I’ll confess that when I buy cat toys for Hillary, I usually find something from the pet store that looks reasonably cute. I’ve even been known to grab a couple from a grocery store or drug store shelf. Heck, I even make my own no-thrills cat toys.
Hillary is usually pretty happy with these — although the fact that she promptly “loses” them underneath the couch may be a big hint that she’s ready to upgrade to something that better fits her impeccable sense of style.
Beyond your neighborhood pet store, there’s a whole wide world of truly amazing handcrafted catnip toys. My own mind was blown by the selection from artists on Etsy.com, and so I’m sure your cat’s mind will be blown too.
1. Fortune Kitty, Family Size
This obscenely cute set of toys comes disguised as a Chinese takeout container. Each “fortune cookie” cat toy comes with its own fortune. You can even choose from an assortment of sayings, such as “You’re the best” and “On the move.” This is by far the best-selling item available on Etsy from seller Kim Grant, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Price: $11. Note: Kim has several more kinds of mind-blowing cat toys. I have my eye on her bacon-and-eggs toy, which was featured on the Animal Planet show Must Love Cats.
2. Toilet Paper Plush
From the mind of Sallianne Norelli comes this toy designed to look like toilet paper. Let’s say your cat is evil and enjoys unrolling the toilet paper in the bathroom… Now your cat can have her own darn roll. Let her have at it. The four squares of T.P. can easily be reattached via the Velcro strips. Felt design with real cardboard roll inside. The catnip is sprayed on. Price: $10
3. Pot Leaf Cat Toy
We all know catnip seems to get Kitty stoned. This toy takes the wacky-weed idea to a whole new level. Even the name calls to mind the stoner culture: “Meowy Wowyy.” Here’s what you get: a baggie containing a catnip-stuffed embroidered pot leaf, plus a second toy that looks like a lit blunt. So put on a Marley album and watch your cat’s brain melt. Price: $12; ships from the San Francisco area.
4. Zombie Parts
Careful readers of Pets Adviser will know that I’m a big fan of the zombie-inspired TV show Walking Dead. So it’s probably no surprise that I think zombie-inspired cat toys are pretty cool too. If your little kitty has a taste for flesh, consider getting a whole set of scattered body parts:
- The human heart with veins and blood spray (Price: $7)
- Three fingers (Price: $16 in the colors of your choice)
- And, finally, a charming detached eyeball on a bloody cord (Price: $7).
From the demented mind of Bixbies, in New Jersey. Note: Save on shipping by using coupon code GIMMEFREESHIPPING.
5. Sea Monster
It came… from the sea! Your cat can’t miss this bright blue toy with “whirly, swirly” ribbon tails. This grinning sea monster is whimsical and magical. Filled with long-lasting organic catnip. Price: $6
6. Fish Taco Cat Toy
What feline doesn’t love a good fish taco? Loaded with lettuce, tomato and cheese — and a big slab of bright blue fish. Tuna? Doesn’t matter… your cat will go bonkers when you offer her this fleece toy, from Sew Strange Creations. Price: $6.50 (I also like Sew Strange Creation’s hilarious lobster ravioli send-up!)
Retro video game fans can kick it old-school with a Pac-Man duo, based on the most influential video game ever. With this two-toy set, your kitty gets a yellow Pac-Man figure to smack around, as well as Pinky the ghost (Pinky was the fastest of the four ghosts). Price: $5; ships from Canada.
It’s a fact: Cats love shrimp. This shrimp won’t stink up your house. It’s handknitted with fringed pink Peruvian highland wool — and is stuffed to the gills with organic catnip just before it ships to you. Other colors available. Price: $5
9. ModShakers Rattle Toy
If your kitty is anything like mine, she likes a little noise to go with her catnip toy. A little rattle inside? Driver her crazy. Lucky for us, the good folks at Modern Cat have created a stylish soft rattle toy filled with catnip. You can choose from several styles of mod fabrics. A portion of proceeds goes to charity. Price: $7
10. Ssslappy Snake
There’s something about long toys that drives cats bonkers. They can hug the toy with their bodies and bite it into submission, and for extra measure kick up their back legs. The 100 percent wool Ssslappy Snake, measuring 10 inches long, is plump, colorful and sure to blow your cat’s mind. Price: $9
* * *
BLACK FRIDAY DEALS! See our editor's picks for the best deals on pet products from Amazon.com right now. Check out the list.