Like their big-cat relatives out in the wild, house cats are natural predators that need a lot of stimulation in order to stay happy, healthy, and agile. This is especially true for larger domestic breeds like Maine Coons. The
best toys for large cats help nurture a pet's innate hunter instincts, but they're durable enough to handle the extra weight and force that comes with playtime.
Cat toys come in a variety of shapes and styles, but when it comes to shopping for larger cats, it's important to
shop for toys that are sturdy and built to last. Tried-and-true picks like catnip toys, balls, play mice, scratching posts, or cat trees can all bring an extra layer of fun and fulfillment to your kitty's life. They can also keep cats from turning destructive and taking out all that pent-up energy on your couch or another area of your home.
However, not all pet toys are created equal, and this is definitely the case when you're shopping for big cats. Ready to choose toys that your best feline friend will go completely bonkers for? I've compiled a list of six must-have
toys for large cats that'll leave them feeling active for hours.
Best Overall Pick: This Scratching Toy That Has More Than 7,000 Rave Reviews On Amazon
What makes this a great pick for large cats? For starters, the
Turbo Scratcher Toy is one of the most popular cat toys on Amazon, period. With a nearly perfect five-star rating, plus more than 7,000 rave reviews, it scores big with pet parents who love it for felines of all ages because of its durability and ability to be used manually. If you're out of the house a lot and searching for toys that can help promote activity even when you're not around, this is a must-have. It comes with a channel for a small ball that cats can bat around for endless hours of fun. At the center of this toy, there's a replaceable scratch pad that gives cats a safe spot to scratch (that isn't your furniture). With its 16-inch diameter base, this sturdy toy can accommodate cats of all sizes. While some cats may not respond well to this toy at first since they have to move the ball with their paws, reviewers recommend sprinkling catnip on the scratch pad, which will help prompt them to start playing.
Most Playful: This Award-Winning Teaser Wand That's Incredibly Durable
Most cats can't resist the pull of
a good wand toy, especially one that mimics the look and movements of real prey. And according to Amazon reviewers, when it comes to wand toys, you can't do better than this one, which won the Pet Business Editor's Choice Award in 2009. It comes with a dangling toy, an 18-inch wand, and a 6-inch flex cable for added bounce. It's also made with tanned leather, which is far more resilient than other charmers on the market. For larger cats that bat and bite, this is a particularly awesome toy because the leather adds durability. This wand is also really affordable at just $6, so it's priced to fit virtually any budget. One reviewer raved: "It has worked wonders, every time. I have no idea why — it's not catnip —laden ... I guess it just looks and feels like real prey SO MUCH that no cat can ignore it."
Most Captivating: This Squeaky Toy That'll Stimulate Your Cat's Innate Hunting Instincts
Cats of all sizes need stimulation in order to thrive, but not just the physical kind. Mental stimulation can keep felines from getting down in the dumps, and
interactive toys like this one offer a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Shaped just like a bird, this vibrant squeaky toy emits little chirping sounds just like a real one would, which keeps cats mesmerized during play time. The sounds also help to fuel your pet's desire for stalking and chasing by appealing to their natural hunting instincts. In addition to chirping, it comes with catnip inside so cats have another reason to really to let loose when you set this bird out for playtime. "I think [my cat] thinks it's really alive," wrote one reviewer. "He carries it all over the place in his mouth and tends to meow a lot, like a kid on too much sugar."
Best Cat Tree: This 72-Inch, Multi-Tiered Pick That's Great For Multi-Cat Households
Give your indoor cat their own little gymnasium with this 72-inch
cat tree from Go Pet Club. It's absolutely ginormous, but it's wonderful for promoting exercise, as it comes with three perches, multiple tiers, and two different sized condos. For multi-cat households, this means your pets will have more than enough room to climb, leap, perch, or cozy up on this together or separately. Made from pressed wood with fuzzy faux fleece, this is one incredibly secure tower that also comes with scratching posts that are wrapped in sisal rope and support perches. This is the kind of rope that cats can claw up safely without damaging the wood underneath, and it happens to be durable enough that the whole structure will stay steady as they do it. While this isn't the best cat tree for homes that are short on space, its ample size makes it a great investment for homes with large cats or more than one pet. "We have [five] cats, one of whom is in the neighborhood of 25 pounds ... Affectionately known as Jabba the Cat," one reviewer described. "He's not a [Maine Coon] or anything, he's just a big boned cat who is fat because he won't do anything but eat and sleep. All of the places he can fit into on this tree handle his weight easily."
Best Balls: This Set Of Three Catnip Toys That Can Get Even The Laziest Cat Up & Moving
Big cats aren't known for being energetic or active most of the time, and while some of the toys featured here are more interactive for a reason, other times it's great to have a few classics on hand. These snuggly
catnip-filled balls will make your cat yowl — in a good way. Each pack comes with three, which are stuffed with organically-grown catnip that cats actually go nuts for. Because these are balls, cats of all sizes can bat them around the house. "For those who think: 'This is too much for a catnip toy' or 'another waste of money, my cat would rather play with the ring from the milk jug' ... be prepared ... you are WRONG. How do I know? After literally [hundreds] of cat toys of every brand and style (I foster cats), this brand was the ONLY 100-percent guaranteed to get my cats to slobber and roll around like they are in love."
Stealthiest Find: This Extra-Large Tunnel That's Great For Kitties That Love To Hide
Give your cat the tunnel to unlimited amounts of fun with this
three-way tunnel from Feline Ruff. Super cheap and yet amazingly resilient, this comes with ultra-big, 12-inch openings that make it perfect for larger cats to crawl in and maneuver. The tunnels are made from polyester and come with a crinkle peephole and jingle ball. At 55 inches long, the main tunnel is super long and gives cats plenty of room to roam or hide as they please. A reviewer described, "I have a fairly large (18 pound) cat and most of the other tunnels I saw online look small and cramped. This product is great! Plenty of room for two cats to play and keep themselves occupied like mine do." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.