Staying active is an important part of your cat's physical and mental health. Oftentimes indoor cats live lives that are understimulated with days full of sleeping and lounging around the house.
Toys are a great way to keep your cat active and add enrichment to their day. We've always had a wide array of cat toys around the house but when we adopted our cat Bronson and put him on a diet, we noticed that he was only getting up to use the litter box and to eat. He was a tough customer and wasn't interested in 90% of the toys we put in front of him.
Here's a list of the toys that our cats love. We've added links to as many as we were able to track down, but there were a couple of toys we weren't able to track down online.
Stuffed Fish - score 7/10
This first review is skewed. It's not Bronson's favorite toy in the house, but it was one of the first cat toys he warmed up to. Only two of our four cats will play with the stuffed fish, so it's not necessarily a hit in the house.
The fish has gained extra points because if your cat will play with it, the toy is a good length for enticing your cat to use its back legs to try and kick it and this almost causes your cat to do crunches. Because of this, we rated it a 6/10 and then added another point because of the joy that it brings to watch Bronson tackle a giant fish.
The fish's stomach has a zipper and I believe it came with catnip to stuff inside. It was filled with cotton and you could sprinkle the catnip onto the cotton. I wish they would've left the cotton out and filled it entirely with catnip.
This is one of the cat toys we had trouble tracking down to include a link. Now that the wiggling tail version came out, it's bombarded the fish cat toy search results on Amazon.
Fuzzy worm cat toy - score 8/10
This is a cat toy that all of our cats really liked; it's a really fun toy. My only wish is that it didn't fall apart so quickly. Each toy only lasted a few play sessions, but I've bought them since and think they're worth it. Bronson originally rated this one 10/10, but since he doesn't pay for the replacements, we've changed his rating to 8/10.
When I originally posted this on social media, people kept pointing out that the middle photo looks like Bronson's playing with a miniature drill and now we can't stop seeing that. Here's a link to a collection of toys on Amazon.
Carrot catnip toy - score 9/10
Bronson's a big fan of any canvas cat toy filled with catnip, but this is one is getting a rating boost because it's fun to watch him play with the toy. The feathers are also a good touch. This is getting a rating of 9/10.
If you check out the listing on Amazon, there are a few of other shapes as well.
Disassembled Feather Cat Toy - score 6/10
Bronson loves feathers, but we're only able to get him to play with it using our hands rather than attaching it to a wand. This actually came with the Fuzzy worm toy and I'm sure there are better options for feather toys. One complaint about this is that it's rather heavy, so when attached to the wand it kind of clunks around and the cats don't really like it. But off the wand is a lot of fun.
trixie activity board - score 9/10
We've tried a few of Trixie's different activity boards and haven't been big fans of the other models. But this 5 in 1 activity board is a lot of fun.
Bronson is typically limited to 15-20 dental treats a week and they can go pretty fast. Sometimes the treat disappears within seconds of dropping it, so that why we didn't give this cat food puzzle a perfect score. We highly suggest using freeze dried chicken with this, breaking up the sections into flakes, and sprinkling them around the board. It stretches the calories out a little better.
Rainbow Cat Charmer - score 10/10
Bronson's given this marvelous ribbon a perfect score. There have been very few times that we've waved this masterpiece in front of his face and not had him break into play. It's incredibly enticing and lasts forever.
areca palm - score 10/10
This is one of my favorite plants and the only bad thing I can think of to say about Areca Palm is that it's actually too fun for cats. So that means that when you're not playing with them, they're probably going to try and shred it to pieces. We have one at work and pull stems off to bring home for this reason.
Share this Post
Environmental Enrichment by Kate Wilson
Cats are complex creatures, and thrive in environments that best replicate wild behaviors. For our domesticated cats this means enhancing their quality of life by providing environments that stimulate their natural behavior. Behaviors such as foraging to eat, social contact, predatory outlets, climbing, and problem-solving are all natural behaviors for cats. Read More...
Feline weight loss by Mike Wilson
Keeping your cat at a healthy weight is really important, not only for their health, but also their quality of life. Obesity comes with a lot of limitations, like making it difficult to play, climb, and jump, which leads to inactivity and under-stimulated minds. Read More...
Almost all the toys you mention are exactly the ones I’ve found my 3 boys love! (#1 is fuzzy worm on or off wand, #2 is Da bird cat wand, it really flies nicely! All the “off brand” substitutes are just like you said, clunky! So it’s worth it to buy the original. #3 single 10-12” long feathers that I buy by the bag and use to poke through holes in boxes and drag as prey #4 the fish and #5 the exact same trixie activity tray mostly loved by our food motivated boy. At night they love Smarty Cat’s Hot Pusuit (14.99 or less) and I’ve been really impressed by its durability! Most other electronic toys are expensive and fall apart. Only drawback is you need to put it away for 3-4 weeks then bring it out again for a week or they get bored. I need to try the Areca Palm!
Questions: 1) what kind of freeze dried chicken? Where do you buy? 2) what is the brand of your loose leaf catnip that you send in bags with your catastrophic creations? Didn’t see the “loose leaf” type on your site and I’ve never seen my cats so obsessed with any other brand!!
Thank you for this blog on helping overweight cats. It was very thoughtfully done and helpful! The grass and food “walk” is genius!
Thanks for the cat and kitten insights very helpful !!