Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Best Cat Toys on the Market for Small Spaces

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at South Carolina chapter.

If you want a cat, plan on adopting a cat, or have a cat already, you need to know that you can entertain your cat in a relatively small space for cheap. Whether you are living in an apartment or a house, cat toys vary — and I am here to give you some ideas of how to entertain your cat with limited space.

Let’s get to playing with your cat!

Or they might start to look similar to this:

Here are six tested and recommended cat toys for YOUR small area:

1. Hanging Interactive Toys

While you’ll have to do the work of setting this toy up, it will remain a functional toy for your cat while you are away or at home that requires no maintenance after installation.

A quick hang-up onto a free doorway, closet, or even bathroom door, your cat can enjoy hours-upon-hours of endless fun chasing a toy that cannot be caught.

While this toy is greatly recommended for a space saver, make sure you know your cat before installing a hanging toy. Long strands always pose as a threat to kittens and some adult cats as they can easily twist themselves into a bind. Do not leave the hanging toy too close to the ground, because it can fully twist around a limb.

That being said, a hanging toy on a door frame allows a cat to reach, jump, and stretch upwards to actively pursue a target. This betters a cat’s (or kitten’s) long-term health and well-being, but also allows for a bit of extra burnt off energy during the day.

2. Automatic Laser Toy

Easily a cat’s FAVORITE toy, the ever-so-random automatic laser adjusts patterns of laser pointing and keeps a cat engaged with a goal.

As cats have become domesticated, and many kept fully indoors, the need to hunt for food has been reduced — but instinctively, a cat still enjoys the hunt. Therefore, an automatic laser toy simulates “prey” for your cat to hunt in a various set of patterns.

While a cat can easily love a laser pointer, a constant stimulus can cause a cat to get anxious, and hunting without a “reward” can often be frustrating. Do not overstimulate your cat, and know that a toy cannot replace you! Make sure in addition to an automatic laser pointer, you are also spending quality time with your cat.

Avoid shining the laser in a cat’s eyes for extended periods of time, and avoid overstimulation from long periods of exposure.

3. The Ripple Rug

Another toy suited to filling a natural instinct of a cat, the Ripple Rug allows for a cat to tunnel, to hide, and to pounce out of small pockets. With a loose fabric that allows for cats to nestle and nap in the folds, it also helps with clawing and grooming as it picks up cat hair.

As both a toy and a functional bed, your cat will thank you for such an easy to clean and warm new addition to your space.

Also a great interactive play space for your cat, the Ripple Rug takes up a little more space in a smaller area, but the multi-functional toy offers enrichment and a variety of different types of play!

4. Digging Toy

Although a digging toy for a cat seems odd, cats are natural hunters who want to work for their food. Instead of letting them graze or eat on routine, try letting them work for their food. It will help with portion control, slow-feeding, and a fun activity for your furry friend.

Easy to leave out or toss onto a shelf, a digging toy is an easy toy to have in a small space. While it can be left out or placed on a shelf, it can also replace a food bowl or act as an enriching toy for when you leave home.

Disclaimer: not every cat is the same. Your cat may not use a digging toy as regularly as others — therefore, think about the personality of your cat before purchasing.

5. Food Activity Center

Similar to a digging toy, a food activity center allows cats to use their creative and inquisitive minds to hunt their food. If they are able to play and use their minds while eating, it grants less boredom and stress in your cat’s day-to-day life. The food activity center can easily be stored away and takes up little space — therefore, it is perfect for a small area.

If your cat likes to seek out attention by scratching at the couch or carpet, or even nibbling on your hands, an activity center can reduce your cat’s unwanted behaviors as they stay entertained. Overall, a food activity center allows for fun and an increase of long-term well-being.

Disclaimer: a food activity center may not be suited for your cat or may not be their perfect toy! Think of your cat’s personality and what activities they find fun, and use this as a guide for purchasing your cat’s activity center!

6. Cat Tunnel

One of the most space-saving cat toys, the cat tunnel can be folded up and stored away in a smaller space, but unrolled for optimal fun! Another engaging cat toy, the cat tunnel allows for running, hiding, and pouncing.

A simple toy that can be made out of several different materials, the cat tunnel offers various different ways of play, and offers a comforting protection to your cats if they feel they need some space.

A cat tunnel generally works well for most cats, but if your cat has difficultly approaching a cat tunnel, try dangling a toy in front of the entrance or giving them their favorite treat next to the tunnel to warm them up to the idea of a new toy!

Why Invest in a Space Saving Toy?

Your cat will thank you for a new toy to entertain them in a smaller space or when you are away from home. Cats are energetic, creative creatures that love to play — therefore, getting them a toy that is easily tucked away will not only benefit you in a smaller area of living, but also brighten up your cat’s livelihood.

Consider a space-saving toy for the extended health and well-being of your cat, but also for a new way to bond with your furry friend!

Anna Henderson

South Carolina '24

Anna Grace is a Junior English major and Education minor at the University of South Carolina. She is extremely passionate about literature and information access and hopes to pursue a career in teaching one day!