Whether they’re enjoying fun and games with you or just keeping themselves entertained, cats of all ages love play time. And to make play time as exciting, rewarding and just plain fun as possible for your kitty, you’ll need to get her the best cat toys.
Cats need a selection of toys to enrich their environment, keep them active and also give them a mental challenge. There’s a mind-boggling selection of cat and kitten toys available, so our cat toy guide will help you find the perfect play time accessories for your feline friend.
The best cat toys
The best cat toys vary depending on how your cat likes to play. Some kitties like the thrill of the chase, others adore testing out their reflexes and some like nothing better than an exciting adventure — and then there are some felines that love all three.
Some cats love toys that have been specially designed to mimic prey, such as mice or birds. With this in mind, there are cat toys that move, make squeaky noises, vibrate, swing and do whatever else they can to elicit a reaction from your cat.
Toys can be made from leather, fur and, a favourite for many felines, feathers. Other cats prefer toys made from fabrics with a range of interesting textures, which will crinkle, crackle and make all sorts of interesting noises to arouse and excite curious kitties.
Some felines love toys that can put their predatory instincts to the test. There are balls that bounce this way and that, offering an exciting chase up the hallway, and the hours of play time fun to be had using devices such as laser pointers. Anything that lets your cat prowl, pounce, swipe and sprint is always going to be a winner.
And while many cat toys are great for when you and your cat are enjoying some play time together, there are plenty of other options available to keep your feline friend amused when you’re not around. Three-dimensional climbing frames allow your kitty to combine his twin passions of climbing and exploring, allowing him to take in a great view of his surrounds and look down over his domain.
Interactive food toys are another great idea. All you have to do is fill the toy with your kitten’s favourite treat, then let her spend hours working out how to manipulate and manoeuvre the toy so that it releases the food and lets her enjoy a tasty treat. It’s a great way to prevent boredom and offer plenty of mental stimulation.
Last but not least, the humble scratching post is an important investment for every cat owner. Not only does it let your cat do what comes naturally and scratch to their heart’s content, but it’ll also save your furniture and carpet from a mauling.
Top tips for cat toys
- Testing toys. If you’re not sure which toys your cat likes best, get a selection of products and try them out. Roll, bounce or dangle each toy in front of your kitty and see which one gets the best reaction. Try different types, sizes and textures to find out exactly what it takes to get your kitty purring.
- The spice of life. Every cat owner knows just how intelligent felines can be, so don’t insult your cat’s intelligence by serving up the same play time options day after day after day. Mix it up — rotate toys in and out of your cat’s play time routine so that she’s always interested in what’s up next and so that nothing becomes boring.
- Pack it up. If play time is over, put your cat’s toys away. If they’re available to play with all the time they won’t stay exciting for very long, so keep them hidden and only pull them out when needed.
- Put some effort in. They may be placid domestic pets, but cats still retain very strong hunting instincts — and you can activate those instincts to make play time a lot more fun. Instead of just dangling toys in front of your cat, do what you can to make those toys mimic the actions of prey. Even a few basic, jerky movements this way and that can make a huge amount of difference and offer extra stimulation for your cat.
With a selection of the right toys and an owner willing to offer the attention and TLC he needs, your cat will look forward to play time every single day.