Our Favorite Cat Toys

Growing up, our cats had the occasional homemade catnip filled felt toy, a springy wire thingie or crumbled up aluminum foil balls to play with; there really wasn't that much else available. But today, there's so many options, and my clients have taught me a lot about great cat toys! Here some of our favorites. ​​​

Cat Bubbles

I can't say this is always wildly popular, but it sure is fun. Who thought of adding catnip to bubbles anyway? I guess you might say that bubbles are fun for cats even without the catnip...and you would be right. The catnip does weigh down the bubbles a bit, causing them to drop to the floor more quickly than a normal bubble would, but hey, what the heck, right? The idea of bubbles as a cat toy is good, with or without catnip.

  • Cost: Less than $10

  • Non scientific success rate: 50%

Laser Pointer

Guess it goes without saying, if you haven't tried this with your cat, you should. It not only provides great exercise (personally named laser-cizing) but it satisfies their natural prey instinct. I discussed my concerns about the futility of this toy, since a cat never really has the satisfaction of catching anything, with my cat vet...who has 18 cats!!! and researches these kinds of things. She says, using the laser to play with your cat provides interactive exercise and gives them the opportunity to use their innate prey drive and those are both very good things. So YES, a laser is an inexpensive toy that you should try out with your cat. These are available in many places. I keep one on my keychain.

  • Cost: less than $10

  • Non scientific cat success rate: 70%

Da Bird

This is my number 1 favorite cat toy: www.go-cat.com. The manufacturer's photos don't really show this toy's sex appeal; it's basically a long flexible carbon wand with striped pheasant feathers bound together and attached to a nylon string with fishing connection that allow the feathers to wobble through the air just like a bird. Cats that have never responded to a cat toy, even the laser pointer, go crazy for this toy. Granted, cats are cats and not every cat will love it, but in my experience, it has a higher success rate than most toys. I love this thing and share them with my kitty clients whenever I can. Just be sure to stash it away in a closet or out of your cat's reach when you're done. Left out, their extreme love for the feathers pose a risk of entanglement with the attached string.

  • Cost: Less than $10

  • Non scientific cat success rate: 75%

Cat Dancer

 

This is a springy wire thing that's been around for a long time, but I don't see them in the cat section of pet stores very often so I order them online: www.catdancer.com/cat-dancer-catnip-cat-toy. It's a simple toy, just a few bits of cardboard attached to the end of a piece of spring steel wire. The one in the link has a plastic mouse shaped handle filled with catnip...there's really no need for this, but it's cute. The spring steel bounces the paper bits around in a way that mimics insects and it's endlessly fascinating to most cats.

  • Cost: Less than $10

  • Non scientific cat success rate; 65%

Ripple Rug

This cool rug is great fun for kittens although it's likely not as exciting for mature cats...but maybe, I haven't had the chance to try that.

 

It originated as a kickstarter campaign and has made it mainstream on chewy.com.  It's basically a durable 3' x 4' base rug made with recycled materials and a same sized separate rug with cut out circles. The tabs of velcro on the underside of the cut out rug allow it to stick it the flat rug in whatever configuration you choose.  Then watch out, your kittens will have crazy fun. Stick your hand underneath, hide a toy or use a laser to amplify the fun! 

  • Cost: $40.0+/-

  • Kitten success rate: 100%

 

As with all toys, they entertain your cat best when rotated in and out of use so they remain fresh and new. A cat toy a day keeps the doctor away...