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Chewing is a natural feline activity. Cats chew to relieve stress, combat boredom, and soothe sore gums. The best cat chew toys will provide a non-destructive outlet for your cat’s urge to gnaw. Ideally, they’ll be enticing and safe while supporting oral health and hygiene.
Like all cat gear, chew toys have a lot of variation. To simplify things, we’ve sorted through the saturated market to bring you our top 10 choices. We’ll also explain the types of cats these chews suit best, calling out key considerations for cat parents.
At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Cat Toys for Cats That Like To Chew
Why Are Chew Toys Important—and Does Your Cat Need One?
We all know that cats like to play with lasers and string toys. But do they really need chew toys? While a chew toy won’t be every cat’s cup of tea, most cats can benefit from one. Chew toys can help with the following goals:
- Redirecting inappropriate chewing: Some cats just like to chew. Providing a cat-friendly alternative is a smart move if their go-to chewing surface is not ideal (wires or sweaters, for example).
- Improving dental health: Chewing on certain materials helps to break down plaque and tartar. It also stimulates blood circulation in the gums.
- Massaging gums: Teething kittens may appreciate the feel of rubber against their gums, especially when it’s chilled in the fridge.
- Relieving stress: Chewing releases feel-good endorphins, helping to ease anxiety and keep cats calm.
- Adding enrichment: Indoor cats can get bored (and destructive, by extension). A good chew toy will provide mental stimulation to keep your kitty entertained and engaged.
Why Trust Cats.com
All reviews by Cats.com start with thorough research, which we apply to real-world testing with our own cats.
Before making any product selections, we looked at why cats need chew toys in the first place. We read some of the studies and scientific literature available on the topic, noting expert advice from Cornell’s Feline Health Center. Then we reviewed the market to see what cat parents had to say about certain toys. Once we got a sense of what makes a good chew toy, we made our selections for testing.
To bring readers the best chew toys, we considered a range of feline needs and cat parent goals. For safety reasons, we prioritized durable construction, non-toxic materials, and appropriately sized toys. We also aimed to include chew toys that aid in oral hygiene.
Best Cat Chew Toys: Our Top 10 Picks
Our rankings are determined by a variety of factors. Each cat will have different needs and preferences, so while the Pioneer Pet Nip Nibblers make our top choice, they may not be ideal for your unique cat. To help you choose the right chew toy for your cat, we’ve broken down our recommendations according to specific dental goals, materials, types of cats, and other key considerations.
How To Choose the Best Chew Toy for Your Cat
As you can see, the world of cat chew toys is abundant and diverse. How can cat parents pick a chew that will a.) prove beneficial and b.) appeal to their unique cat? We found it helps to focus on a few points.
Consider Your Cat’s Specific Needs
To point yourself in the right direction, think about the goals you’d like to achieve with a chew toy. Ask yourself: Do I want to help my cat clean their teeth? Am I looking for a stress reliever? Or a brain stimulator? (Or both?)
Different materials and designs will perform better at certain tasks. Soft rubber, for instance, can soothe the gums of teething kittens. Senior cats, on the other hand, may prefer a gentler plush chew. If you’re trying to redirect destructive chewing, features like catnip infusions, crinkly materials, and silvervine can provide a more appealing alternative.
Consider Your Cat’s Chewing Preferences
Cats are particular creatures. Some might like gnawing on rubber knots. Others might prefer to chew on soft fabric toys. And still others may take a shine to silvervine sticks. It may take a period of trial and error to learn what your kitty enjoys.
Flimsy chews that break easily aren’t just a nuisance—they pose a serious choking risk. No toy will be 100% indestructible, but some come pretty close. Generally, tough rubber material holds up better to exuberant play. If your cat is a strong chewer, you may want to consider reputable brands known for durability, like KONG.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should cats have chew toys?
They’re not a necessity, but most cats can benefit from chew toys. They may promote oral hygiene, relieve stress, and offer stimulating enrichment. If you have a chew-happy cat, a chewable toy gives them an appropriate surface to sink their chompers.
What can kittens safely chew on?
For very young kittens (under 2 months), look for soft materials like nylon and mesh that will be gentle on their toothless gums. Once their teeth begin to emerge, you can offer them rubber toys to massage gums and relieve discomfort. Many kittens find chewing and licking to be soothing.
Are cat sticks good for cats?
Yes! Not all cats will like them, but for those who do, natural silvervine sticks are entirely safe. They also help to remove tartar, and they can have a pleasant, euphoric effect on cats.