When you think about pet chew toys, your brain probably goes to a dog or puppy biting and mouthing a plushie or a dog dental toy. But it turns out, cat chew toys are actually highly beneficial to our feline friends, too.
Not only do chew toys for cats play into your critter’s hunting and prey instincts, but they can help clean your cat’s teeth, provide mental stimulation, and give your cat some physical exercise.
But what should you look for when shopping for cat chew toys? We’ll break down the benefits of chew toys for cats, what to consider when finding the best options for your feline, and a few of our absolute favorite picks.
Do Cats Need Chew Toys?
Not all cats will enjoy or like chew toys, so it’s hard to generally say that all cats need chew toys. However, there are plenty of felines that do enjoy the act of chewing. If your cat falls into that category, then cat chew toys can be hugely beneficial.
Chew toys for cats will keep your gnawing feline away from chewing on your personal items, home decor, or even dangerous items like wires or cables. They’ll also give your cats an outlet for appropriate and productive chewing.
If you’re unsure whether your cat will enjoy a chew toy, consider purchasing a few different types to see if your feline shows interest. If your cat doesn’t want to play with or chew on a toy, you can always donate these items to shelters who may have cats that can benefit from them.
Are Dog Chew Toys Safe for Cats?
While some felines may sneak around and try to take your dog’s chew toys, it’s not recommended for cats to chew on toys meant for dogs. Chew toys for dogs may not be sized appropriately for cats or may have pieces that a crafty cat could pull loose or shred with their claws or teeth—which can lead to a safety hazard.
Additionally, cats may not be interested in dog chew toys, since they aren’t designed with felines in mind. Many cat chew toys have places for additions like catnip or a cat treat or they have specific features that appeal to a cat’s instinctual prey drive.
For safety and enrichment, it’s best to stick to toys designed specifically for cats.
What to Look For in a Cat Chew Toy
Before you head out to the pet store or shop online, there are a couple things to consider when choosing a cat chew toy. Keep these notes in mind when shopping.
Identify Your Cat’s Needs
Cat chew toys can be used for a variety of different reasons, so identifying why your cat may need or benefit from a chew toy is step one. If you have a teething kitten, then consider kitten teething toys that are soft and soothing for this stage of kittenhood. If you have an adult cat that simply enjoys the act of chewing and you’re looking to provide an appropriate outlet for this behavior, then most regular cat chew toys will fit the bill. If you’re concerned about your cat’s teeth and dental health, look for chew toys that offer dental and teeth-cleaning benefits.
Consider the Materials
It may take some trial and error to figure out what types of materials your cat enjoys for a chew toy. Some cats may prefer something that is soft or crinkly, while others may like a toy that is hard and dense. Some toys combine different materials so that your cat can choose based on her mood. Look for high-quality materials that go through testing for durability and are certified safe for your feline companion.
Stuffable Toys or Puzzle Toys
Some cat chew toys allow you to stuff them with catnip for an added boost to your feline’s senses. Others will have compartments for food or be set up so that your cat needs to figure out how to remove the food or treats. These types of cat chew toys can provide great mental stimulation and enrichment. Just make sure they’re made for withstanding chewing, too!
Ease of Cleaning
While this might not be a make or break part of your decision making, it’s helpful to find a cat chew toy that can easily be cleaned. This may mean that it’s simple to wipe down, put in the dishwasher, or throw in the washing machine. Any toy that needs to be hand-washed may make you less inclined to clean it, which could lead to bacteria buildup. If you can add your cat’s chew toy to a load of dishes or wash, you’ll be able to keep your cat safe and your home clean!
6 Best Cat Chew Toys
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Keeping all of the above information in mind, we dove into all the cat chew toy options and picked favorites based on materials, durability, inventiveness, safety, ease of use, and overall design.
We also looked closely at online reviews and took the opinions of our own feline testers into consideration to come up with the best of the best.
This cat chew toy is a two-in-one option that provides entertainment and freshens breath. The middle portion of the toy is stuffed with fresh, dried mint that entices cats to gnaw and chew. The mesh netting helps to remove tartar buildup and keeps teeth cleaner. But the dental benefits don’t mean this toy isn’t fun. It’s a great toy for batting and tossing to your cat from across the room. The crinkle leaf ends are also appealing to your cat’s senses. Overall, it’s a great cat chew toy for an affordable price.
- Provides entertainment and freshens breath.
- Filled with natural, dried mint.
- Crinkle leaf ends provide sensory fun.
- Great for solo or interactive play.
Things to Consider
- As with all cat chew toys, you should supervise your cat when in use.
- Made in China.
- No information provided for cleaning this toy.
While this catnip cat chew toy may seem simple, don’t let the basic banana shape full you. Cats love this one! Our resident cat, Boris, goes bonkers over this toy and that’s partly because of its shape and texture and partly because the catnip inside is very strong. We love this toy because it’s handcrafted and made from a durable cotton-twill material. The curved shape makes it perfect for grabbing and chewing, but cats also like to swat and nuzzle it. It’s stuffed with organically grown catnip and uses only natural, non-toxic dyes.
- All-natural, organic, and strong organic catnip.
- Made of durable cotton-twill material.
- Shape is appealing to felines.
- Handmade with non-toxic dyes.
Things to Consider
- A bit difficult to clean. Recommended to wipe it down by hand.
- Catnip can’t be refilled or replaced.
- If your cat is a strong, aggressive chewer, this toy may not last. Better for moderate chewing.
These simple and effective catnip pouch toys are really great for cats who like to chew. They are made from durable nylon and are designed to release just the right amount of catnip when chewed or squeezed. These toys are small and lightweight, making them perfect for batting and holding in your cat’s paws. But they are sturdy enough and difficult for cats to tear them apart. Plus, you get three of these toys in each pack—which seems like a pretty great deal to us!
- Made from durable nylon to withstand chewing.
- Releases catnip when chewed or squeezed.
- Lightweight design makes them easy for cats to play with.
- Safe and non-toxic.
- Comes with three toys per pack—a great value.
Things to Consider
- They could be a bit messy because they do release catnip.
- Some reviewers said the edges are a bit sharp—something to be aware of.
If you’ve been looking for an interactive cat chew toy, then this one is ideal. It’s a pretty inventive design because it features a windmill shape that spins and moves when your cat swats at it, nudges it, or chews on it. It comes with two catnip balls that go inside the toy, enticing your cat to interact with it. The middle portion of the toy features nubs that can help with your cat’s dental care if they enjoy chewing. You can even put your cat’s toothpaste or food on the nubs to encourage them to chew. Better yet, this toy features a suction cup at the bottom, so it can adhere to the floor or a window, giving your cat plenty of playtime options.
- Interactive and fun.
- Comes with catnip balls.
- Can help with dental care.
- Suction cup makes this toy versatile.
Things to Consider
- May be difficult to add your own catnip.
- No clear cleaning instructions.
Now you can support your cat’s chewing while serving your desert, boho style sensibility with this cat chew toy that is shaped like a cactus. We love the quirky and cute shape. But besides looks, this toy offers a lot of other features to like. It’s made from natural rubber and the nubs on the cactus are designed to help clean your cat’s teeth and get rid of tartar buildup. The toy comes with a bag insert that is filled with strong catnip and silvervine to attract your cat to want to chew and play. Best yet, this cat chew toy can be put into the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
- Made from natural rubber—safe and nontoxic.
- The design is eye-catching and cute.
- Helps promote dental care.
- Comes with a catnip bag that can be inserted.
- Easy to clean in the dishwasher.
Things to Consider
- May not be durable enough for strong, aggressive chewers.
- Some cats weren’t attracted to the included catnip.
If your cat (and your home) likes a little variety, then this 6-piece chew toy set may be a good option. It features cute Japanese-inspired plush designs that are fun for cats and not an eyesore for humans. Each small toy is stuffed with organic catnip and they are made from durable linen cotton to withstand your feline’s biting. These soft toys are great for teething kittens or adult cats alike.
- 6 toys in one set is a great value.
- Cute, Japanese-inspired designs.
- Filled with organic catnip.
- Made of durable cotton linen to resist chewing.
Things to Consider
- Size is small—pay attention to the measurements.
- You can’t restuff with your own catnip.
- Toys should be wiped down and cannot be put in the wash.
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