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Cornell Feline Health Center

Supporting Cat Health with Information and Health Studies.

Safe toys and gifts

Providing your cat with toys is a great way to encourage exercise and cognitive enrichment while strengthening the special bond you share. By motivating them to stalk, pounce, and problem solve, toys allow cats to engage in natural behaviors, and can help avoid the consequences of not providing such stimulation, including obesity and behavioral problems such as destructive scratching and inappropriate elimination.

Besides, watching cats do their thing is just plain fun!

Here, we highlight a few things to consider when searching for that perfect feline toy.

  • Avoid toys with small pieces or linear strand-like parts such as feathers and string that may separate (especially when chewed) from the toy and be ingested. Of course, anything with an electrical cord that your cat can chew on should be avoided.

  • Its also important to remember that fun, safe cat toys need not be expensive. While there are many excellent, highly technologically advanced toys that can be a lot of fun for both you and your cat, paper bags, cardboard boxes, and ping pong balls can be tremendously entertaining for cats, so you need not break the bank to satisfy your feline friend.

  • The environment in which your cat plays with new toys should also be considered, and you should make sure that there are no heavy objects that may fall onto your cat during the mayhem of playtime. Take precautions to assure that there is no place from which your cat may fall and be injured while distracted by new toys.

  • Finally, since we all know that cats can be finicky, rotating toys can be a great way to prevent your kitty from becoming bored by toys.

If you have any concerns about a potential toy for your cat, we recommend that you ask your veterinarian for advice.