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7 Different Types of Toys to Offer Your New Cat

By Stacy Painter
published: May 19, 2021 - updated: August 17, 2021 • 3 min. read
woman playing with cat

You’ve just brought home a new cat (or you’re about to) and you want to make sure they have all the toys and supplies. Without knowing what kinds of toys your cat will like, it’s a good idea to offer her at least one from each category to learn her preferences. Here are seven different categories of cat toys to try with your newest family member.

cat tree

Climbing toys

The tree dweller versus the bush dweller: some cats prefer to explore vertical spaces while others like to stay low to the ground. If you think your cat might be the “tree” type, then give her some climbing options, like a cat tree, window perch, or wall installations so she can explore her new home from higher up.

cat tunnel

Hiding places

For the bush dwellers, be sure to offer hiding places. Your new cat might need a place she can feel safe, or if she’s confident off the bat, she’ll still love expressing her zoomies by darting through tunnels. Different types of hiding places that provide security and enrichment to a cat include tunnels, a ripple rug, and of course the classic cardboard box. Learn more about why cats like boxes.

cat digger toy

Puzzle toys

Challenge your kitty’s brain with a puzzle toy that requires some extra effort to produce a tasty reward. Some puzzle toys can be filled with treats or dry cat food and provide obstacles for your cat to reach her reward, while others consist of balls or toys suspended in a maze that keep your kitty busy.

cat with feather toy

Toys to chase

From feather toys to mice to plastic balls with bells inside, there are a plethora of options when it comes to toys your cat can independently bat around and chase. These kinds of toys can keep your cat entertained even when there is no one around. If your cat is technically inclined, try an electronic toy to satisfy her inner hunter.

cat feather pole toy

Wands and teasers

Though these are also toys your cat can chase, unlike the types mentioned above, these require a human’s participation. Wand toys, teasers, and laser pointers are all exciting toys that give your cat the opportunity to get good exercise and spend quality social time with her human.

catnip toy

Catnip toys

All cats deserve to try catnip at least once in their lives. For some, it’s a quick energy boost, while others enjoy relaxing and zoning out. Catnip loses its potency over time if you don’t store it in a tightly sealed container, but many toys can still be fun to bat and chase even after the ‘nip wears out. What exactly does catnip do to cats? We explain.

cat scratcher toy


All cats need a good outlet for their scratching energy (lest they take it out on your furniture) which is why we recommend a good cat scratcher. Scratching is an instinctual behavior that also helps to file down those sharp claws. Some cat scratchers double as a toy, others also make a nice place to lounge and hide; there are options galore.

Why cats need toys

Though it may seem like cats just sleep all day long, the truth is that they still need plenty of physical activity. Toys and playtime help your cat get exercise which helps her maintain a healthy weight. They also provide mental stimulation to keep her from becoming bored and finding other (more destructive) outlets for her energy. Plus, cats are natural hunters, and toys give them an appropriate outlet to put their hunting instincts to use.

What kind of toy do you think will be your cat’s favorite?

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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