No, seriously...a bored cat is an unhappy cat.) Here are three affordable, battery-operated toys created to keep your furry pal entertained.
FroliCat Bolt Interactive Pet Laser Toy ($15.75) If your cat goes wild for chasing a laser pointer, but begs to play until your wrists are threatened by carpal tunnel, the Bold Interactive Pet Laser Toy is your solution. This gadget throws out a moving a dancing laser beam dot, with an adjustable mirror to let you angle the light to hit the floor or wall. The pattern is random, so kitty never knows quite what to expect. Available at major pet stores and on Amazon.com.
Moody Pet Fling-ama-string Cat Toy ($22) The Fling-ama-string Cat Toy by Moody Pet is deviously simple. The device consists of an elastic band with a string attached, that rotates vertically in a plastic casing. With each go-around, the string flips forward onto the ground before wriggling up behind the elastic band again. And therein lies its genius; you don't have to make something wildly complicated to entertain a cat. Our cats come running as soon as they hear the motor turn on, and take turns attacking and sitting beside it, hypnotized. Available at major pet stores and on Amazon.com.
Play-n-Squeak Batting Practice ($5.89) The Play-n-Squeak Batting Practice toy is designed for house cats who are home alone during the day, or who need diversions when their owner is busy. A plastic handle slips over the top of a door, dangling a mouse tantalizingly above the ground. If that's not enough to strike your cat's fancy, the mouse also has an electronic "RealMouse sound module" which makes squeaking noises. Available at major pet stores and on Amazon.com. Exercising the cat picture by druid boy on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license.