What should I play with today?
There are hundreds of cat toys on the market, and as anyone owned by a cat knows, there is no way of telling for sure which toy will delight your cat, or which will generate a quick sniff, followed by a look of disdain and a turned tail.  So if you’re like most cat parents, you will continue to bring home toys in your quest to amuse and spoil your feline charges.

When shopping for cat toys, the most important thing  is the safety factor.  Cat toy safety really comes down to one thing:  if it can be swallowed, it’s dangerous.  

This means stay away from toys that have small parts that can come loose during an energetic play session.  Anything with glued on parts, metal pieces, tassles or strings should be a no-no.  Sometimes you can remove these parts (which is how Amber ended up with a lot of what we call “blind and deaf mice” – once the glued on eyes and ears are removed, these mice turn into perfectly safe toys).  But it’s always best to find a toy that doesn’t require removal of loose parts.

Toys with strings and rubber bands can be fun for your cat as long as you supervise play.  Never leave these toys with your cat unattended – rubber bands can loop themselves around your cat’s neck and choke her, strings can be chewed and ingested, and can present a life-threatening emergency if the piece of strings wraps itself around the cat’s intestines.  

So which toys are safe for your cat?

Amber loves anything that’s stuffed with catnip.  The fewer adornments, the better.  A great source for simple, and safe catnip toys is The Mouse Factory – they have a wide selection of fun toys, and their catnip is seriously potent.

The Kong line of cat toys offers a lot of fun and safe choices as well, you can find a sampling in the Conscious Cat Store and you’ll also find them in many pet stores.

Interactive cat toys are great fun for you and your cat – after all, what’s more fun than a rigorous play session with your kitties?  Some of these interactive toys, such as the feather teaser (a feather toy on the end of a string) require supervision because of the string part, but they can provide hours of fun for cat and human.

Of course, there are plenty of choices for toys that don’t require a trip to the pet store – paper bags, boxes, empty toilet paper rolls, or even just a wadded up piece of paper can be as much fun for your cat as expensive, store-bought toys.

Whatever safe toy you choose for your cat, have fun!

Amber’s current favorite is a fuzzy crab-like toy on the end of a long fuzzy string.  She allowed me to film her for a few seconds while she was playing with it:


What are some of your cats’ favorite toys?

7 Comments on Safe Toys for Your Cat

  1. Hello Ingrid,

    Thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention!

    When my cat Henry was a small kitten, he got himself completely tangled up in a very stretchy elastic band that was attached to the top of the door frame and had a stuffed cat toy on the end. He probably would have strangled himself if someone had not been there to rescue him.

    I think some cat toys (especially that type of product) should come with a warning label cautioning cat and kitten parents to only give them to their kitty children when we are there to supervise their play!

    Anita McCormick and Henry, the Feline fiber Artist

  2. How sweet that Merlin still loves his squirrel toy from when he was a kitten, Layla. Coco sounds like she would have no trouble figuring out what to do with a “live” feather toy.

  3. Merlin’s favorite toy is ratty old squirrel from when he was a kitten fifteen years ago! He also has collection of teddy bears. His sister Coco likes anything with feathers, ideally still attached to a live bird…just kidding 😉

  4. I’m fairly selective about the toys I give my cats, especially small kittens. Anything that has the potential to be ingested is out of the question. Their most favorites are any type of mouse that can be carried in their mouth and anything with a feather on it. Yes, something as simple as a paper bag (don’t ever use plastic) wadded up paper or a bottle cap will work just fine, too. Thanks Ingrid, excellent points.

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