Bringing a new kitten home is an exciting time. Kittens are energetic and mischievous, so you’ll need to play with them to keep them entertained. Getting the right toys for a new kitten gives them something to play with and encourages activity. Playing also forms a vital part of your kitten’s development. It helps them learn social skills, how to hunt, and even improves their motor skills. Having a healthy and active adult cat is all dependent on their play as a kitten. So, which toys should you get for them to encourage this?
There are a lot of different kitten toys out there. Which ones are right for you will depend on a few things. They have to be toys that your kitten actually enjoys playing with! After all, it isn’t much use having a cupboard full of expensive toys if your cat is more interested in a ball of string. You have to figure out what style of play your cat enjoys. This will mean spending some time playing with your kitten and figuring out how they like to play. There are other things you need to consider to find the right toys for your new kitten though, like quality and safety.
Quality and safety are really important. New kittens don’t have quite as much common sense as an adult cat. Like puppies or babies, they’ll need some more work to keep them safe. With toys that they might play with without supervision, this is really important. You also have to consider quality. Kitten toys should be built to last a little while. While your cat will grow up, a good quality kitten toy can remain in use for long after.
How Do Kittens Play?
Kittens play in a particularly unique way. Compared with dogs their style of play is pretty different. Kittens play naturally to develop their hunting skills. This is how they learn to get food in the wild. While our pet cats are free from these concerns, they still play in a similar way. Most kittens will enjoy playing with toys since they can chase and hunt them. They recreate parts of catching prey.
This doesn’t mean all kittens play the same or need the same toys though. The ways that kittens play are actually quite diverse. While they all enjoy types of prey that simulate hunting, this is different for different cats.
What Toys Will Your Kitten Like to Play With?
The first step to finding which toys are right for your new kitten is figuring out how they like to play. It is best to give a kitten options, since they’re young and won’t be as settled in their tastes yet. However, even at a young age, you can tell what kind of toy and play your kitten enjoys, and then find the toys that suit that style. Finding toys that your kitten is going to enjoy isn’t as difficult once you know how they like to play and interact with their toys. These are some different types of playing, if your kitten matches any of these you can more easily find what type of toys they’ll enjoy:
- Chasing and Pouncing – This is all a part of mock-hunting. Kittens enjoy chasing down and pouncing on toys like they’re prey. While this is fairly universal to cats, if you know your kitten really enjoys this way of playing then there are some great toys you can get for them.
- Food-Based Games – If your kitten is particularly interested in getting fed then you might be worried about their weight as an adult cat. There are toys out there that appeal to your kitten’s food motivation by giving them a treat while they stay active and healthy.
- Stimulating Toys – Some toys can have elements that make noise or attract your cat’s attention with different textures and sights.
What to Look for In Toys for Your New Kitten
When you’re looking for toys for your new kitten, there are some qualities outside of how they play with them that you need to watch out for. These are some of the things to keep in mind when getting toys for your kitten.
- Quality – Kittens can be rough players, this makes quality pretty important. You don’t want to be stuck with toys that are useless after your cat catches it once and destroys it. Look for quality in your kitten’s toys so you can be sure they’ll last.
- Safety – You should avoid toys that are made from materials that could be a choking hazard. Kittens mimic hunting when playing, so they can try to eat any loose bits that fall off a toy. Keep this in mind and make sure you get your cat safe toys.
- Size – A kitten will need different sized toys than an adult cat. Depending on the breed of your kitten, you’ll have to adjust what size toy you get them. Don’t assume you need to buy the toys out of the kitten section, these are usually just the same as the adult ones but in a cuter colour scheme.
- Price – This is an important factor. If you’re investing in a set of good long-lasting toys, consider how long your kitten will play with them. Most kittens use toys for exercise while they’re young and can’t leave the house. If your cat is an outdoor cat, once they grow up they will exercise outside the house. This might make your toys a bit redundant. However, if they’re going to be an indoor cat then they’ll need toys for stimulation and exercise. Consider how much use your cat will get from their toys when considering the price.
The Best Toys for Your New Kitten
With all of that in mind, you can find the toys that are right for your kitten. While there are a lot of toys out there, these specific ones are some of the best available. Each suits a different type of kitten depending on how they play. However, each is also worthwhile as a cat toy when you consider safety and quality.
The Best Toys to Chase and Pounce
Cats that like to chase toys around and pounce on them need something to follow. This can be done easily with small mice or a cat teaser. These are all solid choices. However, if you want to go a little outside of the box there are fun interactive cat toys for them.
Robotic toys for them to chase like these can be a lot of fun. This gives your kitten something to chase and play with even if you’re a little busy. This one can go for over 3 hours on its rechargeable battery. It is also well secured to make sure your cat can’t chew on anything dangerous inside.
For cats that like to be rewarded with food when playing, there are lots of great options. A Kong like this one is pretty much the same as those used for dogs. Treats go inside, and your cat has to knock it around and try to get the treats out. These can be a fun puzzle for your pet.
There are other options too, like these catnip birds. These funny looking dodos are stuffed with catnip and they give your cat a prey-like toy to chase, hunt and tackle.
Stimulating Cat Toys
Not all cat toys are things to chase. Sometimes a kitten can be amused by sounds too. This tunnel gives your cat an enclosed space to explore. Dangling bells give them something to knock around which provides noise and the tunnel itself can be fun for kittens. This might be as traditional of a toy as a mouse or a cat teaser, but it can be a lot of fun.
Other Cat Toy Choices
Those are all great toys for a new kitten. There are many other options though. Some toys can be more useful for when you’re too busy to play with a cat or to keep them active while you’re not home.
Interactive toys like this roller give your kitten something to play with alone. It works much the same as toys for your cat to chase and paw at, but it keeps your pet active without your involvement.
Playing With Your New Kitten
Those toys or a combination of them should give your kitten plenty of playtime. Kittens need a lot of exercise, so a good set of toys helps them grow up into a healthy adult cat. Most kittens will need some help playing though.
Getting the right toys for your new cat is only the start. Playing with them is a great experience to help you and your cat bond. It also gives them the social and physical stimulation they need to stay happy. There are a lot of choices involved in raising a kitten, from their beds, furniture, and food. However, their toys are a unique thing to decide upon since you’ll be playing with them and your cat, as long as chose ones that are both fun and safe then you’ll have made the right choice.