Kittens and adult cats alike love to play! Finding the right toys to keep them active and engaged is key to having a healthy cat. These are the types of cat toys that might just bring your cat joy!
Anyone with a cat has probably played with a wand toy! The classic example is a long ribbon attached to a stick for you to dangle and twirl while your cat goes wild trying to catch it. There are lots of variations on this style of toy with feathers, toy mice, and more dangling from the end of the string. This is a great interactive cat toy for indoor cats to get moving as they chase, pounce, and most importantly, spend time with you.
Laser Cat Toys
Another great option to get your cat up and running is a laser cat toy. If you’ve ever gotten sucked into the rabbit hole of online cat videos (and duh, who hasn’t), you’ve definitely seen cats skittering across the floor swiping at that little red dot! If your feline friend is a big fan of a cat laser pointer, rechargeable models are a great option so you don’t have to swap out those tiny batteries after yet another long play session.
NOTE: Make sure to get a laser toy specifically made for pets. Many laser pointers made for other applications are more powerful and could be unintentionally damaging if shone directly into your pet’s eyes. Blue laser pointers and green laser pointers in particular are much stronger than classic red laser beams.
Puzzle toys take enrichment to the next level with challenges that take some brain power to solve! For food-motivated cats, treat dispenser toys, puzzle boxes, and snuffle mats will put them to work trying to crack the code—and getting immediately rewarded with their favorite treats. If your cat cares more about toys, you can stash small ones in many puzzle toys. Some play mats even come with larger pockets where you can hide their favorite big toys like a cat’s version of a nesting doll!
If your couch potato cat needs a little extra motivation to get out of their favorite napping spot and start playing, a dose of catnip might be just what the veterinarian ordered. The most common catnip-infused toys are soft, plush cat toys that are easy to stuff with a bit o’ nip. These are the perfect chew toys for cats who get a liiiiiiittle rough with their chomps while you’re roughhousing with them.
This type of toy caters to a very specific cat play behavior: kicking! When cats wrestle with a playmate and end up pinned on their back, they often kick out with their back feet. Some cats love to play the same way with large plush toys or specialized kicker toys, lying on their back, holding the toy with their front paws, and kicking at it with their back paws like a rabbit. If your cat has a strong desire to roughhouse, a kicker toy might fill that niche.
Small Cat Toys
There’s a whole range of small cat toys out there perfect for games of fetch and just batting around the floor (and invariably under the couch). This includes classics like small toy mice and crinkle ball toys as well as a wide variety of newer styles to suit every cat. Plastic springs are a favorite toy for cats who like to chew on wires or steal all your hair ties! Pay attention to what household objects your cat wants to play with, and use that info to guide which toys you pick up on your next trip to the pet store.
Automated Cat Toys
If you can’t play with your cat as much as they’d like, a little bit of robotics can create the perfect cat toys for bored cats. There are automated versions of many classic toys, like motorized ribbon toys, automated laser pointers, and toys that automatically dispense treats. The unpredictable movements might be alarming to some cats, but tech-loving cats will chase robotic mice all afternoon.
When you think of cat toys, you might not think of cat furniture in that category, but it should be! Having places to climb, run, hide, and stalk their toy prey enhances the feline play experience. Cat tunnels, large boxes, and classic cat trees can all provide the perfect hidey holes for them to ambush an unsuspecting crinkle ball. Even better, many cat trees have toy attachments for added entertainment and even scratching posts to remove the last little bit of cat litter from their paws—hallelujah.
It might take a little trial and error to find the toys your cat loves—but pet parents of finicky cats are probably used to that. It will all pay off when you see your cat having the time of their life playing with their new favorite toy (just try not to be disappointed when they stop as soon as they see you watching).