If you’ve always thought your cat was more inclined to interactive toys, but you’re ready to give them something more to play with (especially something that’ll keep their little razor-sharp teeth busy and clean), chew toys are a good option, especially for teething kittens and habitual chewers.
When you think of chew toys, you might automatically think of chew toys designed for dogs. But dog and cat chew toys are very different, and if you’ve shopped for the former in the past, you’ll quickly realize that shopping for cat chew toys comes with its own caveats. Cats just aren’t as interested in the same features and elements that dogs are when it comes to their favorite toys.
What to Look For in a Cat Chew Toy
Here are some of the top things to look for and consider when shopping for cat chew toys.
You want your cat’s toys to be durable enough to withstand lots of teething, gnawing, ripping, shredding and other mayhem. Some felt and cloth catnip toys can’t stand up to those more vicious cats who are more inclined to rip their favorite toys to shreds before they have a chance to enjoy them fully.
Look for cat toys that are made from durable (but still safe and vet-approved) materials, and consider your cat’s temperament when determining the level of durability you need.
You don’t want to drop all this money on cat toys just to discover that your cat doesn’t even have any interest in playing with them.
If you’re bringing home a new kitty and you don’t know quite what your cat likes yet, go with some more affordable, standard toys to see what types of toys they’re more drawn to. If they do show an affinity for chew toys, then it’s time to maybe drop some more cash on them.
Additionally, look for the types of play experiences your cat is most interested in. Do they like toys that make sounds? Toys that move on their own? Toys with bright colors, feathers and other features?
Yes, your new cat chew toy may provide some health benefits, other than the mere mental stimulation your furry friend will enjoy as they play with their new chew toy for hours on end.
Some chew toys for cats are specifically designed to help with dental health, removing tartar and buildup as your cat plays. If your cat’s current dental health is a particular concern, you may consider looking for a cat chew toy that specifically offers this feature.
While looking for a durable chew toy for your cat, you may be tempted to buy the strongest-looking toy on the market. But those rubber and plastic toys could come with their own hazards.
When looking for a durable chew toy, be sure to likewise look for any potential safety concerns. Toxic materials or materials with hard edges can prove later health hazards once your pet begins chewing.
Your best bet? Go with a toy that’s received plenty of positive reviews, or even ask your vet for their recommendations.
The Best Catnip Chew Toys for Cats
All of the above considered, are you ready to start shopping? Here are some of the best chew toys for cats, starting with those that include a hit of catnip.
Kong makes a range of durable dog chews, but did you know the revered brand also creates a line of Kong cat toys?
You can expect the same high quality that Kong is known for across all its products when it comes to this little refillable beaver. Despite being made from fabric, the plush toy is pretty durable when it comes to standing up to cats’ roughest play, but then the catnip might have something to do with that.
The catnip comes separately from the toy, and then you have to add it into the stuffing. The design allows you to replace the catnip each time it loses its potency.
This stick is made with adult cats in mind, which is easy to see when you look at the size. This toy is massive, at 20 inches long.
It’s pretty basic, in that it’s just a fabric stick (though the fabric is relatively durable) filled with catnip, but it does the job for cats that prefer simple toys over flashy entertainment.
Unlike the Kong toy above, this cat teething toy is unfortunately not refillable, but you can always give it a spritz with some catnip spray once it starts to lose its touch.
This plush toy is likewise durable, and you can undoubtedly trust Kong’s high-quality craftsmanship, but unlike the Kong toy above, this one is not refillable. It does come with a healthy helping of catnip, though, already within the toy.
This plush is designed with several “mouse” legs off the main plush body that are extra-long and give your cat plenty to chew on. The legs are also filled with a crinkle and rattle substance for extra noise as they’re playing (in case your cat is into that).
These short chew sticks are quiet and soft, making them ideal for pet parents who want a toy their cat can play with during the nighttime hours without waking up the entire household.
The toys are made from nylon rope and filled with North American catnip. Users report that each stick lasts for months but that sometimes the nylon rope does end in some sharp edges, which you may want to cut away before giving the toy to your cat.
These chew sticks come in a pack of 40 for just around $10, making them a great budget pick. The catnip sticks are 100% all-natural and include no additives or preservatives. The organic ingredients help clean your cat’s teeth and freshen their breath while also adding extra vitamins to their diet and soothing any gastrointestinal stress.
And while you can probably agree that a pack of 40 catnip sticks for just $10 is a pretty good deal, it gets even better. Each stick is reusable multiple times; all you have to do once your cat tires of the experience is cut off the top layer that’s already been chewed through, which brings the toys’ catnip properties back to full strength.
The Best Teeth-Cleaning Chew Toys for Cats
A chew toy that doubles as a teeth-cleaning toy is there really anything better? These chew toys are a win win for you and your cat.
If you’re particularly worried about your cat’s dental health and you want a toy that can keep their teeth squeaky-clean, try this Plaque Away Pretzel from Petstages. At under $5, it’s on the affordable side, and it particularly appeals to cats that like to chew on wires, shoelaces and other soft, long, rope-like items.
As your cat plays, the double mesh gently scrapes away plaque, and your kitty doesn’t even know it!
You can purchase the pretzel with either a mint or catnip filling. The mint is definitely a good choice if you think your cat’s breath could use a little work.
This super-cute toy is a lollipop for your cat. Coming in packages of four, these chew toys are made of dry, organic mint and pull double duty as both entertainment and a teeth cleaner.
The compressed mint ball and stick can be pawed, swatted and chewed to your cat’s content.
These dental health chews for cats aren’t as cute as the Plaque Away Pretzel, but they may be more appealing to your cat if they enjoy lots of fun colors, streamers and fabrics.
The body of the toy is covered in a netting that cleans away tartar and plaque, but that is still durable enough to withstand long term chewing. The body is also filled with catnip.
The knotted streamers on the end of the toy may be quick to unravel or deteriorate, depending on your cat’s activity level, but for a toy that’s just around $5, you can’t really complain.
If your cat doesn’t care for catnip, you may find that they really enjoy mint. This mint-filled chew toy from Petstages is, like other Petstages dental chew toys for cats, covered with a net-like fabric that scrapes away at tartar and dental buildup.
This particular chew toy for cats is shaped more like a traditional bone, with a net-covered center for teeth cleaning and then two mint-filled mint leaves at either end.
Feline Greenies appeal to cats that aren’t necessarily big on playing with toys but who love a good treat.
The treats come in six different flavors, and the treats’ special texture and shape scrape away all the gross buildup on your cat’s teeth. Additionally, the treats are low-calorie, so you don’t necessarily have to worry about cutting your cat’s food down for the day when you give them one of these treats.
Greenies are a little more on the expensive side, depending on how large a package you buy, up to $20. However, shopping around on Amazon can lead to more budget-friendly pricing.
These dental chews are made from non-toxic rubber and are pretty simple in design. They’re shaped like a fish and come in three vibrant colors. The little fish “bones” offer a place for your cat to dig in their teeth and really scrape off some of that plaque.
If you know your cat isn’t going to immediately pounce on a plush toy or one of the catnip-filled variants above, this can be a good alternative. Additionally, it’s really budget-friendly, at just $2 per toy.
This toy is technically for both dogs and cats, but it’s easy to see how it could appeal to both your canine and feline friends.
The treat-dispensing ball is bite resistant and made of a non-toxic, soft and BPA-free rubber. It’s covered in little tiny, soft spikes that floss away plaque and tartar, cleaning teeth as your cat (or dog!) chews away.
You can fill the toy with your cat’s favorite treats to stimulate their play and encourage them to work at getting the treats free. This toy is particularly a good option if you know your pet isn’t going to play unless there’s a reward involved, and if you know, they don’t quite care for either catnip or mint.
Dogs aren’t the only pets that like to chew on ropes every once in a while. Cats enjoy rope toys as well, and the shape and texture of certain rope toys can benefit your cat’s gum health.
This rope toy was made with cats in mind, featuring a cotton rope ball at the end of a rope handle, making it perfect for interactive play or even solo play.
Another nighttime-suitable toy, this moon-shaped chewy toy for cats emits a very soft glow in dark rooms — making for a fun (and silent) toy for cats to enjoy after their families have gone to bed.
The $5 toy is made from non-toxic, soft and lightweight materials. The design makes it possible for your cat to bat and spin the toy on hard floors.
Whatever Your Cat’s Play Preferences, There’s a Chew Toy for Them
Whether your cat loves catnip, plush toys, interactive toys or treats, there’s a chew toy out there for them.
Keep your beloved feline from chewing on things they ought not, and protect their dental health simultaneously, with one of the above chew toys specially designed for cats of all types and temperaments.
You might also be interested in: 14 Houseplants Safe for Cats (and Dogs)
Best Chew Toys for Cats:
- Kong Beaver Refillable Catnip Toy
- Happy Kitty Tickle Kick Stick
- Kong Wubba Mouse
- Petstages Catnip Rolls
- Deyace Catnip Sticks
- Plaque Away Pretzel
- Cat Mint Ball Stick
- Petstages Catnip Dental Health Chew
- Petstages Dental Mint Stick
- Feline Greenies
- Celendi Rubber Cat Dental Chews
- IQ Treat Ball
- SunGrow Rope Ball
- Petstages 742 Nighttime Glow Toy