How to Choose the Right Toy for Your Cat

All cat owners want their beloved pets to be able to roam around the house or the garden, amusing themselves with an array of different toys. However, for cat owners, there are certain dangers to consider. 

Seeing as common toys for cats can quickly spell disaster, you may feel like all toys on the market are hazards. However, lucky for you and your cats, there are toys out there that are perfect. 

When buying toys for your cat, it’s important to note that there is no one size fits all. Instead, you should be buying toys that complement your cat’s personality, life stage, and living situation- i.e indoor or outdoor. 

While the drive to chase, pounce, and ‘kill’ remains in every cat, not all cats like toys that make loud noises. In fact, for frightened kittens, this may scare them. That’s why choosing the right toy for your cat comes down to individual considerations. 

Different types of toys for cats 

The pet industry is overflowing with options for cat toys. However, before making a purchase there are so many factors to consider. Firstly, is the toy safe? Are there choking hazards? Secondly, is the toy durable? Could it prove to be a danger once it begins to fall apart? 

When buying cat toys, safety and durability are important considerations. This is because loose feathers, pieces of string or rubber bands can quickly turn into health hazards. Potentially causing everything from choking and intestinal blockage to mouth lacerations. 

Once questions of safety and durability are answered, one question remains- what toy would my cat like? Luckily, this question can be answered by matching the toy with your cat’s personality. Otherwise, a fast-moving toy for a slow-moving cat will just be a waste of money. 

Exercise toys 

Exercise toys are great for cats with active or lazy tendencies. This is because, for active cats, exercise toys provide enough stimulation- both physically and mentally- to keep them feeling happy. 

For lazier cats, exercise toys encourage them to get moving. For example, toys like go fish sets, where cats have to crouch, run and jump in order to catch the fish and bring it back, tap into a cat’s natural instincts and therefore entice them to play and move around

‘Prey’ toys 

Kittens and cats alike retain their animal instincts. This essentially means that they want to prey on their toys. While every cat has these instincts, some may appreciate small toys while others gravitate to larger toys.

If you’ve noticed that your cat likes to carry things around in its mouth, getting a small prey toy such as a plush mouse is a good idea. Whereas cats who like to pounce on and tackle objects would prefer larger toys. 

Scratching posts

Scratching is an essential cat behavior. The activity keeps claws sharp, offers a different exercise outlet, and allows cats to stretch their muscles, all the while marking their territory. 

Yet, scratching posts can also be used as toys. Especially those that are designed to include different platforms, hanging toys, and hidden boxes. This makes scratching posts great toys for cats with active personalities and those that like to exercise their animal instincts.

Food dispensing toys

Your cat’s over-excited and eager personality may mean that they need a little help slowing down. Or, your cat might need a little incentive to be more active. Food dispensing toys are perfect for each situation. 

Food dispensing toys usually come in the form of balls or chew toys. When they are interacted and played with, the toy will typically provide food of your choosing. Making lazy cats more active while also giving eager cats an opportunity to slow down.  

Toys that make sounds 

It’s common for balls or toys to roll around the floor and squeak when pounced on. This is especially beneficial for outgoing cats as the movement and noise will stimulate them, helping them to enjoy playtime even more.

However, for timid and scared cats, toys that make noise may cause distress. This can result in your cat retreating from playtime and even from members of the family. If your cat is timid, opt for slow-moving, silent toys. 

Cat tunnels 

Tunnels are a great all-around toy for cats. They provide a safe space to retreat to in order to get some sleep or alone time. They also play into a cat’s primal instincts to run, hide, pounce, and even scratch. 

When choosing a tunnel for your beloved cat, make sure that it is nice and big. Cats should be able to easily enter and exit the tunnel. This way, timid cats won’t feel scared or trapped. Additionally, a big tunnel provides room for adventurous cats to play. 

Teaser wands 

Teaser wands come in a variety of shapes and styles. There can be feathers, small mice, or even fish attached to the teaser wand. With this in mind, the perfect teaser wand for your cat will depend on their likes and interests. 

For example, cats that like to pounce might like the fish teaser wands while cats who like to chase might like the feather teaser wands. It’s important to note that teaser wands can present possible choking hazards should cats play with them unsupervised. 

Choosing the perfect toy for your cat 

Cats are complicated creatures. Some can be cuddly while others prefer to wander the streets for a while before returning home. With this in mind, it makes sense that not every cat will enjoy every toy on the market. 

While this quirk is understandable, it can make purchasing toys for your beloved pet feel like an uphill battle. Owners could even spend hours in the toy aisle and still return home with a toy that simply isn’t right, or safe. 

When buying toys for cats, safety is paramount. Otherwise, a seemingly harmless toy could present a choking hazard. That’s why, when buying toys for cats, determining safety and durability is always the best first step.

Then, to ensure that your cat has the right toys, try to find types of toys that will match their personality. This way, mental and physical stimulation, along with enjoyment, is assured. Giving you peace of mind and the satisfaction that your cat is happy and thriving.  

Author’s Bio

Maddy has a journalism background and is an aspiring novelist. Proud dog mum to two border collies TJ and Max and has the ability to decipher any Taylor Swift song lyrics hidden meanings. 


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Madeline Pappas

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