5 Excellent Cat Toys That Provide Mental Stimulation

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on July 11, 2017

If you’re a cat lover, you know that mental stimulation is vital to your cat’s overall health. Bored cats can get destructive and even depressed, so it’s imperative to provide them with play time and toys that tap into their natural instincts.

While most games are fun if they’re played with the human they love, there are certain toys that can really pique your kitty’s interest and excite her senses! Below are 5 excellent cat toys that provide mental stimulation, resulting in a healthy, happy cat.

1. Cat Scratchers

Scratching is a natural part of feline behavior – even declawed cats make the motion with their paws! But while this is healthy for your cat, it can be bad news for your furniture. Invest in a cat scratcher, or even several to place around the house. Portable ones can be hung on doorknobs and easily moved from room to room without taking up too much space.

Wild Rose Cat Scratcher, available at the iHeartCats store

2. Treat Puzzles

Everyone knows that treats are okay on occasion, but making your kitty “work” for them is even better! Give yours a puzzle toy that makes her “hunt” for her goodies, and she’ll get mental and physical stimulation as well as a snack!

3. Feather Toys

Fun, fluttery feathers are irresistible for cats to chase. Reminiscent of their natural prey, the dangling feathers promote physical activity through jumping, running, and pouncing! Bonus points if there are jingly bells on the rod to help keep kitty’s attention.

Feather Wand with Bells, available at the iHeartCats store

4. Homemade Toys

Tinfoil balls. Wadded up wax paper. Cardboard boxes. These items don’t have to be trash, they can make excellent toys for your cat! Although felines can be finicky, their next favorite plaything may be one that’s made up from stuff around the house.

5. Catnip Toys

If your cat goes crazy for catnip, these types of toys are a must! The scent of the plant excites their senses, but only for short periods of time. Catnip toys are great for special playtimes, or for giving your cat a burst of euphoria to release some pent-up energy.

Sushi Box Catnip Toys, available at the iHeartCats store


Pick up your kitty’s next toy from the iHeartCats store to spoil her and do some good. Each purchase provides a toy to a shelter cat through Project Play because playful pets are more likely to get adopted!