- What happens when you leave a cat alone?
- Why cats need toys
- What to look for cat toys
- 7 Toys for Cats to Play With Alone at Home
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
When cats get bored, they will look for something to stay occupied. That means toppling shelves, knocking ceramics, or chewing some wires. If you have a solo cat that you’re leaving at home, you must give it something to get busy at. Toys for cats to play with alone are good options here. It will keep your cat stimulated so they wouldn’t divert their attention to your precious chinas. Aside from that, interactive toys will keep your cat moving and burning their extra energy.
What happens when you leave a cat alone?
While many cats are independent, some will experience separation anxiety from their owners. Kitties left alone for long hours may develop separation anxiety later on, especially clingy ones.
No matter how independent your cat is, it’s not good to leave it on its own for more than 24 hours. Aside from food, cats can get bored, which increases their risk of running away.
Also, if this is your first time leaving home for long hours, your cat may become stressed. Felines hate sudden changes in their routines, so try to employ changes gradually, especially if it involves your absence. Slowly introduce toys and increase your hours of absence so your cat will adjust to the new routine.
However, if you need to be away for several days, you must temporarily take your cat. It could be a close friend or a family member who is experienced with cats. If your cat gets nervous about other people’s houses, you can hire a pet sitter instead.
If you can’t find any of the above, the last resort is to bring your cat to a boarding facility. Here, your kitty will be taken care of as if it’s attending cat daycare.
Why cats need toys
Toys bring a lot of benefits to a cat. Contrary to what non-pet owners think, such toys aren’t just for vanity. It has perks in a cat’s wellness. The following are some of the indispensable advantages of cat toys and playtime:
Adult cats will sleep 12 to 16 hours a day, which means they lack physical activity. If you let your kitty become a couch potato, it may become overweight.
Interactive toys are good ways to stimulate your pet into play. It will also form the bond between you and your cat. You should let your cat hop, pounce, chase, run, and kick to keep their muscles in check. Even old cats will benefit from some playtime since it strengthens their heart and lungs.
Like dogs, cats can experience extreme stress when left behind. The anxiety will be much worse if they are left with nothing to do inside the house. But with toys for cats to play with alone, anxiety and stress will be greatly reduced. Interactive toys that work on its own will keep the cat busy. If you’re not yet prepared for another kitty, these toys will be excellent company for your pet.
🐱Expressing the hunting instincts
Cats have a hard-wired instinct to hunt. Fishing rods, springs, lasers, and other moving toys are good ways to express this tendency so your cat will not target other animals or objects at home.
Aside from keeping your cat moving, playtime and toys will exercise its mind. At least 20 minutes of playtime per day is enough to keep your cat’s mind sharp. If you have an indoor cat, playtime is indispensable so that the feline will stay busy.
What to look for cat toys
With more and more people bringing home a cat, the pet industry has exploded with a variety of cat toys. To find the best cat toy for your furball, you must consider the following:
✔️Type of toy
Teasers. These toys often have a pole with a feather attached to one end using a durable string or spring. It can be installed to the ceiling to let your cat play on its own by pouncing.
Scratchers. Scratching posts with teasers is a good option for cats since it doubles as a filing surface for their nails.
Interactive toys. For cats left alone at home, interactive toys are good options. Battery-powered lasers, moving teasers, and more will give your cat hours of playtime.
Plush toys. Stuffed animals are popular options among cats, especially for kittens. It usually comes in variety packs that contain softballs, plush mice toys, and more.
Catnip toys. This toy works by spreading the scent of catnip, which your cat won’t get enough of. Take note that this toy isn’t suitable for cats under six months old since they don’t have the sensitivity to catnip yet.
So which one should you buy for your pet? Consider the personality of your cat. For kitties who have evident prey instincts, interactive and teaser toys are the best option. Meanwhile, felines who prefer cuddling and cozying on the couch will thrive on plush toys. Catnip and scratcher toys are good picks for cats with just the right amount of energy.
No matter what type of toy you’re going to get for your pet, it should be safe to use. Make sure that the moving and small parts are glued strongly. Also, avoid toys with sharp pieces that can injure your cat.
For electronic toys, make sure that it has protection against overheating. Also, the toy should be battery-powered because wired ones stand the chance of getting chewed.
When it comes to toys with strings, you should only give it to your cat under supervision. This will prevent choking, similar to swallowing furballs.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Whatever cat toy you’re going to buy for your pet, it’s important to wash or disinfectant it from time to time. This is to remove any bacteria that have accumulated on it. Also, it will prevent the cat toys from smelling.
7 Toys for Cats to Play With Alone at Home
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Snuggly Cat Ripple Rug
Product Name: Snuggly Cat Ripple Rug
Product Description: If you're looking for the best toys for cats to play with alone, nothing beats the Snuggly Cat Ripple Rug. Unlike typical rugs, this one has a warped top layer with holes and maze-like construction. Your cat can slip through the holes, pounce, stretch, scratch, and sleep. This multi-function mat has a non-slip rubber bottom to keep it in place while your cat is playing. The top of the mat is made of recycled and non-toxic plastic bottles, which means you're doing Mother Nature a big favor by purchasing this. It's also a win-win situation for your cat. Take note that there's only one ripple rug, which is sold solely by Snuggly Cat.
Offer price: $$$
- Fun Factor
- Value for Money
Moreover, this cat rug is machine-washable. If you want, you can use a fabric softener to keep the rug soft. However, if your cat prefers stiff and rugged playthings, you can iron the mat.
This ripple rug is suitable for solo cats, but it will become more fun for multiple felines at home. It would be a game of hide-and-seek for multiple cats, which is a good way for your pets to stay busy.
So far, this is one of the most ingenious cat toys I’ve ever seen. I bought this for a friend, and his cat just can’t get enough of the rug.
Suits all cats
So far so good
Huicocy Cat Scratching Post
If your cat is a notorious scratcher and chaser, you should get the Huicocy Post instead. This one is fitted with a detachable rotating head with a LED light laser. There’s also a feather teaser that will catch your cat’s attention. Meanwhile, the scratching post is wrapped with sisal rope, which is a top choice among pet owners.
The rotating head is USB rechargeable. You can also set it in slow, random, middle, and fast mode to match your cat’s energy level. If you don’t want the laser function, simply place the cap on the pointer.
Moreover, this post is 35 inches tall so your cat can stretch and scratch to its heart’s content. For smaller or older cats, you can remove a portion of the posts to make it lower. It also has a 12.6″ x 12.6″ wood base that prevents the post from tipping or topping even during rough playtime.
This toy requires assembly, but it’s not much of an issue considering its quality and design. The manufacturer also promises an 18-month warranty coverage for any quality issues.
Overall, this cat toy levels up typical scratching posts. If you’re looking for interactive toys for active cats, this might be the perfect option.
Ralthy Interactive Robotic Cat Toy
Is your cat a notorious hunter? If so, the Ralthy Interactive Robotic Cat Toy is a good choice. This toy has a 360-degree rotating action with a double motor drive. Once you turn it on, place it on the floor, and it will roll to encourage your cat to chase, pounce, and run.
Aside from its motion, this toy has a built-in feather wand that increases its appeal to felines. The best part is that the side of the wheels has LED lamps with changing colors. It’s a great choice for cats who have eye problems.
Moreover, this robotic toy has a large battery capacity that can last for up to 4 hours in every 2-hour charge. You don’t have to worry about your cat biting the toy since it’s made of non-toxic ABS material. It’s also very durable, even against tough scratching.
The Ralthy interactive toy will be in standby mode after 10 hours of operation. After 1.5 hours, it will start moving for another 10 minutes. This prevents your cat from getting tired of the toy.
This toy is safe for any floor types, and it can also roll in carpeted surfaces. It’s also equipped with an automatic induction system that recognizes obstacles and scenes. It actually moves like a Roomba vacuum.
SereneLife Automatic Laser Toy
If your cat is fond of lasers, the SereneLife Automatic Laser Toy is a good choice. It has a unique pentagon cube design with an autopilot playtime technology. This is also wireless so you can sit back and relax, knowing that your kitty is safe playing.
Aside from that, you can adjust the circling speed of the laser through the top button. You can also cycle the patterns from slow to fast, depending on your cat’s energy level.
The good thing about this laser toy is it has an unpredictable path so your cat won’t get tired of it easily. This is a great toy to keep a kitty moving for some exercise.
Moreover, this toy shuts down after 30 minutes to let your cat rest and save battery power. It’s durable and designed to prevent tipping.
You can place this toy on the floor or on top of the table, whichever is more convenient. This is battery-operated and not USB-powered.
If your cat hates noisy toys, this laser device will be a good option. And aside from doing circular motions, the laser also squiggles to make playtime more interesting.
Zanies Rainbow Mice in Cheese Cat Toys
For cats who like hunting mice, this rat toy from Zanies Rainbow is a good option. It comes in a cheese-shaped and printed box with rainbow-colored mice toys. Each mouse toy is three inches long with cute faces and tails.
Each box has 60 mice treated with catnip to ensure hours of fun. Your cat won’t get enough of these mice toys as it satisfies their natural hunting instincts.
If you are to go out, you can give a few mice toys to your kitty. I don’t recommend giving the entire box unless you want a ripped container and mice toys everywhere. Besides, you’d want the 60 catnip-laden mice toys to last long.
The best part here is that the rats are made of real rabbit fur and leather tails. This makes the toy more attractive for your feline. I’ve seen a lot of cats before who refuse to touch toy mice with fake fur. As hunters, they can recognize the real thing. The short leather tails are also safe if your cat happens to rip it off and ingest the material. It will pass on the kitty’s stool in no time.
Bergan Catnip Hurricane
Another catnip toy that you can get is the Bergan Catnip Hurricane. This toy has a circular construction with a ball channel that will keep the balls whirling. The highlight here is the center of the toy, where you can place some catnip. As your cat whirls the ball, the smell of the catnip wafts into the air.
This will give your cat hours of blissful playtime. Overall, this toy is 15″ x 17″ x 17″ suitable for most cat sizes. It’s also very simple, and no assembly is required. It’s made of durable and non-toxic materials that are safe for cats with allergies.
If your cat gets bored easily when left alone at home, this toy is a good choice. It prevents kitties from climbing and toppling your valuables. When it comes to catnip, cats simply can’t resist.
Another good thing about this cat toy is you don’t have to change the balls. It’s built into the toy, and you can wash it as is. The balls hold up fine even if your cat has sharp claws.
My friend’s cat wore itself out the whole day playing this toy. It’s a great toy to keep your cat occupied while you’re at work.
WINGPET Automatic Cat Toy
My last recommendation for this roundup is the WINGPET Automatic Cat Toy. It’s the perfect toy for a kitten with an insatiable appetite for play. It has a dome base with holes where your cat can poke its paws. At the top of the dome is a moving feather tease.
The feather tease can be set at two different speeds. Since it has a 360-degree shape, it can be used by multiple cats at a time. The feather tease also extends inside the dome. With this, you can place a shaker bell inside, and it will produce noise as the feather inside moves.
Moreover, the feather tease moves randomly to keep playtime unpredictable. Aside from the dome, the package also includes an extra ribbon replacement, 3 AA batteries, and a screwdriver to assemble this toy.
To keep the dome toy in place, it’s outfitted with four rubber feet to prevent sliding. Since it’s battery-powered, you can place this toy just about anywhere with a flat surface. It’s safe for cats, and you can leave it on to keep your cat occupied while you run errands.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does my cat meow while carrying a toy?
A: Cats are hunting beings, and they announce their catch by meowing while carrying it. For domesticated cats, the kitty may do it with a toy. It can also be a way of your cat to initiate play with you.
Q: Are laser toys bad for the cat?
A: No, laser toys are actually an excellent way to divert your cat’s hunting tendencies to something less destructive. Cats will chase and follow the laser dot, often exhibiting the crouched hunting position. It’s a good choice for a toy since it keeps cats busy even if they are left alone.
Q: Do cats get attached to their toys?
A: Yes, cats can have toy preferences. You may notice that your old kitty may prefer a worn-out toy over new ones. Your smell attached to that toy or your cat may have been attached to it.
Q: Do all cats need to play?
A: Yes, even senior cats can benefit from daily playtimes. Since cats aren’t fans of daily walks, pouncing, chasing, and running will help keep them in shape. Just make sure that your choice of a toy is safe for your kitty regardless of age.
Q: Will my cat destroy stuffed animals?
A: If your cat has an intense prey drive, it may disembowel a plush toy. However, most cats will prefer playing and cuddling with stuffed animals instead of chewing through it. You should observe the personality of your cat before getting a toy to prevent any disastrous results.
These toys for cats to play with alone will keep your furball busy and active while you’re away. Just make sure that the toy you purchased is safe and will not pose any injury to your kitty.
What do you think of these toys I reviewed? Share your thoughts in the comment section!