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There are few experiences like having a pet cat. Despite sleeping all day, hiding in obscured places and getting into a lot of trouble, we must accept that these nice pets make us happy every day. As owners of felines, we should acquire the knowledge and information necessary to provide them with a good life in return.
Previously, we have written complete guides on everything a cat owner needs: cat harnesses, feeders, cat boxes and cat beds. But we cannot forget that our kitties also need to play. More than a desire, it is an instinct and a substitute for hunting. Next, we will explain everything you need to know about cat toys.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The Best Cat Toys on the U.S. Market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Cat Toys
- 3.1 What exactly are cat toys?
- 3.2 Why should I buy toys for my cat?
- 3.3 What types of cat toys are available on the market?
- 3.4 Why are toys so important for cats?
- 3.5 Benefits of cat toys
- 3.6 How to use cat toys with your cat
- 3.7 How much time should you spend playing with your cat?
- 3.8 Toys for kittens
- 3.9 Toys for adult cats
- 3.10 Why is my cat not interested in cat toys?
- 3.11 Are cat toys safe for cats?
- 3.12 What materials are cat toys made of?
- 3.13 Is it better to buy cat toys or make them myself?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- When buying a new toy for your pet, many times the owner thinks about what they like. We cannot forget that the accessory is for your cat, not for you. So the best option is to try to find out what type of toy entertains your cat.
- There are three main kinds of toys for felines: those for fun, for intelligence and for exercise. Depending on the cat’s needs, you can surely find one kitty will like. The most important thing is that your pet is entertained, because an idle or bored cat, in addition to sleeping a lot, may have fun with objects that they should not be playing with.
- Many times cats can entertain themselves more with a cardboard box than with a plastic mouse or bird. If this description fits your pet, don’t worry, it’s part of a cat’s nature. In the purchase criteria section, we explain in detail the main characteristics that toys for your cat must meet.
Ranking: The Best Cat Toys on the U.S. Market
The cat is a curious animal. They like to investigate their surroundings, climb up onto high places and are especially good at getting into trouble. To satisfy their instincts, you can make use of toys and items of the most varied nature, such as lasers, fishing poles, toy mice, balls and even special boxes and bags. Next, we’ll show you the best objects on the market for entertaining your cat.
No.1: EcoCity Cat Toys
This is a great set of cat toys at a great price. This cat wand toy set are great for interaction between the cat owner and cat. These popular toys were carefully selected to make sure your cat will love them. Made From safe, eco-friendly, durable, non-toxic materials. 4 replacement heads in the package to make sure this wand can be used for long periods of time.
Unlike other one-time wands, where if the feathers are broken, the toy is useless, it wastes your money, but this one comes with feather refills. There is also higher elasticity and hardness of the material. The wand is very light, flexible, and easy to store. It is a top choice of cat owners on Amazon.
No. 2: Cat Dancer Products Rainbow Cat Charmer
The Rainbow Cat Charmer is a fun and colorful twist on the original Cat Dancer. Still just as much fun and durable as the original, but now with added flair.
The Cat Charmer is an interactive cat toy designed to charm and not to harm. With a polycarbonate wand and very colorful fabric, the Cat Charmer provides excellent aerobic exercise and is a safe interactive toy for all kittens, cats, and kids.
No. 3: Yeowww Catnip Banana Cat Toy
This popular toy is available in not only in a banana shape, but rainbow, apple, lemon, carrot and tomato. Cats love the curve and the size makes it perfect for grabbing nuzzling, and bunny kicking. Each one is stuffed completely with organically-grown catnip. Made with a durable cotton twill fabric and using only soy and/or vegetable based dyes that are natural and non-toxic.
As with all Ducky World colorful and unique toys, it is 100% handmade in the USA and stuffed with premium, organically grown catnip. Completely safe for cats and humans alike, as no chemicals or pesticides are used in cultivation. These toys contain no cotton fillers and no plastic pieces. Size approx: 7 in in length.
No. 4: SmartyKat Electronic Motion Cat Toys
This electronic toy replicates the movements of hidden prey with moving lights and erratically moving wand under durable fabric. Moving lights and erratic motions fascinate cats and encourage healthy activity of cats. Two speeds let you customize the exciting kitty action. Plastic wand with ribbons and plush toy is more durable than most Feather wands.
Replacement wands are available as this is sure to become your cat’s favorite toy. All Smarty Kat products are tested to child safety standards and come with a satisfaction guarantee. This toy is not designed to run continually and should be turned off after cat is finished playing. For only $11 this toy delivers tons of fun and is an excellent value.
No. 5: Petper Round Cat Scratch Board with Ball
This combo-toy is made of all natural, recycled wood. The scratcher circle has cute fish printing around the outsdide. No slipping, you can remove the balls for scratcher only function. Entertain your cat and protect your furniture from scratches at the same time with this two-for-one toy!
Great for indoor use. Comes with 2 balls, more fun for your cat while reducing potential furniture damage due to scratching. Cats love sleep on top of this toy for naps, and when they wake up their toys and scratcher are right there waiting for them to play and scratch.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Cat Toys
A cat retains certain wild instincts that, to the extent possible, you can help satisfy. And although sometimes an apartment or a house are not the most appropriate places, many times there is no choice but to adapt a game to a small space where you are living together. Below we answer the most frequently asked questions about fun activities for your pet.
What exactly are cat toys?
Cat toys are toys and games manufactured with the intention of entertaining and educating your pet. They come in many shapes and be made with many materials. Your cat’s toys are essential objects for its growth and its day to day life, since they have many benefits that we will be breaking down throughout this article.
Living with a cat can lead to endless fun, in addition to providing all kinds of emotional connections, both in you and in your pet. In case you wondered if playing with your cat is necessary, the answer is “yes.” However, make no mistake: no matter how hard you try, it is not the same to entertain a cat as it is to entertain a dog.
Why should I buy toys for my cat?
When a cat gets bored or passes a lot of time without doing something productive, it does nothing but eat and sleep. If you do not want your cat’s life to be reduced to these two actions, you can encourage him to have a little fun, while getting some exercise. When you play with your pet, not only does he have fun, but you do, too.
Another reason why it is important to keep your cat busy is that they need to get tired out. Animals, like people, have a daily reserve of energy to consume. If your cat is unable to expend that energy into exercise, he will be frustrated. And not only that, they will also have higher chances of gaining weight and becoming unhealthy.
What types of cat toys are available on the market?
When buying a toy for a cat, you can see that there are all kinds of toys, not to mention different materials, different uses and recommendations for each toy. Because the choices can be overwhelming, we have prepared a table with different types of toys, characteristics of each and their benefits. This way you will know which accessory suits you and your pet’s current needs.
|Type of toy||Features||Benefits|
|Laser Pointer||Object from which a red laser light emanates, causing the cat to perceive it as a point on a surface.|| Great entertainment.
|Stick with string and feathers||Stick of wood or plastic about half a yard long. The thread is usually elastic and the hanging object can consist of a mouse or a hollow ball.|| Reflexes.
Execise because they move around a lot.
|Mice||Small mouse-shaped toys, with colored feathers or long tails. They are usually made of plastic or fabric.|| Activate of hunting instinct.
Keeps your cat on alert for a few minutes, increasing its attention and ability to concentrate.
|Balls with sound||Small plastic balls with bells inside.||. Exercise.
|Spring toys||It consists of a square from which a spring with a striking complement, such as a toy mouse, a ball or a toy bird, stands out.|| Development of attention capacity.
Many of these accessories are made so that your cat can sharpen its nails on them.
|Tunnel||Plastic cylinder with several paths.|| Agility.
Hide and seek (cats like small, dark places because they feel safer).
It may consist of a circular device, where a striking object is placed inside it
| Uses up energy.
Increased brain capacity.
Why are toys so important for cats?
Investing in quality time with your pet is priceless. It usually happens that, with day to day life, we are occupied with our own responsibilities, such as studies, jobs or social relationships. However, when we have a little buddy like a cat, don’t let his detached character fool you, since he also needs your attention.
Many owners of felines believe that buying an interactive toy will keep your pet entertained alone. Thinking in this way is a mistake because what the cat needs is a playmate, rather than objects, to entertain and strengthen the cat-human relationship.
Benefits of cat toys
We may not be able to accurately describe the entire list of advantages as far as toys and accessories are concerned. But you can surely integrate “action” sessions in the daily routine of your pet, promoting his agility and strength, in addition to combating his boredom. Next, we proceed to give you more advantages.
- Combats obesity through daily exercise.
- Keeps your pet entertained.
- Reinforces the owner-per emotional bond.
- Develops intelligence.
- Satisfies the cat’s natural hunting instinct.
- Cats are happier when they are entertained.
- The game helps your cat to interact with others, whether feline companions or people.
- Burns energy, making them more happy and satisfied.
How to use cat toys with your cat
This is a very frequent question, since the owners of these nice pets usually make a few mistakes when playing with them. It is important not to overwhelm your cat with toys and accessories, since a cat does not have the same perception as people in terms of possession. Another mistake is to put all the toys at their fingertips, allowing them to become bored.
Playing with your pet is not a mystery, it just requires a bit of feline psychology. If you see your cat walking around the house looking for something to do, it is a good time to get the stick with a string or the laser pointer. In this way, you can start a game session without much effort on your part. It will also keep your cat out of mischief.
How much time should you spend playing with your cat?
The answer to this question is not known for sure because there are many factors that influence the amount of time you should invest in the game with your pet, such as its age, personality, fitness or breed. For example, an overweight cat can get tired right away, causing the fun to end in a matter of seconds.
In the event that your pet is fit and predisposed to action, you will have no choice but to get him to spend all that accumulated energy through proper activities if you want him to calm down and let you sleep at night. If you still do not know for sure how long to play with your cat, we suggest you investigate and test, but half an hour a day may be enough.
Toys for kittens
When your pet is a few weeks old, it is the right time to teach him to play with you. Many owners let the first bites and scratches pass, trusting and mistakenly believing that over time that will change automatically. We are obliged to warn you that, if you do not take precautions, this situation will go further.
You need to buy cat toys adapted to your kitten’s age. Items like sticks with string or a good laser pointer could be the perfect complements to spend an entertaining time with your cat. Remember that the more time you spend with your pet, the sooner it will get used to you in terms of routines and behaviors.
Toys for adult cats
There are many people who are convinced that, once the feline grows up, it no longer has fun and only thinks about sleeping and eating. Thinking this way is a very frequent mistake because all pets, in one way or another, need entertainment and leisure time. An adult cat, meanwhile, does not usually say no to playing when offered the chance.
As for toys focused on adult felines, you can find interactive toys that exercise and develop your pet’s mind. However, the moment your cat has the most fun is when he plays with you. There are times that he spends a lot of time alone, so if this is the case, we strongly recommend that you spend quality time with you.
Why is my cat not interested in cat toys?
A cat can show interest in toys throughout its life, of course, provided they are are healthy. When it falls ill or has no energy, it will prefer to eat and sleep only and will want to be comforted only. If you notice that this happens with your pet very often, do not hesitate to take her to the vet to have them checked over. It is important to take care of your pet, and never neglect it.
It is also likely that if you adopted your cat as a stray or from a shelter, especially if he is already an adult, the environmental change to his new home is difficult at first. Felines are animals that love routine and certainty, so if they suddenly find themselves in a new place, they may get stressed and want to take refuge somewhere away form the play area. A cat only plays when it feels confident and safe. You know how to give them the security and safety they need.
Are cat toys safe for cats?
Before buying any entertainment item for your pet, you should try it out or make sure that it is not a danger to your cat’s health. Although toys for cats do not usually harm them, it never hurts to review and investigate the origin of these items, the material they are made of and if it is going to be good for your furry friend.
To be convinced that an object will not harm your pet, you can analyze the opinions of other buyers (if you purchase the toy online) and once you receive the product, check it over it and verify that it meets the necessary safety conditions. Look out things like badly glued feathers, small objects that your cat can swallow unintentionally and pointed or sharp edges.
What materials are cat toys made of?
Different cat toys are made in different ways. Manufacturing varies greatly depending on the origin and the characteristics of the article, in addition to the recommendations for use. We have all kinds of components, such as cloth, plastic, stainless steel, wood and sisal (rope material that is used to manufacture for scratchers and cat trees), among others.
In addition, you should also keep in mind that some products may require batteries to work, such as laser pointers, interactive toys, luminous balls and many more. We recommend that in the event that your cat chooses to entertain itself with an electronic element, it is always under your supervision. It’s better to prevent than to cure.
Is it better to buy cat toys or make them myself?
Both buying an entertainment product for your pet, and making one yourself, have advantages and disadvantages. However, although making a toy for your cat with your own hands can be satisfactory (and cheaper, of course), in this case we have to come down in favor of acquiring a good item from a trusted specialty manufacturer.
The main reason we recommend purchasing your cat toys rather than making them is simple: it is more likely that a manufacturer, especially if it is from a well-known brand, has more knowledge about cat safety than an owner. What is clear is that you need to know the tastes of your cat to know what kind of toys they will like.
By this time in the article, you have undoubtedly thought about which types of cat toys are right for your cat. In the previous section we answered all of the most frequently asked questions regarding your kitty entertainment needs. In this section we proceed to discuss those details that you should take into account when buying one of these toys.
- Sharp Edges
- Ropes and Strings
- Age of Cat
The dimensions of the toy are very important because they can be important for the health of your cat. By choosing an item that suits your pet’s condition and fitness, you will be more likely of success. Not to mention that a feline is not interested in those objects with which it cannot interact correctly.
It is true that your cat gets bored very easily and the reason is found in his way of thinking. If you look closely, your pet usually likes to hide to stalk his “victim.” If it turns out that this is perceived as extremely difficult, the feline will lose all interest, making your purchase in vain.
Nobody likes to buy a product that breaks on the same day as its purchase. Neither does your cat, but it may happen that, “in the heat of battle” between your pet and the toy, it ends up ripped or broken into pieces. Your little friend’s nails can become very dangerous to more delicate products.
Most likely, you are interested in investing in cat toys that will last a long time. In that case, we recommend that you not only be guided by a brand. While it is true that, for example, Kong is a manufacturer that has earned the trust of thousands of pet owners over time, you can try other companies. The trial and error method will be very useful.
You should be careful with potentially sharp corners on cat toys because they can cause accidents during playtime. To avoid scares, we recommend that you buy items with a rounded shape, capable of offering entertainment safely. Examples include, such as balls with sounds, plastic mice or rolling tubes.
Many visits to the veterinarian are caused by events that occur during fun times: a bang or fall, an eye loss, a mouth wound or tooth breakage. Remember that the owner is responsible for the health of the cat, so do not choose toys with pointed parts. Instead, opt for products with both rough and soft surfaces.
Ropes and Strings
Something that drives a cat crazy (in a good way) is a rope tied to a small object, such as a hollow ball or a feather. For this reason, a good investment can be a wooden stick that a string can be attached to. Indeed: it is not necessary to spend a lot of money on entertaining objects for your cat, you just have to know what your cat will like.
When you select cat toys, especially for your own kitty, find out if in fact what they like is a string that moves quickly. When you try it out with your pet, we are almost sure that you will both be able to have a lot of fun with a very inexpensive item. Despite appearances, the best product often does not go hand in hand with the price.
Age of Cat
A cat’s need to play is not constant. While it is true that there are some features that cats will always like (chasing “scurrying” objects, for example), as your pet gets older, you can see that it no longer interacts with things in the same way–for example it’s own reflection. Instead of worrying, just remember that this is natural.
If you have an adult cat, it is likely that your cat tends to be calm, so it is a good option to acquire a toy with which you exercise the cat’s intelligence, or stimulate their senses, in addition to their body. It is important that you never stop playing with the cat, because an entertained pet, subjected to constant challenges, is happier and lives longer.
Having a cat as a pet can entail a series of expenses (food, feeders, scratchers, beds, trees, veterinary bills cat litter and cat boxes, among others), including toys specifically made for felines. And the situation is a bit more complicated if instead of having one cat you have two…or five. However, we are convinced that quality is better than quantity.
Acquiring a good toy for your cat is not an expense, but an investment: in your happiness, in your physical and mental health, in your mood and, above all, in strengthening the relationship between you and your pet. We hope that all the time that passes with kitty by your side is full of magical and wonderful moments. Because a cat at home can be a blessing. So why not reward him with some nice toys?
We hope you enjoyed this complete guide on cat toys. If so, do not forget to leave a comment in the section below, in addition to sharing the article on social media. See you soon!
(Source of Featured Image: Alena Ozerova: 46058303/ 123rf.com)