All types of cat toys will be discussed in this section whether it be simple catnip toys, balls, or interactive toys such as laser lights and flying toys your cat will go crazy leaping in the air for until they are tired out. It is of particular importance to have toys for indoor cats because they need stimulation since they aren’t able to go outside to hunt, climb and do other stuff outdoors do by nature.
Why Cats Need Toys
Anyone who has a cat can attest to having a stash of cat toys. Cats are playful by nature. They like to run, jump, climb and chase stuff, whether that be another cat, something you throw or a cat laser toy. However, toys also serve many purposes in your cat’s life such as providing exercise, preventing boredom and giving you quality time to bond with your cat.
Cat Toys Provide Exercise
Cats need to be active whether they are indoor or outdoor cats. Playing with toys gives your cat a chance to run around and get some exercise. Many cats spend a lot of time sleeping and sitting in windows watching birds, squirrels or whatever else is happening outside. Having a variety of toys helps keep your cat active and hopefully keeps them fit too.
When your cats get older, they may be less playful than they were in their younger days and be more apt to put on weight. Older cats usually will still play if you make time to play with them. You may need to adjust the types of toys you use to take into account an older cat’s physical health.
Interactive Cat Toys for Physical and Mental Health
For example, kittens will jump and do somersaults in the air whereas older cats tend to stay closer to the ground. Younger cats will play with feather toys, chase a cat laser toy and play with catnip bananas whereas only the latter two may be better choices for older cats. Encouraging your cat to play will keep them healthy both physically and mentally.
Warning: One note regarding any toys attached to a stick with a string. These types of interactive cat toys provide excellent exercise for your cat, and they do enjoy jumping for the bird, feather or whatever is at the end of the string. However, once you are done playing with your cat, put this toy away and out of reach of your cat.
These strings can get wrapped around the cat’s neck and cause injury or death. I know this may seem extreme, but I personally had an incident with one of these toys and my kitten. Luckily, I was sitting nearby when it happened, and she is fine, but I always want to share this with cat owners because it still haunts me to this day when I think about this incident and what could have happened to her.
Best Cat Toys
Ultimately, the best cat toy is the one your cat wants to play with. Although there are many popular cat toys for you to try out, you need to find ones your cat likes and which they actually will play with. Here are some cat toys to consider for your cat.
Many cat owners will concur the best catnip toys are made by Yeowww! Although the yellow banana seems to be the most popular one, there are many other shapes to choose from. Yeowww! catnip toys are a favorite in our house.
Cats love the sound of crinkling paper. Several toys replicate this sound such as the crinkle tunnel. We have a SmartyKat Crackle Chute Cat Toy, which gets a lot of use and isn’t too expensive. They like to run through it and play with toys in it.
For those DIY’ers, looking for easy DIY cat toys this one is for you. Take a large box and a good length of brown packing paper. Tear off a long piece, and crumple it a bit to fit in the box. Or if you get packages in the mail, you may just get a box with the packing paper in it. Toss in a few small toys and your cat will have a ball playing in there.
Such a simple toy but cats tend to like these things. As a plus for you, these toys are relatively inexpensive, and you can get them online or almost any retail store. Most grocery stores have a pet aisle, and although the toy selection is usually limited, it is likely you will find the mice toys there.
Cat Toy Balls
Similar to the mice, these are also an inexpensive toy that many cats enjoy chasing after. I’ve also given my cats tennis balls, but they seem to prefer the smaller cat ones.