Cats are loving, playful creatures that offer companionship to their humans throughout their lives. Naturally, as caretakers of these lovable furry friends, we always want the best for them. From food, shelter to toys, we want to provide top-rated food, a comfortable and cosy environment and amazing cat toys.
But with the neverending options out there, how do we choose the best cat toys to keep our pet cats entertained?
What Is The Best Toy For A Cat?
With the ever-growing choices for cat toys in the market, how will you know which ‘best cat toy’ to get?
Simply put, this largely depends on your cat’s size, age and personal preference. For example, smaller ball toys are better for kittens due to their size, whereas adult cats would prefer to play with larger plush toys to further channel their hunter instinct.
Similarly, active cats would enjoy chasing a feather wand or remote mouse toy for hours compared to sedentary indoor cats that would interact with toys which need less effort.
Must Buy Cat Toys In Malaysia
1. Cat Teaser Toy
Cat teasers usually come in the form of a toy mouse dangled on a string, which is then fixed to a sturdy plastic stick. They are a great way to keep your pet cat active.
Both kittens and cats require plenty of physical activity to keep them physically fit and mentally alert. Although it seems like a simple cat toy, the teaser toy is helpful in training cats to build their confidence and better their hunting skills, making it one of the best kitten toys.
Examples of cat teaser toys are feather wands and ribbon sticks. Some variations would also have a small toy mouse attached to it.
Suitable for kittens: Yes
2. Plush Cat Toy
Cats have their versions of plush toys, which comes in options with catnip and without catnip. Aside from the usual tossing and chasing from your cat, plush cat toys also make the perfect ‘teddy bear’ for your lovable cats.
Catnip is largely non-toxic to cats, as long as you practise moderation, especially when feeding. Catnip will get your feline excited during playtime and keep them distracted from scratching your furniture.
Although cat toys with catnip are suitable for all cats, it does not affect kittens between 3 and 6 months old the same way it does for adult cats.
If you prefer a catnip-free alternative, plush cat toys make excellent kicker toys for kittens. Kicker toys are essential to their development, which is important in helping them grow to become a natural predator.
So you can say that cats both big and small will get a ‘kick’ out of the plush toys.
Suitable for kittens: Yes (over 6 months old)
3. Laser Toy
While most cat parents choose to get their cat’s attention with physical toys, some may prefer to do it the easier way with an old-school laser pointer. Laser pointers are good to train your cats and keep them active.
In an outdoor environment, cats often find a thrill in going after moving insects and animals such as grasshoppers, birds and even small snakes. By using a laser pointer, you can replicate this experience, especially if you live in a high-rise building where green space is often limited.
If you are concerned about the safety of laser pointers, a useful tip is to ensure a safe distance between the toy and your cat. Another tip is to make sure the laser is not pointed directly at your cat, which can pose a safety and health risk. This is a kitten-friendly toy if handled carefully.
Suitable for kittens: Yes, but proceed with caution. You know your pet best.
4. Puzzle Toy
Puzzle toys can help make playtime more fun by rewarding your beloved cat for their play with some treats. It is also a great way to stimulate their minds, as cats are naturally curious creatures.
This rewarding mental exercise will be very helpful for when they go exploring outdoors, hunting for small animals and insects.
Suitable for kittens: Yes
5. Scratching Cat Toy
If there is one common problem that fellow cat parents face is having to stop their pet cats from scratching their furniture and carpet, which is made worse if they are new. Hence, the invention of scratching posts and boards.
Scratching posts are usually fitted to a cat tree or are a standalone structure. Made from sisal fabric or rope, this is a very convenient invention for your pets to squeeze in some playtime by scratching away at the posts, keeping them happy and their nails healthy. Plus, your house is now free from scratching marks.
As for scratching boards, they are made of sturdy, high-quality cardboard and come in a variety of designs so your pet cat can scratch to their heart’s content.
Suitable for kittens: Yes
6. Remote Cat Toy
For busy cat parents, remote-controlled cat toys are very accommodating, especially on days where free time is limited. They are interactive, convenient and drive your cats into a chasing frenzy, which is no different than traditional chasing toys such as feather wands.
Some of the popular ones include wireless mouse toys and ball toys that roll independently, so you don’t have to be present at all times.
7. Ball Toy
One of the best cat and kitten toys is ball toys. This chasing toy is highly appealing for cats thanks to its continuous movements and sometimes sounds which pique their interest like ball toys with bells or bouncy balls like ping pong and tennis balls.
Using ball toys like these will especially draw the attention of your kittens that are growing and developing rapidly and will encourage them to grow into strong, confident kitty hunters.
The best part about getting a ball for your cats? They are cheap, widely available and also come in an interactive option.
Suitable for kittens: Yes
8. Group Cat Toys
Socialising cats is not a familiar concept as compared to dogs. However, socialised cats tend to be better pets in terms of acceptance of new company, are more loving and generally well-behaved.
In the event of introducing a new cat to your furry feline at home, getting them to play together is good for the cats’ social development.
Examples of group toys that can be used in this situation are foldable cat tunnels which is one of the best cat toys for enhancing awareness of their surroundings, as well as an interactive tower toy with cat-friendly balls to keep them occupied.
Suitable for kittens: Depends on individual kittens
Do Cats Need A Lot Of Toys?
With the vast availability of cat toys in the market, you may be wondering if your cat even needs all these toys. It may even seem overwhelming to decide on the best cat toys which are both suitable and enjoyable for your furry friend.
In short, yes. Your cat may not need every cat toy available in the market, however, having a good variety of toys is beneficial for both the playtime and also your pet.
A variety in playtime routine using different cat toys can keep your cat engaged and amused. Otherwise, your cat will get bored easily from playing with the same toys. Additionally, training your furry friend with alternating toys also encourage its curiosity and
Other ‘Cat Toys’ That Can Keep Cats Entertained
These may not be your typical cat toys, but they appeal to all cats the same way that toys do:
- Cardboard boxes and products made from cardboard such as coffee cup handles and egg trays, for days when your cat just needs a quick stretch and scratch.
- Paper bags and rustled newspaper entice your cat’s curiosity by having them pouncing or sneakily hiding in them.
- Outdoor wooden furniture makes great scratching posts, even if it is an old piece of wood from your previous home DIY project.
Benefits Of Playtime For Your Cats
- Helps them stay physically fit, as keeping our furry felines at a healthy weight is as important as looking after our health
- Good for cats to keep their minds alert. Cats are natural predators, so keeping their minds razor-sharp by incorporating toys that require chasing is essential to their growth and development.
- Continuous entertainment for cats. Cats can get bored if their playtime is not diversified, which is why it is really handy to have several cat toy options for them to play with.
- Playtime provides both cats and their owner with an opportunity to foster and strengthen their bond with one another.
To sum up, cat toys are highly beneficial for kitten development and encourage cats to channel their inner hunter. By changing up their routine and diversifying cat toys during playtime, your furry feline will greatly improve their physical and awareness of their surroundings.
In turn, you will also get to reinforce and strengthen your bond with your furry felines. Your cat spends its entire life in your household, which makes the experience even more meaningful for both you and your pet cat.