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.
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.
Wand 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
- GoCat Da Bird Feather Teaser
- Hepper Fish & Chews Wand Cat Toy
- MeoHui 11 pcs Retractable Cat Feather Toy Set
- Rainbow Cat Charmer
- Kong Active Feather Teaser
- Jackson Galaxy Air Wand Cat Toy
- GoCat Catcher Teaser Wand
- Frisco Bird Teaser Feathers Cat Toy
- Pet Fit for Life Wand
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
- Zenes Cat Toys Funny Exercise Electric Flutter Rotating Kitten Toys
- Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish
- Petchain Interactive Mouse Cat Toy
- Pawaboo Cat Toy with Running Mouse
- PetSafe FroliCat Cheese Shaped Automatic Cat Teaser
- PetSafe FroliCat Fox Den Automatic Cat Teaser
- Ferplast Tornado Circuit
- Cheerble Wicked Ball
- Migipaws Interactive Cat Toy
- Yami Windmill Cat Toy
- SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Cat Toy
- Pawzone Interactive Cat Toy
Ball-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
- Coastal Pet Turbo Cat Scratcher
- Kitty City Swat Track Cat Toy
- Coastal Pet Turbo Track Cat Toy
- Purrfect Feline Titan’s Tower
- Petstages Tower of Tracks
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
- Catit Senses 2.0 Digger Interactive Cat Toy
- Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree
- Trixie 5-in-1 Activity Center Fun Board
- Trixie Activity Strategy Game Tunnel
- Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder for Cats
- Amazon Basics Pet Activity Center and Feeder
- OurPets Sushi Treat Dispensing Puzzle for Cats and Dogs
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!
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.