Hunting and cats go together like ice-cream and a breakup or coffee and well, everything. But, while you can have coffee inside it is a little harder for your indoor cat to be a hunter.
Don’t get me wrong – having an indoor cat is great. You shield your kitty from the dangers of the world, have a constant companion by your side and prevent her from leaving you for the lady with the expensive cat food down the road (still a sore point).
Indoor cats are still cats, though, and with them comes all the instincts that cats have had for generations.
They want to hunt, pounce and prowl. They need to put that sharp eyesight and claws to good use. Being inside can make cats complacent as they don’t have to fight for food, prove their agility, or take on Mother Nature and her tasks.
As such, indoor cats are at risk of becoming overweight and in it, lose their ‘cattiness’ and sense of purpose. They know you will be home and feed them. They know where to lie in the afternoon sun and where to play dead for the rest of the day.
Sure, some indoor cats take advantage of the early retirement benefits living with a human offers by spending their free time stalking invisible prey (or you) and exploring your cabinets. But others simply give in to the boredom and let ennui take over.
To prevent this from happening and keep cats at optimum “cattiness”, you need to provide stimulation for indoor cats that jumpstarts that instinct.
How do you do that? Well, you want to create the fun and adventure of the great outdoors…indoors. And using a clever combination of the best cat toys for indoor cats allows you to do just that.
We’ve found the best indoor cat toys for this purpose and sorted them into four key aspects that effectively give your kitty all the outdoor stimulation she needs without setting a precious paw outdoors.
Here are the bases you want to cover:
- Create company
- Make food time fun
- Climbing opportunities
- Find the hunter within
If you include a toy for each of the aspects above, I have no doubt that your indoor cat will be content while being stimulated. You will be mimicking all the conditions that you cat would use on the outside without the fear of vicious dogs, speeding cars or that lady with her fancy cat food. Yes, Mrs Williamson, I know that Pom-pom eats your Turkey Delight!
The Best Toys for Indoor Cats…Create Company
The average cat person has one cat. What this means is that when you are out your little fluff ball is home alone. These long hours can add up, and your cat will feel like a prisoner in solitary confinement.
By adding a fluffy or feathery toy into the mix you give your cat a companion. Below are a few toys that will serve as exciting companions for your cat…
SmartyKat Skitter Critters Catnip Toy
These cute little catnip filled mice will be the great companion for your indoor cat. Not only are they fluffy and easy to carry around but the catnip smell will ensure that your kitty won’t get enough of their new buddy.
Each pack comes with three mice which are made from recycled plastic. Throw all three out into the mix and your cat will throw wicked house parties while you are away.
OurPets Play-N-Squeak Backyard Cat Toy
The toys are made to last, and you could easily pick out an animal that you think fits best with your cat. Mine would do well with the fox; she is a sly little creature.
The Best Toys for Indoor Cats…Make Food Time Fun
The eating appetites of indoor cats are large. If they are not stimulated, they will lounge by the cat bowl and finish every last pellet and still moan for more. Just like when you watch TV and eat a whole box of Oreos.
The best way to combat this binge eating is to make eating more of a challenge. By giving your cat a task before they get the food they are kept mentally stimulated as well as fed. Maybe I need a maze between here and the fridge.
Here are the best cat feeders you can use as diet controllers and as a way to keep your cats mind sharp.
Northgate Catch Interactive Feeder for Cats
This toy will also ensure that they use their paws and brains instead of just inhaling their food. The feeder is dishwasher safe, and I think looks cool. This feeder will force your indoor cat to be active, even if it is just to get a midday snack
Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree
This may look like a tiny water cooler, but it is an innovative way to provide food and fun for your cat. The food is placed in the top section, and it requires some precision paw action to drop the food into the bowl below.
There is no spillage and with the added challenge diet control will happen naturally. Made to be disassembled and cleaned the Catit Food tree is a great addition to food and play time.
The Best Toys for Indoor Cats…Provide Climbing Opportunities
Having your cat indoor means that they may not get the chance to scale a tree and get stuck in it. Alas, no hunky firefighter for you.
Anyway, cats are made to climb and jump. Their muscles need to be used, and if you don’t want them on top of your counters and table tops, you had better give them something to clamber upon. A lot of these cat climbers also double up as scratching posts as well as in home gym systems.
If anything cat trees are a MUST Have, no arguments.
Catty Stacks Modular Cat Condos
Does your cat love to peek inside new objects? Does your cat love to hide in quiet, dark spaces? Does your cat love to climb? Does your cat adore boxes?
If you answered a resounding yes to all of them…your cat’s going to love this cool cat condo tower.
This is a great, award winning, 2 in 1 cat climber and condo to have as you can custom make it fit the needs of your cat. The easy, stackable nature of this brilliant condo tower makes it easy to change it up, giving your cat a new experience every week. The surest way to prevent kitty boredom is by providing new curiosities!
Make sure to create something that is slightly challenging for you cat; this will test their muscles and give them a chance to watch their kingdom from above.
Oh, and all the boxes connect at the corner with metal clips so you don’t have to worry about your big-boned kitty crashing after a jump.
Go Pet Club Cat Tree with Bells and Whistles
There are cat condos, balls to swat and just enough climbing space to give your cat some height. This tree will ensure that your indoor cat has sufficient physical activity.
You can always put treats on the climber if you ‘big boned’ boys and girls are reluctant to try out the tree. This tree is very sturdy and easy to put together. Put it up by a window and your indoor cat will feel one with the birds.
The Best Toys for Indoor Cats…Bring Out the Hunter Within
The instinct to hunt is pretty ingrained into your cat’s DNA. Like coffee is in mine. With indoor cats, they may not encounter the variety of ‘prey’ that the outside allows them. Sure the stray bug may make its way into the house, but you need to add a few toys that remind Mittens that she is a born hunter.
These toys should encourage play while at the same time keep their eyesight sharp and pouncing skills preened. Remember that indoor cats need to be given the outside on the inside and these toys do just that.
KONG Cat Wild Tails Cat Toy
This pink tailed ball will act as the perfect prey for any indoor cat. The feathers will move as you cat plays with it and this, in its own pinky fluffy way, imitates the flailing of a dying mouse. Cute right?
There is a rattle sound and all in all it is a cheap way to hone in those hunting skills. This toy is also durable and won’t break apart after a few hunting adventures which are important with any toy that you get as ‘prey’. KONG makes this toy in many colors, and there are numerous styles too.
Purrfect Feline Wacky Tumbler
This has to be a favorite of mine. The tumbler style means that this toy will right itself after every swing. There is a hanging mouse that tempts that inner instinct and a ball with a bell on the inside. This allows for great solo play as you don’t have to be there shaking a stick.
The realistic mouse and movement that the tumbler design provides back and forth movement and overall this toy is fantastic in giving your indoor cat some hunting practice. Let the games begin!
I hope that by looking at some of the best toys found in each category, you get a little insight into the type of toys that your indoor cat needs. You really need to try and bring the outside inside while keeping your beautiful home relatively clutter free.
Try and get toys that provide your cat with a few activities and remember that variety is the name of the game. You can give your indoor cat a wonderful happy life if you allow them the stimulation that their natural instincts crave.