Simple Cat Toys
What's Fun, What's Safe

Chances are, you have some things around the house that would make safe and fun simple cat toys!

Cats are very curious - if they are left without toys they start to investigate the house and make up their own toys, usually out of stuff that you don't want them to play with. 

You can satisfy their need for play without breaking the bank.  While there are cat toys available in stores that cats love, you might have some of these simple cat toys around the house (or they are are inexpensive to buy):

Ping Pong Balls: I bought a six pack of ping pong balls once that had a sports theme.  There were baseballs, soccer balls, etc in different colours.  They were very inexpensive and the cats LOVED them.  They bounce, they roll a good distance, and they stand up to rough play.

Laser Pointer: Another favorite in our house (well, except for Drake) is a laser pointer.

They come complete with batteries and the cats will chase that little red dot until they are ready for a nap!  It is a safe toy as long as the light is kept on the wall or floor and not in their eyes.

Super Bouncy Balls: Small, lightweight, and really bouncy!  These are usually under $1 each.  I like to bounce them up against a wall - the cats really like jumping to try to catch them in midair.  These rubber balls should be for supervised play, so they don't chew off any of the rubber and eat it.

Anything You Can Drag Around On The Floor!: Our cats are former strays, so they have very strong hunting/chasing senses.  Anything that I drag around and they can stalk or chase, they love.  You can use your imagination with this one - costume boas?  Housecoat ties (ours like the terry cloth ones - better grip)?  Men's neckties (that you don't mind getting chewed)?

I finally found a good use for my 1980's hair scrunchies - cat toys!  The elastic is safely covered in material, and you can pull them back and "fire" them across the room!  Gus found one somewhere in the house by himself, and it became a cat favorite!

There are some household items that are not safe for cats to play with:

  • Elastic Bands/Hair Elastics. They can become lodged in the cat's stomach or intestine if eaten.
  • Tinfoil Balls. Small bits can come off in their mouth during play, and eating metal is not safe.  Christmas tree tinsel is also in this category.
  • Balls Of String Or Wool. A classic cat image is a cat playing with a ball of string, but it is very unsafe for the cat!  Cats' tongues are made for grooming.  They have small "bristles" that point backwards - great for removing loose hair, not good for getting anything out of their mouth on their own.  Once they swallow a bit of the string, they can't stop - the tongue bristles just keep pulling more in.

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