It’s easy to assume that dogs and small mammals are the only animals who enjoy things like chew toys, however, chew toys can prove to be very popular and beneficial for cats.
Chew toys are most popular with kittens who are teething, although you may be surprised to hear that a number of adult cats actually enjoy chewing as well. Sometimes you may even end up with an adult cat who has Pica and cannot resist chewing on absolutely everything.
Chew toys come in a number of shapes, sizes and purposes, but my personal favourite chew toys are the ones that help promote dental health. For me, if a toy catches two birds with one stone, I’m happy.
Now, I’m aware that chew toys aren’t going to be the be all end all for proper oral care for your cat, but they can definitely help make sure that vet visits are a bit easier. Similar to humans, regular brushing and flossing will help reduce the amount of tartar and plaque, however, you will still need regular cleanings and checkups to make sure your cat isn’t suffering from any diseases like gingivitis.
Now, if you have a cat who loves catnip, you’re in luck since the majority of these toys have catnip sewn into them, however, even if they don’t you can easily spray some catnip onto the toy to entice your cat.
Without further ado, let’s get diving into some of my favourite chew toys!
This chew was actually the first dental toy I was exposed to as a pet parent.
These toys are compact, very light and have seemed to be fairly durable with my experience. They each include catnip as well as netting that is to act as dental floss as your cat chews.
In my experience, the triangle-shaped toy tends to do better with cats, however, it really depends on your cat.
Although they are promoted as unravelable, if these toys are overly chewed (perhaps by a cat with Pica…) the netting will rip, however, the inside still pretty much stays together.
This toy does the best with kittens who like to chew.
*A PETS OVERLOAD TOP CHOICE*
These toys are a real big winner, especially due to their size and shape.
They are a bit heavier than the toys above and do well with both adults and kittens.
Although the netting is the same as the toys above the netting, in my experience, breaks a lot less frequently with these toys.
I truly think the shape has a lot to do with why these toys were such a big hit with our cats, especially because they are already huge fans of similar looking/feeling mouse toys.
Similar to the toy above these mice are infused with catnip, making them fairly easy to introduce to cats.
This toy is a larger version of the two toys above and isn’t actually available in most pet stores for some reason!
Personally, I feel like this toy has a bit too much netting and while this would be great for flossing your kitty’s teeth, I’m not sure it would do very well in our household (given our experience with the first toy.)
I will say though if you’re worried about your cat swallowing smaller toys, this one is the one for you. It’s big enough for your cat to grab onto and chew, and should be fairly durable due to how thick the stuffing is.
Same as the toys above, this toy is infused with catnip and seems like it would be suitable for both kittens and adults.
My cats are not super into plastic toys as they like softer toys with wool or string attached to them, so these toys weren’t a huge hit, however, they have been a huge hit for some of the foster’s I’m friends with.
These toys are very suitable for teething kittens and are some of the most durable cat chews.
The great thing about plastic toys is the fact that you can throw them into the freezer to chill them if your kitten has sore gums. Not only that, the nubs on the ends of the plastic ring are great for massaging your cat’s gums.
The strings on this toy seem to be the most enticing part of the toy and while this toy is promoted as great for cleaning teeth, I don’t necessarily agree.
I would say this toy is only beneficial for teething and if you’re hoping to get some cleaning action going on… well it’s the wrong choice!
That being said, if you are taking care of a very young kitten (up to 6 months old) I think they will really enjoy this toy. Adult cats would probably only enjoy this if they are already chewers and like the feeling of plastic.
This toy is for those kitties who are impartial to catnip and/or love mint!
Similar to the toy immediately above, this toy hasn’t been the biggest hit in our household (as our cats don’t care for mint), however, a friend of mine has had huge success with this toy.
Her cats hate catnip and are more interested in valerian and we were both fairly shocked when all 3 of her cats took to the mint stick. I immediately had to buy one to see whether or not my kitty, Beau liked it and when he didn’t, I passed it off to her!
Mint is actually used in a lot of cat food as a way to keep your cat’s teeth smelling good, and that is the main hope of this toy.
This toy has dried mint packed into its ends as well as a bit in the center, although the ends are much more potent.
In my experience, only one cat has enjoyed this toy, which is why it’s at the bottom of the list.
The cat who enjoyed this toy was a kitten who was teething and she only enjoyed it when it was put into the freezer.
Similar to Chew Wheel, this toy is best for teething cats and doesn’t provide much more benefits for oral hygiene. This makes it a “last resort” kind of toy for me.
The Orca is infused with a catnip scent and is fairly durable for those kitties who really like sinking their teeth into something solid.
I’m actually surprised by the lack of dental toys for cats, especially given the fact that dogs have so many.
I do have a list of general chew toys for cats that we’ve tried with Beau since he has Pica that I’d be more than happy to share if you’re interested!
In the meantime, I do really recommend you check out the dental mice! They’re big winners in our home!
Do you have a chew toy that I missed on this list? Let me know so I can try it out!