Cats — especially indoor cats — need lots of entertainment that hones in on their natural hunting instinct. Bored cats can get in a lot of trouble, from peeing in the wrong place to scratching your favorite furniture or knocking everything off your kitchen counters. If you provide your cats with fun toys that let them tap into their inner hunter, they’ll be much happier and you’ll be happier too. Here’s our guide to 10 toys that your cat will absolutely love.
1. Crinkly Tunnels
Cats love to play hide-and-seek, especially in tunnels. We recommend getting the collapsible cat tunnels by Pet Magasin. The tunnels make a crinkle noise that cats love and the longer tunnel comes with a peep hole. Our cats love to hide in the center of the longer tunnel and “sneak attack” each other by sticking a paw through the peephole when another cat walks by. These tunnels provide hours of fun for the cats and their cat parents who are watching them.
2. Wobbly Treat Dispensers
Treat toys that wobble and dispense treats as your cat plays with them are a great interactive toy because they encourage your cat to “hunt” for her food. You can even replace the treats with cat kibble to give her a more satisfying dinner time experience. The SmartyKat KnockOut Treat Dispenser is one fun option. The PetSafe FUNKitty Egg Cersizer is another option that’s very popular and has great reviews on Amazon. With this version, you can choose to open one, two, or three holes for different levels of play.
3. Interactive Cat Feeders
You can turn meal time into hunt time with an interactive cat feeder. It goes one step beyond the treat dispenser by turning your cat’s entire food dish into a smart toy. The Senses 2.0 Food Tree is one version that slows down cats who eat too fast. Your kitty has to move treats from the top of the tree to the bottom by pawing at the side openings. This version comes with multiple difficulty levels and has a 4.5-star rating on Amazon.
4. Feather Wands & String Flings
The feather wand is a traditional cat toy that’s still very popular because it appeals to cats of all shapes and sizes. There are many versions available on the market, including this one by The Natural Pet Company, which comes with three feather refills. Feather wands give your cat the feeling that she’s chasing a real, live bird. Just make sure that when you’re using the feather wand, you make the wand “act like prey” when you’re enticing your cat to play. That means hiding the feather and taking it out of your cat’s line of sight to get her to join in on the chase.
If you want something a more “automated” version of the wand, try a Moody Pet Fling-Ama-String. This has a battery-operated string that flings in the air, keeping your cat entertained while you’re away. It doesn’t have a feather, but it gives the same the hunter-and-prey feel that your cat loves.
5. Cat Dancer-Cat Charmer
This toy is a unique take on the cat wand, providing you with a wand-like toy that imitates a snake! The toy by Cat Dancer Products is ranked 4.5 stars on Amazon. Drag the fabric across the floor and turn it to make patterns and circles, imitating the movements of a snake. Drag it slowly so your cat can pounce and then get your cat to leap in the air to try to catch it. The charmer can provide great exercise for your kitty!
6. Peek-a-Prize Toy Box
Some cats are too smart for their own good and need an interactive toy that really exercises their brain muscles. That’s where toys like the Peek-A-Prize Box come in handy. This box is made of wood and holds toys or catnip inside a box that’s full of holes. Hide toys in different parts of the box and let your cat fish the toys out. You can use the two balls that come with the box or add your own, like a squeaky mouse toy.
7. Cat Climbers and Trees
Cats love to climb. That’s why cat trees should be an essential part of your cat’s toy chest. Not only do they give your cat a vantage point from up high, but they can also encourage lots of exercise. There are a lot of cat trees available on Amazon. This one is ranked especially high. Choose a tree that’s big enough to accommodate your cat’s size, and comes with different levels for a fun climbing experience.
8. Clicker Training for Cats
If you have a smart kitty, you can train her to do tricks! Buy Karen Pryor’s Clicker Training Kit to get started. It comes with a clicker and an instruction book to take you step-by-step through the process. You’ll start with simple tricks like sitting and then work your way up to teaching your cat to jump on chairs or run up cat trees on command.
9. Cat Scratchers
No home is complete without a cat scratcher or two. Cats need to scratch; it’s important for their health (and the health of your furniture.) Try out vertical and horizontal scratchers to see which ones they like the best. This one by KONG is an incline scratcher that many cats love.
10. Activity Rugs and Mats
Cats love to play and hide in dark places. Rather than letting them hide and play under your furniture, entice them out with The Ripple Rug. This activity play mat gives cats places to scratch, nap, and hide. It gives cats a predatory “play place” that’s cozy and safe. It’s rated 4.5 stars on Amazon and has a lot of great reviews. In fact, it’s so popular that it has a #1 bestseller rating on Amazon.
Are there any other cat toys that you love but we didn’t list in this story? Let us know in the comments below.