Ever find your cat staring out the window, chittering at a bird that is just so tantalizingly close but entirely out of his reach? I'm a big proponent of keeping cats indoors, but there's no denying that, even if they have spent their whole lives as pampered house cats, the call of the wild is strong. Furthermore, cats need exercise and stimulation; they need to hunt, wiggle their butts, bite, and rooster kick something. So if you're not about to let your cats venture into the big, scary wilds of the backyard, you can always soothe their itch for excitement by way of toys. Today, we will be discussing the best cat toys for indoor cats, and how they can help fulfill the urge to chase, hunt, and act like the wild maniacs they truly are!
Scratching Cat Toys
Scratchers are, frankly, a must-have for any house cat. Although it may seem like your cats have a deep vendetta against your couch, the truth is, scratching is a pretty natural, instinctive part of their lives. Cats scratch to tidy up their nails, stretch out their bodies, and even mark their territory. Living outside, this can be pretty useful. Inside, however, it can become a problem. With that in mind, you can see why scratching cat toys are so essential!
Play Mat Cat Toys
Let me be honest here, as far as indoor cat toys go, play mats are the absolute best! Some look similar to play mats for babies, and are excellent for hanging all sorts of dangling accessories. Other mats, though, are made up of carpet-like materials that double as scratcher toys. They are built with lots of little tunnels, holes, and hiding spots.
Electronic and Remote Control Cat Toys
If you want something more hands-off or if you need to keep your kitty busy while you're away from home, electronic and remote control toys are an excellent option. There are a plethora of electronic cat toys on the market. These range from plushy birds that chirp, to hands-free bases that send a ball spinning when your cat touches them. For a more high tech option, there are pet cameras that allow you to not only watch your cat, but also play laser tag and dole out treats by way of a linked phone application. There are fewer good quality RC gadgets available; however, there are still a few decent options to pick from. These include undercover chasers, RC creepy crawlies, and impossibly fun "flying" gizmos.
Tunnel Cat Toys
Cats have imaginations. They also love to think that they're being stealthy when they sit behind a drape – I mean... I certainly can't see their adorable little feet when they're back there. In order to assuage their feline ninja fantasies, one must give them places to hide. For that, you simply cannot go wrong with tunnel toys. These slick, cavernous contraptions are excellent for hiding and sliding around in. If you have multiple cats, these toys are also great for the occasional wrestling match. Furthermore, many of these toys come with crinkly lining, peep holes, and hanging toys. You know... just in case your cat's imagination fails him.
Though you may not think of them as toys per se, cat trees are pretty much the ultimate playground. This type of indoor cat toy can be incredibly beneficial for helping to keep all of those wild urges satisfied. They can be scratched, climbed, used for scouting out territory and potential prey, and, of course, slept on. The beautiful thing about cat trees is that you can go for the full blown scratch post/dangling toy/hidey hole affair, or you can keep it simple. Either way, your cat will likely find it impossibly useful and fun.
Teasers and Wands
Teasers and wands are a fairly common choice for indoor cats, and for good reason. Given that cats are predators, but don't get the same opportunity to hunt as their outdoor counterparts, indoor cats need something that satisfies their desire to stalk, chase, and attack. Now, none of us like when our cats stalk, chase, and attack our feet under the sheets. To help keep their killer instincts sharp, a wand trailing a fluffy tail seems like a pretty good alternative. Wouldn't you agree?
Puzzles and Mazes
If your cat is more of an intellectual than an athlete, or he just really likes treats, then puzzles and mazes are a great option for keeping your indoor kitty occupied. Most toys in this category consist of reinforced cardboard boxes or colorful plastic balls. These force the cat to work out the best method for getting to his desired goal. If your cat requires both physical and mental stimulation, but is less food driven, there are also soft, collapsible obstacle courses on the market. These behave like the cat version of an "escape the room" game.
We could go on and on about laser pointers. People love them, kitties love them, and what's not to love? Pet owners get the opportunity to guide play, while cats get the thrill of the chase. Of course, there are numerous hand-held versions available, but there are also several great quality automatic pointers that boast randomized settings, thus keeping things exciting, even when you're not around control it. It's important to keep in mind, though, that not all laser toys are created equal. Be sure to watch out for "pet safe" labels. This will help ensure that the toy's beams are weak enough not to damage your cat's eyes.
Recommendations For the Best Indoor Cat Toys
Doubling as both a scratching toy and cute bed, the MushroomCat Scratcher Lounge is a very fun option for both single and multi-cat homes. This uniquely designed toy features an adorable kitty face shape that is great for climbing through and on top of; is made with recycled, heavy corrugated cardboard; and comes with catnip to help entice your cat.
Marvelous to hang out in, a dream to play with, delightful to scratch. This lovely-looking scratching toy is one of the more varied options. In addition to offering multiple angles, this post also boasts a combination of sisal and carpet surfaces, and an attachable catnip batting ball.
Laser cat toys are an all-too familiar staple in any household, and it makes sense - they're simple to use, many kitties can't get enough of them, and they're probably one of the easiest playthings to store. But regular lasers can get dull. This one, not so much. Why? Because it boasts three functions - flashlight, UV light, and, of course, the traditional red laser pointer - and four different patterns. Not only will it keep things interesting for kitty, it will also probably come in handy for you!
An all-around excellent indoor cat toy, this play mat covers a whole lot of ground. To begin, it's made of a carpet material that is excellent for scratching, rubbing, and rolling around on. Next, it is made up of ripples, tunnels, and holes for hiding – or peeking, but that's really more for you. Finally, this neat little toy can easily be reconfigured into any number of shapes, thus reducing boredom!
Although this looks more like a baby toy, believe me... it is all cat! The base of this toy is a soft, padded, ladybug-shaped mat that is topped with a plastic arch that holds four adorable and exciting toys. If the four toys simply aren't enough, or if your kitty demands a bit of catnip, other toys can be added at any time.
This electronic gizmo is a great hands-off, use any time sort of toy that I dare say any kitty would love. This is an automatic hide and seek-type toy that features a brightly-colored mouse that quickly rotates forwards and back on the round track, twitches, and hides under obstacles. What makes this a great toy is that it comes with four settings, including a random mode that helps keep things interesting.
Three decently-sized tunnels, built-in crackly paper, bell toys, and a peep hole. This tunnel has just about everything an adventurous cat could want! For your own peace of mind, however, the Prosper Pet Tunnel is pet safe. It has a sturdy construction, hard-to-rip material, and a frame made of sprung steel with protective ends. Furthermore, this lovely little thing is collapsible and comes in a bunch of attractive colors.
This cat tree is a veritable kitty carnival, with cubbyholes for playing hide and seek, perches for surveying the land, dangling ropes, plush toys, and a scratching pad and poles. In addition to being incredibly versatile, this tree is also quite sturdy, and made for kitties of all sizes.
This marvelous teaser toy set comes with a little bit of everything, from fluffy feathers to soft plush toys. The 10 piece set comes with 2 sturdy wands, and 8 safe, fun, and durable attachments that can be mixed, matched, and bundled together to provide a lot of variety.
If you're a kitty is a puzzle fanatic, or if you simply like the idea of giving him a mental and physical challenge, this brilliant pop-up puzzle play tent might just fit the bill. This tough, portable toy comes with 9 holes for poking, prodding, and hunting out pesky "prey," as well as a few useful toys and a handy user guide.
Sturdy yet comfy, fun yet practical. This particular toy is a neat, multifunctional play house. Made up of easy to assemble modular pieces, it is expandable and customizable, meaning you can create your indoor kitty's dream castle filled with toys, scratchers, and plenty of useful hidey holes and climbing spots.
If you're leaving the house for a bit or you're just too tired for games, this automatic laser toy is an excellent option for keeping your cat entertained. This particular toy features a very long continuous play cycle, four speed settings, including random, and three play options. Best of all, with a low-level light and adjustable pointer, it is safer for your cat's eyes.
Maybe your cat longs for the thrills of nature. Maybe he just needs a bit of extra excitement in his life. Either way, these indoor cat toys will likely help keep him happy and his instincts satisfied!
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