If you’ve never had a kitten before then you might be in for a bit of a surprise at the age 3 months! Just like human babies, kittens will start going through teething and it’ll last. A while. A long while. Up until your kitten is about 6 months old. While the overall process is a bit different than us humans, you’re going to want some kitten teething toys around when their adult teeth start to come in!
Teething kittens get extra mouthy and extra prone to biting things around this time in their lives. No surprise, they’re pretty unhappy with the pain and soreness that comes with new teeth coming in. This can be incredibly frustrating for us humans because the kittens basically see anything and everything as something worth biting.
It’s not all bad though. Because kittens are so prone to bite at this age it provides an excellent opportunity for you as a cat owner to work on training your kitten to bite approved surfaces like toys! So let’s take a look at some of the best toys out there for you to redirect kitten biting onto and then let’s talk about just how to do that!
The Best Kitten Teething Toys of 2018
|The Kitten Teething Toys||Petstages Dental Health Cat Chew||$||Best All Around|
|Kong Teddy Bear Catnip Toy||$||Best Plush|
|Petstages Catnip Rolls||$||Best Value|
|Petstages Catnip Chew Mice||$||Most Novel|
|Petstages Fresh Breath Mint stick||$||Best Smelling|
|Kong Cat Hubba Wubba Cat Toy||$||Most Novel|
|Petstages Plaque Away Pretzel||$||Cutest|
|Petstages Dental Kitty Chew Wheel||$||Most Versatile|
|Emours Catnip Teeth Grinders||$||Most Natural|
|Orca Wiggle Worm Cat Toy||$||Most Unique|
|Other Items||Do It Yourself (DIY) Options|
|Distracting Your Kitten|
|What to Feed Your Kitten|
|Redirecting Kitten Biting|
|Keeping Toys Interesting|
|Wrapping It Up|
Petstages is by far and away the leader of toys that are specifically made for teething kittens. They not only have a boatload of variations specifically dedicated to kittens and their teething time period, but they are all widely revered and reviewed positively by way more people than just myself. So let’s take a look at some of the key pros and cons of these dental health cat chews:
- The key to alleviating pain in a teething kitten is massages the gums and this toy does exactly that
- This product is specifically designed to cleans teeth, remove soft tartar for overall dental health
- The netting is specifically designed so it won’t unravel and cause a choking hazard
- It is filled with catnip and fibrous catnip stalks to satisfy natural desire to crunch and chew (they can hear the stalks crunch)
- It is super lightweight making it easy to carry around, bat around or just chew on
- As with any catnip based toy you might need to spray on some liquid catnip as the toy ages
- You may need to switch these out as your cat grows up as they are again on the small side, they are made for kittens after all
Kong has been in the pet toy business for ages so you know you’re getting a high quality toy when you buy through Kong. This toy is specifically made for kittens and as with any Kong toy, it is super durable and will stand up to all the chewing your kitten can throw at it. Let’s look at pros and cons:
- It has a soft and cuddly plush exterior so there’s no potential for your cat to injure herself
- It has a crinkle sound built right in to keep your kitty fully engaged for long hours
- It has premium north American catnip inside to driven even more desire for it
- It is absolutely dirt cheap for a high quality cat toy
- As with any catnip based toy you might need to spray on some liquid catnip as the toy ages
- The toy is on the small side of cat toys in general so you’ll want to monitor play time for safety
If you’re looking for a little bit of quiet while your cat plays then this is a wonderful option that will help minimize the noise. Unlike most cat toys that are specifically designed to make a bit of noise to maintain interest, the claim to fame with these rolls is that they will hopefully minimize the ruckus your kitten makes while she plays with them!
- This toy is ideal for nighttime play, especially if your kitten is in another room at night
- It is filled with 100% north American catnip to keep the interest of your kitty all night long
- It is made of super soft, but extremely durable material to keep your cat busy but not crinkle or bounce off anything
- The stick shape is excellent for biting, gnawing and chewing which is great to relieve pain in your kitten’s mouth
- The product is mostly nylon rope with melted/filed edges, you may want to review each piece and file/clip any sharp spots before you give them to your cat
- Given there’s nothing novel other than the catnip you’ll want to use these toys in a rotation
Yes, Petstages strikes again! You’ll be seeing a lot of stuff from these guys on this page. In this case they’ve changed it up for some mouse shaped toys which is pretty traditional. The key selling point here is that the mice are specifically designed for general dental care for your feline friends:
- The design is quite unique in that it has a special net around the outside that is extra durable and won’t unravel when chewed on
- Specifically designed to help remove tartar and improve dental health for your kitty
- The net helps act like floss between your cats teeth to remove gunk and stuck pieces of food
- As with most toys on this page it is filled with catnip to keep your kitty interested
- These mice are on the small side making them great for kittens to bat, carry and chew on
- As with any catnip toy you may need to buy some catnip spray to keep your cats interested if they’ve been out a while
- They aren’t refillable with some toys, but the spray mentioned above can help
Does your cat get morning breath? Or just nasty breath in general? I really can’t say I’ve ever had a problem with my cats having terrible breath, but boy does this make them smell minty fresh after they play with it! If you’ve got a problem with bad breath or just want a better smelling cat then give this a shot!
- This toy is filled with sweet smelling mint to freshen your cat’s breath as she chews on it, mint is another scent that often attracts cats
- Note there are no fillers inside this toy, it is strictly freshly dried mint
- As with several other toys by Petstages this comes fully equipped with their very durable netting that will not unravel
- You’ll notice this toy is very similar to the night time sticks in shape and size, it’ll also make a good night time toy
- It is much harder to find a ‘mint’ spray for cats than catnip spray so you may have to depend on catnip spray to maintain interest as the toy dries out
- Because the toy is relatively thin overall it can get easily batted under couches and chairs where you cat won’t be able to get to it
Another great toy from Kong that is specifically designed to keep your kittens engaged in many ways. This toy is a little bit on the larger side for a kitten toy, but fortunately each of the legs hanging off make for a great toy for your kitten to bat at, especially if you’re trying to redirect them to toys during teething. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons:
- It comes with a built in rattle in the head so it makes noise as it bounces around or shakes
- The Wubba comes infused with catnip to attract your kitten by scent and get her interested
- The four tails crackle to main interest once your kitty starts to chew on it
- The tails are also designed to simulate the tail of a real live animal your cat might prey on
- It does come in a bunch of different colors, but do note you can’t select your color on Amazon
- It is another toy that has a great price to value ratio, basically it is cheap and lasts a long time
- If you have a kitten on the smaller side this toy may prove to be too big as it is about 7.5 inches long
Anyone wanting a pretzel with some mustard after looking at this guy? I feel like I’m ready to go to a baseball game or something! Now one thing to note right up front is this toy looks big in the picture, but it is actually perfectly sized for kittens a little over 2 x 2 inches. That means your kitty will look adorable dragging around a soft pretzel all the time, and it’ll be much better for her teeth than the real thing!
- The unique netting flosses teeth and helps remove soft tartar as your kitten chews on it
- It has catnip on the inside to initially attract and keep your cat’s attention
- It is perfectly sized for your cat to bat it all over or bite and gnaw on it or even to carry it all over the house
- It is incredibly durable which is ideal given that teething kittens will bite it like crazy
- You’ll need to refresh the catnip scent with catnip spray from time to time
- As your cat ages this toy may become obsolete due to the size of your cat or their preferences
Are you tired of hearing about Petstages and their wonderful dental focused cat toys? Well, if you’ve got a teething kitten I imagine you aren’t, otherwise you might have already zoned out and decided to just scroll through all the toy pictures to see which one looks most interesting. This is definitely unique on the design side having a wheel in the center and some tied on fabric streams, so let’s talk a bit more about it!
- The wheel in the center is specifically designed to stand up to hardcore gnawing or chewing by your kitten while at the same time massaging the gums to relieve pain and stress from teething
- The little streamers on the side are primarily to give your kitty something to bat at, it also gives you a place to hold on to shake it around and attract their attention
- It is dirt cheap, especially if you just want to pick one up and try it out for the first time
- It doesn’t come with catnip or anything that rattles or shakes so you’ll need to get your cats attention by playing with it yourself or with catnip spray
- As with any toy made for chewing you’ll want to monitor your cat playing with it otherwise they may ingest bits that break off
Admittedly, these are less of a toy and more of a treat for your cat in that they are actual pieces of wood. A bit of a change from previous options I’ve shown you so far because they aren’t manufactured plastic etc. That being said, they are still a wonderful option for your cats to help relieve the pain of teething and they are also 100% green and organic. Be sure to keep these in a sealed container if your cat is not using them otherwise the scent will dry out quickly.
- Chewing on the sticks can help clean your cat’s teeth and prevent oral disease by removing dental tartar
- Each of the sticks is about 5 inches long and they are quite thin (think a bit thicker than a pencil) making the great for gnawing
- They’re quite durable and you’re getting a solid number of them, if you keep them sealed they keep a long time
- You’ll want to be careful of these splintering and your cat potentially swallowing the splinters, be sure to monitor your cat during use
- You may need to trim some of the bark off of them to expose the center of the wood which is the most appealing part for your cat
This is a plastic toy that is specifically designed for your cat to chew on it like crazy and not fall apart quickly. The Wiggle Worm is made of non toxic plastic and is infused with catnip to get your cat interested and engaged from the moment you set it down! Do keep in mind this toy is a bit on the larger side (6 inches long) so if you have an extremely small kitten it may be too big for them.
- The material is designed to help massage your cat’s gums while she chews relieving the pain from teething
- It is a little bit floppy so as your cat carries it around it will bounce up and down a little bit making it seem more lifelike
- It is infused with catnip to get your kitten interested from the moment it comes out of the package
- The size of the toy may be a problem for smaller cats because it is 6+ inches long, but as your cats grow up they should grow into using it
If you’re on a tight budget or if you simply don’t want to invest in kitten toys because they’ll have a limited lifespan then you can try a couple of do it yourself options. There are a few great options that pop to mind right away to help your kitten get through teething without any big investment.
- Frozen Washcloths: Simple and easy, dip a wash cloth in water, wring it out then toss it in the freezer. Once it is frozen you can give it to your kitten as something to chew on. Note this can leave wet spots on your floor and you’ll have to monitor your kitten to ensure he or she doesn’t rip a chunk off and swallow it.
- Cat Grass: Cats absolutely love to chew on cat grass and it is also completely safe for them. You can buy cat grass on your own, or you can grow it yourself as I recommend. Growing it is super easy and very cheap and you’ll have a very long term supply. Check out this article on how to grow your own cat grass.
- Sock Toys: If you’ve got a ton of lone socks floating around like I do (I swear they escape out of the dryer!) then you can make some home made sock toys out of them. Socks are quite durable and they provide a ton of options to create all sorts of different toys. Check out this great (2 minute) video on how to make sock toys.
There’s much to be said for keeping your kitten engaged until she’s ready to fall asleep. As you can imagine, sleeping kittens don’t bite that much! One of the best ways to do this is with structured play sessions.
Really all there is to it is to grab your kittens favorite toy and set aside 15-30 minutes to play with her until she tires out. Not only does this open the door to using pretty much any toy (because you are watching the entire time!) but it also helps you build your bond with your cat.
Exercise is great for your kittens overall health and it is also a wonderful way of getting her to focus on something beyond simply chewing on whatever is nearby to dull the pain.
One thing you might also note is that you didn’t see me recommend any specific electronic cat toys, most of these are interactive cat toys for the kitten or for the human and the kitten. While you can of course get hands off toys I recommend you personally engage with and play with your kitten as much as possible. It is great for developing a good relationship with your cat!
You also might be asking yourself what to feed your kitten during this wonderful phase of teething. You might logically think that dry food would be ideal because it would help give them something to crunch on and thus relieve pain just like a chewing toy.
While there is some merit to this there is also the possibility that it would simply be very painful for your kitten to chew on hard crunchy food while her gums are already sore.
Given this there are a few options available. You can soften her dry food by sprinkling a few drops of water on top of it. Be sure to try this in an isolated bit of food first to see if she’ll eat it. Cats are very sensitive to texture and may find it gross and simply ignore moist dry food.
The other option you have is to integrate more canned food into your kitten’s diet. This is much less painful for her to chew and is also an excellent source of water which all cats need on a consistent basis. The shelter I volunteer at has the best luck with a combination of canned food and a bit of moistened dry food.
While there’s no particular difference in redirecting kittens or adult cats from biting you’re definitely in a much better place if you can get them to redirect at a younger age. This means less overall hassle, and as with any animal, they tend to be more impressionable when they are young.
Given this, here’s a quick set of tips to help you redirect your kitten toward toys and desired surfaces as opposed to your fingers:
- Always have toys nearby if you’re with your kitten. If it looks like your kitten is going to bite be sure to grab a toy and put it right in front of her so she goes for the toy instead of your hand.
- When your kitten does bite you feel free to emit a slightly high pitched yelp or an ouch and then walk out of the room you are in. Cats, for all their aloofness, do desire your presence and attention and leaving them makes them associate biting with people going away.
- Do not allow other people to rough house with your kitten with their hands. If one person does it they think it is ok with all people. Everyone should use toys.
- Don’t yell “NO!” This is the biggest no no in training cats. Yelling at your cat will only scare your cat and make them afraid of you.
- Common sense here, but never hit your cat, even with a rolled up newspaper. Same as above, they’ll just get scared of you.
Cats get bored of toys. Sad, but true. While this is far less of a problem with a curious kitten than it is with an adult cat, it may become something you start to run into as your kitten gets older. There are a few things you can do to help combat this apathy toward toys you’ve spent a small fortune on:
- Put the toys away: Ever heard that distance makes the heart grow fonder? If toys aren’t in use then put them somewhere your cat cannot see them. Not only is this often a good safety precaution, but it also makes the toys seem new when you bring them out.
- Create a rotation: While some cats go crazy for the same toy over and over other cats do not. You might need to rotate different toys in and out every day or every few days to make it seem like it is something novel and interesting.
- Catnip spray or a catnip jar: You can buy catnip spray for your toys and just spritz a little on. If you prefer the real thing I’ve also had excellent luck simply sticking my toys inside a sealed plastic container of catnip and pulling them out when I need a good distraction for my cats.
It is important to keep in mind that while these are some of the most well regarded toys on the market for kittens…there’s still the chance your kitten will not be interested. We’ve all experienced the joy of buying something for our cat we think they’ll love and they simply sniff it and walk away. Or worse yet, they enjoy the box it came in more than the thing we bought!
Because of this you’ll probably want to try a variety of toys to help alleviate the pain of kitten teething. Most of these toys are on the affordable side, and even if not there’s a few do it yourself options I’ve provided so you can help your kitten feel better on the cheap!
If you happen to be looking for the best set of cat toys for indoor cats then you can check out my other article on the Top 20 Indoor Cat Toys here.
What types of toys and methods have you found work well to help your kitten work through teething? Did out of the box toys work or did you try something else? Tell us about your favorite method, or better yet what you’ve experienced across a bunch of cats! Feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email at Craig@StuffCatsWant.com.
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