All cats should be provided interactive cat toys and basic cat toys. Interactive cat toys are toys that you use to interact directly with your cat while basic cat toys are toys that you leave out all day for your cat. Click here to look at the top 15 basic cat toys for 2017.
Interactive play therapy should be done about 2-3 times a day, 10-15 minutes during each session for maximum impact. The best times to provide play therapy is during the morning hours, the afternoon hours, and before you to to sleep. This will help exhaust his energy tank so he does not become bored during the night. Click here for a detailed guide on proper play therapy.
There are many interactive cat toys on the market that can entice cats and capture their interest in one blink of an eye. Choosing the cat toys that are great in terms of effectiveness and cost may seem like a hard pursuit with the vast amount of toys that are available in various pet stores. In this article I hope to display some of the best toys that I have had luck with in recent years at the shelter.
Interactive cat toys are different from simple cat toys because they can be controlled by the person handling it which offers a lot of opportunity to bond with the cat. Interactive cat toys will keep the attention span of your cat far longer than simple cat toys like a ping pong ball will.
I do not like laser lights because they are not tangible and cannot be caught. A cat is likely to experience a lack of confidence since they never actually succeed at catching the red dot. It is like throwing a foot ball over a child’s head over and over again. The cat will simply think they fail at catching prey. It can make a good toy if combined with an interactive toy. An example is starting with the laser light then switching over to an interactive toy after a few minutes.
1. The Fish Teaser Catnip Rod
This is a fantastic choice for cats that do not respond to mouse toys, bird toys, or the cat charmer. Many cats who do not respond to other toys will respond to this toy. The toy is surprisingly durable for a fishing rod type toy
This toy is basically a fishing rod with a catnip laced fish on the end. You can throw it out for your cat to catch then reel it back in slowly so they can stalk the cat toy before they pounce on it.
2. Pet Links Dragon Flyer
The Petlinks Dragon Flyer toy is one of the only large cat toys that I recommend for cats. This toy can be used to entice larger cats to play or cats that do not respond to mouses, birds, or fish.
The Dragon Flyer toy is a toy that bobs and bounces unpredictably which provides ongoing entertainment for your cat. The crackling wings can provide fun for your curious cat or cats who like to hunt based on noise.
3. The Cat Charmer
The Cat Charmer is popular because of the multiple colors that it is available in. This toy is available in different looking rainbow like patterns that are made to mesmerize a cat into playing with it.
The fabric that the toy is made of is extremely durable and will last an average of 4 months if you have several play sessions each day with it. This toy is very cost effective since you will only be paying between three and six dollars each time to replace it.
4. The Cat Catcher
The cat catcher is the best choice for natural mouse hunters and cats who love chasing mice throughout the day without the added dangers involved with catching real mice.
This toy is a top recommendation I make for people who want to adjust their cat to the indoors, especially avid mouse hunters. This toy is very durable and bounces unpredictably so your cat will remain interested in this toy for a longer time than most other cat toys.
You can now buy mouse refills for when the mouse is bitten off or falls off due to age of the cat toy. The mouse refills are very affordable and come in packs of 3.
5. Da Bird Feather Cat Toy
This cat toy is available as a two piece wand or a one piece wand depending on what you prefer. Da Bird is popular because the toy emits a sound that is comparable to a bird flapping their wings when it is flown through the air. This toy provides the ultimate prey catching experience for cats that like to hunt or have the opportunity to practice their hunting technique.
You can purchase replacement feathers in bundles for when the feather is torn to pieces. The pole with one feather will run around ten dollars while the replacement feathers will run around fifteen dollars for a pack of six feathers.
6. The Cat Dancer
The cat dancer is a great example of the way that simplicity wins when it comes to anything cat related. This toy is a simple piece of cardboard attached to a small wire.
Even though this cat toy is simple, it is perhaps the top cat toy in the world for entertaining a cat for a long period of time and is also the cheapest toy. This toy proves that simplicity is better than something complex.
7. Jackson Galaxy Ground Wand
The Jackson Galaxy Ground Wand is for cats that like to battle it out on the ground. This toy closely resembles movement of creatures crawling.
Cats that don’t have interest in mice, fish, or birds might be enticed by this cat toy. I have had many cats mesmerized by this toy who were more interested in insects than birds or mice.
The telescoping feature allows for direct interactive play with cat families. This toy has become one of the most enticing toys in my collection.
8. Jackson Galaxy Air Wand
The Jackson Galaxy Air Wand is for cats that like feathers or are interested in air pursuit. The telescoping feature of this toy will allow people to have direct interactive play with the cat.
This toy also features a retractable cord with swivel connection which prevents tangles and allows for easy storage.
9. Neko Flies Critter Pack
Neko Flies are a relatively new cat toy that has become a booming success quite quickly. The Neko Fly is basically a string that is attached to one of many critters. You can buy all of the different critter selections in a bundle with the rod or you can buy each critter separately. The toy can be purchased from the website here. You can choose between the following:
10. Leather Bouncer Toy
This toy was the winner of the Pet Business Editor’s Choice award of 2009 and with good reason. This toy has become one of the most popular toys since the initial release.
The tanned leather part of the toy will allow cats to chew, lick, or play with the leather without any harm. The wand is 18 inches with a 6 inch flex cable for extra bounce.
The flexible part of this cat toy is what allows it to bounce and move like prey would. This toy is very well constructed and is another good option for picky cats.
Zachariah Atteberry has over five years of shelter experience and has professional experience dealing with many areas of animal care such as behavior, medicine, and nutrition. He looks forward to sharing his expertise with you.