There’s a lot I’ve learned about cats by virtue of having a little feline of my own cohabiting with me. So many little things I’ve learned over time I probably never would have known had I not had a cat for a pet. One of those things is the fact that cats love to bunny kick. It’s not something you see often in cat videos online or hear talked about, but cats really do love to kick with their hind legs.
How would I define cats bunny kicking? When cats roll over onto their back or side (Avery prefers his side) and then kick an object with their hind legs, usually holding the object with their front paws. It’s a cute behaviour in my opinion, though my guess is the true biological reason cats are hard wired to do this is because it’s pretty deadly for their prey.
If you’re here looking up cat kick toys, chances are incredibly high it’s because you’ve long known about this “passion” cats have for bunny kicking, and you’ve wandered over here looking for some stuffed toys to will help you take advantage of this predator instinct during playtime. So let’s jump right into what I think are some of the best (and most popular/highly reviewed) cat kick toys currently available!
Cat Kick Toys for Kitties Who Love to Bunny Kick!
Incredibly popular amongst pet owners, the Original Kitty Kick Stix are the industry standard for cat kicker toys. Many stand firmly behind their products, as they’re higher quality than pretty much any other kicker toys on the market today. The fact that they have so few reviews on Amazon I chalk down to their enormous line up, and the fact that they’re more expensive than alternatives put out by big brands like Petlinks and Kong. What sets them apart, however, is that they are each handmade in the USA, stuffed with organic catnip.
Behind the Original Kitty Kick Stix, I need start this list off with the Petlinks Jeepers Creepers Toy Rat because it’s one I have, have had since Avery was literally a kitten, and is one of the only toys he’s ever liked for prolonged periods of time (and he’s fickle about his toys)! The only way he plays with this cat toy is to bunny kick it. I’ve bought two of these for Avery, and while I’ve not put any catnip into the new one I bought for him when our little family moved to the UK last year, he loves it all the same. Avery’s love of this toy is definitely about the fact that it’s so easy for him to grip with his claws and kick with his hind legs. I’m pretty sure he also loves it because its size and proportions are basically a perfect representation of a true rat; this fact alone probably kicks his prey drive into full swing. If you’d like to learn more about this toy check out my review of the Jeepers Creepers Plush Rat here.
Pretty sure Kong’s Kickeroo Catnip Toys are some of the most popular kicker stick cat toys on the market right now. They’re affordable, engaging for cats (based on the reviews I’ve seen, I’ve yet to get my hands on one to try!), and have a lovely tail that should definitely help in piquing a cat’s interest. They come in a variety of colours, so if this one’s not for you, or you like to have matching toys to switch in and out when you finally find a toy your cat loves (tip #4 on my engaging lazy cats in playtime article) it’s very easy to do with the variety these Kickeroo Toys are provided in.
If your cat loves catnip, I’d always recommend getting a refillable catnip toy over one where the catnip can’t be switched in and out. My Petlink Jeepers Creepers Rat can be refilled, but I’m pretty sure the original Kitty Kick Stix and Kong Kickeroo series of catnip toys can’t (correct me if I’m wrong!). This particular toy also looks cute/more interesting for us humans since they come in the form of adorable animals that our adorable animals will then be playing with (what could be better?). They crinkle as well, which I’ve always found helps keep cats wired and interested in a toy. Not much to dislike about this one, I’ll be honest. Pretty much every bell and whistle thrown on. Hard not to place it in the top 5.
This is probably the kicker toy I’d be most inclined to buy for Avery to try. Why? It’s so stuffed and Avery really seems to dig that about the Petlinks Jeepers Creepers Rat. I might be wrong here, but I feel like when he holds onto items that are less stuffed and more flexible, he engages by biting more often than not, while when a toy is really stuffed, he will be more inclined to bunny kick it. Need to test this theory out with more toys!
Petmate has their own series of cat kicker toys. They have a caterpillar, a lion, a mouse, and a rabbit so far, but I’m really only torn between displaying the rabbit and the mouse because those to me are the absolute cutest. These are examples of catnip toys I’d probably love more than Avery would, but at least I know Avery likes kicking and so he stands a chance of liking them by comparison to some other catnip toys. Not likely he’ll be as obsessed with them as I will, however!
And obviously, in case you’re into animals and loved the previous cat toy for that reason, I had to show you this terribly cute kitty kick stick giraffe. I know it’s part of the Kickeroo series by Kong, which I’ve already listed here, but I think this giraffe deserves a spot of it’s own. Hella adorable, though I’m not sure if it would be as much a hit with my feline as the original, plainer kick sticks by Kong.
I’ve spoken about this toy before in my cute catnip toys article, but it’s 100% one worth mentioning again in this post. Said there, and I’ll say it again here, I seriously think I might give this one a shot with Avery, as I think it’d be a big hit with him. Only one way to find out!
*Bonus: SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls
Update 07/11/18: I know it’s a little ridiculous, but if you have a cat, you’ll know that many of the best cat toys are items that aren’t cat toys at all. Recently, Thomas and I grabbed a set of all natural wool dryer balls (you throw them in with your clothes when you run them through the dryer and they absorb a lot of moisture, making clothes dry faster and more efficiently), and out of curiosity, decided to see if Avery would like kicking them. Well, he does. Like really does.
We now keep one wool dryer ball out for him to play with all the time, and this non-toy has definitely usurped the Jeepers Creepers toy rat that was his favourite to kick prior to this ball. I’m sure there’s something about the texture and the denseness of the wool that makes him love it, but I’m wondering if it’s maybe the shape, too? Not so sure, but I’d love to DIY a dense stick out of wool to see if that strikes his fancy even more. Either way, I’d 100% recommend grabbing a set of these to try, and hey, if they don’t work out, you can always use them in the dryer as intended!
Your Opinion on Kitty Kick Sticks & Other Cat Kicker Toys?
What do you think about cat kick toys in general? Do you find cats like them or do you think only certain cats will be inclined to engage with them?
Have you ever bought a kicker toy? Ever DIY-ed one at home? How did your cat like the toy?
Would your cat ever play with a kicker toy by him/herself? Or do you have to actively play with your cat to get him or her to engage with a kicker toy like I have to do with Avery?
Let me know down below in the comments section!