12 of Our Favorite Artisanal Cat Toys
Kitty loves to play, and she deserves the best! Shop the best of modern artisanal toys including interactive feather wands, felted catnip-stuffed animals, bouncy balls, and more.
A good toy can do more than keep your cat entertained; it can also provide a fun way for you to interact with your furry friend. "The best toys are ones that allow you to engage with your cat, such as wand toys or any other toys you can dangle for your cat," says Jackson Cunningham, founder of Tuft + Paw. "These kinds of toys are popular because they're interactive and encourage play." Along with dangling, wind-style toys, Cunningham says there are other kinds of toys that your cat is sure to find amusing. "'Cat kicker' toys, are long rectangular shaped toys that your cat can spoon, grip, and kick ferociously with their hind paws," he says. "These should be made of a durable material, otherwise they'll get ripped to shreds."
A little catnip can also go a long way in a cat toy. Scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, catnip is a plant that is a member of the mint family—and is something that cats almost always get excited for. "I'd say catnip is pretty essential to keeping your cat's interest," Cunningham says. "Look for toys that have catnip embedded in them, with an added bonus if there's the option to replace/refill the catnip."
Of course, it doesn't hurt if a cat toy is fun for the owner to play with, too. "We love designing toys that have very distinct, almost cartoon-y shapes and silhouettes," Cunningham explains. "We try to think of things that would make humans laugh when their cat is playing with it." In the market for such a find? From feather brushes to faux sushi rolls, here are a dozen of our favorites.
Designed so that your cat can either play with it on their own or while a human is holding one end and dangling it, this interactive cat toy has a long and lean silhouette on purpose. "The thinner shape causes it to wiggle around a bit randomly which really gets cats going," says Cunningham.
Shop Now: Tuft + Paw "Bamdoll" Toy, $29, tuftandpaw.com.
A classic game of cat and mouse will always get your feline's attention. Each of these felted wool mice is filled with organic catnip and feature a dangly string tail, petal-pink ears, and a floral-fabric belly that your cat is sure to love.
Shop Now: Mungo & Maud Knitted Mouse Cat Toy, $26.50, us.mungoandmaud.com.
Why buy a traditional cat toy when you can have one that looks like a roast turkey? Handmade in England, this felted toy is filled with organic catnip—so your feline friend will love it just as much you do.
Shop Now: Cheshire & Wain Catnip Toy Roast Turkey, $16.80, cheshireandwain.us.com.
Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to plastic cat ball toys? These natural cork balls are handmade at the Hauspanther Studio in Phoenix, Arizona, and come clad in colorful feathers.
Shop Now: Hauspanther Studio Feather Cork Ball Cat Toy, $4, shop.hauspanther.com.
Wave of a Wand
Attached to bamboo rods, these adorable printed-canvas pounce toys—depicting a red-breasted robin, a ball of yarn, a squirrel—promise to keep any kitten entertained and engaged long after the gift-worthy occasion is over.
Shop Now: Oré Originals Wand Toy, $10 each, oreoriginals.com.
Beyond a standard stuffed toy, why not consider one that also helps support your pet's dental health? This fish toy is composed of naturally felted wool that provides a flossing and cleaning action for your feline's gums and teeth while they chew.
Shop Now: Max-Bone Fish Felt Toy, $9, max-bone.com.
A few feathers go a long way on a cat toy. This interactive wand toy features a sheepskin pompom and vegetable tanned leather handle that you won't mind showing off in plain sight. "We wanted to offer a refined 'cat wand' style toy that could be left on a couch and wouldn't take away from the rest of your decor," explains Cunningham.
Shop Now: Tuft + Paw "MiaCara Topo" Toy, $29, tuftandpaw.com.
If Cleo loves any cat toy, it's bound to be one made in her likeness. Designed with a hidden interior pouch, this sleek cat-faced toy can be refilled with catnip, or any other treat that your cat adores.
Shop Now: Modern Beast City Cat, in Charcoal/Light Gray, $18, modernbeast.com.
An animal shape will satisfy your cat's natural instinct to hunt. This pretty-pink hog is made with soft felt and stuffed with organic catnip grown in the United States.
Shop Now: Cat Connection Vermont Homegrown Organic Catnip Felt Pig, $6, thecatconnection.com.
If your cat loves to play in packaging—think boxes, bubble wrap, and gift paper—then this is the toy or for you. The all-natural crinkle fish entices cats with feathers, cotton-encased catnip, and crackly sounds.
Shop Now: KONG Crinkle Cat Fish Toy, $3.79, chewy.com.
If your cat likes to nibble on fresh fruit, consider presenting them with one of these charming strawberry-style toys. These hand-embroidered berries are sewn from dental-friendly fleece and are the perfect size for cat paws.
Shop Now: Love Thy Beast Berry Wool Toy, $7, lovethybeast.com.
Few things excite a cat faster than fresh fish and catnip. Handmade in Nepal, each of the felted sushi rolls in this charming set of four—including the Prawn Nigiri, Tuna Nigiri, Salmon Nigiri, and California Roll—are filled with organic catnip so your cat will love it every bit as much as you do.
Shop Now: The Foggy Dog Sushi Cat Toys, $29, thefoggydog.com.