Toys for indoor cats are more than a mere daily distraction. The best cat toys provide an essential outlet for your feline to express some of their ingrained natural behaviors. For instance, it’s true that your furry friend can’t stalk living prey indoors. But interactive toys can satisfy these hunting instincts in a safe, mess-free way.
You should also know problems could be on the horizon if your cat doesn’t have a good outlet for these behaviors.
Your kitty may start struggling with pent-up frustration or even depression. And these emotions can manifest in several ways. Claw marks on your furniture, chewed-up cables and messes outside the litter box are all common ways cats communicate their boredom.
So, the best way to prevent all that? By providing a few different cat toys that satisfy these instincts and match your cat’s personality. Keep reading to learn more about choosing the best cat toys for indoor cats, plus a list of our personal favorites!
What Toys Do Cats Like?
Cats like toys that indulge the full range of their instinctual needs and habits, from hunting prey to seeking comfortable shelter. Most kitties don’t like only one kind of toy—they’re actually happiest with a variety of different options.
The thing is, every cat has their own personality and cattitude. While one feline may flip out for a cat fish toy, another may turn their nose up entirely.
The best way to find great cat toys is by considering their age and activity level. Don’t forget to think about how much time you’ll have to play with them daily, too.
Then, start with a couple toys and gauge the reaction. There’s nothing more frustrating than, for example, investing in a ton of batteries for your laser pointer just to discover your kitty couldn’t care less!
Do Cats Need Chew Toys?
No, current studies have found that cats don’t specifically need chew toys. You see, it’s very common to catch a cat chewing or gnawing on something that isn’t particularly edible. Wood, paper, plastic and rubber tend to be favorites among all cats.
And when you see a cat behaving this way, it’s very likely that they have pica, a condition where they chew—and sometimes eat—non-edible items. Even if your cat has pica, offering them cat chew toys won’t cure the condition.
That said, many cats find great comfort in having a chew toy. Whether they’re a teething kitten who needs some relief or an anxious senior kitty who feels better while chewing on something, there are many scenarios where one of the best cat toys for indoor cats is indeed a chew toy.
We suggest buying a couple cat chew toys and seeing if your feline takes a shine to them. You’ll find our favorites in the list at the end of this guide.
Why Do Cats Bring You Toys?
Cats typically bring you toys for one of four reasons:
1. To ask for help. If your kitty’s favorite toy is broken or looking a little rough, they’ll notice. Bringing you the same toy repeatedly or often is a good sign that it needs a catnip refill or some TLC.
2. To say they love you. Especially when accompanied by purrs or a loving headbutt, bringing you a toy might be a sign of affection. It’s their way of saying they trust and love you! To return the sentiment, pet your feline friend for a minute or two.
3. To show off. Because cats are natural hunters, they take great pride in a successful hunt. Sometimes, bringing you a toy is the indoor cat equivalent of showing off a hunting trophy!
4. To ask you to play. Particularly if you’ve been away from home for a while, giving you a cat toy is often an invitation for playtime. Ideally, you’ll want to spend 10–15 minutes playing to satisfy your cat’s social needs.
So, What Are the Best Toys for Indoor Cats?
All in all, the best toys for indoor cats are ones that help fulfill their primal instincts and keep all their senses razor-sharp. And remember to consider your cat’s age and typical activity level—otherwise your new purchase will likely just sit in a corner collecting dust.
With all this in mind, check out our favorite indoor cat toys below. We’ve also included tips on how to tell whether each toy might be a good fit for your feline friend.
KONG Naturals Scratcher Toy
This cardboard cat scratcher is made from sustainable, recyclable materials and comes with a packet of North American grown catnip. The combination of catnip and large scratching surface can provide your feline with fun day after day. When they eventually scratch through the cardboard, simply replace it with a refill from KONG!
Pioneer Nibblers Catnip Toy
These cat chew toys are adored by cats of all ages and personalities. Filled with irresistible, safe and non-toxic catnip, your kitty gets a bit every time they chomp. The shape and weight were chosen to make each toy perfectly swattable. Best of all, the durable construction means it’ll last through lots of chewing.
Floppy Fish Cat Toy
This cat fish toy has an internal, rechargeable battery so it truly flops around like a fish out of water! It’s motion activated and springs to life anytime you or your cat touches it or walks nearby. It also includes a refillable catnip pouch and fishing pole, so you can play with it in different ways.
TriRanger Interactive Cat Laser Pointer
This LED laser pointer can be focused on a wall or any other surface to intrigue and fascinate your cat. Most kitties instinctually want to leap up and chase the LED light. This toy benefits your feline’s physical and mental health by providing exercise and satisfying hunting instincts.
Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze
This cat puzzle feeder can supply hours of entertainment to any indoor cat. And since you can hide treats inside, your kitty will have excellent motivation to play often. This treat maze can be used with both mature cats and younger kittens, and the treats help reinforce natural feline curiosity.
Furhaven Tiger Cat Tree
Cat trees have always been popular with feline friends, and this one is an ultra-modern take on the old classic. Its multi-story design will keep your cat fascinated, and if you have more than one kitty, you’ll likely see them chasing each other from top to bottom. We also love the minimalist architecture, which will help it blend in with just about any room in your home.