What are some good, cheap toys that cats can use to play by themselves?

Belle has tons of toys that she doesn't play with anymore - toy mice, toy balls, etc. But they're all toys that she has to initiate the play session. What are some cheap toys I can buy that she will like that will keep her entertained?

I am taking my sister's cat Linus in the fall when she goes off to medical school, so getting another cat for my Belle isn't an option. I just need toys and activities to tide her over until Linus comes to live with us! I feel bad because I think Belle is going a little stir crazy.

Asked by Belle on May 15th 2010 in Toys
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A small balls of yarn.
The plastic ring off of a milk jug.
Plastic straws
paper bag
little ball of crumpled aluminum foil
cardboard box
feathers on a string tied where she can bat at them

Member 201551 answered on 5/15/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

♥ Tasha ♥

Ellie has some great ideas~ we second the drinking straws! Be careful if you use any yarn~ once a cat starts swallowing it, they cannot spit it out because of the barbs on their tongue, so they will swallow the whole thing and that can cause problems.

♥ Tasha ♥ answered on 5/15/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The best choice may be a be a large cardboard box. You can cut holes in the sides, turn it upside down...the choices are unlimited, but cats, especially kittens or energetic and curious adults, can spend hours amusing themselves with a cardboard box (har har, most of mine come from Amazon, but I doubt that that fact excites the play urge in cats). Having another cat on hand enhances the excitement, but you've already addressed that.

Wand toys and toys attached to cords are fine for interactive play, but put them out of Belle's reach when you are not there to supervise. Yes, you already know that. What I find dangerous are wand toys with elastic cords. Cats tend to enjoy grasping the toy object (mousie, feather, whatever) in their mouth and try to run off with it. If the toy is attached to an elastic cord, there is a possibility that when the cat loses hold on the toy, the cord will snap back and hit the cat on the head or eyes. Be vigilant but have fun!

Lola answered on 5/15/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

Izzie loves to play with marbles. I got him the very large ones so he can't swallow them. He loves to roll them across the floor and chase them. Be careful if you get some for Belle and pick them up when she's done because they are dangerous if YOU step on them!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 5/16/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


She might be bored with her current toys, so I would suggest rotating them so they may seem new. Also, cardboard boxes are great. Placing a bird feeder outside a window or glass door is another good option to keep her entertained. Hide treats in various places around the house for her to seek. There are also some toys that can be hung on a door or motioned activated.

Martha Stewart recently had a show on cats with a segment on toys. Here's the link:

Rainey answered on 5/16/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You can go to just about any craft store (or wall-mart) and buy some cheap peacock feathers.
then tie them to a string, hang it somewhere and show you're cats where it is. My cats love it and they play on their own or with each other! You could also have more than one of the hanging feather things next to each other for some real fun!! Or in different spots in the house! Try putting some dried catnip on the feathers too!
Another toy is a few stems of fresh cat nip on a string and the same method as the feathers.
Hope i helped!!
Good luck!!

Scully answered on 6/28/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


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Member 1003348 answered on 9/7/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I realize that you may have your answer by now, but we love plastic bags that have been tied up in a knot. They are lightweight and easy to bat around and toss in the air.

BBs answered on 11/3/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer