Updated April 13, 2020.
Cats naturally want to play. If you currently have a kitten, you’ll know that all too well! But, as kitties get older, they tend to get lazier and you have to encourage them to play more. (I won’t even tell you how lazy my boy kitty Milo is. Hopefully your cats are equally lazy! I think M thinks that cleaning his paws is the activity of the day. Ooh, I just thought of a new invention – a KitBit! How cool would that be to track cats’ activity?) Choosing interactive cat toys helps you build your relationship with your pet cat, but also keeps them active and healthy. Just as humans need to move to keep their hearts healthy, so do cats!
Simple, homemade cat toys
Honestly, some of the best cat toys you’ll ever find are ones you likely have in your home already. A simple ball of yarn, or a ball of scrunched up aluminum foil are awesome, instant toys! And boy, are they budget friendly, too. Here are a few other ideas for instant, cheap and fun toys for your cats:
- Yarn or string – cats love to chase this. If you run around with a piece of string trailing behind you, your cat will surely chase behind you on the hunt to grab that string!
- Balls – Even a simple tennis ball can be a great toy for cats. The bounce is what makes it fun. Ping pong balls are also a favourite toy for many felines. I know of one kitty who loves to chase a ping pong ball all around the bathtub – and it’s quite entertaining to watch, too!
- Aluminum foil balls – There is something wonderful to cats about the texture, sound and feel of a crushed up piece of aluminum foil. I’ve had pet cats who would wait with great excitement while I balled up a piece of foil, knowing that playtime was here! And it’s an environmentally friendly cat toy – you can pop it into the recycling bin when your cat is done playing with it.
- Lids – I have found that plastic lids that come on tins of snack foods – like nuts – or, the same style lids that cover a tube of tennis balls is a mini frisbee that some cats go crazy for! Just fling it like you would a frisbee, and watch your cat try to catch it midair!
Specialty cat toys
Okay, so if those toys are still not enough for your favourite feline companion, then it’s time to delve deep into the toys that pet manufacturers have designed for cats’ playtime fun! Here are some that I’ve found are popular with even fussy cats:
- Doorway hanging mouse toy – this one is a great choice if you’re out of the house during the day while you’re working. This little furry mouse hangs by a stretchy elastic string – and it bounces enticingly for your cat to pounce upon! One brand of such toy is A-door-able.
- Electronic cat toys – Cat toys have gone high tech! There are a variety of cat toys that shine lights, wiggle or in other ways entice your cats to play. Again, these are an amazing option if you’re away at work and want your cats to have fun even on their own. There’s even this rolling cat ball toy, with LED lights! Fancy!
- Cat feather wand toy – This is a simple toy, inexpensive and gets constantly high reviews on Amazon and other websites. It’s just a flexible plastic wand with brightly coloured feathers attached on the end. Shake the toy in front of your cat, and watch them jump and try to catch their ‘prey.’
There is a very wide variety of cat toys available. Whether you choose to make your own simple cat toys at home or spend a few dollars to get a few toys for your pet cats – it’s all about having a happy pet! Spend a little time researching cat toys, and then have the fun of finding out which ones your cat loves.