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We love our cats dearly. That’s why we try to do our part to help them live a happy and fulfilled life. We do all kinds of silly things to keep our cats happy. We wash them even though they are the cleanest creatures, we let them sleep in our beds (or is it the other way around?), we celebrate their birthdays, and buy them gifts and cat chew toys.
Well, maybe we don’t do all these things, but you get my point, right?
When it comes to toys, we know that dogs need to chew toys, so is it the same with cats? Do we need to buy cat chew toys? That’s what I am going to talk about today.
Did you know that more than 500 million cats live with their fellow humans worldwide?
Cats have been living with or around us for more than 10,000 years. The domestication of cats was initiated in different locations, across different historical periods.
While we can’t establish the time, we know that we didn’t domesticate them like other animals. Cats domesticated themselves.
Our relationship with cats has had its ups and downs. We worshipped cats in ancient Egypt. In the medieval period, cats have become associated with witchcraft and demons, especially the black ones.
Today, they are our beloved companions and often our peers and family members. So, we love them, nurture them and buy them all kinds of toys and accessories.
Someone may even wonder if we are overdoing it. Do they really need all that stuff? It’s difficult to know, but I will tell you all you need to know about chew toys for cats.
Do Cats Need Chew Toys?
The short answer is: yes, they do.
But, it’s not that simple. Actually, nothing is ever simple when it comes to cats’ behavior, preferences, and interests. Let’s deal with common fallacies first.
Many people think that cats need to chew just like dogs do. Dogs like to chew to relieve stress, to keep their bite muscles strong, and more than anything, they have fun while chewing.
Most cats, however, see no fun in chewing. Adult cats don’t have an innate need to chew like dogs. Actually, chewing on things other than food, herbs, and plastic (!) is often a sign of some health issue.
But, don’t get scared if your cat likes to chew on other items. Each cat has its own personality and some of them do like to chew.
Another common misbelief is that chewing on toys is the best way to keep teeth and gums healthy.
As a matter of fact, this is partially true. Chewing is good for both teeth and gums. It can reduce plaque and soft tartar on your cat’s teeth.
However, it’s not enough and you can’t rely only on chew toys to keep your cat’s mouth and teeth healthy.
So, why do cats need chew toys?
Cats teeth just as our children and puppies. It happens in stages and it can cause some discomfort.
That’s where chew toys come in. Teething kittens will bite and chew on almost anything to ease the discomfort. They may damage their teeth or your furniture or both. So, you should be prepared and get some cat chew toys.
Once the teething phase is over, chances are your kitten will lose interest in chewing toys.
But, if your cat likes chewing it’s a good idea to offer her chew toys instead of your fingers and other inappropriate items.
What to Look For in Cat Chew Toys?
Fortunately, there’s a variety of cat chew toys on the market.
Cats are notoriously picky and you can’t really tell which toys they are going to love. However, cat chew toys are pretty affordable, so it’s not a big deal if you don’t get it right with the first one. There are some guidelines to help you choose.
- Safety. Make sure that you buy toys made for cats. Also, choose renowned manufacturers. They use cat-friendly non-toxic materials to keep your cat safe. Avoid products with sharp edges.
- Materials. If something looks like a great toy for cats, it doesn’t mean that it is great. Check out the label to see if it is a cat toy. High-quality cat chew toys are usually made of special soft plastic or durable hard rubber.
- Durability. Cats have sharp teeth. Buying a toy that will disappear in a couple of minutes doesn’t look like a good investment. Not to mention the risk of eating pieces of a shredded toy.
- Texture and design. It’s all about entertaining your cat. Different textures and peculiar shapes should attract Fluffy. Otherwise, you will only get a new ‘decorative’ item.
- Catnip. Most cats like catnip. That’s why manufacturers often pack some catnip into the toy. Once again, it’s a way to make the toy alluring.
- Lightweight. It’s not necessary to get a lightweight toy, but this feature makes it more interesting. It allows your kitten to bat it, toss it, and carry it around. Cats can lose interest in toys if they can’t find new ways to play with it.
Top 9 Choices Fluffy Will LOVE
Before you purchase a toy or two, consider your cat’s preferences. It can help you narrow down your choice.
Even though our feline companions are mysterious and unpredictable, knowing and observing them allows us to get things right more often. Also, don’t make the toy available all the time.
When your cat stops chewing or playing put the toy away for a while. It’s a great idea to have two or more cat chew toys and give them to your cat intermittently. This way you will prolong both durability and cat’s interest in toys.
So, here are some of the best and most popular cat chew toys.
1. PetStages Dental Health Cat Chew Toy
In my research, this toy came out as a clear victor. Most cats of my friends loved it and enjoyed it for a long time.
As for typical requirements, it has it all. It is durable, there’s a catnip inside it, and it is helpful in cleaning teeth and massaging the gums.
Moreover, it is lightweight to bat around, it has different textures, and several tassels to keep your kitten entertained. So, it’s a full package, but I was particularly impressed with its durability.
2. Lavizo Fish Shape Toothbrush with Catnip Toys
This toy is made of non-toxic, high-quality natural silica gel. But, is it a toy or a toothbrush?
Well, it’s both. Actually, it’s a toy that will brush your cat’s teeth while she plays with it. It comes with 6 small catnip bags. Fill the toy with catnip and enjoy watching your cat playing with it. It’s easy to clean and you should do it after each use.
Another nice thing is that the manufacturer promises to fully refund without any hassle in case your cat isn’t interested in this toy.
3. Deyace Dental Catnip Sticks
If you prefer 100% natural materials, silver vine chew sticks can be a good idea.
These sticks have no additives or preservatives. They are small, lightweight, and easy to carry around. These sticks are great for cats that don’t care about catnip.
Silver vine can be an alternative as it has similar effects on cats. Cats should be naturally attracted to it, but sometimes you may need to be patient and get involved to get the game started.
4. PetStages Catnip Plaque Away Pretzel
Flossing your cat’s teeth? No problem! This pretzel-looking toy is designed to allow flossing and removing soft tartar while your cat chews on it.
Having said that, getting rid of soft tartar is not enough to keep your cat’s gums and teeth healthy. But, hey, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s a sturdy and durable toy.
The only downside is that your cat might get bored with it after a while.
5. Bojafa Cat Catnip Toys
These cotton cat chew toys are stuffed with soft cotton and natural catnip.
Even though they have cute cat-face expressions, I believe that they actually resemble mice. That’s why most cats love it. They may not be as durable as rubber cat chewing toys and are made of pretty tough cotton linen, though.
6. PetStages Tons of Tails Toy
This toy should hit the mark.
It contains catnip, it has three different fabric textures and tons of floppy streamers. Usually, cats go nuts with this toy. It’s also lightweight, so your cat can easily bat, toss, and carry it around. It’s not very durable, though.
7. PetStages Catnip Mice Cat Chew Toys
I must say that these are adorable – at least to us humans.
But would your cat agree with it? Fortunately, cats find them attractive as well.
These mice contain catnip. Also, they have durable netting to improve dental health. They are small and lightweight for never-ending tossing and batting around the house.
8. Malier Catnip Fish Toy
I have to throw some fish into the mix for fear of becoming an object of my cat’s scorn.
With this pack, you’ll get three different kinds of fish, so you can educate your cat as well! Seriously, these plush chew toys for cats can be great. They are stuffed with catnip, so your cat will enjoy biting it, and tossing it around.
9. PetStages Night Time Catnip Rolls
Is your cat a night owl? It’s not a big deal as long as you can sleep.
But, if your kitty plays and makes a noise it can become a nightmare. These catnip rolls might solve your problem. They are soft and filled with catnip.
Three sticks should provide fun for your cats while you can sleep like a kitten.