Few things are more important to a cat's happiness than a good selection of toys. Unlike dogs, who will be satisfied with a single ball for as long as that ball remains in one piece, cats tend to be a little pickier when it comes to their toys, so it is a good idea to invest in a few.
Today, we are going to be looking at some of the best cat toys on the market. Most of these toys will be cat toys for indoor cats, but some of them may be able to be used outdoors as well. The number of cat toys has increased over the years, and it seems to keep growing as each day goes by.
Whereas you would be hard-pressed to find more than five different types of cat toys a few decades ago, now it is overwhelming to have to decide between all of these various types of toys. There are smart cat toys, automated cat toys, feathered cat toys, and everything else in between.
Since there is such a bewildering array of toys, it can get rather difficult to find the right toy for your cat's needs. This is why we have decided to write this guide and help you choose the best toy for your kitty back home. We will be looking at five of the best cat toys for exercise and otherwise.
Before we get to our reviews, we will be taking a look at some of the steps you need to take to choose the best cat toys. As every cat is different and has different needs, there will be no single best cat toy for every one of them. As convenient as that would be, it is simply not the case.
We will also give you some advice on what to look for in the best interactive cat toys, and the best cat toys in general. With this information, in addition to our reviews, you should be sure to find the best possible cat toys for your feline friends at home.
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Best Electronic Cat Toy
Best Interactive Cat Toys
Best Cat Toys For Exercise
Steps To Choosing Your Cat Toys
Before we get to our steps that will help you choose the best cat toys for your kitty at home, you should keep in mind that cats? tastes tend to change over time. This means that your cat will not necessarily like the same toys that it did when it was a kitten by the time it has fully grown up.
Throughout your cat's life, you will probably have to purchase more toys as your cat simply grows out of them, or scratches and chews through them. Keep in mind that you should always throw away damaged cat toys as they can present a significant choking hazard to your cat if small pieces fall off.
Discover What Category Of Toys Your Cat Likes
It is important to know what kind of toys your cat will be the biggest fan of. This can often be one of the most difficult parts of the buying process since cats can be unpredictable at times. Due to this, you will often have to go through an experimentation process in which you try out different types of cat toys and test your pet's reactions.
If you are concerned about spending a large sum of money trying to learn what your cat likes, it helps to take a trip to the dollar store and invest in some cheap cat toys. Buy several toys of different types for a total of about ten to fifteen dollars, and you will learn what your cat likes in no time. Just don't expect the toys to last very long.
Try Multiple Toys From That Category And Observe Your Cat's Behavior
Once you have found out what the preferred group of toys is for your cat, you should purchase a few different toys in that category and find the one that seems to hold your cat's attention the most.
One of the best ways to do this is to simply leave them all with your cat and observe.
The toy that your cat ends up playing with the most over the course of the next few days will be their preferred model, so you will know to purchase similar toys in the future.
You can also examine the amount of wear and tear on the toys, but this may not be as reliable, as different toys have varying levels of durability.
Figure Out What Your Cat Likes
Once you have observed your cat playing with enough toys, you will start to notice a pattern. Cats will tend to gravitate toward toys that have the features that they like most. If you see your cat mainly playing with toys that have lights, then it is very likely that they will prefer toys which stimulate them visually.
While your cat's likes will change over the course of their life, once they reach a certain age, their preference will stop being so fluid. An old cat that loves smells will continue to prefer olfactory stimulation over other types of stimuli, such as audio or visual ones.
Rotate Different Toys
While you may have discovered what your cat likes, young cats can change their minds rather often. It helps to swap in different toys from time to time to diversify their interests. Letting your cat play with the same toy for weeks or months on end can lead to them getting bored of it in short order.
Another reason why you should try to rotate your toys often is because they will wear out much faster if you let your cat play with them and no other toys. This will lead to you running through toys faster than you would if you simply rotated a set of toys that you have purchased.
MUST Inspect Toys Before Purchase
It is imperative to pay close attention to cat toys before you buy them. Even toys from reputable manufacturers may have some defects that are present from an accident during manufacturing. When it comes to your cat's health, you can never be too careful.
You will want to look for any sharp edges, any loose bits or possibly hazardous filling. These are some of the main problems which can end up threatening your cat in the event of a ruined toy.
There are several things you should consider while buying a toy for your pet.
As we stated in the previous section, your primary concern should be your pet's welfare, so you should always invest in the best cat toys available to ensure that your feline friend is safe. It is also important to keep cat wand toys out of reach when not in use, as your cat may end up swallowing the string or simply ruining the toy.
Since cats can tend to be destructive little creatures, you will want to ensure that your toys are durable. Some toys, like cat balls toys, will be durable by virtue of their simplicity. Other toys, like motorized cat toys, may have complex components that can be damaged by over-excited cats.
You should also consider how your chosen cat toy moves. Some of the best electronic cat toys will be able to move of their own accord, due to onboard batteries. Most cat toys, however, will move around because your cat chooses to move them, or you will have to move them manually.
You should also consider the size of the cat toy that you intend to purchase. A cat toy which is too large may end up being difficult for your cat to handle, so you will want to find the size which is just right.
There is a risk to purchasing a cat toy which is too small, as your cat may end up inadvertently swallowing it, which can pose a choking hazard.
You will usually want to ensure that your toy doesn't end up being smaller than your cat's mouth so you can prevent this from occurring, even in the worst case.
You will want your cat toys to be made of materials which stimulate your cat's senses. For feel, materials like wool, fur and fleece are the best options, since cats will often knead these materials. For sound, you will want crinkly materials, bells, and electronic chirps.
When it comes to sight, cats adore movement, so you will want a material which is either fluttery, lights up, or contains moving parts. Finally, regarding scent and flavor, cats prefer toys with a smell reminiscent of fur or a material which has a taste added to it.
Best Electronic Cat Toy
Here's the best electronic cat toy you can find on market:
SmartyKat Feather Whirl Electronic Cat Toy
The SmartyKat Feather Whirl is an excellent choice of toy for owners who don't have the time to manually play with their cats using feather wands. It uses a weighted base to stay in place while an electric motor rotates the feather around its axis. This makes for a toy which requires almost no user input.
If you are a busy cat owner, this seems like it would be one of the best cat toys you will find, since it is just as affordable as a high-quality cat wand. Unfortunately, it doesn't come included with the AA batteries that it needs to function, so you will have to ensure that you already have some if you intend to use it as soon as it arrives.
The electric motor is quiet enough not to scare away even the most sensitive of cats. This low volume ensures that this cat toy will be useful to most kitties, even the ones who typically aren't fans of electric toys.
We were also fans of the option to replace the wand on these toys since most cats will very likely tear the feather apart in due course. This significantly increases the longevity of this toy. Even though it is relatively affordable, why invest in a whole new model when it is just a small piece that is damaged?
Best Interactive Cat Toys
Here's our recommendation of two best interactive cat toys:
Winner: OurPets Catty Whack Interactive Sound and Feather Cat Toy
This is one of the best cat toys we have found for owners who would like to keep their cats occupied. Most of us have owned cats that are total busybodies, and toys like these help keep them off of your shelves and away from your furniture. This model can provide hours of fun for your kitty.
The inclusion of a patented RealMouse electronic noise ensures that your cat will always be attracted to this toy, without having to use catnip. The noise is so believable that it may startle you until you get used to it. We almost believed that we had a mouse somewhere loose in the office when we first powered on this toy.
The inclusion of a scratching zone on the top of this cat toy makes it an excellent alternative to a scratching post, as your cat can have fun at the same time as it grooms its nails. The inclusion of rubber feet ensures that this toy will remain stationary while your cat scratches away at the top of it.
The game itself is fairly straightforward, all it consists of is a feather which pops in and out of various slots at different parts of the toy. While it is simple, it makes for a delightful game for your cat. This toy ensures that your cat will remain occupied for a good period.
Runner Up: Elipet Electronic Rotating Feather Cat Toy
This is another electronic rotating feather toy, this time manufactured by Elipet, a relatively new cat toy maker. What they lack in experience, they make up for concerning affordability and simplicity. This is a rather innovative take on your typical automatic feather toy, as it includes some novel features.
One of our favorite features is that you can take the wand out of the base plate and use it manually. This is incredibly useful for when you run out batteries, and you still want to be able to play with your cat. It also negates the need to purchase a separate cat wand if you want to be able to play with your pet yourself.
The electric motor on this rotating wand comes included with noise dampening technology; this ensures that even the most fearful cats can have fun with this toy. This product is also rather eco-friendly as half of it is constructed with recycled plastic. Hopefully, this will convince other cat toy makers to follow suit and help make the world a greener place.
The inclusion of a rotating ball in the base plate of this toy is a very good idea. The ball can be opened up and filled with whatever you please, but we would recommend filling it up with catnip to attract your pet to the toy. When the ball is filled with catnip, some cats will play with the ball and completely ignore the rotating feather.
Best Cat Toys For Exercise
Here's the best cat toys for interactive play and exercise for cats:
Winner: FluffyPal Tower Of Tracks Interactive Cat Toy And Feather Kitten Toy
If you are interested in the best cat toy regarding value for money, you have few better options at your disposal than this package from FluffyPal. The inclusion of two toys for such a low price makes this an excellent choice for cat owners looking to increase the number of toys they have in their home.
Both of these cat toys are sleek and stylish, and they come in a selection of two colors, either green or orange. The Tower of Tracks is the main product in the bundle and should provide the most entertainment for your cats. We tested it on many cats, young and old alike, and most enjoyed playing with it.
The Tower of Tracks also includes rubber grips on the underside so that it will stay in position on most surfaces besides carpets. This is useful, as you will find that some cats can push the balls around quite aggressively, inadvertently pushing the tower around as well.
The tumbler toy is a simple weighted feather toy, but it has a few aspects which distinguish it from the usual feather tumbler. For example, the inclusion of a ringing bell in the base will keep your cat occupied, but it is not loud enough to become a nuisance.
Runner Up: CoolCyberCats Da Bird Cat Toy
Da Bird is one of the more effective wand toys you will find for your cat. For some reason, cats seem to prefer this model of wand toy above most other ones. It may be because of the colorful look of the attached feathers. There are few attachments as bright and attractive to cats as the birdlike feathers connected to this model.
The rod which comes with this product is longer than most wands, allowing you to stay well out of the path of your cats, in case they mistime their jump and end up flying at you instead. The long string works well with this extended one-piece rod when it comes to keeping your cats at a distance.
Da Bird comes included with two feather refills, which may last you for a decent amount of time, depending on the aggressiveness of your cats. Thankfully, the string is strong enough to last a little bit longer than the feathers themselves. It would be unfortunate to be regularly replacing the string.
Some other models of Da Bird come included with a two-piece wand, but this was apparently discontinued. The two-piece wand had an unfortunate tendency to come apart while it was in use. More specifically, it would come apart when your cat would pull on the feather, making this a rather difficult product to use. The one-piece wand is a much better option.
As you can see, there is a vast variety of products to chose from when it comes time to find the best cat toy available. We tried to include a little something for everybody in this guide (or every cat, more specifically). If you have any questions, feel free to leave them down below.