The smaller size makes these mouse toys perfect for cats who love to hunt and bat objects around the house. Each of the three included toys has a good catnip smell.
This assortment comes with a wand and other toys that your cat can chase. You also get a tunnel that lets your cat hunt and pounce while playing with humans or other animals.
With an assortment of 20 different cat toys, this set is great for homes with multiple cats. You can also rotate through the toys to give your cats more options.
The odds are good that your cats won’t like all of these toys. Some shoppers thought that the included tunnel was too small for adult cats.
With three spinning balls located around the sides, this tower provides hours of fun for your cats. It has a non-slip base that keeps the tower from sliding or tipping over as they play.
Designed to help your cats improve their hunting instincts, this toy features three layers with a ball in each one. They can shoot the ball around the tower with one touch of their paws.
If this is the only toy you have, your cats might grow tired of playing with it. It’s a little too lightweight for larger or heavier cats also.
Suitable for use in three different ways, this cardboard scratcher adjusts into different shapes and designs too. You can use this one at home or anywhere else you take your cat.
Your cat can lounge on this scratcher when sleeping or relaxing and chase the included ball around the center. It also configures into different shapes based on what your cat likes.
It may not be strong enough to support the weight of larger cats. Some cats liked it at first but grew tired of it over time.
With two laser pointers included in the packaging, this set lets everyone in your home play with your cats. It takes just one press to turn the light on and keep it on.
This set comes with two laser pointers and batteries for each one. It offers a more convenient way to play because the light will stay on too.
The batteries do not last very long. You may find that the light produced isn’t bright enough for your cats to see in all conditions.
Suitable for cats who love to play and hunt, this set comes with three toys. Each one looks like a small mouse and features a nice amount of pure catnip that is free from pesticides.
The smaller size makes these mouse toys perfect for cats who love to hunt and bat objects around the house. Each of the three included toys has a good catnip smell.
Larger cats can bite through the seams on the toys. The mice may not appeal to your cats because they don’t like the catnip smell.
Many people who have cats say that their cats own them instead of saying that they own cats. While your own pets might sleep for hours every day, those four-legged creatures like having fun and playing. The best cat toys for 2018 will let your cat have fun with playing with you or other animals and while home alone. We worked hard to find the best types of toys that appeal to all types of cats, including those that are suitable for kittens and older cats. The top cat toys of 2018 include those scented with catnip.
To find the best cat toys for your own pets, we recommend reading through this entire shopping guide. You’ll find a product matrix at the top of this page that goes over the top pros and the possible cons of each toy as well as more detailed descriptions of those toys in other sections. The rest of our shopping guide goes over what to look for in a new toy, including whether it will appeal to your cat and how long it will last. We’ll also give you some tips on encouraging your cat to play with those toys where you’re not home.
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Though you might think that all cat toys are the same, there are some toys on the market that can actually harm your pet. If you buy a ribbon toy that has too many loose parts, your cat can swallow and choke on one of those parts, which will result in an expensive vet bill. As we worked on finding the best cat toys for our readers, we made sure to eliminate any potentially dangerous products from our list. To find the best toys and the worst toys, we looked at what veterinarians think and what cat breeders said. We used their feedback to make a list that included more than 30 different toys.
Once we had an idea of some of the toys we wanted to include, we checked with Amazon. This lets us know which toys were still available and which ones manufacturers discontinued. We then compared the ratings for those toys and looked at the top customer reviews to find the five best options. You can learn more about the pros and cons of those toys in the chart on this page and in our detailed toy reviews. With our shopping guide, you’ll have no problem finding the best toys for your cats.
While a basic cat toy can cost you a few dollars or more, this assortment comes with 20 different toys that most cats will love. You get both smaller and larger toys that are suitable for kittens as well as adult cats. Many of the included toys will help your cats become better hunters and use their survival instincts. The set comes with five mice that they can toss through the air and chase around the room. Another toy places a small mouse inside a cage that animals can roll across the floor.
Also included is a wand toy that you can use yourself. As you move and shake the wand through the air, your cats will want to attack and grab it. The manufacturer also includes a tunnel that is large enough for most smaller cats. That tunnel gives them a hiding spot for hunting and may become a favorite sleeping spot too. We recommend this set for homes with multiple cats because each animal will get a few toys they love. You can also use this set to rotate through the toys that your cat plays with every day to both make the toys last longer and to keep your cat from feeling bored.
In addition to general benefits, there are some great health benefits associated with letting your cat play with toys. Those benefits include:
The two most common signs that you need to change your cat’s toys or introduce some new toys include:
Feral cats are those who have little to no interaction with humans. Those animals often live in outdoor colonies are common in both urban and rural areas. Feral cats hunt for their food and spend a lot of time tracking prey. They are much leaner and more muscular than house cats. When you take a cat into your home, it will not have as many opportunities to exercise and hunt, which can lead to weight gain. A clear sign that you should change your toys is when your cat begins putting on weight.
It’s also important that you change those toys when you notice your pet engaging in any type of destructive behavior. This can include clawing the couch when you’re not home to ripping up rolls of toilet paper or paper towels. Cats engage in destructive behaviors when they feel bored or unhappy. Some animals will even break items around your home because they feel lonely. When you give your cats more toys to play with, you can help them feel happier and stop them from destroying your house.
We’ll go into detail about the things to consider when buying new toys for your cats in some of the following sections. Before we get too far into those details though, we wanted to start with a look at the different kinds of toys that you can buy. You may want to give your cat a selection of toys and see which ones it responds to before you spend money on a more expensive toy. Most of the toys that you see up for sale today will fall into one of several categories based on how animals play with and use those products.
One of the more popular and basic of cat toys is one called a catnip toy. The name comes from the fact that companies add catnip to the inside. Most of these toys feature a cloth exterior with a ball of catnip inside. Catnip is a natural herb that creates a feeling of euphoria in older cats. Most animals will not respond to the scent until they are a few months old. Some cats do not have the same reaction though and will never respond to catnip. You’ll find some toys that simply have a catnip scent applied to the exterior.
If you want to see just how smart your pet is and help that animal use its brain, you should invest in a puzzle toy. These toys come in different sizes and shapes. The basic type features some type of outer shell that you can open. You’ll place a small treat inside and then snap the shell closed before giving the toy to your cat. The animal must then figure out how to open the shell to get that treat. These toys come in larger sizes that feature a base with different plastic pieces on top too. You can hide treats under some of those plastic pieces and watch as your cat guesses where the treats are.
It makes sense that cats would respond to toys with feathers attached because they hunt birds in the wild. Even if you have an indoor cat who never spent any time outside, you might still see it sitting in the window and stalking birds with its eyes. These toys can look like small mice with one or more feathers attached to the back. You’ll also find some that come with a wand. The wand features feathers and other decorations hanging from the end. You can hold the wand and waive the feathers above your cat’s head to make it dance and chase after the toy.
The same laser pointer that you use at work can make a great cat toy. Cats love chasing the red dot around the room and watching as it moves across the floor and ceiling. Some animals will actually come running as soon as they hear you click on the laser pointer. Those designed specifically for cats can give your finger a rest. Some of these toys allow you to press a button and let the laser move around the room on its own. There are other electronic toys for cats that mimic the sounds of birds chirping and other wild animals.
Wand toys give you a cheap way to play with your cat. Though we briefly mentioned wands in the section on feather toys, some of these products use ribbons and other decorations in addition to in lieu of feathers. Most wands are at least 12-inches long and feature a thin handle that you hold in the palm of your hand. You can move the wand around the room to get your cat’s attention and to help it play with the toy. The downside to wands is that they will not last long around cats that are larger or more active. Some cats can tear the decorations right off the wand.
Some of the more popular toys found today are activity toys that manufacturers design to get your pets active. A good example is an activity tunnel. This is a toy that features plastic rings with a cover over the top. Cats can hide inside and chase each other through the tunnel. You can even connect multiple tunnels and other parts together to create one large play space. Tracking toys and towers also fall into this category. Cats can hit the attached balls and watch as they move through the toy. Both adult cats and kittens can benefit from these toys.
The cheapest type of toy that you can give your cat is an ordinary ball. Balls designed for cats are durable enough that they can chase one for hours and play with one for months without damaging the toy. These toys actually include a few different types of balls though. You might buy one with an internal battery that causes the ball to light up when your cat hits it. Other balls have bells inside that ring as they move. Another type of ball has a small feather attached to the back that will get your cat’s attention.
Cats of all types and ages like mouse toys because they resemble the same wild field mice they might chase outside. Some of these toys look quite realistic and feature white or gray faux fur with beady little black eyes. Others look less realistic and use fur in bright colors. Depending on the age and strength of your cat, these toys can lose their tails because of roughhousing. You also need to choose between an unscented toy or one that has catnip either applied to the outside or used on the inside. Mouse toys also come in different sizes that range from the same size as a real mouse to five times that size.
If you hate coming home to a demolished house, you should consider investing in a few scratching toys. These are toys that let your cats sharpen their claws without demolishing your carpets or furniture. Scratching posts use a combination of wood or cardboard with carpet and rope added to the top. You’ll find cat trees that feature tunnels and areas for your cats to lounge and hide as well as a few scratching posts. A cardboard scratching pad is a cheaper alternative that uses corrugated cardboard inside a box. These toys won’t last as long as a scratching post or cat tree will but cost a fraction of the price.
Tracking toys foster the natural hunting instincts that cats have and can help them improve their skills. The best tracking toy that we found is this Tower of Tracks option. Instead of using just one ball, this one features three balls. Each of those balls sits in a different track. The three tracks work together to give your cats even more ways to play with this one. They can touch any of those balls with one paw to send it spinning around the track. The cats can then hunt and track the ball as it moves.
As much as your pets love this toy, you will too because it features a durable design. The manufacturer closed off the top of the toy to make sure that you or they can’t drop anything else inside. It comes in a bright orange color that adds a splash of brightness to your home. The balls used in the tower match that same shade. We also like the non-slip base on this toy because it keeps the plastic from moving and damaging your floors. That base also adds some stability to the toy and can keep your cat from knocking it over.
When you bring home a new cat toy, you should always take a few minutes to inspect it carefully and make sure that it does not feature any choking hazards. Any stuffed toy that features small plastic or rubber eyes is potentially dangerous. Your cat can chew off those eyes and choke on them. You’ll also want to look at how well the manufacturer attached any ribbons or other decorations to the toy. If you notice the decorations coming off when you tug on them, you can go ahead and cut those pieces off ahead of time.
You may want to look at toys that use elastic as a threat too. That elastic allows your pet to grab and pull on the toy, which can help you play tug of war together. The problem that can occur is when you let your pet play with that toy where you’re not around. There is a risk that the elastic might break off the toy. You should also use caution when playing with any type of dangling toy because cats can actually wrap the cords and elastic around their own necks. We recommend only letting your cats play with those toys where you’re in the room with them.
Cats can make toys out of almost anything, including the lids from soda bottles and old tissues. While you can let your cat have some fun with those homemade toys, you’ll want to avoid letting them play with objects that include:
Those objects are both a choking and a suffocation hazard. To keep your pets happy and occupied, you can throw away those items and invest in some new toys.
Alpha and beta are two words that specialists use to describe how cats act. An alpha cat is much more dominate and takes over the room, while a beta cat will follow the alpha. The best toys for your cat will depend on whether it’s an alpha or a beta.
If you have an alpha, you’ll want toys that foster its mind and body. A good example is a puzzle toy. Your cat will love knocking over the pieces to find the treats and rewarding itself with a little snack. These animals often like ordinary cardboard boxes too that they can hide in and under. A cat tunnel might be appealing too. The cat will like hiding inside the tunnel and stalking other humans and animals that walk by.
Beta toys are a little milder and calmer than alphas. They often prefer toys that they can share with others such as catnip scented mice. The cat can bat the toy around to attract the attention of other animals and then play together. Both types of cats enjoy toys with feathers and other accents too. If you have multiple cats in your home, you’ll want to have more toys on hand to give your pets more options.
Animals are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment and atmosphere. You might notice your cat hiding under your bed or finding a safe space before a storm arrives. If you choose the wrong type of toy for your cat, you might scare the animal so much that it hides for days. This is especially true when you buy any electronic toy or a motorized product that makes noises as it runs. Motorized toys such as a laser pointer that spins around the room can produce a high pitched noise that almost sounds like a baby crying or whining. That noise can hurt your cat’s ears. Electronic toys can produce some similar sounds.
As you look at some of your top options, it’s important that you consider your cat’s overall personality. If you have a nervous and skittish cat that hides every time someone knocks on the door, that animal likely will not respond well to toys that produce a lot of noises. Some cats may dislike the sounds that toys make when they play with them too. A good example is a ball that smacks against your hardwood floors. Timid and skittish cats typically do better with softer toys that won’t bounce across the floor.
While you might think that a bigger toy is the best option for your cat, there are some dangers associated with bigger toys. The biggest issue is that the cat might view that toy as a predator and something to attack rather than someone to play with in your home. Larger toys can actually bring out the aggressive side of your cat.
The best scratching toy that we found is this collapsible cardboard toy from YOUTHINK. Made entirely from cardboard, it comes already assembled. You simply pull the two ends together to create a brand new bed for your cat. The basic design features a ring of cardboard around the edges with a flat area in the center for cats to lounge and sleep on. The included directions show you five different shapes that you can make with this toy. Changing those shapes every few weeks will make it seem like a brand new toy and keep the interest of your cat.
Not only does this scratcher function as a bed, but it also works as a scratching post and a toy. The corrugated cardboard used in its construction can stand up to the sharpest of claws and last for months or more. That design allows cats to scratch their claws while standing outside or while inside the toy. It also comes with a mouse toy that provides hours of entertainment. Cats will love chasing the mouse around and seeing where it goes. We also like the portable design of this toy. You can take it on vacation and give your cat the perfect place to sleep.
Many people think that the only cat litters available today are clumping or standard. Clumping litter actually creates small clumps each time your cat uses the bathroom, which makes it easier to clean out that box. There are a number of different options available today, including crystal pellets and pine pellets. The reason companies make so many different types of cat litter is because cats are sensitive to different textures. If your cat stops using the litter box after you change litter types, it might be because its paws do not like the sensation of that litter. The sensitivity that cats have can also play a key role in what types of toys they like.
You’ll find both hard and soft toys. A hard toy such as a rubber or plastic ball will bounce as it hits the floor. This causes the ball to roll further away and gives your cat the chance to chase it. Softer toys have a fabric covering that cats can sink their claws into as they play. You can also try using crinkle balls, which use a metallic material with stitches in the center that hold the material together. Some cats may avoid certain toys just because of how that toy feels on their paws.
One thing that cat parents love about these animals is that each one has its own personality. As you buy toys for your little friends, you want to make sure that you consider what your pets like doing. The personality of your cat will determine which toys are best for it.
A cat tree takes everything you love about a scratching post and combines it with all the toys that your pets need. While a basic scratching post might have just one base or a single level on top, a cat tree will feature many other parts. As you shop for one of these trees, you’ll want to consider features such as:
A food-dispensing toy is a type of puzzle toy that will automatically dispense food or a treat. Some of the benefits of these toys include:
We picked this set as the best laser pointer for cats because it actually comes with two pointers and a set of batteries for each one. You can keep one upstairs and one downstairs for playing with your cats in any room. This set also allows each member of your family to play with all your cats at the same time. Cats love laser pointers because of the bright light produced. That light reminds them of the bugs and wild animals that they would chase outside. Your pets will eventually form a connection between the sound the pointer produces and the light. They’ll come running as soon as they hear you turn on the toy.
The problem with other types of laser pointers is that you must keep your hand on the button to keep the light running. As soon as you release your finger, the light shuts off. This set reduces the pain that you would otherwise feel in your finger because the light stays on. It takes just one press to turn on the laser pointer and a second touch to turn it back on. That design lets you play as long as you pet wants to without any discomfort.
A simple and fun game that you can play with your cat is hide and seek. You’ll want to use a scented toy or one that has a treat hidden inside. Those that store treats inside often have tiny holes on the outside that help your pet get the scent of the treat. When you play this game, you will show the cat the toy and make sure that it grabs the scent. You can then put the toy underneath a pillow or in another spot in the room. The cat must then find the toy on its own. Once your cat learns how this game works, you can try taking the toy to another room and hiding it there before calling in the animal.
Cats can also learn how to play fetch. All you need is a toy that the cat loves and a few treats that act as positive reinforcement. When you throw the toy, you can point at it and give the fetch command to your cat. You may want to work with the cat and give it small rewards for finding the toy and then carrying it. The cat will eventually learn that it will get a reward when it brings the toy back to you.
Though you can teach an old cat new tricks, it’s often better to work with your cat at a young age. If you teach a kitten how to sit or play a simple game, it will retain that knowledge as it grows.
Catnip toys are great for older kittens and cats. We highly recommend this set from SmartyKat because it comes with three scented toys. You can give each of your cats its own toys or add these to your toy rotation. Each one looks like an adorable little mouse and is free from parts that might break or snap off. A few customers did find that their older and stronger cats broke the toys while playing with them. The mice are suitable for cats that are at least eight weeks old. They can grab the toys by the attached ears or the tails and bat them all around your house.
One thing we really like about this set is the catnip that the manufacturer used. They chose a type of pure catnip grown without any pesticides or other chemicals. While some shoppers wished the catnip smell was a little more prevalent, it’s strong enough to attract most cats. That catnip will give your cats a little more energy and help them calm down too. The toys also feature a filling made from recycled plastic. If you need a catnip toy that your cats will love and toys that will keep them entertained, this is the set for you.
Though cat toys really don’t require any special storage, you might get tired of seeing those toys laying all around your house. Harder balls and other toys can actually hurt when you step on one with bare feet too. No matter how many toys you keep on hand, you want to make sure that your cat has easy access to each one. You might take a simple basket and fill it to the top with the toys before placing it next to your fireplace or in front of your television. If your cats spend more time in one room than another, you’ll want to keep the toys stored in that room. An open basket is a good option because the cats can rifle through the basket and grab whatever toy they want. This is especially helpful if you work during the day and want your cats to exercise and have fun when you’re gone.
You may find it helpful to keep one basket or bowl of toys in each room of your home. As the cats move from room to room during the day, they’ll still have access to all their favorite toys. If you want to rotate through those toys, we recommend keeping a few in a container in another room that your cats cannot access.
A catnip grow kit is a kit that comes with everything you need to grow catnip at home. While the scent of the fresh plant can attract some cats, others prefer it dried. You can actually snip leaves from the fresh plant and dry it yourself at home to save some money.
The average cost of a new cat toy can range from a few dollars to more than $30. This cost really depends on the type of toys that your pets love. The cheapest of all toys are those that contain catnip and those that have a catnip scent. You can get the SmartyKat set of three scented toys for just $2. We also found some inexpensive toys that sell for right around $1.
While electronic toys are more expensive, you can get a good laser pointer that your animals love for less than $10. These toys appeal to both dogs and cats and are a good choice for homes with multiple pets. The laser pointers that we added to our list retail for less than $10 and come with two pointers.
Scratching toys are really the most expensive. Though you can get a simple corrugated cardboard scratcher for less than $20, those that have more features will cost more. The scratcher that made our list retails for more than $30 but is portable and allows cats to play in multiple ways. To get a good cat tree for your home, you might spend as much as $75 to $100 or more.
A: When you adopt a cat from a shelter, you bring home an animal that probably went through some rough times in the past. These animals might shy away from humans and prefer spending time on their own. The best toys for them are any toys that provide comfort such as a mouse stuffed with catnip or a small stuffed animal. You’ll also want to use interactive toys that let you bond with that new addition to your home.
A: Experts generally recommend that you spend 30 minutes giving your cat some one on one time every day. This includes both the time that you spend playing with your pets and the time that you spend cuddling together. You typically want to spend at least around 10 minutes playing with each cat in your home on a daily basis.
A: Despite what some people might think, you really can teach your cat a few simple tricks such as sitting before getting a treat or bringing a toy to you. Most cat parents use positive reinforcement and work on each step in the trick at a time. You can also use a process called clicking to help your cat learn those tricks.
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