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Cat Toys for Cats Who Don't Like Cat Toys

Updated on February 2, 2012

My precious baby has never really been wild about toys. Instead, she likes to rip up plastic bags, paper towels, magazines and paperback books. Fuzzy mice with catnip inside them and round balls with bells inside them go ignored in favor of pulling stuff out of my purse or knocking things off the nightstand. Comfy cat beds with plush cushions are not as good as stacks of newspaper and bills as places to sleep. Expensive high tech cat towers with intricate nooks and crannies go unnoticed compared to hair ties and ballpoint pens for my Miko. Carpeted cat scratching posts with dangling mice, forget about it - the corner of the bed is much better. The more expensive the cat toy or product = the more ignored.

Miko's Corner

The List

After 12 years of living with my little one, I have learned what “toys” are the favorites for her anti-cat toy nature. The following is a list of the best distractions that keep Miko out of trouble:

  • Emery cat boards or scratcher boards or boxes that are basically corrugated cardboard. I get the flat kind that are the refills for the scratcher boxes because it is cheaper to buy the refills than the boxes. You can usually flip it over and use the other side when one side gets worn out. Miko loves to use it to scratch and also lie down on it and take a nap. Pieces of cardboard end up all over the place but can be picked up pretty easily by hand. And, the corrugated cardboard usually will help preserve your furniture.
  • Cardboard boxes are second best to the corrugated cardboard. If you can’t afford to get the scratcher boxes, you can try a simple cardboard box on the floor. Having a bunch of cardboard boxes on the floor is not a pleasant sight, but it gets the job done. Miko doesn’t scratch as much on the cardboard boxes, but she loves to sit in them and rub her face all over the edge of the box.
  • In keeping with our cardboard theme, empty rolls of toilet paper or paper towel rolls also make a good hunter toy that can be pounced on and grabbed on by all paws and killed.
  • Shoestring. For some reason, my cat ignores the stringy cat toys like dangling sticks with feathers but loves shoelaces. Just a simple old shoelace on the floor can provide lots of distraction and amusement. The hunter instinct will come out for the great shoestring hunts. Ribbon also works just as well.
  • Junk mail. Slick advertisements have that magazine feel. Miko loves to tear them up for fun. Already read newspapers provide the same type of fun. Shredded newspapers can still be recycled at the end of the day. So, let your cat go for it!

If your cat is like mine and has a general distaste for most cat toys, you can save your money and try one of the above items. Cats can sometimes be like children who on Christmas ignore that very expensive gift in favor of the box and wrapping paper.


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    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for the ideas, truthfornow. My cats love scratch box refills too, and one of them loves to go to sleep in cardboard boxes. The cats do like some cat toys, but like Miko they also enjoy playing with things that they find around the home.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Tough one. My cat has taken to envelopes for some reason. Loves to steal them and lay on them. But, she is old. Maybe, your cats have lots of energy and want to play with you.

    • profile image

      Tidyup 4 years ago

      My cats won't play with ANYTHING unless I'M at the other end. Does anyone have any suggestions. I've tried just about every e;ectronic toy made and all of the ideas I've read here, and nothing works.

      All 3 of them will only play if I'm involved which I can't always be.

      Is there anything you can suggest??

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Your cats seem like a lot of fun. Cats are great household companions.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Am going to try the shoelaces. Thanks for the idea. Dusty loves his corrugated scratching refills and like you we have bits of cardboard all over the house. He also has his favorite box that is at all times in our office where he frequently takes naps. Whenever we come home from Costco, we always put the boxes on the floor for them to play in until they tire of them. Peaches likes her scratching post and the soft dog toys. She curls up against them and sometimes bats them around the house. Both of them bat the balls with the jingle bells inside. I think that they like the noise. Cats certainly keep us amused! Voted up! :))

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks for stopping by and making sure a nice comment. I love my cat, and all her difficult ways and enjoy sharing with others.

    • profile image

      kell9001 5 years ago

      Enjoyed reading your hub. My cat too used to love the sight of a flicking shoelace and was on it in a flash, much quicker than I was at getting out of the way.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 5 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks SantaCruz for the idea about the flashlight. That is a good one. My cat likes to chase her shadow, so I bet she would love a flashlight.

    • SantaCruz profile image

      SantaCruz 5 years ago from Santa Cruz, CA

      Fun hub! And don't forget the flashlight. Cats love to chase the spot of light. Cuties!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Thanks to Wrath Warbone and fashion for reading my hub and taking the time to create such thoughtful comments. epigramman ~ i guess i can't narrow down my hubs to one topic, i like to write about everything!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 6 years ago

      ...I have two cats Little Miss Tiffy and Mister Gabriel - Tiffy is the diva in the picture - and they both just loved this hub, as did I, and my oh my you have such an excellent array of hub subjects. Are you a superstar?

      Me thinks so. lake erie time 11:19pm ONTARIO CANADA

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Very interesting hub.Your cat sounds like tons of fun.Thanks for great suggestions.

    • Wrath Warbone profile image

      Terry Chestnutt 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Great suggestions. I'll try them. When I get my cat fancy expensive toys he looks at me like, "You are kidding, aren't you? I hope so." Thanks.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Cats can be so unique about what they like and don't like. Mine is all over stuff that is forbidden and ignores all her stuff.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Great ideas TFN, I must try! My cat is kind of strange about her toy choices too ^_^

      Some of the rescue kittens love the paper towel roll though, that's a good one!

    • Meisjunk profile image

      Jennifer Kessner 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Loved this! Your cat sounds like tons of fun. =) Thanks for the ideas! I'll definitely be trying out paper towel and toiler paper rolls on Prince Fredward.