that a lot of these cats weren’t always ready to snuggle up and purr right away.

But Persephone was not your typical withdrawn cat. No, instead she had a serious case of "torti-tude." For the longest time, she’d up and whack cats in her path just so she could chase them afterward. She wasn’t trying to show dominance or anything. Heck, all she wanted was a nice game of tag. (You know, Persephone, there might be more effective ways to make friends.)

Toys to calm a bully cat

After watching this for a little while, the caregivers decided to start giving her a few more things to use up some of that restless energy. Really cool cat toys, mostly. Oodles and oodles of them. All cats at Best Friends have a wide variety of toys to play with, but Persephone is now in a league all her own. She demanded an extensive collection of feather-duster-type toys, other squeaky and boingy delights, but the icing on the cake is the automated laser pointer that turns on and off randomly. She loves that thing! Every time it fires up, she is a cat reborn.

And guess what? After accumulating such an abundance of entertainment all around her, Persephone has finally stopped acting like a bully. She’s content and mild-mannered, even. Go figure. So, um, if you have your own amusement park, how about a cat to keep you company?

Read more about helping cats with behavior issues in the Best Friends' resource section.

Photo by Gary Kalpakoff

Caring for Pets