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The 5 Best Cat Toys

Updated on March 19, 2011

The 5 Best Cat Toys

So you've picked out the perfect companion kitty and are getting ready to bring it home. Maybe you got a rescue kitty from a shelter or rescue organization, or perhaps you bought a purebred kitty from a reputable breeder. No matter what kind of cat you've chosen, there are certain supplies you'll need: a litter box, litter, food, food and water bowls, a bed, a brush, toenail clippers, and of course, toys.

Cats are extremely intelligent animals and need plenty of toys for several reasons:

  • Toys can give your cat a safe way to scratch, claw, and bite to their heart's content, without damaging you or your furniture. Despite being domesticated animals, they still have strong instincts and will find a way to express them regardless of if they have toys or not.
  • Cats need playtime with their owners to build a strong pet/human bond. Daily playtime with your cat will make the transition to your household easier and result in a happier cat and a happier owner.
  • Toys give the cat a chance to develop their cognitive skills. Just like a human needs something to keep their brain sharp, so do cats!
  • Toys also give the cat a way to exercise and aids in muscle development and physical conditioning. If you have an older cat, they particularly need a form of exercise to ensure that they do not get obese or develop issues as they age.

There can be hundreds of cat toys to choose from, and trying to find just the right toys for your cat can be overwhelming and a bit expensive. Cats are known for being a bit persnickety and most cats will have definite preferences when it comes to toys. Listed below are 5 great (and affordable!) toys that appeal to a majority of cats:

  1. The single toy that seems to be a universal favorite is Rainbow Mice. These mice have the perfect weight and size to easily mimic a real mouse, and the rainbow colors seem to attract cats and ensure that you won't mistake them for a real mouse. At less than $4 for a pack of 12, they're also one of the most inexpensive toys available. You can train your cat to play fetch by tossing them down a long hallway, and cats love solitary play with them as well, tossing them up in the air and batting them in a volleyball-like move.
  2. Much like the previous item, Mylar Crinkle Balls are a big hit as well. Cats tend to enjoy soccer-like activities with these, and the crunching sound that these make as your cat plays with them gives them aural stimulation.
  3. The SmartCat Peek-a-Prize Pet Toy Box is especially purrfect for kittens. They love to swat at the balls and other toys inside and figuring out how to reach toys that are in odd positions. The design of this toy means that you can put other balls & toys in the box as well to mix things up, and you can play with this toy with your kitten as well to develop the human/animal bond.
  4. Every cat needs a teaser toy of some sort, and the Grreat Choice Teaser seems to be one of the better choices available. Why? The toy on the end is sparkly enough to capture the cat's attention, yet doesn't have feathers that will shred and cause a mess on your floor. Instead of being attached directly to an easily breakable string, the first few inches past the toy are a high strength, stretchable netting for the cat to sink his claws into.
  5. The last toy on the list is the Ethical Pet Spotbrites Laser Pet Toy. If your cat is tending towards being overweight, this is a good motivator to get them moving. Simply point it at the floor and move it around, most cats can't resist chasing it around the house. One word of caution though: Don't shine the laser directly into your cat's eyes or in their face.

No matter what toys you choose, remember that more than a single toy, your cat wants your attention, love and care. Enjoy your new kitty!

How often does your cat play with toys?

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    • Five One Cows profile image

      Five One Cows 7 years ago from Moo Town

      I really like that peek-a-prize pet toy box. I'm going to have to get one of those for them to try out.