Many cat owners already understand the alluring effect of valerian and catnip on house cats, but when we think of tigers and lions, we often think of vicious hunters that are not that interested in playing with toys. However, the relatives of our domestic cats are just like our smaller feline companions, very playful and intelligent — the only difference being that a playful swipe of their paws could cause more than a mere scratch to us humans.
But like house cats, they need to be entertained! For this reason, German cat toy manufacturer 4cats Heimtierbedarf GmbH has worked with Hamerton Zoo Park — an animal park set in 25 acres of beautiful Cambridgeshire countryside and specializing in rare, endangered and unusual animals, some of which can only be found there in the U.K. — on an enrichment campaign to provide the resident wild cats and big cats with fun supersized versions of many of their popular cat toys. These supersized versions are made of strong sisal material and have been colored with vegetable juice such as beetroot to ensure that they are not toxic to the big cats. The toys are filled with a mix of hay and cat attract such as valerian in order to be of interest to large felines.
4cats is a family-run business that specializes in high-quality valerian and catnip toys. For the catnip toys, it uses a special formula that is its own creation and is called 4catsnip. Through long testing and trialing, the company found that this particular mixture works especially well, even for cats that don’t usually react to catnip at all. And while the company’s special recipe remains secret despite all our hopes of a disclosure, 4cats reassures and affirms the catnip is 100 percent organic and of high quality.
Additionally, all of its cat toys are 100 percent designed, made and packed in Germany in its premises in Stolberg by Aachen. The company only uses high-quality ingredients and materials, and all toys undergo the highest-quality assurance to ensure that we are satisfied and our cats will have long-lasting fun and entertainment with them.
4cats also prides itself on supporting small and large charities through product donations as well as getting involved in big cat conservation through its enrichment work with zoos. That’s why the toys provided by 4cats are free of charge as part of their efforts to support conservation projects of endangered species of wild cats. This also provides zoos in both Germany and the U.K. not just with a great toy for their big cats to play with, but it also attracts visitors. In fact, many visitors to Hamerton Zoo told zoo officials how they simply could not believe how much fun these big cats had with their toys and how they enjoyed seeing the big cat antics.
What many people don’t realize is that the use of cat attract goes back hundreds of years, as it’s been used to lure tigers and lions long before the pet industry started using it for the toys of domestic cats. Today valerian is often preferred over catnip in cat toys, as it’s accepted by more cats than catnip and also provides a calming effect after the initial craziness.
Watch this video of large felines playing with 4cats' supersized toys at Hamerton Zoo Park: