One of the reasons cats are such popular pets is because they bring so much enjoyment to their owners. Not only do they love to snuggle and sit on your lap, cats also love to play. New cat owners may be curious about what types of toys to purchase since there are so many options on the shelves. Here is a list of the top 10 cat toys.
Wand Type Toys
Wand toys, also called teasers, are perfect for cats of all ages. These toys feature an object, usually a feather or a streamer, attached to a string or wire that hangs from a long plastic shaped rod. These toys are popular because they simulate the natural hunting behaviors of cats, from stalking and sneaking, to pouncing on the prey. Wand type toys can have small stuffed animals, feathers, or bells on the end. To engage your cat in play with a wand toy, gently drag the wand across the floor or dangle it just out of your cat’s reach.
Kickers is the generic term for stuffed toys the cat can bat around with their paws. These can resemble small mice or birds, be shaped to look like real objects such as fish or fruit, or just look like basic geometric shapes. Some kicker toys have an opening where you can insert a small treat or a pinch of catnip. Most are stuffed and soft and need to be examined from time to time for holes or possibly leaking stuffing.
Dogs aren’t the only animals that like to play with a ball. While your cat is unlikely to engage in a game of fetch, they will enjoy playing with a ball. Balls designed for cats are smaller and more lightweight than those for dogs. Some of these balls are plastic spheres with bells or rattles inside, some are even filled with catnip. There are even battery operated balls that roll on their own or reverse direction when they hit a wall. No matter what type of ball you choose, inspect it periodically to make sure it has no broken pieces that might injure your cat.
Have you ever seen a cat work a puzzle? Well, they can do it. There are cat toys on the market that allow you to hide a treat in a compartment and the cat has to slide objects or flip open small doors to find the treat. Another type of puzzle is the ring and ball. This type has a two piece hollow ring with a ball inside. As the cat bats the ball it begins to spin around the ring. The more the cat hits it, the faster it spins. There are many variations of this toy. Some have more than one ball and others present more of a maze than just a circle.
Battery operated robots are fun for cats to play with. These little creatures zoom across the floor and cats love to chase them. Popular robot toys are tiny mice that roll and squeak, a robot that looks like a tin can and makes noises when touched, and a fish that flops like a real fish out of the water. There is also a bird in a cage that sings and squawks that is sure to amuse your cat.
Remote Control Toys
These are similar to the robotic toys described above, but the motion is controlled by the pet owner, rather than being random. Some examples of these are miniature remote control cars that pull feathers or bells, tiny mice that zig zag across the floor, and a robot cat that plays with and talks to your cat are just a few examples of toys that provide hours of fun for cats and their owners.
A relatively new type of cat toy is one that hangs on the wall using screws or a window with suction cups. The base is attached to the wall or a window and a long thin metal rod extends outward. Several toys hang from the end of the rod at differing heights. As the cat jumps up and hits one of the toys, it shakes the strings of the other toys and they also begin to move. Many of these toys have feathers, balls, and small stuffed animals hanging from the main support rod.
Cats are natural climbers, and you can’t go wrong with a climbing tower or treehouse for your cat. Some models have perches at different heights. Others have some perches and some hidey holes so the cat can rest or hide and play. Always buy a high quality climbing tower that can support the weight of your pets.
Swings and Hammocks
Cat swings and hammocks allow your pet to climb, jump, and hang in mid air. There are commercially available cat swings and hammocks available in a variety of sizes and styles. Some are designed to hang from the ceiling. While others attach to window sills or shelves. Some people will install several swings and platforms along one wall to create a kitty obstacle course of sorts.
Simple, Homemade Toys
While you could spend a fortune on manufactured cat toys, sometimes you want to try something and see if your cat likes it before you spend the money. Wand toys can be made by tying a string to the end of a stick. You can use tiny stuffed animals for your cat to kick around and wrestle with. You can also empty toilet paper tubes and fill them with something that rattles by folding down both ends and taping securely. Lastly, don’t forget a laser pointer or a pen light for hours of fun.
There are a lot of different toys that can help your cat have fun as well as keep them occupied. Each toy has a different purpose and action, so it is important to look at each and determine what toys would be the best fit for your cat.