How to Find Some Toys for Your Cats

You've found yourself the perfect kitty and definitely want to bring it home. So you go to the pet shop and buy a litterbox, a nice scratching post or board and some bowls for food and drinks, and then you reach the toys section, but what would your kitty like...


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    Find out how many categories of toys the pet shop really has. It will often seem like there's a million of different toys while there are generally only a few types:
    • Wand toys, they consist of a stick and a tail of some kind, usually a feather, a string with something attached to the end or something similar. There are even ones that come with a base with magnets that will cause the string to dance around even without you managing the toy. Some of these can be very expensive.
    • Balls, these are easy to distinguish, there are still many variations but generally if your cat likes one type of ball it will like the others. The only dangerous ones are the ones filled with bells or similar noise making things, not all cats will enjoy a toy that makes noise.
    • Mousies/pillows, these won't roll like balls but many cats still like them. Of course this category includes other animals or shapes as well. These often contain something like catnip or Valerian root oil. Not all cats react to either of these though. Sometimes these move automatically or through some wind-up system.
    • Ball tracks, generally round, will usually either contain a mouse on a spring on a rotating centre or a ball. If your cat tends to bat his toys into his water or food bowls these might be the solution for your kitty. Many cats love these and don't even need you to start moving the ball for them to play with them. Catit Design - Senses Play Circuit is a great option if you have the money because you can build various shapes of track for the ball, you can technically even combine multiple tracks into one giant track. But they tend to be rather pricey.
    • Learning toys, these are toys that will give a cat treats or food for correctly doing a certain task. There are various forms of these and they can be a good activity for your cat if he gets bored easily, mind to keep an eye open on your cats food and treat intake, a smart cat will learn quickly how to get the most food out of the toy and if you just refill it every time it gets empty and still give your cat his normal food he might get a bit fat.
    • Concealment toys, tunnels and the likes, will often be in the more fancy types of scratching posts/cat homes/cat jungle gyms. Will let your cat hide and stalk you. Or just gives him some private time.
    • others, the few toys that either don't really fit into a category or that fit into multiple, generally there won't be many of these. Laser pens also go here though I doubt there are many pet shops that sell those.
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    Pay close attention to the price, many cat toys are rather expensive, especially if they're from a fancy company. If your local pet shop only has these fancy toys consider making them yourself or ordering online. Get one or two toys from every category, but stay with the cheap stuff, if you can only get things you find too expensive for what they are remember that many cat toys are easy to make.
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    Check your house for other things that can make good cat toys, also check out other shops, bendy straws from the supermarket will entertain many cats, same goes for crumpled up pieces of paper and plastic bags.
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    Play with the cat, don't be upset if the cat doesn't like some toys, this is why you got cheap stuff to find out what he likes. If he liked catnip or Valerian root toys consider buying a small bottle of these and making your own toys with them. Just sprinkle a few drops on the stuffing you use and your cat will go mad with it for hours.
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    Once you know which category of toys your cat likes buy different kinds of toys from these categories. Try to not spend too much money on them, your cat might like some toys from one category but not others that are pretty much the same except for one thing. Which naturally matters everything to your cat.
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    Keep track of what kind of toys your cat likes and use this to figure out what makes him like these toys. A few possibilities are:
    • bright colours
    • noise, or lack thereof
    • catnip or other recreational cat drugs ;)
    • weight
    • shape
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    Impress your cat with your knowledge of what he likes, if you feel confident enough you can start spending a little more money on the toys you know he will love. Keep in mind that cats can be a little weird sometimes and even if something should be everything he likes he might not like it and instead prefer your roll of toilet paper.
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    Make the actual top ten once you have the final selection of toys. Try to stock up on a few of his favourites if you fear they might go out of fashion. My cat's top ten consists mostly of wands and ball tracks, with of course a laser pen in there, no drugs needed to keep my kitty Zen.


  • Never punish your cat for not liking a toy. He will not understand what he did wrong and will likely only associate that toy with punishment, instead you can encourage him by giving him treats while he's playing with the toy or immediately after. Don't wait too long or he won't know the treat is for the toy.
  • If your cat likes neither catnip or Valerian root consider basil or mint. These two are enticing to some cats and are safe for them.
  • Many items that might seem boring to you can be amazing to cats, rolled up socks, scrunched up old newspapers, empty boxes and plastic bags are just the start of it.
  • Keep in mind the amount of time you're at home. If your cat doesn't like toys while they're not moving you might want to invest in some automatic toys if you are gone for longer amounts of time.


  • If your cat likes to play with things that aren't meant to be cat toys check whether they might prove to be a choking hazard or poisonous, cats can get poisoned by different things than humans so pay close attention to this.
  • When your cat is playing with a toy he might choke on remember to move it out of his reach when you leave the room. You don't want him to die just from

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Categories: Cat Toys