If you’re in the process of adopting a new kitten or have just sealed the deal and brought your new kitty home, first off: congratulations! Whether you’re a new pet mama or papa, or this is the second, third, fourth, or fifth new bundle of furry joy you’ve got in your home, have fun, don’t forget to take as many pictures as possible, and be sure to spoil your Facebook followers with as many adorable snaps as you can in the next few months. Your kitten will probably grow into adulthood a lot faster than you think!
Now onto the topic of today’s post. Chances are if you’re here, you either clued into the fact or at least vaguely realize that kittens have this one ever-so-special need adult cats don’t: their seemingly unlimited supply of energy!
And of course, if those small fur children don’t get that energy out in a way that’s completely a-okay with us humans, they’re likely to take their claws of mass destruction out on things we definitely don’t want them destroying: furniture, computer wires, curtains – the list knows no end!
I’ve split up this article into three sections. Two will help you relieve some of that unlimited supply of energy: the first being high energy kitten toys you need to engage with to help out your cat, and the second being toys you can leave out for your kitten to play with by him or herself while you’re out of the house, away at work, or even busy doing other things (because let’s be honest, no one can keep up with these furballs 24/7). The third section of this post is for pet parents with kittens who have teething troubles, and need a few chew toys around to grab as relief for their kittens. Let me know if there are any other types of kitten toys you want to see in this post, and I’ll work on getting those sections up!
High Energy Kitten Toys to Help Use Up Your Cat’s Energy
The toys listed here are all about getting your kitten’s energy out as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some tips for maximizing the amount of burst energy used up by your kitten in play: use toys like cat wands, lasers, balls – essentially toys a kitten will nee to run after or jump up to catch, instead of simply toys that engage him or her mentally (like cat feeder toys, for instance).
With toys you throw, throw far down halls. With toys like wands that your cat chases while you hold, trace the tip up and down cat-approved furniture or cat trees so your kitten gets a lot of jumping action done. Do the very same with lasers, where you direct light for your cat to go after.
Need more ideas for cat toys that use up a lot of energy? Try browsing through my article on cat exercise toys here.
This cat wand may not look like much, but I promise you it’s a lot more than at first meets the eye. This cat toy is actually one of the absolute most popular cat wands on the market – for a couple of very good reasons. The Da Bird’s heads are easily replaced with refill heads when they’re used to pieces (and let me tell you – all feather toys die the same plucky death). And the toy itself is supposedly one of the most highly engaging available for cats.
While this second part may not matter very much to you right now (kittens are notoriously good at playing with anything they’re given), as your cat ages and he or she becomes a lot more picky about the toys he or she will use, and at that point, you’ll likely be glad you had something like this in your corner. Extremely good for getting as much energy out of a feline as physically possible, especially if you use it to run up and down cat-approved furniture, or a cat tree if you have one at home.
Now, if you’re looking for something, cheap, affordable, durable as heck, and without feathers so it won’t ever really be completely demolished, you’re looking for the Cat Charmer. It’s a miraculous cat toy that both kittens and adult cats love, and will always be there for you while other toys come and go due to the kitty claws of mass destruction. The perfect toy to have as a back up.
Feathers for your cat to chase after on their own! The reason this toy doesn’t make the cut for the second section is, well it still requires a little input from you – the press of a button! There are a number of automatic cat toys out there, and they’re all ever-so-helpful if you want to get your cat’s energy out, but also want to have a little break from playing with your cat yourself. Looking for an alternative to this automated feather wand that should be much more unpredictable and thus interesting for a cat? Try the SmartyKat Feather Whirl Electronic Motion Cat Toy. While it should do the trick, it will definitely get lost under furniture a lot easier, so keep that in mind when making your decision.
There are ever-so-many feather toys that are popular that it’s impossible to list them all here, but basically, if your kitten loves feathers – check out this article for more feather toy ideas.
I could’ve put this one in the next section – on toys kittens can play with on their own – but since you can also throw bouncy balls down hallways and into rooms it’s alright for cats to smash into things while playing in, I thought they deserved a spot here.
If you find your cat really enjoys bouncy balls, do yourself a favour and check out some more of the ball varieties of cat toys available out there.
Yet another incredibly popular cat wand on the market, though this one being surprisingly good at engaging cats that are hard to play with. Again, this may not be important to you right now as a kitten pet parent, but it will be important to have at least a few toys your cat really loves as your cat ages and starts getting more picky!
Obviously, you know cats like lasers, but while many cats will lose their taste for them at least a little as they age, most kittens can be relieved of remarkably large amounts of energy chasing these things across the room and up onto furniture.
Prefer to be hands-off with the laser toy? Many automatic laser toys aren’t all that expensive. Take the Petsafe Bolt, for instance. It may not be perfect, but for the price, it’s one heck of a good option to keep your kitten occupied when you’re a bit too busy to wave around the laser yourself.
Toys Kittens Can Play With On Their Own
Because it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep up with your kitten all hours of the day, it’s important to have at least a few toys he or she can play with on his or her own scattered around the parts of the house your kitten frequents. This is especially important if you happen to be away from the house for long periods of time, like during work hours.
The following are all cat toys that fit this criteria. Since there’s no way I could list all the cat toys that deserve to be up here, if you’re interested in seeing more toys along these lines, check out my article on home alone cat toys.
My brother’s cat loves smacking the balls and dashing past on this cat toy. While I’ve never had it myself, it’s one of those cat toys I know I’d buy for a kitten, but that may be hit or miss if your cat grows up to be anything like mine – not a huge fan of ball or track cat toys. I used to have the Catit Senses Play Circuit track toy, which, to be fair, Avery used to play with as a kitten, but after his teenage phase he ignored this type of cat toy completely, so I’m not convinced getting the Petstages Tower of Tracks for him is a good idea. Too bad, as it’s a fantastic home alone cat toy, especially since it doesn’t move/get hidden beneath furniture easily!
You really can’t go wrong with sisal mouse cat toys. Cats love the texture, grab ones with feathers on them and there’s added extra appear. They’re colourful, they’re cute, they’re cheap and ubiquitous. If they get lost under furniture, it’s no big deal to replace them, and if they get trampled by your feet, well it’s nothing like stepping on a Lego!
Cat springs are another hybrid – like bouncy balls, that kittens would easily be able to play with on their own or with your help. Throwing cat springs across a long hall way is a simple way to get your kitten sprinting, and throwing them high up, or bouncing them off the floor may even get your kitten jumping in mid air to try to catch these springs.
But even when you leave the house, or are busy with your work, your cat can pick up the play right where you two left off. When they’re so cheap and affordable, it’s hard not to see these cat toys as a steal, even though they do hurt a bit when you step on them, and get lost under furniture and thus need replacing quite frequently.
Alternatives to cat springs – in case you love this idea but feel your kitten could benefit from more variety: Spot Fun Tubes, Petmate Cat Crazies, and Petmate Loony Loops. Kitten end up really loving springs, but think he or she would benefit from different sizes & texture varieties? Check out Categories Catty Coil Springs & Spot Ethical Pet Thin Springs for more options.
Grab a bunch of cat springs, bouncy balls, feathers, and even a piece of kibble or two and place ’em all in here – your kitten’s likely to spend hours fussing over getting out all the bits and bobs from this puzzle box cat toy. My Avery’s absolutely god awful at playing with anything (he’s so stinkin’ lazy!), but when I DIY’d one of these, I easily got him to spend time using it using the kibble trick. Nothing that cat won’t do for his favourite grub!
Chew Toys for Teething Kittens
Finally, in case your cat is currently teething (yes, kittens do teeth because they lose their baby teeth, and actually adult cats have 4 more teeth than kittens), you’ll want to grab some of the cat toys in this category to make life a little easier for him or her – and for your wires and furniture!
The following are three chew toys I’d recommend for kittens, but if you’d like to look through a few more before making up your mind, check out more recommendations in my cat chew and teething toys post.
Unique looking toys that in fact sometimes make cats incredibly possessive over them. Easy to see why, with so many bits and pieces (like stringy bits, unique textures, unique shape and size) that are hard for a kitty to turn down. The only downside with these is that some adult cats are disinterested in them completely, but seeing as you’re looking for teething toys for kittens, and kittens rarely say no to any toy, I’d say these are probably your best bet.
Now, if your kitten loves catnip, it will be almost impossible for him or her to turn these down. These double well as home alone cat toys, and since catnip really lets kittens go wild, your cat will probably expend a lot of energy playing with them. I wouldn’t be surprised if your cat ends up obsessing over these.
Yet again, this toy is like combining the perfect home alone cat toy with a chew toy for teething kittens. What could be better? Hard to imagine a kitten who wouldn’t thank you for grabbing a pack of these.
Your Kitten Toy Recommendations?
Now it’s your turn!
Have you ever bought toys for a kitten before? What did you buy and did he or she like the toys?
If you’ve ever had a kitten yourself – what types of toys were you most interested in grabbing? Ones that he or she could play with on his or her own or ones to get out all that energy as quickly as possible, even if it required your help?
Are there any cat toys I missed out listing that you would recommend for new kitten owners? Which cat toys do you find kittens stop loving after they grow up?
Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!