Wanted: The Perfect Cat Toy

PetMD Editorial
December 02, 2008
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Cats love playing as much as they love sleeping, and that's saying a lot. Learn about some common household items that will keep kitty entertained and happy.



When it comes to cat toys, no object is too small, big, or trivial. From your local pet store to common household items, there are hundreds of toys to choose from. So what exactly is a cat looking for? Cats especially love shiny, crinkly, and tinkly things; if it wiggles or is filled with catnip, even better.


A perennial cat favorite is the toy mouse. Whether realistic-looking or bright pink and glittery with neon blue ears, cats love to swat, throw, stalk, tease, and attack the toy mouse. Be sure to get an assortment of mice and rotate them out occasionally, so as to prevent kitty from getting bored.


Want to see your cat go really gaga? Get a laser pointer. While this "toy" will require some human involvement, it is sure to give you and your cat hours of fun. Just shine the pointer's little red dot on a wall, door, or floor (never in kitty's eyes, as it may injure the cat's eyesight) and witness the ensuing mayhem. Be careful, though; you may want clear out an area so the cat doesn't knock down any priceless heirlooms.


Other toys which may pique your cat's interest include bright feathers on a string, cat "fishing lines" (a piece of bouncy wire with paper or textile material attached to the end, so the cat can attack at will), sparkly balls, cardboard or plastic tunnels, and "treat" toys (toys with tasty treats inside a pocket).


But you don’t even need to spend money to give your cat quality entertainment. Tease you cat with a bright piece of string. A big ball of aluminum foil is fun, too, as long as you supervise -- you don’t want the cat biting pieces off. Other common household items that make great cat toys are hair bands, pens, and chopsticks.


The best homemade cat toy, however, has to be a box. Cats love boxes. They love to stalk them, jump in them, and hide in them, just waiting for a silly human to come by to pounce upon. Cats will even try to fit in boxes entirely too small for them, convinced they can squeeze in. Boxes make for hours of playtime fun, and make great sleeping spaces for cats, too.


So now there is no excuse for having a bored kitty at home, is there? Whether store-bought or homemade, playing with toys are a great way of bonding with your cat. Let's not forget that playing with your cat can help make you look and feel younger, and who wouldn't like that?

Image: Jeff Kubina / via Flickr