Authentic cat toy recommendations?

Great news! About to adopt a new cat!! Super excited and can’t get to get her (pictures to come). Although I want to prepare the house with some toys and stuff for the cat to play with and enjoy. What has worked well for you? Any toys in particular? Cat trees worth it? Hit me with your best recommendations! 😻

Aevironis, (edited )
@Aevironis@lemmy.world avatar

I’ve got a ton of stuff to share that I’m just throwing out unorganized. So sorry for the huge post.

Do your future self a favor and try to buy a cat tree that isn’t fully covered in carpet. They either quickly get shredded and look awful, or the cat hair becomes embedded in the carpet and is impossible to properly vacuum off.

!!A few quick examples of my preferred type are:

1.Frisco 47.5-in Modern Cat Tree

2.SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post, 32"

3.cardboard scratchers

4.Expensive option. Refined feline Lotus Cat Tower. Has replaceable carpet and sisal pads. Mine is currently going on 5-6 years old and is in perfect condition.

You can also sometimes buy carpet squares at Menards, Lowe’s, etc for under 2$. I cut them with scissors to size and use rug tape to hold them on the cat trees.

Chewy has a sale right now buy 100$ get a 30$ gift card back.

!!Toys

My cat loves the Frisco Colorful Springs

A automatic toy like Potaroma 3in1 Hide and Seek.

Penn-plax or Hartz mini mice

Wand toys

Cat tunnels

One of my cats is obsessed with those pool/beach foam water balls. Like Water Bomb Splash Balls or also called Splash bombs

Silvervine sticks for chewing. It’s kind of like catnip.

A long sheet of brown packing paper crumpled up. Mine hide in it and jump around crunching the paper. Chewy frequently puts in a big sheet as padding when I order from them.

Boxes whole or with fun shapes cut in them.

Plastic bottle caps

Cat window perches with the suction cups are really nice. I’ve got double stacked ones in 3 of my windows and all of my cats love them.

!!Water fountain

Try to buy a metal or ceramic pet water fountain. Cats prefer running water, but I also provide a regular metal bowl of water too in case the power goes off or the fountain pump plugs up.

I’ve got Oiwliur Cat Water Fountain that I like right now

Petsafe and pioneer also make metal fountains

Plastic food/water dishes harbor bacteria more easily.

!!Litter

I recommend unscented cat litter. Fresh step unscented or PetSmart brand Great Choice unscented

A litter genie XL or similar type litter/diaper pail makes scooping the cat litter less of a chore.

!!Miscellaneous cat owner info

Watch your shoestrings around the cat. I had one cat that would chew them off the shoes. We ended up with a 500$ vet bill twice in his 12 years of life because he swallowed them and they got stuck. Also, if your cat ever has a string coming out of them, do not pull it out. We never did, but the vet stressed to us strongly that it was a bad idea to do it ourselves. Hair ties and rubber bands are just as dangerous as shoestrings.

If you have window blinds with pull strings, then make sure the strings are up on the curtain rod out of reach. We lost a cat that way when I was a little kid.

Feliway or Comfort Zone sprays can help with anxiety or destructive scratching. The diffusers are okay, but I had one overheat and won’t use them again.

Microchip your cat and follow through with registering it with the chip maker and the free pet registries. I found a cat last year that had been missing for months who I quickly returned, even though the owner had moved, only because of the microchip.

This link has a list of registries to add the microchip info to. www.aaha.org/your-pet/pet-microchip-lookup/participating-companies/ Some of them are free others are paid. I’d just worry about the free ones. I think I’ve only done mine with 24PetWatch, 911PetChip, FindPet, and HomeAgain (the maker of my pet microchips).

Also, HomeAgain tries to make you think you need to pay yearly, but you don’t. That’s just for the extra features that aren’t worth it. If you end up with one of their chips you can register with them and keep your info in there forever even if you don’t pay the fee.

Enjoy your new cat!!!

LunchEnjoyer,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Wow! Thanks for the detailed response, although I’m not based in the US, I’m sure I could find some similar things to what you mentioned. Thanks a lot 🌼

TheActualDevil,

So I know this is a thread about toys, but it looks like you got a lot of good advice, and since you’re new to cats, one thing that most people either don’t realize or ignore is the number of litterboxes. 1 is not enough, even for a single cat. General rule of thumb for litterboxes is Number of cats + 1. You want them to view the entire place as their territory and a big part of that is scent markers. And the biggest of them is the litterbox. Many cats will, as soon as you change the litter, use it. That’s because they want it to smell like their territory (To their sensitive noses). Spreading that around for them makes for a happy cat and reduces the chances of “accidents” or just marking territory later on in times of stress.

I’ll also say you should probably have a scratching post on every room that they hang out in regularly. They’re not going to go to another room to find it if they want a good stretch or scratch. I suggest angled or flat ones at first because they will often use them to really stretch out their spine so they need to get a lot of distance between stretched out back and front feet. That’s a lot easier (and cheaper) in flat or angled ones. If they end up preferring upright ones they got to be real tall to give them what they want. And those are expensive.

One more tip. Even if you decide to feed them dry food, use designated feeding times. Read the package and figure out how much they should eat a day and split that in 2-3 parts and measure that out giving them meal times. It’s better for their physical health and it’s more in line with their body’s natural rhythm.

In general though, it’s best to establish routines for behaviors you want to promote (Cats love routine) early on and keep it up. If you try to introduce new routines later it’s a lot harder to establish. The change of moving into a new home is the perfect time to create a new routine since everything is kinda chaos for them anyway and it helps them establish order in their lives.

Revan343,

Another tip, and sorry for piggybacking on your comment but it is all good advice: keep their water in a different spot from their food bowl. Unlike dogs, cats are often skeptical about water sources near their food. More important for male cats rather than OP’s female, but still

TheActualDevil,

Yes! I completely forgot this one, thank you!

In fact, OP, I’m going to suggest a Youtube channel, but with some stipulations. Jackson Galaxy. He’s an interesting guy who had (has?) a show on animal planet, but he has a really good grasp on Cat behavior. He get’s a little weird with some of his homeopathic products that he has for sale that I’m a little skeptical of. But his cat behavior stuff all seems pretty spot on and his advice for cat care (As long as it’s not about a product he sells on his site) is really good. It’s worth a look I think.

NotMyOldRedditName,

In our house, the only water the cat ever wants is our water.

Put a glass on the table, and she’ll go for it.

We started putting out our drinking cups with water for her in various places including extras when we’re drinking water and putting glasses down where she could get them. Sometimes she acts all sneaky going for it.

guyrocket,
guyrocket avatar

Why do you want a toy made from REAL cat?

LanternEverywhere,

Cardboard box. Not a joke. This is famously the most universally enjoyed object for cats.

AntiGuide,

And you have to order something for yourself from time to time to get new interesting boxes. Win win

FuglyDuck,
@FuglyDuck@lemmy.world avatar

this thing, works, and it’s a toy that lets you play with the kitty.

When the cardboard tubes wear out, you can make yarn poms that work too… if you happen to know a knitter/crocheter they probably have an entire wall of yarn.

Anything similar, really… including any kind of rod and string and ball-ish thing… my time share cat

Also, if your cat likes cardboard scratchers, you can make strips from Amazon boxes, by getting a 2x4 cutting a corner off and using a screw to hold down a utility knife. Just run it down the edge to create strips.

All cats will be different, though, I had the advantage talking with the old man’s cat dad about it :)

If it’s a shelter cat, they might have an idea.

Revan343,

You still haven’t paid the cat tax, where are those pictures we were promised? :P

LunchEnjoyer, (edited )
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Oh wow, a fan! 😁 Just got her the other day, will post ASAP! Edit:done!

KpntAutismus,

definetely buy a cat tree and if you don’t already, make sure there’s a spot so high up that no one can reach her. my cat has a box of fabric on top of a cabinet.

elscallr,
@elscallr@lemmy.world avatar

Oh, one more thing: don’t put your cat’s water next to their food. Separate the two by at least 4 meters. Across the room, or preferably in another room. Get a water bowl that’ll hold a few liters and auto fills. Cats don’t like their water by their food, and you should make sure your cat always has plenty available. Also they like water that’s moving. A fountain is good, but my cat took to the self filling water bowl just fine and it seems to work a lot better for her. Once I switched to it from water just in a bowl the amount she drank tripled.

PandaPikachu, (edited )

Lots of good advice here. Just some extra tips from someone that’s spent over 40yrs around cats. Keep in mind cats are all different. A toy one cat loves, another might have 0 interest in. Your cat may not respond to catnip or catnip alternatives. It may want to drink running water over still water. If it’s a indoor cat, it might even be picky about the type of litterbox/litter used. It may live for cuddles and belly rubs or not like to be touched much at all beyond the occasional ear scratch (Generally though, the more it’s handled at a really young age can help determine how much it enjoys that).

Try to stick with whatever food your cat was eating before you got it, and don’t go crazy introducing treats, even natural options like raw meat/fish/offal. They can have really sensitive tummies and upsetting that balance can equal diarrhea everywhere. You can switch to a different brand/type of food but it needs to be a gradual transition to get them used to it first. Having dry food available 24-7 and wet food offered a couple times a day is the healthiest way to go, according to our vet.

For bedding, your cat will sleep wherever it wants, but sunny spots tend to be preferred, and if it’s an actual pet bed, one that offers a bit of seclusion is usually a good idea. They’re ambush predators, so they usually like the “cat cave” or semi enclosed styles of bedding. Cat window beds are pretty awesome for daytime lounging.

Like others have said, tree is a must. Get a decent pair of claw trimmers and learn how to use them. Touch/massage kitty’s paws regularly if you can, so that it isn’t a fight every time you need to do a trim.

Good luck with worm pills. Watch how your vet does it, watch some YouTube videos on other methods, and then mentally prepare for battle.

Almost forgot! I’ve never had a cat that didn’t enjoy playing with the little plastic ring that’s left on milk after you open it. Don’t cut it off, try to leave it intact by prying it off with something like a butter knife. They tend to like the milk smell, it’s easy for them to pick up both with paw or jaw, and it skitters nicely across tiles or wood. I’ve had 2 cats pick up “fetch” very quickly with those things.

ericbomb,

Cats want to be tall in any given area.

Make sure the tallest place in each room is somewhere they are allowed.

boblemmy,

I’ve bought some popular cat toys for my cat and found that what really impressed him was the boxes that packed them :D

lvxferre,
@lvxferre@lemmy.ml avatar

Want some cuteness overload? Even big felines love cardboard boxes!

zipzoopaboop,

My cats favorite toy is a plain black hair tie.

Skyhighatrist,

But only allow play with those supervised as they can eat them and it can cause major problems and require emergency surgery in some cases.

jordanlund,
@jordanlund@lemmy.world avatar

You can spend money on cat toys, or crumple up some tinfoil into a ball. :) Plastic rings off milk jugs, and bread clips are all huge hits here.

One of our cats is also intent on stealing my little plastic dental floss pics. I can’t turn my back on them.

KpntAutismus,

i will usually just drop any bread clips straight onto the ground, and kouki will immediately attack it. he loves hiding them under carpets, too.

LunchEnjoyer,
@LunchEnjoyer@lemmy.world avatar

Good and unique tips, love it!

Dangy,

Careful, some cats will try to eat these types of small toys which can cause choking or digestive issues.

elscallr,
@elscallr@lemmy.world avatar

My cat has these little plastic mice covered in rabbit fur will a little rattle ball inside them. She goes nuts for them. Her favorite game is fetch.

You can find them all over Amazon super cheap.

And yes, you’ll want cat trees, they like to be high. Also if you can get your cat a tree in front of a window, put it a bird feeder out there.

Daveyborn, (edited )
@Daveyborn@lemmy.world avatar

My cats are crazy for those lamb chops, wand toys are generaly good to get them going. And towers are very worth it.

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