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Top Toys for Cats

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Having cats is kind of like having kids in the house - the parents have as much fun buying cat toys as the cats have receiving them. This list of top toys for cats includes both interactive favorites and cat toys for kitty to enjoy when he's home alone. Don't be surprised if you recognize a few!

1. Da Bird

Da Bird Interactive Toy for Cats
Da Bird is da toy with da most! It is by far the most mentioned commercial toy among About Cats Forum members and their cats, and is enthusiastically endorsed by my quartet of cat toy testers. The twirling feather action is so realistic, cats will go ballistic over Da Bird. You'll find that it's a good idea to put Da Bird away after play, or your cats will seek it out.

2. Peek-a-Prize Toy Box

Photo of cats playing with Peek-a-Prize
Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy

The most interesting aspect of this toy is that the cats' natural hunting and stalking instincts come into play. Their interest is not particularly in the "prey" (toys hidden inside the box), but in the thrill of the hunt. The floor soon became littered with toys flipped out of the box by one cat or another, and I was hard-pressed to keep retrieving them so the hunt could continue. This is a toy that cats will not grow tired of.

An interesting aside is that one day Jaspurr and Joey found a live mouse in our pantry and chased it out into our great room where the poor thing took refuge in their Peek-a-Prize toy box. This certainly added a whole new dimension to this toy: live prey. My readers will be happy to know that the mouse was rescued!

3. Yeowww! Catnip Cigar

Photo of Catnip Cigars
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
Catnip Cigars are in high demand in our house. We almost always have three or four of them lying around in various stages of wear, and the cats the youngster compete over the ones fresh from the store. The scent lasts amazingly long, and I've found a few spins in a warm dryer refreshes them for a whole new round of play.
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4. Cat Dancer

Photo of Cat Dancer Cat Toy
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
Unimaginative humans might pass right by this toy, but rare is the cat that won't be entranced by it. A thirty-inch piece of very flexible piano wire with tightly rolled cylinders of paper on the "play end." Your kitties will go nuts over this one, and will give it very rough play. Because they're priced so low, I'd suggest buying more than one, with multiple cats.
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5. Cat Dancer Cat Charmer

Cat Dancer Cat Charmer
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
This flexible wand toy with the attached 48" fabric "tail" is irresistible to cats. Trail the tail along the floor and give it a wiggle, or whirl it in the air and watch your cat leap and cavort as he tries to catch it. Caution: This toy should not be left alone with your cat. For safety reasons, always put away long stringlike toys after play.
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6. Mylar Balls

Photo of Mylar Balls Cat Toys
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
Cats generally love shiny, crinkly toys, and a mylar ball provides hours of chasing, fun. If you are patient enough, your cat may even develop a game of chase and fetch with you. Like any other small toys, you'll want to buy a sufficient quantity of these inexpensive balls. Otherwise, they'll all end up under your refrigerator and/or bed!
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7. Toy Mice

Photo of Toy Mice
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
A cat can never be too sleek, too furry, nor have too many mice to play with. Your cat will spend many enjoyable hours batting them around, "killing" them, and losing them under your furniture.

As a general rule, I always remove any features that might be pulled off or swallowed, such as glued-on eyes, ears, and tails. The cats won't really care about the difference. Leather mice wear particularly well, but colorful fabric ones will also be popular, particularly if enhanced with catnip.

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8. Laser Pet Toy

Photo of Laser Pet Toy
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
The Laser Pet Toy is irresistible to cats of all ages. Be careful not to shine the beam directly into your kitty's eyes. Also, keep in mind that your cat needs to eventually "catch" his prey, so alternate this toy with more tangible lures, to save him from frustration.
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9. Panic Mouse

Panic Mouse
For supervised cat play, Panic Mouse is the closest match to the real thing, and our GuideCats who tested it went crazy over it. It uses computer generation for erratic movement of the wand and lure, and the wand is detachable for interactive play. Note: larger, stronger cats may break the string attaching the lure, and there is now a spring wand attachment that is sturdier.

10. Petmate Crazy Circle Cat Toy

Petmate Crazy Circle Cat Toy
Photo Credit: Courtesy of PriceGrabber
This toy has received mixed reviews. Some cats are crazy about it, and others soon become bored. Made of tough, durable plastic, Crazy Circle has openings through which your cat can attempt to catch the ball inside. It's 17" in diameter and bright blue.
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