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If you own cats, you would agree that they certainly are unique pets thanks to their many uncommon traits, including being able to thrive outdoors as much as they do indoors. However, even though many cats will fare well inside the house, they still need some level of stimulation to keep healthy and stay sharp.
Indoor cat toys to the rescue! You can't always let your cat roam free like its wild counterpart, but you can let it get the same amount of stimulation indoors, but this time with zero risks of attacks by larger animals, pests, and diseases.
But how do you find a suitable indoor toy for your feline? We’ll find out in this article. Here, we’ll discuss some of the factors to consider before and when picking a toy for your indoor cat. We’ll also review our top five indoor cat toys to help you narrow your search if you are in need of the perfect option.
Factors To Consider When Buying Toys for Indoor Cats
As you plan to buy some toys for your indoor cat, here are some factors to consider before you begin.
Age and Size of Feline
How old is your feline? How big is it? Take these into consideration before picking toys for the cat. While younger cats will need and enjoy the mental and physical stimulation of interactive and complex toys, older cats, on the other hand, may enjoy plush toys that they can play with at a slower pace.
As you would expect, bigger cats will likely do better with larger toys, while smaller cats will find mostly equally smaller toys enjoyable.
Is it safe for your cat? Your kitten’s safety with the toy is an essential factor to consider before picking any cat toy. You have to remember that cats can be very playful animals, and a potentially hazardous toy is not something you want around your kitten. Ensure that any toy you pick is designed from pet-friendly products and does not contain small parts that can easily get swallowed or choked on when unsupervised.
What does your cat like? Cats have different personalities, and this means their preferences will undoubtedly differ. While some felines will enjoy playing with plush toys/animals or something simple like string, some will prefer games and puzzles while others will like simple toys like mice. If your cat is the high energy type, it may enjoy interactive, complex games. The less active type may prefer the plush toys. Observe your feline closely and allow its behavior to guide your purchase.
How durable is the preferred toy? Is it strong enough to withstand several rough play sessions? Also, remember that the price may not always determine durability. You want a toy that lasts months or even years, even with the roughest handling by your cat. Therefore, only pick sturdy toys made with safe and durable materials.
While some cats have more of the instincts to hunt prey than others, it is a trait they all hold despite hundreds of years of domestication. Plus, feline mothers instinctively teach their young ones to chase and catch prey. If you observe sharp predatory behaviors in your feline, take it into consideration when selecting cat toys, as these types of cats do better with toys designed to mimic prey.
Types of Toys for Indoor Cats
There are several types of toys our felines can enjoy though the type your fur baby wants most will likely be dependent more on its personality type. Generally, though, cats can enjoy a wide range of toys, but the usual favorites include
- Toy mice
- Interactive toys
- Catnip-filled toys
- Simple household items
Why Indoor Cats Should Play With Cat Toys
Why is it essential for indoor cats to play? Here are some reasons;
While more evident in some cats than in others, feline predatory nature is quite intact in all cats. They are also very aware of environments, which explains why they easily hear the faintest sounds and notice the slightest movements. These traits are not suppressed with cat toys but instead stimulated to help them maintain and utilize them when needed.
Like most household pets, our felines are prone to obesity as most just sit and eat all day. When they have something engaging and stimulating to play with indoors, they are better able to exercise their muscles and bones and prevent obesity and muscle/bone degeneration.
Like humans, our pets can get bored, and felines are no exception. Left to continue, cats can develop behavioral problems that could lead to issues like clawing, scratching, and urinating, or/and littering in places they shouldn’t. With the right cat toys, they are kept occupied, focused, and happier.
Many wrongly believe that cats are unfriendly animals, but nothing could be further from the truth. While they are not as clingy or as attention-seeking as their canine counterparts, they enjoy playtime with their owners. One way we can do this is by spending time with them playing with cat toys. The best for these play sessions are interactive toys. Both the cat and its human can enjoy them.
The Top Cat Toys for Indoor Cats
- Great for solo play.
- Different speeds to mix it up.
- Tested for child safety.
- Multiple difficulties.
- 100% recyclable
- Encourages natural instincts
- Lifelike moving patterns
- Comes in several colors
- Features auto shutoff
- Anti slip feet help toy to stay stable
Please continue reading for more in-depth reviews
1. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy, Blue
SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy makes a great interactive toy gift for any feline. The moving toy has flashlights making it very attractive and appealing in dimly-lit rooms for all kitties. The toy is designed with a feather and wand attached to its base, and the base itself is covered by a soft but durable material that helps to cover the wand partially.
If you own a high-energy cat, then this might be the perfect toy for it! The toy’s feather and wand rotate around the base when powered on. And as it spins, the feather flits in and out of the fabric, causing your cat to pursue it as quickly as it can. Because of this never-ending hide and seek action of the toy, your cat’s natural prey hunting instinct is stimulated, meaning more exercise/physical activity than it would typically get.
Like many buyers, you will like that the toy is easy to set up and designed to keep your cat engaged and entertained for up to an hour. You will also like the two-speed settings that allow for more flexibility at play.
The toy is also safe when used around young children and other pets, though it is recommended to turn it off right after your cat finishes with it instead of letting it lay around.
- Made to be sturdy and durable
- Two-speed options for flexible play sessions
- Fun and appealing lights and feather wand
- Interactive for stimulating play sessions
- It has only an hour battery life
KONG's unique treat ball cat toy is designed to provide your cat with an unpredictable leisure and exercise activity with a delicious reward at the end. With this toy, your feline is treated to a fun, stimulating, and tasty reward at the end.
The reward helps to keep it eager for more action whenever it is available. To use, place some of your feline's favorite treats in and sit back and watch your cat chase and try to get the goodies out.
- Fun and unpredictable to provide your fur baby with rewarding new experiences every single time
- The active treat-dispensing design provides your cat with extra fun and interaction required to keep it active.
- Promotes safe and healthy indoor exercise/physical activity
- Excellent toy for keeping your cat engaged and entertained by itself
- Parts may come apart with boisterous play
This interactive toy by Mooky consists of three levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced, to keep your cat challenged and engaged during its use.
The curious cat will love this as the challenging games will keep it occupied for hours. How does it work? Simply hide some treats in the compartments and sit back and watch your feline try to retrieve them all. And of course, the cat may try resting and then coming back to try and get the treats, improving its skills in the process.
What’s more? The product is made from recycled cardboard and printed with metal-free ink for both a safe and fun experience.
- Easy to put together; ready for your feline’s use in just minutes
- Well thought out design for a beautiful addition to any existing home design
- Durable enough to withstand the sharp claws of the cat
- May slid around on hard, smooth floors
The Nano Robotic Cat Toy is designed to be one of the most realistic toys currently around. It is suitable for the high-energy cat’s predator instinct. The battery-operated toy glides across the floor with its fluffy tail to give the feline something to pursue. The brand says that the toy’s “uncanny sense of balance” due to its vibrating movement ensures that it flips back onto its plastic feet and continues its movement with no problem.
- Small and convenient for indoor use by your cat
- Moves without help or control just like a real bug
- Sturdy and balanced enough to withstand hours of energetic play sessions
- It does not come with too many detachable parts that could cause choking if swallowed
- It may not work well on carpeted floors
This interactive electronic cat toy is sure to be a favorite among rambunctious felines, thanks to its unique, fun design. How does it work? The toy’s feather arm randomly and continuously sticks out of a hole, so your cat never knows when to expect it out next!
Certainly the ideal game for spurring your feline’s predatory/hunting instinct! While your cat will tire and walk away from it, it will always return to try to “catch” it. And the catching attempt is what keeps felines very much addicted to the game.
The toy also has a sleek design, is fairly sturdy, quiet, and moderately priced. The package comes with several feather-arm replacements, though with how long they last, you may not need to change them for months.
- Sleek to fit into almost any home design
- Decent battery life
- Fairly quiet
- It may not be suitable for leaving around in homes with dogs as they can easily pull out the feathers.
Indoor Cat Toys: Conclusion
Like their humans, our cats require and should get some exercise/physical activity every day. Cats are prone to obesity, and when they get very little to no exercise, they can quickly become overweight. However, even the indoor cat can get adequate exercise and physical activity indoors thanks to interactive cat toys.
In this article, we discussed indoor cat toys and some highly important factors to consider when choosing a toy for your feline, and the types of toys for indoor cats. While some toys may not check your entire list of determining factors, they should check most.
We also reviewed our best 5 selections of indoor cat toys with the SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion Cat at number one. We like this toy for its sturdy build and the highly interactive design with the two-speed setting to ensure that our felines get flexible but adequate exercise with use. We also like that it is affordable and can be used with other pets and children around.
Had any experience with any of the toys reviewed? How did your pet like it? Please share with us in the comment section below. Also, share questions you may have about any of the toys, and we’ll try to answer them.
About the Author
Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. If you want to know more please read the About Me page.