Decisions, Decisions – Finding the Right Cat Toys


cat toysYou just brought home a new kitten, or an adult cat, and one of the first things you want do is shop for toys they will enjoy.  Inevitably, after a few minutes in the pet store, your head will be spinning. There are so many types of cat toys – how do you know what your cat will like and which toys to try with her? It can indeed be an overwhelming task, especially given the abundance of toys from which you can select.

To help you decide, we have divided the world of cat toys into a few separate categories.  Below, we describe what kind of play situations each category and each toy will encourage with any cat. At the same time, you must remember that cats, like people, are individuals, and each one will have their own favorites and their own taste in toys. You might have two kittens from the same litter that choose two entirely different categories of toys, or different toys within one category.

Interactive Toys

Interactive toys are ones that will require your presence and your interaction with your cat. These are some of the best toys on the market today, and they will help to create that lasting bond between you and your cat. Just remember, your cat can’t play with these toys without a person, so if you are not going to play with her each day, get her some toys that are not interactive as well.

Some examples of interactive toys are: pin lights, streamers, feathers, and fishing pole toys.

Bells and Balls

These are the most traditional of all cat toys, and they really do not require your intervention. However, your cat might love to have you roll the ball at him or throw for him to chase, though he is perfectly capable of doing it for himself. She is also capable of playing with the bells and squeaky mice all by herself.

Mechanized Toys

These toys are also ones that can be played with by your cat without you, except that you have to turn them on, so you have to be around. Examples of these are: moving mice that can be chased and swings and tracks with mice or other objects running around them.

Catnip Toys

These usually consist of a mouse or a square of cloth or burlap filled with catnip. Your cat can entertain themselves with these toys for hours on end without you.  However, it’s really fun to watch your cat get silly, so you may want to stick around.

Homemade Toys

This category has simple things like crumbled paper or a paper box. You cat will love these homemade toys, whether you intended him to or not.  It’s quite fun to see how inventive your cat can be – one of our readers has a cat who hides plastic flowers from himself, then pounces on them.  Another has a cat who adores being taken for a “ride” in a laundry hamper.  To each his own, we say!

Clearly, there are many kinds of cat toys, and every cat needs more than one kind. So get your cat a variety of different toys from various categories, and see what happens. You are likely to find that most cats like the homemade toys best!


Photo: Courtesy of asinensis via Flickr (CC by 2.0)


Nicky LaMarco has been a freelance writer since 2001. Nicky is an experienced ghostwriter and copywriter. She also writes for a variety of magazines. Nicky lives in Maine with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. Learn more about her at