Not all toys are created equal! Most cats love to play and those who complain that their cat doesn’t like to play just haven’t right the toy yet! Well, we’re here to help. Let’s cover the basic types of toys so you know what to try!
What’s Not Safe
First, let’s talk about what’s not safe for cats! As fun as it may be, for you and your cat, string is not safe for cats. That means no tinsel on the tree this year! String can easily be ingested, intentionally or otherwise, and then wreck havoc on your cat’s intestinal track. The worst part is you may not even notice until its too late. Cats are famous for hiding their pain and illnesses from their owners. It’s a defense mechanism that they have been practicing for thousands of years. If a predator knows your injured they’re a lot likey to attack right? So avoid string or anything that is string-like. Additionally, avoid anything that can break into smaller pieces. Play it safe.
Bird and Feather Toys
Feather on a stick type toys are designed to simulate a flying bird. The most famous of these are Da Bird (which you can pick up from Amazon). These toys have a special design that allows them to “flutter” in a way that cats love. We find that the majority of cats find toys like Da Bird very stimulating! So much so that we recommend Da Bird as your first go-to toy. The only downside? It requires you to be present and engaged. If you leave the toy out your cat will quickly and easily destroy the bird portion making the toy useless. Because it requires you to be there your cat can’t play with it while you’re out and about.
Cat Nip Toys
Only about 50% of cats are affected by catnip but if your cat happens to be one of the 50% we highly recommend purchasing either plain catnip or a toy filled with it. Both of which you can get at any pet store. Your cat will either ignore the toy completely and look at you with clear unimpressed boredom or you will watch your cat enter a level of ecstasy previously unknown. Again, it’s a coin flip but you don’t know until you try!
The downside? The effects will wear off after about 10 minutes or so and pure catnip can create quite a mess!
Check out these cats that happen to be lucky ones who enjoy catnip!
Rattle Ball Toys
Balls are great toys that most cats love and simply going to the dollar store and grabbing some ping pong balls is never a bad move. But we have found that purchasing the cat toys with the rattles inside the balls is the best way to go. We find that this keeps the cat a lot more interested and then they develop a positive association with the sound. You can be anywhere in the house and start rattling the cat toy and your feline friend will come running!
The downside? You have to listen to a rattle! If you’re a light sleeper maybe put this away before bed, otherwise these are great to leave around the house to give your cat an energy release throughout the day.
We don’t actually recommend laser pointers as they don’t give cats the opportunity to get the satisfaction of catching prey. With any toy, we recommend you let the cat have the object they’re pursuing at some point. They don’t have to shred and destroy it but they do need to get a chance to catch and basically win. A laser pointer is like a game they can’t win and it can actually leave cats unsatisfied (and neurotic).
Let us know which toy your cat loves!