When it comes to the holidays, let’s not forget our four-legged feline friends. After all, our cats are often more loyal than our family members, right? Plus, we’re less likely to fight with our cats over the holidays… so they definitely deserve some bling.
First, how do I pick which cat toys make the “Top 10” list? As a veterinarian, I want cat toys that are:
- Safe: As an emergency critical care veterinary specialist and toxicologist, I don’t want a cat toy that’s going to cause you to end up in the emergency room with your cat! So, nothing that’s going to break off, get stuck in the stomach or intestines (e.g., string, yarn, or dangly parts), or contain poisonous “Made in China” zinc or lead parts, OK?
- Durable: I’m not a huge shopaholic, but I want something sturdy that’s going to last at least one season.
- Stimulatory: Cats are often sedentary (e.g., read lazy), which make them the ideal pet for apartment living. But they still need environmental enrichment to mentally keep them sharp. I’ve picked some toys that help stimulate the predatory drive in your cat and keep your cat entertained for hours (while keeping wildlife, mice and birds safe in the process).
- Healthy: Did you know that 60-70% of cats in the United States are overweight to obese? I want a product that will help get your cat moving and losing some weight.
So, without further ado, buy me these top 10 cat toys, peeps:
- Nothing beats a comfortable Cat Bed ($33). When in doubt, place this bed near a heat vent, and your cat will never want to sleep with you again. Don’t get me wrong – I love sleeping with my cats. But when it comes to them sprinting around my head in Nascar-speed loops at 2 AM, I’d rather they have their own resting place.
- After your cat has rested all night, nothing beats sleeping some more. In the sun. And what better way to do this than to look outside and enjoy your room with a view from your Sunny Seat Window-Mounted Cat Bed ($20). The benefit? This window-mounted cat bed provides great entertainment for your cat. And it’s actually a lot safer than letting your cat go outside, where they can potentially get lost, get hit by a car, or adopted by a random neighbor. When in doubt, make sure this bed is well suctioned and secured… or your cat will never touch it again.
- Nothing beats stress relief than a day at the spa. Get your cat a Cat Massage Center ($10) where they can rub their face all over this toy. What they’re actually doing is marking their pheromone all over your plastic belongings, but it feels oh-so-good! For $10, you can’t go wrong with this one. Top it off with some catnip to entice your cat to get the rub on.
- It’s plastic. And a ping pong. In one circle. But somehow, it’s going to keep your kitten busy for hours. Seriously. This Turbo Cat Scratcher Toy ($13) will keep your cat seriously entertained. A must for a new kitten household.
- If you have kids (2-legged ones), you’ve probably discovered that it’s the random empty box, toilet paper roll, or Tupperware that keeps a toddler entertained. Sadly, cats are the same way. This fancy Peek-a-Prize Pet Toy Box ($20) basically is a box with holes. And yet somehow your cat will find it entertaining. I found my 17 year old could care less about this toy, but my younger 7 year old cat loves it. Simply put your cat’s favorite toys (try Crinkle Balls) or GREENIEScat treats in the middle, and watch your cat attempt to work them out of the holes on the top and sides!
- Admit it. Your cat is fat. If your cat likes to gorge on his or her food really quickly, only to vomit it back up several minutes to hours later, this PetSafeEgg-Cersizer Meal Dispensing Cat Toy ($7) is for you. Petsafe SlimCat Meal Dispensing Cat Toy ($6) is a great one too. It’s a great way of being able to provide your typically-nonactive-cat some much needed environment enrichment. In other words, make him work for his food, play a bit, and lose some weight in the process.
- If you have a kitten, this toy is a must. There’s a reason this is the #1 cat toy on Amazon. This Catit Design Senses Play Circuit ($10) lets your cat chase and swat at the ball. Because you know they like to do that at 2AM. Tip: Keep it out of your bedroom.
- Another fun toy? Da Bird ($10) is a feather on a string toy with a plastic (or fiberglass) handle. The feather toy is a great way of entertaining your cat – just be careful if your cat chews on the pieces (when in doubt, always supervise your cat while playing with toys so they chew any pieces off). Also, some older reviews say that the fiberglass handle can splinter off when handling – when in doubt, so just be careful.
- The FURminator ($25). While your cat might not view this as a gift, it secretly is the grooming power weapon. I’ve tried lots of different types of combs and brushes on my dogs and cats, and this one is my #1 go to… unless you have a Sphynx. If you have any type of cat with fur, this Furminator specifically works at removing the undercoat. Just be careful, as it’s easy to remove too much fur! Just 10-20 swipes a week, and your cat will be matt-free.
- OK, this last gift is for you. Not your cat. Not unless you’re this cat. The iRobot Roomba ($360) will change your life. Seriously. I had to wait until my early 40s to be able to afford one, and with 2 cats and 1 dog, I regret not getting one for my house a decade earlier! Simply clear the floors, push a button, and watch this thing clean the floors in a mesmerizing fashion while you’re drinking your coffee (with shrieks of “This is so amazing!” as you sip).
So what are you waiting for? Love up your cat and buy him or her some much deserved toys for 2015!