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Cat Toy & Product Info & Review

Updated on March 11, 2020
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I am a young animal lover at heart. I hope to inform people about animals and maybe even help along the way.

Toys & Cats

Although most housecats are safer inside they actually have high risk of being overweight or even obese. Being inactive can cause lots of health problems that can be difficult to deal with, especially as they age. Cats, just like humans and dogs, also gain benefits from staying active, both mentally and physically. Exercise is essential for your cat’s mental and physical health because it can relieve stress and boredom, improves circulation, and can even prevent or reduce behavioral problems.

So, knowing that, you need to get our cats up and moving, and there’s no better way to coax out their natural instincts to stalk and chase prey than by engaging them with toys in a safe and happy environment!

Similar to using catnip to attract cats to toys, toy makers combine materials that cats like in one toy:

  • Feel: wool, fur, fleece
  • Sound: crinkly materials, bells, electronic chirps
  • Sight: fluttery, feathery materials, lights, moving parts
  • Smell and taste: fur, added flavoring (fish, fowl, beef, catnip, honeysuckle, etc.)


Cat Treats


Catnip Toys
The possibilities for this are endless, there are thousands of different toys you can buy, or you can take your own cat toys and stuff them with catnip carefully. Either way this will leave your cat going crazy for hours!

The reactions to catnip that my cats have had is absolutely hilarious and really is worth it! Just make sure you don't give it to them too frequently, some cats will loose interest in it. Some cats don't have any interest in it to begin with so don't worry about it.

For indoor cats, especially, catnip can be a very healthy addition to their lives. By ingesting catnip (up to one tablespoon per day), your indoor cat gets a bit of the greens she needs to stay healthy that outdoor cats consume on their prowls (-Westpaw)

Catnip Toys
The possibilities for this are endless, there are thousands of different toys you can buy, or you can take your own cat toys and stuff them with catnip carefully. Either way this will leave your cat going crazy for hours!

The majority of cats will find catnip stimulating. Adding this herb to play time can greatly increase your cat’s experience and enjoyment! Catnip can be stuffed into toys or packed into balls.

Try sprinkling it onto a fresh piece of newspaper or into a paper grocery bag or cardboard box to invite your cat to play. It’s safe for your cat to ingest catnip, especially if you choose an organically grown brand without any additives.

One caution about catnip: Some cats become very excited when smelling or eating it, so be careful about petting or rubbing your cat until you know how she responds. When cats get overexcited, they can sometimes bite.

Also make sure they are in a safe environment and if its the first time they have tried it watch them for a short bit to ensure they don't hurt themselves as they may walk funny or even fall over!

Some catnip toys you might like to try:

El Gato catnip stuffed cigar toy
Bonkers™ catnip mice, stuffed pillows and tubs of dried catnip

Chewy Treats
I don't usually use these and they come in packages similar to the meow mix bags, but they are usually some sort of meat product turned into small bite sized snacks for cats.

Dental Treats

The cats will typically really enjoy these treats. They come in various flavors and help keep your cats teeth and gums clean. The amazon link in this article is under 14$ and can be shipped to you! These treats are not supposed to replace brushing your cats teeth in any way.

Make sure not to give your cats too much of any of these treats, remember they are treats not food.


Food Toys

Food-Dispensing Toys

A lot of people end up leaving a full bowl of cat food . This can be convenient for you but it will often leads to cats eating more or even less than they should. Instead of free feeding, try using a food toy to “deliver” your cat’s food. They'll have to work a bit for her meals, which will engage her mind and satisfy their natural instincts to hunt. Food-dispensing toys can also slow down cats who eat too quickly and encourage more activity throughout the day.

Start with your cat being a bit hungry cat and then use some of your cat’s favorite treats. Open the food toy and make it extremely easy for your cat to get a treat out of the toy. This process will remove any fear your cat might have of the toy itself, and it will help her learn the association between the toy and eating. As soon as your cat is happy to eat out of the toy, make the situation a little more challenging and work your way up from there.

Close the toy, or reduce the size of the opening so that your cat has to interact with the toy (touching, pawing or nosing it) to get the treat to come out. Over time, begin to mix your cat’s kibble with the treats. Over time you can gradually fade out the treats until you’re using only kibble. Finally, set out a couple of the toys in different places in your house, and feed your cat only with the toys. No more boring food bowls! Not only will this help entertain your cat and stimulate thinking but will make them eat a lot more healthily.

Some food-dispensing toys you might like to try:

  • Twist ‘n Treat™
  • Tricky Treat Ball™


Ball Toys

Ball Toys

Balls are also super fun to many cats. Their movement along the floor will remind the cat of movement similar to scampering mice or other prey animals, which is fun for most cats to chase. You can also put little treats or catnip into some balls to make playing with them more rewarding and exciting for your cat. Some balls have bells or other small objects inside them that make noise to attract your cat’s attention.
The only downside to ball toys is that they often end up under the couch or other furniture!

Some ball toys you might like to try:

Wadded-up paper (experiment with different textures and sizes)
Mylar balls (crinkly and shiny)
Ping-pong balls (watch for wear)
Sponge balls (nice and quiet)

You can easily make most of these or buy / get the material to make them just at a dollar store!

Scratching Posts

Wall Mount
These are usually a board with some sort of material ranging between cardboard to rug that have rubber on the end to stick against or even onto the wall. Typically they come with catnip to sprinkle onto it in order to get the cat interested into the board.

You can also get the wall stick on toys that will "boing" back and forth when the cat or kitten will hit it, this can be a great self play toy.

Most cat toys, I have loved same with my cat, but cardboard I really don't recommend unless you are using it for a play house as the cats will shred it and the cardboard will get everywhere. Most importantly, do not have this near their water or litter box, the cardboard will absorb the smell, and if they shred it and it gets wet it will be just that much harder to clean.

Cat Tower/Cat Tree/Cat Condo
This one is also kinda vague because there's so many different materials that it can come in. My favorite is a wood or cardboard cat tower enforced with yarn or rug wrapped around it. The only problem I have had with the one I owned was that the cats claws would get stuck in it, and eventually like all things it will break, the yarn or rub will pull right off.

The one shown below is the one, or at least very similar to the one I bought and, it works well. It is recommended for only one cat as my families cat at the time often would fight him for the top spot.

It lasted about 2 years before it started to break, but it depends on how destructive your cat it.


Toys N' More

Mouses etc
There are countless numbers of toys as a mouse, even remote control ones that are under 15$. Usually these toys are stuffed mice, fish, birds or other random animals, some even come with catnip stuffed in them! The downside of these are that they are prone to being lost, due to being so small.

Fishing Rods
These toys are super fun for not only the cat but the human too! Usually nothing more than a rod of some sort with feathers, bells, a toy or some other sort of alluring object on the end. Price range for these aren't super expensive either! You could go pick up one from the dollarstore or your local walmart for only 5-10$ there are more expensive ones but these ones will work just as fine.

Wand Toys

A wand toy can be as simple as a stick with a thin piece of fabric or soft ribbon tied to it. You can wave, twitch, flutter and circle the wand around randomly so that the ribbon moves enticingly like an insect, bird or other prey. Remember that play will often make your cats instinct kick in. A key added benefit of the wand toy is that it lets you keep some distance between your cat’s claws and your skin.

There are hundreds of variations of the wand toy, and most are relatively inexpensive. The wand itself can be wire, wood or plastic. Anything pliable but firm will do. Many objects can be attached to the wand to attract your cat’s attention: feathers, strings or small stuffed toys. These objects can be accented with bells or electronic noises, or with catnip scent or fur that smells good to your cat. Feathers from peacocks or other large birds can be used as wand toys themselves.

It’s best to put the wand toy away after playtime for three reasons:

  1. This toy should be available to your cat only when you’re playing with her, so you can build on your relationship with her.
  2. When you put the toy away after a play session, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s still safe. Watch for pieces of string or other components that might fall off the toy and get swallowed by your cat. If you notice any loose toy parts, it’s probably time to retire the old toy and get a new one.
  3. How many times have you seen mice or birds just hanging around a cat? By putting the toy away after playtime, it remains attractive and interesting when you begin the next play session.

Some wand toys you might like to try:

  • The Cat Dancer®
  • Da Bird
  • “Fishing pole” type toys
  • Peacock feathers from a craft store

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