Our feline friends have a reputation for being aloof, but the cat people out there know that cats have a complex inner world. It’s a common misconception that cats don’t need love and attention.
It’s true that cats sleep about 16 hours per day, but when they’re awake they need plenty of mental stimulation. Bored cats find ways to entertain themselves with or without your help, and despite their small size, they can be quite destructive. The issue is aggravated if you have to be away from home for long periods of time, or you’re too busy to play with your feline friend.
At Lifehack, we know all about what it means to be busy people who love cats. We’ve handpicked 10 awesome cat toys and products to keep your feline entertained when it’s awake and pampered when it’s asleep.
1. Petcube Play: Interact with your cat even when you’re away
Amazon customer rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars (546 reviews)
Best for: busy owners, playful cats
If you’ve ever wondered what your cat does when you aren’t home, the Petcube Play provides you the opportunity to find out. It not only enables you to see and hear your cat, but you’ll also be able to play with it.
The Petcube Play connects to your smart phone via an app. You can talk to your cat throughout the day, and if you see that your kitty is bored, you can control the built-in laser toy from your phone.
2. WANTi Cat Toy: Interactive and automated remote-controlled cat toy
Amazon customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (11 reviews)
Best for: playful cats, felines who grow bored of their cat toys easily, busy owners
Some cats seem to get into almost everything. They’re hopping on the counters, knocking over the trash can, or stomping on your keyboard while you’re trying to work. Cats who are energetic and easily bored need to have lots of play options in order to stay out of trouble.
The WANTi has six different play modes, which gives you the freedom to vary your cat’s play routine every day. Each mode (ball tracking, spinning, batting, slithering, remote control, and wiggling) consists of a different attachment and style of motion.
These cat toys are perfect if you need to keep your cat occupied for a few minutes. The WANTi can be set to run for 10 minutes, which is a healthy amount of time for burning off excess play energy. You can set it and forget it, or you can use the cute paw-shaped remote control to shape the movement from the comfort of your chair.
3. Interactive Cat Tunnel Toy: A brain game and a hunter’s hideout
Amazon customer rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (298 reviews)
Best for: people in small living spaces, cats who love brain games, cats who love agility exercises
Cats like the security of an enclosed space, they love sneaking up on prey, and they loathe being bored. The Easyology Pets Cat Tunnel satisfies all of these needs.
Your cat may get a mental workout figuring out the best way to crawl through this tunnel, but you can up the ante by attaching several of these tunnels together to form a maze. The tunnel material is durable enough to withstand sharp claws, and it’s easy to store if you need to clear your space.
4. Satisfy Prey-Drive: SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toys Catnip Mice
Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,423 reviews)
Best for: cats who like to hunt, catnip fans, environmentally conscious owners
Your cat needs to hunt, and while it may think it’s doing you a favor by leaving a mouse corpse on your doorstep, you may not always appreciate the gesture. Skitter Critters by SmartyKat are the perfect size and shape for simulating the hunt. Cats love batting these around the house, carrying them in their mouths, and (if they’re generous) depositing them somewhere where you’ll see their gift.
While not all cats love catnip, those that do will experience 10-15 minutes of rambunctiousness followed by the need for a nice long nap. Environmentally conscientious owners should know that these cat toys are filled with stuffing made of 100% recycled plastic.
5. Meowfia Premium Cat Bed Cave: A cat’s hideaway
Amazon customer rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (230 reviews)
Best for: cats of all sizes and ages, chronic cat-napping, sneak attacks, and environmentally-conscious consumers
We know that our cats spend most of their time asleep. They’ll curl up in any old cardboard box, but this Cat Bed Cave by Meowfia seems much more comfortable. Whether your cat is an energetic kitten or a senior citizen, they could make use of this cat bed.
I love the idea of a cat cave because it satisfies our felines’ instinct to find a secure place to rest. This bed works well for sleepy cats, but it’s also a great hiding spot during play. The Merino wool is an eco-friendly alternative to chemical-soaked synthetics. It is easy to clean and cozy.
6. Keep a Strict Feeding Schedule with the Feed and Go Automatic Pet Feeder with Built In Webcam and Wi-Fi
Amazon customer rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (235 reviews)
Best for: busy pet owners, cats who need several meals throughout the day, cats with special dietary considerations
When you work long days, it can be tough to keep your cat on a good feeding schedule. Free-choice feeding can lead cats to become obese because they’ll overeat, and it can make it tough to see if they have a good appetite.
Feed and Go’s Automatic Pet Feeder allows you to dispense meals, medicines, and snacks from afar. The dish connects to Wi-Fi, and it allows you to monitor your pet from a built in camera using your smart phone. There are six compartments in the feeder, and you can set the food to disburse on a schedule.
This feeder could also be helpful if your cat has an illness which requires you to feed it multiple times per day.
7. Armarkat Cat-Tree Furniture Condo: Plenty of places to perch and scratch
Amazon customer rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (3,730 reviews)
Best for: felines of any size and age, cats who love to sit up high, cats who love to scratch things, decor-conscious owners
Some cats love to climb, and when they don’t have an appropriate place to do this, they can get into trouble. At 52 inches high, the Armarkat Cat-Tree Furniture Condo gives cats a great place to perch, scratch and hide.
The soft faux fur on the the platforms and the sisal on the posts gives cats a place to relax and satisfy their urge to scratch. Many people are reluctant to spring for a kitty condo because they are worried about sturdiness. One customer addresses this kitty condo’s stability:
My 26 pound Maine Coon/Bengal mix LOVES this. I was nervous to buy at first, because of the sheer weight of my big boy. Not only does he love this tree, he never has any issues ever with his weight on it. I think he may actually like me more because of this cat tree.
In addition to providing a variety of scratching and sleeping options, we like this Cat-tree because it looks nice. Some cat furniture can clash with your decor, but this one looks sleek. It’ll serve it’s purpose without dominating the room.
8. Channel Their Destructive Habits: Bergan Turbo-Scratcher Cat Toy
Amazon customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (5,741 reviews)
Best for: cats who love to scratch, cats who love to chase cat toys, owners who want a cost-effective way to manage an unwanted behavior
Scratching is a natural feline urge that tends to get them in trouble. Bergan’s Turbo Scratcher keeps cats entertained and offers them a place that they can claw to their heart’s content.
The 16″plastic base has a replaceable corrugated cardboard scratch pad at its center. The outer ring of the base is a channel where you can place a small ball. Cats love nudging their toys around in the ring or pouncing from the scratch pad.
This is such a simple and cost effective tool for keeping cats from tearing up your furniture. The replaceable centers, which are much cheaper than a new sofa, enable you to give your cat a satisfying scratching surface without having to invest in a whole new scratcher every time they wear out their old one.
9. Cat Craft 3-Tier Cat Climbing Tree
Amazon customer rating: 4 out of 5 stars (412 reviews)
Best for: cats who love to climb, felines of all ages and sizes, owners with limited space, design conscious consumers
Avid climbers will enjoy Cat Craft’s 3-Tier Cat Climbing Tree. This tree will accommodate ceilings up to 9 feet high. The white piece at the top ensures that this cat furniture remains stable and safe to use.
This model is slim and sleek, which means it’s less likely to take over your space than some cat trees. The neutral colors and soft carpet make this an unobtrusive addition to a cat-lovers home. This is a safe alternative to climbing your curtains.
10. Take Ball-Batting Up A Notch (Or 2): Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy
Amazon customer rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,079 reviews)
Best for: playful cats of all ages and sizes, cats who are easily bored, owners who prefer to keep cat toys contained in one area
Stepping on cat toys in the middle of the night can be almost as thrilling as stepping on wayward LEGOs. Ouch! The Tower of Tracks by Petstages allows pet owners to contain the fun while still giving cats a chance to work their brains.
This tower comes with three different types of balls which stay secure in their tracks. Cats love batting and chasing the balls around the tower, and this model is big enough to support more than one kitty’s urge to play.
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