Cat Toy Comparison
Cat Toy Buying Guide
Types of Cat Toys
There are tons of different cat toys available for cat owners to choose from. But how do you know which ones are the best to purchase for your cat? We have several suggestions below that will help steer you in the right direction.
Cat toys can fall into many different categories. We have outlined the most common types of cat toys available for you to choose from for your cherished cat.
- Soft, Plush Toys – Soft, plush cat toys can be small stuff animals, balls, and many other things. They are usually ultra soft and easy for the cat to pick up and carry around. They are good for encouraging “stalking” play which is a natural instinct in your cat. It will allow them to get the pounce-and-chase fun and exercise they love. Soft, plush toys are also great for cuddling during naptime as cats find them very comforting.
- Catnip Toys – Cats love catnip which is why catnip toys are so popular. They will find the taste irresistible. Catnip toys have catnip stuffed inside or on the outside as a scent somehow. They can be scratching toys, balls, plush or any other form of catnip toy. Adding the catnip is a great way to get a cat to play with a new toy and get used to it and it’s very useful; for getting their attention off of things they shouldn’t be messing with. Just put the catnip on the toys and lure them away from the item they keep fussing with.
- Interactive Cat Toys – Interactive cat toys are the group of toys that you and your cat can play with together. They are a great way to encourage exercise and will increase the bond between you and your cat as well. There are many different types of interactive toys. From wands with feathers attached to it, to fun and interesting food related interactive toys, you can expect to find all sorts of ways to encourage interactive play that they will come back again and again.
- Food Related Toys – There is a multitude of cat toys that are treat dispensers and other food related toys. These types of toys can be fascinating to watch your cat discover. The treats are never just super simple to access so the cat learns to use their hunting, tracking, digging abilities to figure out what they need to do to release the coveted treat. There are food interactive toys for main meals and treats. Some involve just one task and they get their reward. Others involve doing a series of steps before the treat or food is given.
Toys that are Dangerous for Cats
Not all things that cats may choose to play with are safe. The traditional cat playing with a yard ball looks and sounds cute, but the reality is yard can be very dangerous for your cat to play with. The yard and string can become wrapped around their necks and they can choke to death. Do not leave balls of yard around for them to find and any string in you have should be safely put away.
Watch Out for Small Pieces
Make sure that none of the toys that your cat is playing with has small parts that they can choke on. Be sure that their toys don’t contain tiny plastic pieces such as eyes, ears, buttons, and other small things that can choke your cat. If you cat loves to chase balls, make sure that they are the right size so your cat can’t swallow them. A good example of the wrong sized ball for a cat would be marble sized. A marble can lodge in a cat’s throat and suffocate them.
Avoid Super Cheap Toys
It is worth it to purchase cat toys that are more expensive. The saying you get what you pay for is very true. While it may be tempting to purchase the really cheap dollar store cat toys, they are typically cheaply made and fall apart easily, leaving the cat open to choking on the pieces of long string, foil parts, and ribbon can cause all kinds of problems including causing your cat to need expensive surgery to correct blocked intestines or other dangerous problems. If you are given cheap toys for your cat, it is important to check them out and pull on things that could potentially fall off during play. Anything that comes off should be thrown away.
Other Points to Remember
- Purchase toys that are machine washable and environmentally safe
- Softer toys are safer than hard plastic which can cut a cats paws or mouth if they get cracked or broken somehow
- If the toy is made of wood, make sure it’s solid wood that can’t splinter. These splinters can lodge in the cat’s mouth or paws.
- Purchase toys that can’t be torn apart into little pieces. Anything that has:
- Thin plastic
- Cardboard parts
- Plastic balls (the open design plastic balls that have the bells inside)
- Anything that has bells in it should be inspected to ensure that the bells are safely sewn into the ball for the safety of your pet
- If the toy gets broken or has torn or ripped parts, throw it away and replace it with another safe one.
Using common sense when you’re selecting your cat’s toys is the best way to ensure that your cat has an array of safe, fun and entertaining toys to keep them from getting board. The toys you purchase don’t have to be at the top of the price point, but overall, purchasing the toys that are a little more expensive will give you toys that will not fall apart the first time they grab them with any real force.
The information in this buyer’s guide can help you sort through the hundreds of toys that are available and help you make some really good decisions for your cat. Not all cat toys are created equal and there are some really fantastic choices that your cat is sure to love.