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.
Pets Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pet owners, caretakers, breeders, veterinarians, and trainers. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
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
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)
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.