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Best toys for cats

Updated on September 24, 2008

Great gifts for felines!


If cats could talk they certainly would say that food would be their ideal kind of gift. This can be proved by placing a mouth watering can of deluxe cat food on a dish and a cloth toy mouse besides it. Guess where the cat will go? Then, as he will lick his whiskers post consumption he will look at you directly in your eyes and seem to whisper you a thank you.

However, owners seem to prefer giving toys as a gift. For Christmas, cat stockings full of toys and catnip are sold and placed over the fireplace. Pet stores offer a nice array of cat toys at any time of the year. New kitten owners lavish their furry balls with plenty of toys.

I have bought my kittens a whole lot of expensive fuzzy toys but many times I have been surprised to find out that sometimes the most humble things around the house will do.

I have found my kittens playing with empty plastic bottles, shoe boxes, crumpled paper balls and shoe laces keeping themselves entertained for hours at a time. I used to get upset when I used to buy my cat toys that in my belief she would have loved and instead she turned up her nose at. Instead, she would rather play with with my fake flowers or the cap on the gallon milk jug. However, every once in a while I would guess right and I get to enjoy watching her play. Here are some toys that my finicky cat has seemed to enjoy:

-Laser beam lights can really keep your cats exercised. You will need to stay in a dark room and point the beam on the walls and floor. Cats seem to love trying to catch the beam. You may witness the highest jumps ever as you point it up the wall.

-Remote controlled mouse. Nothing is better than watching your cat chase a mouse which you control with a remote. If you are particularly lazy this will work out for both of you. Just sit at the couch an watch your cat get active. Make sure the mouse is not too large, the first mouse I bought was one of the first to be produced and was too big. It ended up chasing my cat instead. Today there are smaller versions thankfully, and my cat spends days playing with it.

-Feather toys. These look like fishing poles that end up with features. Cats just love playing with these. You can buy the one which you will have to move about so your cat can chase or those that can be attached to the floor for auto play.

-Cat nip toys. These are great however, the catnip effect does not last long and the cat may become disinterested in the toy after the effect is gone. Cats seem to become immune to the catnip effect after they have had their "high" for the day so consider buying a toy that may still be attractive once the catnip effect is gone.

-A tree house scratching pole. The cat will enjoy scratching the pole and yet gets to climb up to the highest spots, for a king's view of the house. If your cat is fond of climbing and sleeping on high places he will surely love this gift.

-A cat tunnel. The cat will be trilled to run through it at full speed. If you own two cats even better, they will chase each other with great excitement. Some even offer the option of attaching one to another to make it even longer.

Then there are those gifts that are really directly for cat owners but benefit the cat as well.

-Self cleaning litter pans. No more cleaning up stinky pees and poops. These do all the work for you, taking care of disposal right after the cat exits the box. This is truly a great invention and it is truly worth the money!

-Automatic water fountains. Some cats are particularly finicky about their water. If the water is not the freshest or there are small crumbs the cat will refuse to drink. No more replenishing water over and over during the day. The cat will get self service water at its freshest peak!

-Automated food dispenser. If you leave for work and leave your cat a big mountain of dry cat food behind each day, think again. You set the time and your cat will get his amount of food served fresh every day. This is great as well if you are one of those owners that 'must go back home to feed the cat" on purpose on nights out.

Whichever gift you decide to purchase for your cat remember safety comes first. Make sure there are no pieces or strings that can be swallowed. Monitor your pets during play time.

This is especially true with kittens. They may swallow small pieces or strings and then require emergency surgery which can turn out very costly. Having this said, I must admit that every time I buy a toy for my cat I also buy it for myself, there is nothing better for a cat owner to watch their beloved cat have fun and play!


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    • S_C_Baker profile image

      S_C_Baker 8 years ago from California

      "many times I have been surprised to find out that sometimes the most humble things around the house will do."

      This is very true! Our cat's favourite toy is an empty plastic water bottle wrapped in a sock. He likes the fuzziness of the sock and the crinkliness of the water bottle. Just goes to show, I suppose.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Great helpful info in this hub. I love the tunnels it gives them a hiding place Like you say if 2 cats they can play chasey or hide