The Best Cat Toys

Cat with toy mouse

Have you ever wondered what kinds of toys cats like best? There are some toys that cats seem to enjoy playing with more than others. Also, remember that every cat has his or her own personality and not every cat likes the same toys. Still, there are some cat toys that seem to be a hit with most cats.

The following describes some of the best cat toys that I've found after keeping cats for over 20 years.

Safety and Cat Toys

One important factor to remember is safety when your cats are playing with toys. Even toys that are specifically made for cats are often unsafe. For example, one of my cats likes to play with toy mice. The ones she likes best are little leather mice that are red or white that you can buy in packs from the grocery store. Unfortunately, the mice have little ears glued onto the sides of their heads that come off very easily when the cats play with them.

I still buy them, but before I give them to her I carefully pull the ears off of the toy mice and discard them. Also, once these same mice get played with for awhile, the stuffing tends to come out. You really need to supervise your cat when he or she is playing with toy mice because you don't know what sort of material is inside and whether or not your cat will eat it. You also don't know which parts may come off that your cat may swallow.

The bottom line is that most cats do like playing with toy mice, but they should be supervised when they are playing with them. I've found that this is true for most cat toys.

Great Cat Toys That Are Mostly Safe

Balls are probably the safest toys you can leave your cat with, but some of these are safer and better than others. In general, toy balls for your cats shouldn't be of soft material that your cat can chew bits off of unless you are planning to supervise your cat while he or she plays.

Also, toy balls that are light and not heavy are best. With light toys, when you play with your cat you can toss the ball to them without worrying that you'll hurt them by accidentally hitting them with the ball.

One of the best balls for cats are mylar balls. There are two different sizes - small and large, but my cats have always liked the small ones best. These balls are very light and sort of crinkly. They hold up very well, despite lots of use. My cats like to have me throw them up in the air and they catch them with their paws. Mylar balls are great cat toys.

There are 3 different sizes of mylar balls - 3 inch, 2.5 inch, and a 1.5 inch diameter. My cats prefer the smaller balls (1.5 inch) because they are able to pick them up and carry them in their mouth. Here is a photo of a 1.5 inch mylar ball.

mylar ball

The ball shown in the top photo on this page has also been a huge hit with my cats. These balls are light, not as light as mylar balls, but light enough. My cats have had lots of fun batting these balls around the house. They also enjoy the hot pink ping-pong balls you often see sold for cats.

Another great cat toy is the Cat Charmer Cat Dancer sold by Petco. It is an interactive toy that is very sturdy. My cats and I have had about 10 of these over the years and we play with it daily. It is on a long wand with a long thin cloth streamer attached to it, which is the part the cats play with. The reason this toy is so much better than a lot of other interactive toys of this type is because it is so durable. Typically your cat isn't going to chew off pieces of it. However, if your cat gets really wild while playing you should be careful of the wand portion. You wouldn't want your cat to jump up and land on the end of it because it is rather hard and thin. This is the only drawback to this toy.

Any sturdy cat teaser will be fun for you and your cat, but be careful of cat teasers with feathers. I've found that the feathers often come off and your cat may accidentally swallow them. The cloth teasers are much better. Below is an image and link to the Cat Charmer Cat Dancer that my cats and I use from Petco.

cat charmer wand

Cats Love Cardboard Boxes

cat playing in box

I often order toys for my cats online. Everytime a box comes in the mail my cats just know it is for them. I often spend a ton of money on cat toys, just to found out that the toy they like the best is the box that the toys came in.

Cats seem to love boxes of any type. It doesn't have to be fancy. A plain carboard box will do. Just be careful that there is nothing left in the box that could potentially be hazardous to your cat (like little pieces of packing peanuts, for example).