The 11 Best Kitten Toys That Will Keep Your Frisky Feline Busy
Kittens love to play. Whether climbing, running, or pouncing, your kitten's play isn't just fun to watch, it's also an important phase of their development. "Beyond exercise, play provides the means for cognitive and emotional development," says Ragen McGowan, Ph.D., senior pet behavior scientist at Purina.
With kittens in particular, play helps train them for the unexpected. "When playing, kittens put themselves in purposefully vulnerable situations to learn about their own strength and social interactions and practice later life skills," McGowan says. That play also engages their natural instincts, keeps them happy, and builds strong, positive bonds with their owners.
How to Choose the Best Kitten Toys
With so many toys on the market, is there something you should look for when buying one for your kitten? Start by choosing ones that are safe, namely those that can't be splintered, torn apart, or swallowed. Know, too, that cats are attracted to high-contrast color combinations, like a toy with black and white designs. They also love toys that move unusually or erratically (think oblong or wobbly shapes) when batted around. "Unpredictability in movement of toys is very stimulating for kittens," McGowan says.
Some good examples of kitten toys include:
- Cloth or hard rubber mouse
- Celluloid ball that rattles
- Toys with a wand attached to a dangly element
- Puzzle feeders
- Fish toys
While variety is key, so, too, is swapping out toys versus having all of them available all of the time. "This helps keep playtime exciting," McGowan says.