Kitten Toy Ideas

Letting kitty choose her own toys may not be a good idea.
i nelik/iStock/Getty Images

Kittens are play machines. They will find something fun to do with, or without, your help. However, if you get tired of crawling around, peeking under sofa and beds for your favorite pair of earrings, maybe it's time to give kitty some interesting new toys that keep you both happy.

The Bag

It is an unwritten cat law... all cats get a paper bag -- no excuses. There is no feline deserving of the name who is not bedazzled by "The Bag". They will eschew all other toys and fancy cat beds to sit in, pounce on, and otherwise amuse themselves with it. Give one to your kitten and she will worship you for life -- or at least until she finishes destroying the bag. Throw a wadded ball of scrap paper in there for her to bat around and she will think she has gone to heaven.

Quick and Easy Fun

Cats have a reputation for aloofness, but it's all show -- they learn as kittens to keep their humans scrambling for ways to entertain them. Next time your kitty presents the cold-shoulder, perk her up with one of these quick and easy toys made with the stuff in your junk drawer. Use a dowel or pencil and a bit of string to make a “fishing pole”, add something -- a button, feather, improvised pom-pom made from more string, or whatever else you can scrounge -- to dangle from the end, and voilà. Wave that in front of kitty's upturned nose and watch the real cat come out to play. Add a lightweight spring near the other end of a long string and tie it to a hook in the center of a door frame, for a bouncy toy kitty can play with by herself.

Play Alone Toys

Much as you love her, you can't always be with your kitty. When you really have to leave her alone, give her something to safely entertain herself with while you're out. A narrow cardboard box with small holes cut out on the sides and top makes a diverting toy for kittens. Put a few ping-pong balls inside before sealing it up with masking tape. Your kitty can reach in through the holes to bat at the balls, but can't get them out to scatter and lose them, so the game can go on all day. Make a similar box toy by cutting out larger holes -- sized to accommodate empty soup cans or other small containers set down inside them. Put treats in the various containers for kitty to fish out and eat during the day. This is a great way to slow down a fast eater and provide amusement simultaneously.

Snuggle Fun

Next to playing and eating, kittens like to sleep. Give her a cave of her own where she can play hide-and-seek with imaginary monsters, then snuggle in for a good nap after she has scared them all away. You can buy a commercial felted cat cave, or make a simpler sewn one yourself from fake fur, felt or fleece. Add little soft knobs, wobbly things or ribbons to make it fun, or sew in an extra entrance for darting in and out after the bogeyman. Add a tiny, catnip-filled snuggle-toy for kitty to play and sleep with to round things out.

Safety Tip

Like all babies, kittens learn about their world by putting things in their mouths. Never leave your kitten unsupervised with toys containing parts small enough to swallow. Avoid using tinsel, loose, short strings, beads, tiny buttons and so forth -- items that attract kittens of all sizes, and that could become choking hazards. Balloons and plastic bags also pose choking hazards for all pets.

the nest