We have a ball with holes where we put cat food into. Our cats really love this, pushing the ball around to get to the food, even when food is available.

What are other good cat enrichment (toys)? Home-made or bought - doesn't matter.

  • Related: pets.stackexchange.com/questions/16367/…
    – Henders
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 9:35
  • 2
    Two cat behavioralists (Mikel Delgado and Ingrid Johnson) write Food Puzzles for Cats which has a large number of suggestions, rates them by difficulty, and includes troubleshooting of common problems when implementing puzzle feeders. I highly recommend it.
    – Zaralynda
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 18:57

1 Answer 1


Pretty much any cat toy is enriching in that it engages the cat’s mind and gives them exercise. I included the low-cost and home-made/repurposed items i have discovered over the years and also some higher-end ones as well.

I spilt the list of cat toys into two categories: human interaction not required and human interaction required. Note that you can always play with your cat with things like balls and stuffed animals. Many experts say playing with your cat can improve your relationship with your cat. Cats can learn to play fetch with some reinforcement, without any concerted training effort.

Note that damaged cat toys should be discarded since the cats can eat the various parts (such as string, rope or stuffing) which is not good for them.

Human interaction not required:

  • Ping pong balls

  • Small plastic balls with holes

  • Stuffed mice

  • Small plastic caps and pull tabs from beverage cartons

  • Miscellaneous Toys with catnip

  • “Boogie mats” (small cloth mats that can be opened to add catnip)

  • Automated laser pointer devices

  • Small stuffed animals / beanie babies

  • Devices that mechanically move a small toy

  • Cat treat balls (you can make your own by cutting a treat-sized hole in a small plastic bottle)

  • Plastic strips - such as the tear off portion from the top of a resealable bag of vegetables.

  • Paper grocery bag (open)

  • Boxes with holes cut in (kitty fort)

  • Plastic drinking Straws

Human interaction required

  • String / yarn / ribbon (make sure cat does not eat)

  • Laser pointer

  • Fishing-pole type toy with feathers or other toy on the end.

Different cats like different toys so you may have to do dome experimenting to find their favorite toy.

  • 2
    My cats would argue that human interaction is not required to have fun with drinking straws.
    – CAD97
    Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 15:41

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