Kitten Toys - types and things to consider when buying them

A kitten needs toys to help them stay active and entertained. Toys give cats the opportunity to explore, play, and express themselves. They can also help them to stay mentally stimulated and can even help to prevent destructive behaviors.

There are many types of toys available for cats. Interactive toys such as ping pong balls, laser pointers, and feathers on a string (teasers or wands) can help to keep cats active and prevent boredom. The feather teaser is a wand with a number of feathers or other material on the end that cats can chase, bat, and play with. It´s an absolute classic and most kittens love it because it targets their hunting urge. Other pros include that it´s easy to use, provides a lot of exercise and it´s relatively cheap with costs ranging from $5 to $20. Sometimes kittens will rip the bait apart quickly and create a mess.

Any type of ball is also an inexpensive way to entertain your pet. They come in a variety of materials, including furry, rubber, fabric and some have feathers or bells. Kittens can be a bit picky whether they actually like playing with balls and some will only do so when you throw or move the ball while others use it to play with themselves as well. Balls for kittens are super cheap, starting at $1, but have their limits in the variety of play. Make sure it´s small enough (the size of a golf ball is about right).

Plush toys are also great for cats as they provide comfort and can even help to reduce stress while at the same time keeping them engaged and active. They are typically made of soft materials that cats love to bat and claw at. However, plush toys for kittens can easily become ripped or torn if your pet plays with them too intensely. They can also be difficult to keep clean, as cats tend to leave fur and saliva on them. Additionally, some cats may become too attached to their plush toys, leading them to ignore other toys or activities that would otherwise be beneficial for them. Costs usually range from $10 to $30.

Laser pointers also function as interactive toys for kittens. It is a low-cost way to keep your cat entertained and can help to reduce boredom and frustration. The laser pointer can be used to engage it in physical activity and help to exercise their muscles. The cons of using a laser pointer as a toy are that it is not a very interactive toy, so you don´t experience any bonding between yourself and your kitten and it can be difficult to keep your kitten’s attention for long periods of time. If used for too long, it can cause strain on the eyes, which can be damaging to your pet’s health. Basic laser pointers can range from as little as a few dollars to more expensive models that can cost upwards of $50.

So called self-play and automatic toys are a way to offer your kitten entertainment while you are gone or busy. It should be said, however, that these do not replace time you need to spend with your kitten. For their health and wellbeing it is advised to play with young cats personally as it is a key factor in creating a bond. There are automatic laser pointers, automatic feather teasers, self-play chase tracks, self-moving toys like electronic mice, balls and bugs and the like. Some kittens enjoy these types of toys, others don´t. The electronic versions start at $15 and go up to $50 and more.

When buying toys, you should take a few things into account, for example the safety of the toy. If it is made of small parts or has sharp edges, it may not be suitable for kittens to play with. Laser pointers should be harmless and declared as cat toys. Whether or not your pet will enjoy a particular toy is something you´ll usually only find out once your kitten gets it. You can, however, observe its behavior over time and try to understand whether it prefers to play stalk and pounce, chasing or simply clawing and scratching their loot.

For more information, visit our understanding your kitten page.