You’re not the only one feeling the stress of your enforced work-from-home (WFH) lifestyle. Your pets have also had to adjust to an unexpected and sudden change in their daily schedules. While dogs are — for the most part — delighted to have the pack leader home 24/7, cat reactions are a little more complex. They seem to fall into two camps: those that miss their alone time, and those that figure you should be at their beck and call for scratches and snacks. Whether your cats are feeling crowded or peeved at your constant presence, one or all of these cat toys may help soothe their ruffled fur.
1. Cat Balls to Chase
Sometimes the absolute basics are the best. Kittens love toys that they can bat and chase, and these latex sponge balls in a variety of colors fit the bill perfectly. The dimpled, spongy surface lets your cat sink their teeth into something when they pounce, adding a different dimension than the more-typical plastic cage balls you’ll find in the pet aisle at your local store.
2. Plush Cat Toys to Hunt
Hunting and stalking little critters comes naturally to felines, so it’s no wonder that little plushies stuffed with catnip are perennially among the most popular cat toys. These little Skitter Critters from Smarty Kat are the catnip toys your pets have been waiting for. The 4-inch–long mice — three of them, in natural colors — are overstuffed with catnip, and make a lovely skittering noise when they’re pounced on or batted away. Your feline housemate will have hours of fun stalking, hunting and dropping her “kill” at your feet.
3. Feathered Cat Teasers
Nothing attracts a cat’s attention like feathers fluttering through the air. Feathered cat teasers engage your cat’s natural hunting instincts, and give you an opportunity to get in on the play time. They’re great exercise for the indoor cat that can’t get out to stalk and hunt birds in the great outdoors — and a lot safer for the birds, too.
4. Interactive Light Ball
This interactive cat toy combines two kitty favorites — the light beam and the ball — into one crazy magic ball. Just push the recessed button on the bright-red ball and watch it roll away, emitting a bright, laser-like light as it goes. The ball changes direction when it meets an obstacle, so it will keep your kitten on the chase for hours at a time.
5. The Cat Toy Starter Kit
Cats are fickle little critters. If you have an easily bored cat, or live in a multi-cat household, your best bet may be to invest in an assortment of cat toys. This package includes 20 interactive cat toys, from tinkle balls to feather teasers and cat chew toys, to give your feline a whole range of options for play. It’s a great starter kit if you’re not sure what kind of play your cat most enjoys.
6. PawaBoo Motorized Cat Toy
For those days when you just don’t have time to wave around a mouse on a stick, this motorized cat toy is just the ticket — ticket to hours of fun, that is. Flip the switch to start a game of kitty whack-a-mole that only ends when your furry friend gets bored with it. The cheeky little mouse is mounted on a revolving disk and pops up through holes in the top platform — only to disappear just as kitty thinks she’s finally caught him.
7. Slow-Feeder Cat Toys
Cats are designed by nature to hunt and capture their own food, and they can get bored when they find their food in the same place every day. While it’s not terribly practical to keep hiding your cat’s food dish for a game of hide-and-seek, this slow-feeder cat toy can make snack time a little more interesting. Molded in the shape of a comic mouse, it holds a small handful of kitty treats that are dispensed one by one when the cat plays with it. It’s a great toy to motivate your cat’s curiosity.
8. The Best Cat Tunnel
Ever have your cat disappear somewhere in your house, only to stroll out after a few hours as if you hadn’t been frantically searching every nook and cranny? That’s because cats really do need spots where they can just hide and feel safe. This multi-area cat tunnel offers lots of spots where your pet can indulge in a little private time. It features a cushion pet bed, kitty hammock and winding cloth tunnel for exploring, all bundled up with lots of dangling toys to bat and nose around.
9. Vertical Triangular Scratching Post
Furniture scratching can increase when your cat is feeling stressed. A good scratching post can save your upholstery and wood furniture. Don’t settle for just any old scratching posts, though — cats are notoriously picky about where they sharpen their claws. PetFusion’s three-sided Scratching Post offers multiple surfaces at different angles. This makes it easier for your cat (or cats) to find a preferred manicure station. It’s so well-designed that it earned an Editor’s Choice Award from Cat Fancy magazine when it was first released.
10. Cat Condo
Nothing says spoiled kitty like a spectacular cat condo, scratching post and cat perch, all built into one stylish piece of furniture. This Cat Condo features a wide base for stability, two hammocks, a high perch and a lower platform, and a tunnel for skulking and hiding. Soft lambswool makes it comfortable, and sisal rope makes it durable. As a finishing touch, there’s a lovely little hanging fluffball to use for batting practice.
11. Automated Laser Light Pointer
Kitties love to chase little red lights, but you don’t always have time to shine a laser pointer for them to chase. Enter the Yvelife Cat Interactive Automated Laser pointer, a robotic cat toy that waves the laser around for you. It features USB or battery power, and auto-on and auto shut-off that can engage your pet throughout the day, whether or not you’re home.
Of course, you can also indulge your pet with other types of pet care items, like a pet shower robe or nail trimmer, or shower them with special treats. The most important thing is to remember that your feline friend is also feeling the stress, and could use a little distraction to get through this difficult time.
Shop these cat toys:
- Cat Balls
- Skitter Critters
- Feathered Cat Teaser on a Stick
- LED Light Ball
- Cat Toy Starter Kit
- Slow Feeder Ball
- Cat Tunnel Bed
- PetFusion Scratching Tree
- Cat Condo
- Automated Cat Laser Pointer
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Deb Powers is a freelance writer who specializes in home, education, and lifestyle topics. She draws on her experiences as a teacher, mother, grandmother, and all-around creative spirit to help others achieve their own goals.