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It can happen to even the savviest shopper: the teaser wand you bought for your cat is no longer magical in her eyes or she has seen the light at the end of the cat tunneling toy and is not impressed.
Don’t just dump the cat toy in the storeroom and hope you’ll stumble upon a more satisfying toy for your curious cat on the next try – choose one (or two) of the toys on this list and keep your cat entertained for hours while you’re away.
But, before then, let’s see why cats need satisfying cat toys
Why do home-alone cats need fascinating toys?
Outdoor cats (wild cat, stray, and feral cats) can easily keep themselves busy with all the mental and physical stimulation nature has to offer.
They can chase squirrels, lizards, watch butterflies, etc.
However indoor/outdoor cats, though safer, do not have these natural stimulations when they’re inside our homes.
Without these fun activities, they become inactive, lazy, and obese.
With the help of interactive cat toys, your cat gets to satisfy her craving for different stimulating experiences which prevents her from growing bored.
Plus, you don’t have to spend all day playing with your cat. Good quality cat play toys can keep your cat occupied all day, which will help them fall asleep and stay asleep all night without disturbing you.
Now we’ve seen the benefits of cat play toys, what should you pay attention to when sorting through the numerous cheap cat toys available?
I know what to look for, let me see the toys.
What to consider when choosing cat toys.
1. The material the toy is made from.
When choosing the best play toys for a cat, you have to consider the material it is made of.
That’s because cats are picky about what they’ll play with. They’ll avoid any cat toy made from a material they dislike.
So try and recall what your kitty enjoyed playing with in the past. Was it made of lightweight or rigid plastic? Was it feathery? How does she respond to rope, corrugated cardboard scratching pads, or cat play toys with elastic strings?
These questions will help you choose a stimulating toy for your cat to play with while indoors.
2. Your kitty’s personality, age, and health concerns.
Cats have different personalities – without this, every cat play toy would have the same effect on cats.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
So when you’re choosing stimulating cat play toys for an indoor cat, you have to consider their personality.
Does your cat love chasing or pouncing on objects? Then a teaser cat toy will be a good match for her personality.
Is she the lazy type that lies on her back while taking a swing at her cat toys? Does she lose interest in a cat play toy after a couple of days playing with it?
This information will help you choose a toy that your cat would be totally into.
You should also consider her age and any health concerns when choosing stimulating toys for indoor cats.
If your cat used to be active but has lost her energetic nature due to the onset of osteoarthritis or a kidney problem, then you should get a toy that doesn’t stress her much.
3. Is the cat play toy battery operated, manual or automatic?
Are you working from home or away for 5-8 hours at a time?
Your cat needs her daily dose of mental and physical stimulation whether you’re busy or away on duty.
Your best bet is to get an automatic cat play toy to keep your cat occupied all day.
Many of the stimulating cat toys for indoor cats have an automatic on & off feature for when your cat is ready to play or is done playing – to avoid wasting battery power.
If you want a toy that will help you bond with your cat, then choose something that is manually operated.
4. Is this toy safe for cats?
When thinking of safety, imagine you’re a curious cat:
- You’re playing with a complex cat toy and part of it breaks off into your mouth. As a cat, curiosity is what makes you chew or swallow it. Curiosity cannot be turned off, so when buying toys for cats, make sure it doesn’t have loose parts your cat can swallow.
- Most of a cat’s play and interaction involves her mouth and paws. Make sure your cat toy doesn’t have metal pieces in them that might hurt her mouth or electric circuits that can electrocute her.
- Cats rarely spit out something that feels funny in their mouth – they swallow. So there’s a possibility your cat might swallow loose pieces of fabric/fur, that colorful ribbon, and other small parts.
You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble by avoiding all toys that undermine the safety of your kitty!
Although cats rarely play roughhouse as some dogs, their toys will still deteriorate.
This is normal!
However, you have to ensure that the toy you choose doesn’t become dangerous for her when it deteriorates. When you are choosing lookout for the quality and durability of the following:
- The strength of the adhesive used: Glue is used a lot in cat play toys, cat condos, cat trees, and other cat accessories. You should ensure that they are very durable or, at the very least, inspect the cat toy after each play session to see if there’s any missing bit. Especially in mice toys where the nose, eyes, tail, etc. are held together with glue.
- The brand itself: Some brands start out with durable products that cost a lot. 2-3 years later when the previous one is damaged and you make a new purchase based on their previous reputation, it doesn’t last as long as before. Don’t let the previous experience fool you, always treat a new purchase as a different one.
6. How much does it cost?
When I say ‘cost’, I don’t mean how much you pay for it plus shipping – that’s the price. How much will the cat toy cost you to operate over 6 months or a year – if it lasts that long. And, how soon are you going to get a replacement?
Consider the following point when evaluating the costs.
- How long will you use it? Do not purchase a toy that’s only appropriate for kittens because cats grow very fast. Else, you’ll wake up one morning and realize that your cat is fully grown into a beautiful lady. If you get a kitten-only cat toy, it’ll be useless when she outgrows it in 2, maybe 3 months.
- Expensive doesn’t always mean durable, so don’t buy a cat play toy because of the price tag. Cats grow bored easily and might ignore the cat toy, thereby rendering it useless after a couple of play sessions.
- How often do you have to go out in search of fresh batteries? Some cat toys draw a lot of power from their batteries, forcing you to buy fresh ones every couple of days. Better to give your cat stimulating cat toy with a rechargeable battery to play with – or you can hoard AA batteries, your choice!
8. Senses and Stimulation.
Remember that cats are predators – yeah, it’s ingrained in their DNA even though they live indoors with us now.
So, when you’re getting a cat play toy, get one that stimulates those primal instincts in your cat, else she’ll get bored and possibly develop behavioral issues.
9. Size of the cat toy and your cat.
Take size into consideration when choosing a cat toy.
That’s because if the cat toy is way bigger than the cat, she could hurt herself while playing with it or simply avoid the toy since it’s too big for her to have fun with.
On the other hand, if the cat is bigger than the toy, she won’t be able to interact with it the way it was intended. She could end up choking on it and you don’t want that.
6 of the best fascinating toys for bored cats.
1. Biilaflor Interactive Cat Ball Toys with Bird Sound.
Starting off our list of cat play toys is the Biilaflor Interactive Cat Ball Toys.
This stimulating cat toy is great for indoor cats that have a strong hunting drive. It has a protective rubber shell that prevents the cat toy from scratching your hardwood floor as your cat struggles to ‘kill’ it.
The Biilaflor Interactive Cat Ball Toys feels sturdy and well-made, however, what makes it fascinating to curious and energetic cats are the feathers attached, the way the cat toy wobbles and spins while moving, and, of course, the chirping sound it makes.
At first, the chirping sound will fascinate you too, but give it some time and the sound will start grinding your nerves. Well, there’s a single button on the cat play toy you can press to mute the sound, switch mode, or turn the toy off.
If like me, you’re not a fan of removable batteries, the Biilaflor Interactive Cat Ball Toys comes with one distinct advantage – batteries that can be charged via USB.
And, if your cat loves to sleep all day and play at night, the attractive LED lights turn Biilaflor Interactive Cat Ball Toys into a nighttime cat toy to keep your cat entertained at night while you get your much-needed sleep.
2. SPOT Ethical Wide Colorful Springs Cat Toy.
You won’t find many simple, no-battery cat play toys that are a hit among cats like the SPOT Ethical Wide Colorful Springs Cat Toy.
These spring toys are lightweight, springy, and the best part… they’re noise-free. And, since most cats, especially kittens, love these springs toys so much, you can toss a few for them to play and wrestle with while your read a book or prepared something to eat – in peace.
The SPOT Ethical Wide Colorful Springs Cat Toy is fun to play with whether on the carpet, tiles, or wooden floors. Cats can easily pick up, knock away, and throw the cat play toy around.
However, it often gets lost under the furniture so be ready to go down to your cat’s eye-level to find them.
Another issue you might run into with the SPOT Ethical Wide Colorful Springs Cat Toy is the sharp tip of the spring.
More often than not, this cat toy gets tangled somewhere and in the process of pulling at it your cat might get a little injury on her lips. To avoid this, simply burn the tips with a lighter and use your thumb and index finger to smoothen the rough tip – careful!
3. Magkay Auto/Remote Interactive Cat Toys.
Hey, I know it’s the cat that needs to have fun with the cat toy!
But, what if you could also participate in the stimulating experience with your cat?
The beauty of the Magkay Auto/Remote Interactive Cat Toys is that you and your indoor cat can have fun with this cat play toy – if you want to.
The cat toy has a remote to control the device and give your cat the perfect chase.
And, if you have to go away, take a call, or respond to a message, you can switch to auto-drive – never use your phone while driving .
The Magkay Auto/Remote Interactive Cat Toys’ remote control uses a removable battery, however, the main unit is rechargeable via USB.
The wheels have colorful LED lights, which means the toy can double as a nighttime cat play toy for kitties that are active at night.
4. All for Paws Interactive Butterfly Cat Play Toy.
The All for Paws Interactive Butterfly provides a stimulating, fun experience for indoor cats that can’t be arsed to get up and chase a toy around the house or cats that just need something different to play with.
The base is sturdy and is difficult to flip over – never say never.
Although the butterfly looks fragile, it is quite durable. It looks attractive and the flutter it makes while spinning is enough to entice and keep curious cats entertained for hours.
It’s almost the perfect cat play toy for indoor cats.
The only issue with the All for Paws Interactive Butterfly is that sometimes the wire gets flattened because the cat held the butterfly longer than she should and it will stop working.
However, you simply have to straighten it back up and it will resume its enticing dance. And, if the butterfly gets damaged, you don’t have to worry about getting a replacement immediately because the cat toy comes with two extra butterflies.
The battery life is great for a toy like this. Your cat can get hours of entertainment from the All for Paws Interactive Butterfly before the AA batteries die out
5. BurgeonNest Robot Cat Toy Interactive.
The BurgeonNest Robot Cat Toy Interactive is another sharp-looking cat toy for indoor cats that enjoy playing with feather toys.
It makes a squeaking and realistic mouse sound to entice a cat into chasing and ‘killing’ the cat play toy. The sound can be turned off though, especially on days when your nerves ask for a break.
The large rubber tires emit a bright colorful light for cats that are active by night and they have no issues running on carpet, tiles, or wooden floors.
The BurgeonNest Robot Cat Toy Interactive has a rechargeable battery with enough capacity to keep a curious cat entertained for hours. But, if the kitty isn’t interested in the cat toy (asleep or exhausted) the toy will turn off on its own.
6. Petstages Cheese Chase Catnip Interactive Cat Track Toy.
Last but not least is the Petstages Cheese Chase Interactive Cat Track Toy.
If your cat enjoys playing with ping pong balls, bell balls, or other cat toy balls, then she’ll get the most stimulating experience possible with this cat play toy.
Unlike bell balls and ping pong balls, the balls in the Petstages Cheese Chase Interactive Cat Track Toy are not going to get lost under furniture or hide in inaccessible corners, they’re stuck in the track.
This allows your cat to smack the ball around the track to her heart’s content.
You can comfortably leave your cat alone with this toy, knowing fully well that there’s no way she’s getting the balls out of the track neither is her paw getting stuck in it.
Although the Petstages Cheese Chase Interactive Cat Track Toy is lightweight and brightly colored, it has rubber feet to keep it from sliding around and the orange color grows on you after some time.
Which Cat Play Toy is the Best Choice for Your Cat?
When it comes to choosing toys for curious cats, there is no best choice.
That’s because their curiosity is usually short-lived. And, if they have just one cat toy to play with, they quickly grow bored!
If your cat loves chasing or jumping after cat toys with feathers attached to them, then you can confidently choose Biilaflor Interactive Cat Ball Toys, Magkay Auto/Remote Interactive Cat Toys, or BurgeonNest Robot Cat Toy Interactive. But, be sure to get extra feathers because your cat will destroy those.
The colorful LED lights on these three make them great nighttime toys for cats that love to initiate play at the exact moment you decide to go to bed.
SPOT Ethical Wide Colorful Springs Cat Toy is quite engaging for kittens, however, consider yourself lucky if your adult cat finds these spring cat toys enticing because there’s no end to all the fun they can have.
The best part about SPOT Ethical Wide Colorful Springs Cat Toy is that you don’t need to recharge/replace a battery or buy new feathers.
All for Paws Interactive Butterfly and Petstages Cheese Chase Interactive Cat Track Toy are cool for those moments when your cat just wants to smack, bite, and bat something without moving too far away from the object.
They are both great for light play session after a meal and they provide quality stimulation for senior cats or indoor cats with arthritis.