The Best Toys for Your Cat
Ensuring that your cat has plenty of toys to keep her entertained and satisfy her natural hunting instinct is one of the best things you can do for her happiness!
But what do cats like to play with the most? With so many different types of cat toys on the market (not to mention cardboard boxes, plastic milk rings, and hair ties) it can be tough to determine what your cat will like best and keep her from becoming bored. Fortunately, we’ve created this handy guide to lay out all the types of cat toys and help you determine the best cat toys for your cat or kitten!
Specialist and Generalist Hunters
First, let’s determine what type of hunter your cat is. With dogs, play is a social experience. You’re playing together and bonding over an activity. With cats, play is more of a solitary experience. You are simulating the hunting sequence for your cat and satisfying her innate need to hunt and catch her prey. So, not just any toy will work for some cats. You’ll want to pick toys that specifically look like different types of prey and mimic their movements.
What do cats like to play with? Some cats are specialists: that means that they prefer to hunt a specific kind of prey, like a bird or a mouse. Others are generalists, meaning they don’t really care what kind of toy it is as long as it moves. When considering the best toys for cats that like to hunt, look for a toy that mimics their preferred prey. Some cats prefer feather cat toys that resemble birds, others prefer plush cat toys that could be a fuzzy mouse. The Hartz Just For Cats® Kitty Caster™ Cat Toy allows the best of both worlds. This fishing pole style toy has two detachable lures, one plush and one with feathers.
Interactive Play and Solo Play
With the majority of pet cats in the United States being kept exclusively indoors, many pet parents are searching for the best cat toys for bored cats, or the best cat toys for indoor cats. It’s very common for indoor cats to be bored and get into trouble due to lack of play and enrichment and the myth that cats are low maintenance pets. Many cat owners think their cats are satisfied because they put out tons of toys on the ground for the cat to interact with as she chooses throughout the day. When the cat plays alone with an object, this is called solo play. Solo play is great as a supplement, but it’s not an adequate substitute for interactive play, which is play with you!
If you’re looking for the best cat toys to keep cats busy and encourage solo play, be sure to provide your cat with a variety of options – and don’t leave them out all the time! Rotating toys and putting some away from time to time can help keep toys feeling new and exciting for your cat. The Hartz Just For Cats® Peek and Play™ Cat Toy is a super fun solo play toy that’s great for kittens and senior cats alike. It combines lounging, exploring, and scratching all in one! In terms of cat balls and kitten balls to swat around your floor, the Hartz® Just For Cats® Midnight Crazies® Cat Toy and Hartz Just For Cats® Bizzy Balls® Cat Toy are designed to stimulate and encourage your cat’s natural instincts.
In terms of interactive play, you’ll want to choose a wand toy or fishing pole style toy. Just 10 to 15 minutes of playtime, both morning and evening can make a big difference in keeping your kitty calm throughout the day and staying out of trouble. The Hartz Cattraction with Silver Vine & Catnip® Koi Dangler™ Cat Toy combines interactive play with stimulating catnip and silver vine for double the fun.
Ultimately, each cat is an individual and they will all have their own unique preferences for which types of toys they prefer. There are fishing pole toys, solo play toys, catnip and silver vine toys, food dispensing toys, and so many more! Give your cat a taste of the spice of life and mix things up with a variety of options. She’ll thank you for it!