6 Cat Toys to Get Your Not-So-Active Cat Going

Looking for a fun way to get your cat active? The first rule is: Play. Start small and add on the active minutes each day. Test out toys and see what gets your cat’s attention and what does not. Read our Central Ohio animal hospital‘s blog post to find out which cat toy would be best for your cat.

cat toys columbus, oh

What To Look for In a Cat Toy

When looking for a good cat toy, start with ones that involve both you and your cat. A non-active cat will be more likely to play if you are there giving them attention. Flirt poles and wand toys are popular examples of these.

Next, you want to look for toys that your cat will play with independently in the same room as you.

Keep track of what kinds of toys your cat likes. Do they like balls? Do they like toys that crinkle? Do they like toys with bells? Do they like catnip toys? Once you know what your cat likes, focus on buying those toys. It often takes time and experimentation to learn what type of toys your cat prefers, so be patient and have fun!


Activity is beneficial for all species. Cats need activity to keep themselves healthy, both physically and mentally. Play allows them to tap into their instincts, encourages them to think, and therefore, stimulates brain activity.


You want your cat to be engaged with a toy. The ideal toy will have them acting like a kitten again.

Solo Play vs. Human-Cat Interaction

Both solo play and human-cat play are important to cats. Solo play keeps them active and engaged while stimulating their instincts. Human-cat play allows cats to interact with their human and bond in a playful, loving way.

Encouraging play starts with you, the owner. Positive reinforcement using treats can be used to encourage play. This can help to create a more positive association towards play, toys and exercise. Eventually they will start coming to you asking to play.

cat with feather wandWand Cat Toys

Wand toys are a popular option for cat owners and now there are many options available. These toys allow your cat to chase whatever is on the end, stimulates their hunting instincts, and promotes engaged play between you and your cat.

Move around the room as you wave the wand and watch your cat’s instincts kick in. When first starting out, you may need to annoy your cat by tickling them with the wand. You may discover that your cat has preferences as to what toy is attached to the end, be it fleece or feathers, find out what your cat enjoys!

Highest Rated Wand Toys

Laser Cat Toys

Cats love lasers, but they can be used improperly. Laser toys should be used with caution as lasers have the potential to trigger Obsessive Compulsive Disorder if your cat is predisposed to OCD or with excessive use.  Be conscious of where you are directing the laser as you do not want to cause eye damage or any other bodily harm due to a poorly pointed laser. A crucial part of chase games is to let your pet win sometimes. A constant game of chase with no wins, can create a frustrated animal, possibly leading to issues down the road. You can use a standard laser and play it across the wall and floor. Used appropriately, lasers can be a magnificent tool. You can have your cat jumping up and down and running around. If you want a specific cat laser toy, they have those.

Some laser toys are ones that require you. However, there are a number of electric or automated ones that you can purchase for your cat.

Highest Rated Laser Cat Toys

  • SereneLife Automatic Laser Cat Toy – solo play
  • Friends Forever Rotating Laser Cat Toy – solo play
  • PetSafe Bolt Interactive Toy – solo play
  • Premier Pet Automatic Multi-laser Cat Toy – solo play
  • Felix and Fido Playdot Cat Toy – solo play and human-cat interactions
  • SmartyKat Loco Toy – human-cat interaction
  • Kong Laser Cat Toy – human-cat interaction
  • SmartyKat Laser and Wand Play – Human-cat interaction
  • Ethical Pet Dolphin Laser Wand – this 2-in-1 is a wand and a laser.
  • Pet Fit for Life Interactive Laser Wand – another awesome 2-in-1.

Electric or Robotic Cat Toys

Electric and robotic cat toys are great for when you are busy or unable to play with your cat. It is important to note that you may have to build up to using these toys. Cats may not feel safe or confident around them at first.

Not all cats like electric toys. Don’t worry if your cat doesn’t like these toys. Starting with non-electrical toys and getting to know what toys your cat actually likes can help you save money in the long run.

Highest Rated Electric and Robotic Cat Toys

cat toy ball in trackBall-In-Tracks Style Toys

These fun toys are interactive and enjoyable for most cats. They come in all sizes. Balls in tracks can be batted around and moved with kitty paws. They come in single, double, and triple layers. These are a great way to see if your cat enjoys independently playing with an interactive toy, before investing in an electronic one.

Highest Rated Ball-In-Tracks Toys

Cat Treat Balls

If your cat needs some extra motivation to get moving try out a cat treat ball. These toys encourage your cat to be active. In order to get the treat or treats your cat must move the toy. Not all are shaped like balls, but they all do a good job of entertaining your cat. This is also a great way to feed your cat dry food while enriching their mind. It encourages physical activity while promoting mental stimulation and meeting your cat’s daily caloric intake.

Highest Rated Cat Treat Dispensing Toys

Cat Activity Centers

Cat activity centers are a great addition once you get your cat moving. These puzzle-like toys stimulate your cat’s curiosity and instincts. Cat Activity Centers come in a variety of styles. Some are even treat dispensers.

Highest Rated Cat Activity Centers

Need More Advice on What Cat Toy to Choose? Reach out to our Central Ohio Veterinarians

The key to getting your cat to be more active is time and play. Start with 5 or 10 minutes a day in the morning and evening. As your cat gets more active, increase the playtime. Just like humans, our cats need to get in shape step by step. The process isn’t instantaneous. Be patient and watch your cat flourish.

If you’re still wondering which cat toy would be best for your not-so-active cat, let our Central Ohio animal hospital know during your cat’s next vet visit, and we’ll be more than happy to help you!

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About North Kenny Veterinary Hospital

North Kenny Veterinary Hospital has been serving Columbus, OH pet families with exceptional veterinary medicine since the 1950s. We put a strong emphasis on preventive medicine as well as low-stress handling to help pets have a more pleasant veterinary experience. We use Fear Free techniques for every cat and dog to help reduce their anxiety and calm their nerves.

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