Behaviorist reveals how to choose the right toys for your feline friend — and her answer may just surprise you!

Ginger cat playing with toy mouse
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to our cats, we all love to treat them when we can. From tasty treats and catnip to toy mice and feather toys, there are all manner of products out there that we hope will make our feline friends happy!

But while some of the best cat treats in moderation won’t go amiss, nor would a good cat tree, it might not be the best idea to spend a lot of money on expensive cat toys. Certified cat behavior psychologist Saba Sayyed, or A Cat Psychologist, has explained why this might be the case in a recent Instagram post, and it’s certainly worth considering!

“Do not waste money on expensive toys for cats,” Sayyed says. “Instead, put your money on buying good quality cat trees, good quality wet and raw food, and a water fountain.”

She explains that, when you do buy toys, it’s a good idea to buy ones that imitate prey animals like insects, birds, and other small animals. This is because cats are predators, and the way they play often mimics hunting.

And, while we often make jokes about cats liking the box a toy comes in more than the toy itself, there is often some truth there. In Sayyed’s video, she shows her cat, Rya, rolling around in a box that once held Valentine’s Day flowers, but is now full of catnip.

Something you might decide to do for your cat is make toys yourself. Why not make one of these six fun DIY kitten toys to get the creative juice flowing? Or, for an older feline, you can check out these DIY cat toys you can make at home.

You don’t have to be a pro – but you will save some money and at the same time, you can allow your cat to tap into their natural instincts through play with toys targeted right to them.

Play is important for cats, can help you bond with them, and keeps both their mind and body active. But don’t feel under pressure to buy the most expensive toys you see – as long as your cat has good food and a nice cat tree, if you have space for one, it’s best to focus on the function of toys, rather than the price.

And, in short, your cat is more likely to appreciate you engaging in play with them than they are a host of expensive cat toys.

Frisco Bird with Feathers Teaser Wand Cat Toy with Catnip
$3.84 at Chewy

Frisco Bird with Feathers Teaser Wand Cat Toy with Catnip
<a href="https://www.prf.hn/click/camref:1011l8tqY/pubref:hawk-custom-tracking/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.chewy.com%2Ffrisco-bird-feathers-teaser-wand-cat%2Fdp%2F187919" data-link-merchant="chewy.com"" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">$3.84 at Chewy
Colorful feathers, string and crinkle material (plus a sprinkle of catnip!) come together to create this super fun cat teaser wand that will stimulate your fur friend's natural hunting instincts. 

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.