Your cat could be much happier if you do any of these 20 things, according to experts

From feather toys to cat hammocks.

Shopping
Updated: 
Originally Published: 
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Cats are mysterious creatures that, in order to flourish, require a literal cornucopia of interactive toys that’ll keep them engaged and on their toes (that is, when they're not in snooze mode). Whether you’ve just adopted your first cat or if you’re simply trying to keep your family pet happy, there are products on Amazon that can help. Seriously: Call off the nationwide search because some of the coolest expert-recommended toys and tools are just a scroll away. And honestly? I'm kind of jealous.

You can give your fur baby the ultimate gift of a plush cocoon bed or exercise their natural-born hunting instincts with mouse-shaped feeders that’ll keep them highly entertained and moving for a hot second. Then, you can help them get their daily burst of the zoomies out with a light chaser-meets-feather toy hybrid and get them to calm down with an unrivaled fleece window sill that will allow for some serious afternoon sun-basking. Again, I'm waiting for a human-size version.

There are countless reviews, loyal customers, veterinarians, and trainers who swear by these Amazon picks that’ll help improve the quality of your precious feline's life. Or nine.

Go ahead and start shopping. Your cat will be much happier if you do.

01

Provide your cat with interactive gadgets, like this rolling feather toy

Sarah-Jane White, an animal behaviorist, trainer, and enrichment expert from Ruffle Snuffle, tells Mic, “Interactive toys are a fun way to get along with your cat while also giving much-needed stimulus to her mind and body.”

Enter: quite possibly the most fascinating interactive toy ever. This super-smart, rechargeable teaser wand toy runs on its own, working for up to eight hours independently and giving your cat something to chase (thanks to its attached bright-colored feathers). Plus, it’ll shut off every now and then to give your fur baby a rest.

02

Give your cat a little cave to relax inside

Speaking of interactive toys, your cats will absolutely love this cozy little cave whenever they feel like kicking back and relaxing. It’s made from durable wool that stays warm in the winter and cool in the summer, making it suitable for use year round. Plus, you even have the choice of more than 10 fun colors.

03

Install a window perch for “keeping an eye on their surroundings”

White recommends installing a window perch, saying that “cats enjoy keeping an eye on their surroundings.” She continues, “Set up a perch next to a window where you’re OK for them to spend time.”

Needless to say, the cats have it good with this adhesive window hammock that provides both the perfect afternoon nap and an ideal amount of sunlight to accompany said nap. This mounted shelf hammock is made of durable waterproof material and the device as a whole will carry up to 40 pounds of weight so your cats can rest without a care in the world — all while gazing into the yard.

04

Add a bird feeder outside the window for extra amusement

According to White, adding a bird feeder to your window setup isn’t a bad idea. She says, “Bird or squirrel feeders can be hung outside the window for your cat’s amusement. If your cat looks out at the outside world, installing a feeding tray or ground bird feeder on the other side is a terrific way to lure birds closer for close viewing.”

05

Shine a laser pointer around the room so your cat can chase it

Crystal Litzenberger, a veterinary technician and client care of Lolahemp, recommends using laser pointers around your cat. She tells us, “Having a toy to keep them moving increases their bond with you and tires them out for a relaxing and well deserved nap.” Litzenberger continues, “Though it's not the most advanced, some of the best toys you can get your cat are laser pointers and feather wands.”

This particular laser pointer toy moves randomly across the floor so that your cat won’t get bored with chasing the same pattern — and it’ll automatically turn off after 15 minutes to help preserve the batteries. Clocking some playtime for your fuzzy friend has never been so simple.

06

Dangle feathers from this retractable wand for extensive playing time

Taking Litzenberger’s feather wand advice into consideration, you can't go wrong with a classic like this retractable toy. It’s designed like a mini fishing pole with a soft rubber handle, and all you have to do is pop on one of the nine included attachments — from fuzzy worms to poppy feathers — and wave the wand around to get your pet playtime-ready. Scratched hands, no more.

07

Gift your cat with this combined light chaser & feather toy

Litzenberger also recommends a cat toy that combines feather wants and lasers, and this three-in-one feather toy with a built-in light chaser is a great option. Start off by pressing the button with the ultra-distinct bird chirping sound to call your cat over, then flip between teasing with one of the two included attachments and shining the red laser dot all over the room for your pet's enjoyment. The cherry on top is its USB charging capabilities and included cord for speedy juicing.

08

Hide your cat’s food in these no-bowl, mouse-shaped kibble feeders

Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM, CVJ, a veterinarian for Pumpkin Pet Insurance, tells us, “Mental and emotional stimulation is an important part of overall wellbeing for cats. In nature, they hunt daily. Providing a no bowl feeder like this one is a great way to provide needed exercise and fun!”

To give your cat an entertaining refresher course on what it's like to hunt chow, these interactive mouse-shaped feeders recommended by Dr. Wooten are just the thing. Simply fill with kibble, hide in a few not-so-obvious spots, and sit back as your cat plays the most rewarding game of hide-and-seek. Plus, they come in a set of five and are made of fabric skin that will perk up your pet’s senses.

09

Add this superior scratching post to your decor

In my humble opinion, everyone should have a go-to scratching post — but we'll just leave it to the cats for now. This solid, 34-inch post recommended by Dr. Wooten has a smooth plush base and ball dangling from the top, and it’s made to stand super strong so that wobbling is a thing of the past. There are also a few other neutral colors available for breezy pairing with your home furniture, ranging from light tan to midnight blue.

Dr. Wooten says, “I like this post because it is tall enough to let them really stretch, is made of sissel rope which cats tend to love, and has a bonus toy!”

10

Build shelves high up so that your cat can climb & relax

Dr. Wooten says, “Cats love vertical space, the higher the better.” Not only do these stylish shelves give your cat a place to relax up high, but they’re also sleek enough to blend in with your decor seamlessly. They’re available in three shapes and are made with plywood.

11

Attach this fleece kitty sill to your window for another high-up bed

It's a window sill resting perch and it's fleece? I'm in times a million. Mount this sturdy, 40-pound-capable sill by your window, and your cat will seriously thank you. This object of perfection is also crafted with orthopedic foam and a washable faux lambskin sleeve so your cats will be ultra-comfy as they rest high up in the sunshine.

Why elevated, you ask? According to Dr. Matthew McCarthy, a practicing veterinarian and founder of Juniper Valley Animal Hospital, “Elevated resting areas such as cat trees, perches, and shelves also increase overall space and help to prevent conflict between cats.” He continues, “Cats can also monitor or oversee the environment from a vertical space, increasing their sense of security and predictability. Perches should be placed in multiple areas of the home.” Now that an expert gave the stamp of approval, I’m 100% adding to cart.

12

Add treats to this clever puzzle that makes your cat seek food out

According to Dr. McCarthy, cats eat small portions throughout the day while simultaneously hunting. He says that “you should try to simulate some of these hunting behaviors through the use of food toys or puzzles, tossing kibbles, or hiding them around the house.” This simply stimulating puzzle promotes a tip-top eating pace and can hold up to 1/4 cup of kibble in its 14 secret compartments. Plus, it comes in several eye-catching styles from Rainy Day (cloud-inspired) to Melon Madness (watermelon-inspired) for a bit of mealtime variety.

13

Roll this brilliant feeder ball that’s filled with treats around the house

Dr. McCarthy also tells us, “Using food puzzles or food balls can mimic the action of hunting for prey and provides more natural eating behavior as discussed above.” For a wholesome dose of both physical and mental exercise, this bold-colored feeder ball is an easy-peasy buy. It conveniently portions out your cat's food in a timely manner (which is unbelievably helpful for the fur babies that eat too fast), can carry up to a hefty 85 grams of dry kibble, and comes in four vibrant colors including tangerine and melon pink for a little dash of customization.

14

Make sure the litter box is big enough for your cat

Dr. McCarthy suggests that having a litter box that’s the right size is important, noting that “cats need to be able to turn around, dig, and eliminate — boxes should be 1.5 times the size of the cat from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.” This litter box in particular comes in sizes ranging from small to jumbo, so you can choose one that’s right for your cat.

15

Read this book that’ll teach you how to “think like a cat”

There comes a time in every cat owner's life when it's vital to gain a clearer understanding of what the heck is actually going on in your pet's head. Written by cat expert Pam Johnson-Bennett, Think Like A Cat is the guide of all guides to interpreting the behavior of your fur children. From basic ownership topics like healthcare to more practical points like litter box issues, this book is chock-full of majorly invaluable info.

If that wasn’t enough, it comes highly recommended from Joe Pagani, a feline behavior and training technician at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center. He says, “Pam Johnson-Bennett is a fantastic behaviorist and Think Like a Cat starts the journey of cat ownership before you even select what kind of kitten you're looking for.”

16

Build these stair-shelves for homes with multiple cats

It's a wall climber and a scratching post and a hanging toy holder. Serious props if you install this three-level climber for your cat, because it's kind of a dream for pets everywhere. Presented in a neutral beige tone, it can be mounted on the wall to save precious floor room and is pretty hassle-free to install.

Pagani recommends it, also noting that they’re great to have in homes with many cats. He says, “Adding vertical space to a multi-cat home can be an amazing tension diffuser and it can even reduce stress for those cats who enjoy being up high.” However, he says that “off-ramps should be available so cats who don't like each other can choose to avoid.”

17

Train your cat with these small clickers

Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM and writer for betterwithcats.net, recommends training clickers. She says, “Clicker train your cat! You can teach your cat all the basics like sit, shake, lay down, and even how to high-five. Not only can clicker training keep your cat’s brain active, but it’s also a great way to spend quality time together.” So teach the apple of your eye — aka the cat — a few tricks with these handy training clickers that come in a pack of four; they’re incredibly lightweight while being super easy to use. Did I mention they come with an attached wrist strap for even more seamlessness?

18

Install a cat hammock so that they have somewhere to hang out

Designed to accommodate cats up to 30 pounds, this hammock is a fun alternative to the pet bed you likely already own. It’s made from natural wood — not plastic — and there are even anchors that help keep it from swaying too much. Plus, each order comes with a bonus cat toy included.

19

Fill these raised feeders and waterers for easy-breezy access

Samantha Bell, a cat behavior expert at Best Friends Animal Society, recommends using these raised feeding and watering bowls by the Kitty City Store. She says, “Elevating your cat's bowls makes it easier for them to eat, especially as their joints age.” This set comes with two 6.5-ounce plastic bowls, both of which are about 3.25 inches high. They’re even dishwasher safe on the top rack.

20

Fill the litter box with this unscented kitty litter that’s called the “world’s best”

Bell also recommends this unscented World’s Best CAT Litter, which she says is “soft on my cats' paws, prevents odors really well, super easy to scoop, and flushable.” With long-lasting odor control, this zero-dust litter creates less mess for you and your cat. It's also flushable and will stay put two times longer than the average cat litter. Not to mention, it’s made of corn.

21

Make room for this fluffy indoor cat bed that’s lined in cushion

Cocoon your cat up in this super billowy plush bed by Tempcore that’s also recommended by Bell. Made with cushiony walls, a built-in toy ball, and a nonslip bottom base, this machine-washable slumber sack will make your cat feel like bona fide royalty. Bell says, “Rather than hiding under furniture, allow your cats to hide in plain sight with a hidey bed. I have a very confident cat and he loves to sleep in his hidey bed in the sun all day long.” The question remains as to where I can get one for myself.

22

Make sure your cat’s hydrated with a luxurious filtered water fountain

Treat your cat with this luxury of this PETLIBRO water fountain that’s complete with a lovely built-in filter. It's got two different flow modes and also works in total silence so that you won't even notice it. On top of that, it's super compact while holding more than enough water for your fur babies. Bell recommends this find, saying, “Cats’ wild instincts tell them that stagnant water could be dangerous, so many cats prefer running water. I like this fountain because it only has one spout of water, like your sink's faucet, and they don't have to get their head wet when drinking if they don't want to.”

This article was originally published on