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9 Toys & Games Cats Love to Play With

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker


If you have just purchased your first kitten, you’re probably wondering what kind of toys you can get your new pet to keep it entertained. If you take a trip to the pet store, you will see a huge selection of toys, but they are often expensive, and your cat is unlikely to play with them for long. If you would like to keep your cat happy, keep reading while we provide you with a list of time-tested toys that your cat will love.

The Top 9 Toys & Games Cats Love to Play With

1. Interactive Puzzles

main coon playing
Image credit: Nils-Jacobi, Shutterstock

If your cat Is anything like ours, it will do practically anything to get a few treats out of you. A great toy that you can get your pet is an interactive puzzle. These toys allow you to hide treats inside a game they need to solve to get at the goodies. You can get these games in different levels, from easy to hard, and they will provide your pet with mental stimulation as well as food. You can even build these puzzles to save on costs, and you don’t need to play these games with your cat, so they are a great choice when you have other chores to do.

2. Feather and String

cat playing with owner
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

The feather and string toy is a great toy that most cats enjoy. You attach a feather or nearly any lightweight object to one end of a string, and you use it to “fish” for your cat. Your cat will often chase after the feather for quite some time, and it can help them burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. The downside to the string and feather toy is that you must be engaged the entire time, so you need to set aside several minutes each day to play with your cat.

3. Balls

A small gray kitten plays with foil and a ball. Cat toys
Image Credit: Olya Detry, Shutterstock

Small balls like the ping pong ball are one of the cat’s favorite toys, and it’s one of the few toys your cat can play alone, or you can join in on the fun. Any small ball will do, and we have great success with crumpled-up paper because it seems to make a noise that our cats enjoy. However, there are many commercial brands available that will work perfectly. Our recommendation is to choose something not too hard or too heavy, and it should be large enough that your cat can’t accidentally swallow it.

4. Hide and Seek

Cat hiding behind curtain
Image Credit: llaszlo, Shutterstock

The best part about the hide and seek game is that you don’t need to purchase anything. The idea behind this game is to hide behind a wall or curtain so you can “peek” out at the cat. They will usually go into hunting mode when they see you since your cat will take the peeking as a threatening gesture. This fun game usually ends with your cat attacking your foot, and it only takes a few seconds to play. We’ve found that it works at least once per day, and sometimes the cat will take elaborate steps to make the attack.

5. Paper Bags

cat playing with paper towel
Image Credit: Pixel Cat Photo, Shutterstock

Another inexpensive toy that most cats enjoy is the ordinary paper bag. Cats love to climb in these bags and lay down. They also like to dive into them before running out at high speed. Cats often enjoy playing peekaboo games, and parents can get involved by tapping the outside of the bag, which will usually send them running.

6. Cardboard Box

A ginger cat sleeps in box paper, selective focus
Image Credit: CPM PHOTO, Shutterstock

You can find cardboard boxes in all sizes and shapes, and they are one of most cat’s favorite toys. Quite frequently, owners complain that their cats like the box the toy came in more than the toy they purchased. Cats don’t only like to play in cardboard boxes. They often like to sleep in them. Many owners know that the boxes are soft and retain natural body heat, so they make an excellent indoor and outdoor bed.

7. Cat Towers

Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Cat towers are a popular commercial toy that many people purchase for their cats to help increase the number of perches in the home. Cats love perches because it helps them keep a better eye on their territory. Many towers have several levels and provide your cat with plenty of things to do while you carry on with the household chores.

8. Cat Tunnels

Cat Tunnel
Image Credit: tookapic, Pixabay

Cats love to explore the environment they live in, and one way to give them more to explore is to purchase a cat tunnel. Cat tunnels can be different lengths of tubes usually made from a durable material. Some even have multiple entrances and exits that the cat can use.

9. Laser Pen

orange kitten playing with laser
Image Credit: Seika Chujo, Shutterstock

In our household, the most popular toy is easily the laser pen. This toy will get even the heaviest and most reluctant cats chasing after a tiny red dot at full speed. They are usually inexpensive and have replaceable batteries, so they last a long time. You can also sit in one spot while the cat runs around the house. We’ve seen cats try to climb walls in pursuit of the dot, so this toy is an excellent way to help your cat stay healthy. The only downside to the laser pen is that you need to try not to shine the laser in their eye, which is harder than you might think with the cat running at top speed. We’ve also seen it be responsible for the occasional quarrel between cats as they can get frustrated by their inability to catch the light.


We hope you have enjoyed reading over this list and found a few toys you would like to try out. We highly recommend the laser pen because it’s a great way to get your indoor cats moving and getting the exercise they need. All of the other toys also make fine choices, and the toys you see in the grocery store and pet shops will all fall into these categories. Each cat will like some more than others, so you will need to experiment, but that is part of the fun.

If we have helped you keep your pet entertained, please share this guide to the nine games cats like to play with on Facebook and Twitter.

Related Read: Why Do Cats LOVE String So Much? 6 Reasons for This Behavior

Featured Image Credit: Alexander Sobol., Shutterstock

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