Cat Toys & Accessories
I’m not ashamed to admit 98% of my targeted Instagram ads are for cat stuff. (The other 2% are for reality TV show merch, but that is because I am a classy woman with impeccable taste.)
As a longtime cat sitter and cat parent, I’ve seen and tested my fair share of cat stuff, from feeders and dishes, to toys and litter boxes. Here are a few of my favorites:
Wands and Toys
Don’t let the simplicity fool you. Cats go absolutely nuts for this toy. It’s a household staple among many Urban Tailz cat sitting clients!
My cats get major zoomies for this toy. It’s almost creepy how much this looks like an actual bird flying through the air. Highly recommend it for high energy cats or Sagittarius cats.
They say the wand chooses the wizard, and the RompiCatz wand certainly chose me. Something about it just feels right in my hand, and it comes with the most adorable little bug attachments.
Yeowww!’s catnip banana and rainbow are super popular among Urban Tailz cat clients. They’re the perfect size for gripping, kicking and licking. And they’re also pretty durable, considering the abuse they take.
My cats live for the sweet, sweet sound of crinkling plastic. They come running whenever I open a bottle of GT’s Kombucha, or any product that comes with that shrink-wrapped plastic safety seal. Because I don’t want them to play with (and potentially eat) these things, I’ve found these crinkle balls to be excellent alternatives.
My cat James has a sick obsession with hair ties. So much so that he clocks where people keep them (purses, nightstands, etc.) and goes elbows deep in those spaces when he thinks no one is looking. He’ll even try to take them out of your hair or off your wrist. “James, I’m wearing that!” is a common refrain in our house. (Again, monster.)
Because hair ties are very, very dangerous if ingested, we don’t like to leave them around the house. For whatever reason, these bouncy springs fill that void for James.
Food and Water Dishes
I’ve been waiting a long time to drop this hot take: I. Hate. Fountains. Controversial as this opinion may seem, it’s actually shared by most of our cat sitters. For starters, cat fountains always seem to malfunction. Second, they’re gross. People assume that since the water is always running, it’s always fresh. This is not true. Most fountains I see have some amount of algae and bacteria build up. That said, I much prefer a classic water dish, one I can easily fill and wash every day.
It’s an age-old dilemma: I work hard so my cats can have nice stuff, but my cats hate when I work. (See Exhibit A below).
When they get extra needy, I set out some treat puzzles to keep them occupied. While puzzles certainly aren’t one-size-fits-all (some cats love them, some cats ignore them), these are a few of the ones my cats/cat clients have enjoyed:
👍 Super easy, works as a slow feeder.
👎 Big, easy to knock over.
Hard: TRIXIE Brain Mover
👍 Very engaging and stimulating, works well with high-reward treats
👎 Cats might require a brief training session (tips included with puzzle), small treats can get stuck in crevices
In general, I prefer top-entry litter boxes. They contain the litter better so there’s less tracking, and they and offer cats a little more *~privacy~* in the bathroom. (Not that my cats extend the same courtesy to me.)
Some good options:
For a comprehensive review of common cat litters, check out our Guide to the Best Cat Litters.
Scratching isn’t about sowing chaos and destruction. Cats love—and need—to scratch. According to The Humane Society, it’s how they express their emotions, mark objects, file their nails and more.
Basically, cats are going to scratch. And if you don’t give them an outlet, they’ll turn whatever tickles their fancy into their own.
This is a great option if you want to scatter multiple scratchers around the house. We put these in our living room when we got new furniture, so the cats had plenty of approved places to scratch.
Pricier than a cardboard scratcher, but worth it. This one really gives kitties the chance to stretch and sink their claws in.
Adorable, but also an efficient use of space! Both sides work as scratchers, so once one side is scratched to the max, just flip it over for a fresh start.
Doubles as a bed. Our cats love to roll around in this one, especially if we sprinkle a little catnip on top.