Overall, playing with toys is essential for a cat's physical and mental well-being. It promotes a healthy lifestyle, satisfies their natural instincts, and contributes to a happier and more fulfilled feline companion.
Playing with toys is important for cats for several reasons:
Physical exercise: Playing with toys provides cats with physical activity, which helps them burn calories, maintain a healthy weight, and improve overall fitness. Regular play sessions can help prevent obesity-related health issues in cats.
Mental stimulation: Toys engage a cat's mind and help stimulate its natural hunting instincts. Interactive toys, puzzle toys, and toys that require problem-solving provide mental stimulation, keeping cats mentally sharp and preventing boredom.
Stress relief: Playtime can be a great stress reliever for cats. It allows them to release excess energy and frustration, promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. Engaging in play helps cats to unwind and can contribute to a more balanced and calm demeanor.
Bonding and social interaction: Playing with toys can strengthen the bond between cats and their human companions. Interactive play sessions create opportunities for social interaction, trust-building, and positive reinforcement, enhancing the human-cat relationship.
Preventing destructive behavior: Providing cats with appropriate toys can help redirect their natural predatory instincts away from destructive behaviors like scratching furniture or chewing on household items. Toys offer a constructive outlet for their energy and can help prevent boredom-induced mischief.
Dental health: Certain types of toys, such as dental chews or toys designed for dental hygiene, can help promote oral health in cats. Chewing on these toys can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of dental problems.
The Seven Cat Toy Categories
We've broken down cat toys into Seven Categories, something for everyone. Each category will have our top “five-star” favorites to keep you and your cat, happy, stimulated, and best friends.
1. Interactive Toys
These toys require the cat's participation and engagement. They often involve puzzle-solving or some form of interaction with the toy. Examples include treat-dispensing toys, puzzle feeders, and toys with hidden compartments. Here are our recommendations.
Rechargeable Flapping Bird Sparrow, Lifelike Chirp Tweet, Touch Activated Interactive Cat Exercise Toys, with Beating Wings, can add catnip, rery good for exercize measures 4.0 Inches
Toys Ball with Super Motion and Furs Set this down on a carpet and watch your kitty have fun chasing it's multiple speeds, bird noises and auto 5 minute shutoff.
Flapping Bird, Lifelike Sandpiper Rechargeable Touch Activated Cat Toy. Your cat watches those birds all day out the window. Why run away to get some play, they can hunt and attack a (fake) bird in the comfort of your living room. Popular 5-star, 6,000 purchased in the last month. Can attach to the cat fishing pole above to simulate a flying bird.
2. Feather and Wand Toys
These toys typically have feathers, strings, or attachments that mimic the movement of prey. They are designed to simulate hunting behavior and engage the cat's natural instincts. Feather teasers and wand toys are popular examples in this category. Here are our recommendations.
Retractable Cat Wand/fishing poll Toy with Cat Feather Toys Refills. Super inexpensive and allows you to directly play with your cat like the trainers do in the Circus with large Tigers. Every morning my cat sits downstairs next to this fishing pole and leads me to it. We've had them for 2 years and still going strong.
3-in-1 Automatic Ball, Feather and Fluttering Butterfly, Random Moving Ambush Feather, Track Balls, Dual Power Supplies, USB Powered, Indoor Exercise Cat Kicker. This toy has it all! It's a little more expensive but has over 1,500 5-star reviews and over 2000 have been sold on Amazon in the last month. It simulates the movement of prey via feathery butterflies, balls, and feather wand pop-outs.
SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy, Encourages your cat to give chase, swat, and pounce, engaging them in physical activity that transforms playtime into exercise. With a light and moving feather under a light cloth, they love to chase their prey as it tries to hide and wiggles away in random movements. It does need batteries and once in a while I have to flip it back upright but our little Lulu loves it!
3. Balls and Chasing Toys
These toys are designed to encourage cats to chase and pounce. They often include small balls, rolling toys, or toys with bells inside. Cats can bat them around, chase them, and swat them with their paws. Here are our recommendations.
40 Pack Cat Spring Toys, These Interactive Cat springs allow for Indoor Cats to self play. They practice hunting and swatting
Chasing Ball with Toy Feather, Funny Swing Ball with Feather. The ball moves in various patterns, for unser $8 this is a must have for the kitty toy box
Kitten Cat Ball Toys Assortments, 30 pieces. Includes Rainbow Ball, Crinkle Ball, Sparkle Ball, Bell Balls, Sisal Ball, Linen Ball for cats and kittens
4. Catnip Toys
Catnip is a herb that many cats are attracted to. Catnip toys are usually stuffed with dried catnip and can be in various shapes and sizes, such as mice, balls, or plush toys. They provide sensory stimulation and can be quite entertaining for cats. Here are our recommendations.
31 PCS Cat and Kitten Toy Variety Set with Catnip Including 2 Way Tunnel, Cat Feather Teaser, Catnip Fish, Mice, Colorful Balls and Bells for Cat, Cats are attracted to catnip toys because the herb nepetalactone found in catnip triggers a pleasurable response in their brains, resulting in increased playfulness and relaxation. The scent of catnip stimulates the sensory receptors in a cat's nose, leading to a euphoric reaction that many cats find irresistible. This bundle gives plenty of fun options for your cat.
Pure Catnip - Non-GMO and 100% natural. Cat Crack is made cleanly and reliably in North America with fair labor standards. 78%+ Nepetalactone content. Catnip behaviors include often exhibit a range of behaviors, including rolling, rubbing, purring, and jumping. This response is believed to be a result of a chemical compound called nepetalactone found in catnip.
Flopping Lobster Toy for Cats with 2 Catnip Packets – USB-Chargeable, Soft, Durable, Washable, Low-Noise Floppy Lobster Cat Nip Toy Gift, 11x4 Inches.
As a bigger toy cats love to tackle and wrestle as the lobster's constant movements keep them engaged. Great exercise toy.
6. Electronic Toys
These toys incorporate electronic features to provide additional stimulation. Examples include toys that move unpredictably, make sounds, or have built-in timers that activate different features at intervals. Here are our recommendations.
2 in 1 Interactive Cat Toy for Indoor Cats, Timer Auto On/Off, Cat Toy Balls & Ambush Feather Electronic Cat Toy, Cat Entertainment with 6pcs Feathers, Dual Power Supplies Cat mice Toy
Automatic Cat Roller Toy Comes as a single feather toy, but you freely change the tail according to your pet's interest, keep your cat exercising nd have fun. Like: a feather / catnip/ jingle/ mouse / butterfly / dragonfly/bird. Keeps their interest for hours.
Flopping Fish with SilverVine and Catnip, This fish kicks, flops and wiggles. You can add the catnip or just let them play. Rechargeable via USB. 10.5 inches long.
5. Laser Pointers
Laser pointers emit a small red dot of light that can be moved around to engage the cat's attention and encourage them to chase. It's important not to shine the laser directly into the cat's eyes and to provide an actual physical toy or treat for them to "catch" at the end of the game.
Automatic Activated Cat Laser Toy, Interactive Cat Toys for Indoor Cats/Kittens/Dogs. You can change speed, and angle and keep high away from your cat. So even if you tire from it, it keeps going for your kitty. If you have a dog they may also get in on the action. Moderately priced at under $17. USB rechargeable battery is included. It fully charges in 2 1/2 hours and can work 2 days afterward. You can also set it to turn off i.e. after 15 minutes to preserve battery life. Keep away from children, and do not look directly into the laser for prolonged periods of time.
Laser Pointer for Cats, Red Dot LED Light Pointer Interactive Toys for Indoor Cats, USB Charging, 5 Switchable Patterns, I've never met a cat that didn't love playing with a laser dot. One of these is a must-have for playing with your cat from a distance. Be careful NOT to point directly into a cat or anyone's eyes for a prolonged period. Keep the laser pointed at the floor or a wall, you can really guide your fur baby anywhere chasing one of these.
Bolt Automatic Cat Laser Toy - Relieves Anxiety & Boredom, Bug-Like Laser Pattern Keeps Them Entertained. Allows Hands-Free Play with Auto Shut Off to Prevent Overstimulation. This is a good option to turn it on, go about your activity while your furry friend gets to play. Recent price drop and over 600 sold in the last month.
7. Sisal and Scratching Toys
These toys serve a dual purpose as they allow cats to scratch and stretch their claws while also providing entertainment. They often feature sisal rope or materials that cats enjoy scratching. Here are our recommendations.
25" Cat Scratching Post Natural Sisal Rope Scratch Posts 25 inches Beige, All cats love a good scratching pole with this one has the extra Feathers and interactive balls.
29'' Cat Scratching Post, Natural Sisal Rope Scratch Post with 4 Teasing Toy Balls for Large Cats (Grey). Every cat must have a scratching post.
54in Cat Tree Tower Condo Furniture Scratch Post for Kittens Pet House Play. Every cat needs a cat house of their own. At under $25, this is a great solution. It is sturdy and allows the cat to Lounge or explore.
exercisingThese are just a few examples, and there are many more variations and combinations of toys available for cats. Remember to consider your cat's preferences and safety when choosing toys, and always supervise your cat during playtime.