Teething is painful for everyone, baby and parent. The baby is in pain and cranky, and parents are cranky & may want to take on the baby’s pain just to relieve them from it. However, did you know that baby animals, such as kittens, also develop teething pain? If not, you’re forgiven, but you should know that as a pet parent and now you do.
Your kitten is about to experience teething, or she’s already in its throes. As a responsible pet parent, you can find kitten teething toys that will help your baby cat find relief in a safe and drug-free way.
These toys are actually chew toys that help to massage sore gums as your kitten chews them. After you stock up on several of these toys, you’ll know for a fact that you’re giving your kitten the pain relief she needs.
If you’re struggling with helping your kitten get through its teething phase, you may need to find some good, fun and safe toys it can use, not only during the teething process, but also as it grows into an adult cat.
As you decide what you want to buy for your kitten to play with, you need to keep safety and fun in mind, which we've already done for you in the following shortlist of our 5 favorite kitten teething toys of today.
Best Kitten Teething Toys - (Our 5 Favorite Options Of 2018)
Top Pick: Petstages Dental Health Cat Chew Toy
Pick #2: Petstages Fresh Breath Mint Stick
Pick #3: Petstages Dental Kitty Chew Wheel
Pick #4: Organic Farm Buddies, Catnap Kitty Teething Rattle
Pick #5: KONG Cat Hugga Wubba
*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com or Chewy.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.
Important Information You Should Know About Kitten Teething
When a kitten is teething, they need to gnaw on something to relieve that pain.
You can clearly see that in this video below, where two teething kittens are gnawing at (not sucking on) a milk bottle and crying. When the bottle is given to the second kitten, the first kitten grabs onto its pet parent’s fingers in an attempt to make up for the bottle being taken away from it and it having nothing to gnaw at anymore.
Choosing the Right & Safe Chew Toys
Every toy you buy for all of your pets, not just your kitten, should be durable and safe. They should also be made using materials that aren’t poisonous for animals.
Since kitten and cat teeth are small and sharp, any cat toy you buy for them should also be sturdy. You don’t want small parts, such as nubs, to break off easily, as they can become a choking hazard.
Chew Toy Safety
One issue you have to always be on the lookout for is kitten teething toys marketed as “organic,” yet are made in China.
Remembering some of the more recent animal food scandals coming out of China, it’s easy to remember that dogs died after eating dog food laced with melamine.
The rubber on these toys is non-toxic and safe for your little one, at least that's how it should be and that's what you should always be looking for in any teething toy for kittens for such toys to be considered kitty-safe.
The precautions you have to take as far as this matter is concerned are important, because we don’t want to poison our pets, either accidentally or intentionally.
Some kittens and cats love to destroy their toys.
That is, they play so hard with a favorite toy that, before long, the innards are coming out.
This is why you'll want to get a kitten teething toy that's fairly sturdy so that, as cats and kittens play with it, they won’t ruin it.
A nice tip to always keep in mind is to inspect your kitten's toy every time before giving it to them, to make sure there are no loose nubs that can lead to choking hazards.
Some of these kitten/cat toys are washable - yet, once they have been washed, the fabric is noticeably faded, reducing their visual interest to the kitten.
If you don’t want this to happen with any cloth teething toys you buy for your kitten, keep this in mind.
Another issue you have to be aware of as a kitten parent is that no toy, no matter how beautifully designed, will interest every kitten living.
Some kittens will enjoy a particular toy while others may inspect that same toy and then ignore it, moving on to a toy that it's more interested in.
There’s nothing wrong with the toy or the kitten. All it means is that particular cat may find a different type of chew toy more engaging to play with.
Kitten Parent Preferences & Bias
What expectations do you attach to the toys you buy for your kitten or cat? Probably a few more than you realize.
Because most cats respond well to catnip, most pet parents think their cat will respond just as well as other cats. But this isn’t always the case.
And the same holds true when it comes to kittens and their teething toys.
Thinking their kitten may respond positively to a mint scent because it’s so close to catnip, the pet parent may be disappointed when their little one isn’t impressed with the new, pretty-smelling toy that's given to them.
Many kitten parents that do this think their cat or kitten would love the new toy, but only end up disappointed when they weren't really visibly excited to play with the toy.
Last but not least, some pet parents may not take the toy’s size into account. As they play with their kitten and the toy, they find they are being scratched by sharp kitten claws.
This is why it's always important for you as a kitten owner to make sure that the toy's size is big enough for you and your kitten to play with together, without your kitten giving you any scratches.
Many pet parents buy additional toys so that each kitten in their family has their own identical toy. The only thing that differs may be the toy’s color, but the kitten forms a huge association with that color and is able to differentiate the toy that "belongs to it" and the toy that "belongs to another kitten".
Cats and kittens love texture in the items they choose to chew and gnaw. For this reason, some kitten owners have been gratified by seeing their kitten’s (and cat’s) reactions to the catnip stalks and catnip that are included in the center of their chew toys.
Because kittens love to chase anything resembling feathers, some of these toys include short lengths of fabric that trail on the floor.
As long as they are sturdily sewn, they are safe for kittens and cats to chase, pounce on and chew. This is also a wonderful toy that kitten owners and kittens can use for interactive play sessions.
Another positive that many kitten owners admire in their little one's toys is when they're made of a strong netting.
Most of the times, these nettings are so strong that kittens aren't able to rip it apart as they play.
Some kittens will play with a toy in a different way. That is, rather than chewing on a toy made to be chewed, they may bat it around and chase it.
Don’t be disappointed if this happens with your kitten. Instead, encourage them to chew, especially if you know their gums are sore and they're in pain.
Pet parents love kitten toys that have lots of aural, oral and visual interest to them. This means the kittens get rewarded with interesting noises, textures, tastes and colors as they play.
If you’re looking at toys your kitten can play independently with, as well as interactive toys, keep this point in mind.
Best Kitten Teething Toys - A Closer Look Into Our Top 5 Options
Pick #1 - Petstages Dental Health Cat Chew Toys
This dental chew toy is suitable for kittens who need to chew their gum soreness away.
Not only does it do that, it also helps to remove soft tartar while it provides a soothing gum massage (win-win!).
Its netting is sturdy enough to stand up to sharp, little kitten teeth. It’s also suitable for older cats who are past the teething stage.
The toy has been filled with catnip stalks and catnip, adding chewing and crunching interest for kittens and older cats.
It’s also lightweight, allowing younger kittens to carry it easily.
Knotted fabric streamers have been sewn to one end of the chew toy, which adds a tempting visual interest for your kitten or cat.
Engage them in a fun session of stalking their prey as they play with you. Give your kitten chances to learn about prey-stalking with this chew toy, then reward them when they “catch” it.
Pick #2 - Petstages Fresh Breath Mint Stick
This kitty toy comes with a specially designed net stem that, as it’s chewed, will not unravel. This makes the toy safe for kittens as they gnaw to rid themselves of teething pain.
Another plus is that they enjoy the scent of mint, as it’s so close to the scent of catnip, one of their favorite “playtime” herbs.
This chewing toy is completely safe for your kitten to use in relieving their teething pain. There are no fillers in the toy’s stem. It only has fresh, dried mint.
To release the scent, just press the center stalk, then roll it back and forth, allowing your kitten to detect it.
The fabric mint leaves at both ends of the stalk add even more interest for your kitten, inviting them to grab and chew with the toy as they play.
If you have more than one cat, you may need to order more than one of these mint sticks so everyone has their own toy to play with and chew.
Pick #3 - Petstages Dental Kitty Chew
This chew toy has a soft rubber in the shape of a ring so kittens can chomp down and relieve teething pain.
On both ends, the ring has two fabric streamers with knots in the ends of the streamers.
The rubber making up the ring is soft enough that kittens can safely chomp down with their new teeth, and there is little risk that they will bite off any part of the ring, although you should check the nubs to make sure they aren’t falling off from time to time.
The size of the chew toy is excellent, allowing smaller and bigger kittens to easily clench it between their teeth to carry it from room to room. You’ll just have to be on the lookout so it’s available every time your kitten needs to relieve some of her teething pain.
The streamers on both sides of the ring are made of sturdy fabric, knotted at each end. These streamers add visual and play interest for your kitten, allowing them to play when they're feeling better.
Several kitten parents also have babies in their families. This kitten toy looks like it’s also suitable for human babies, but we’ll focus on kitty babies.
Made of cotton said to be organic, this toy is safe for kittens to take into their mouths as they chew down. The filler is made of corn fiber, safe for kittens as they are chewing it.
This particular chew toy is also safe and suitable for human babies, making it an extremely versatile choice for parents (even though you ideally should ideally have separate toys for baby and kitten at home).
A soft rattle embedded within the toy adds aural interest for your kitten. Although some pet owners have noted that the sound of the rattle is rather soft, it seems to do the trick just fine for other kitten parents.
The fabric is brightly colored, adding a high amount of visual interest for your kitten. As you are looking for this small toy, its brightness makes it easy to spot.
A fabric kitty face is attached to one part of the rattle, with adds even more interest and “grabbability” for your kitty.
Pick #5 - KONG Cat Hugga Wubba, Cat Toy
The Hugga Wubba cat toy comes in various colors, making it easy for a pet parent to buy several for a family of kittens.
The toy satisfies the kitten’s prey instinct and has catnip inside. It also rattles; the tail is filled with crackly paper, making it a fun “sound” toy for kittens to play with.
Kittens have a strong play and prey instinct, so the Hugga Wubba Cat Toy will help them to satisfy these urges. Again, you may need to order more than one toy if you have a multi-cat family and some of your kittens or cats don’t share very well.
This toy is large enough for interactive play sessions between you and your kitten. Grip the head or one of the legs and allow your pet to grip the other end with their teeth. Just be careful not to pull too hard.
Before your kitten catches this toy, drag it along the ground and allow her to stalk it. Make this chew toy one of your kitten’s favorite interactive play toys - it's pretty easy for it to grow on them! 🙂
As your kitten goes through the teething process, it needs a safe form of pain relief. Rather than giving them substances that could harm their health, give them some dental chew toys that will allow them to gnaw the pain away even as they're playing.
Some of the kitten chew toys reviewed earlier are excellent choices for small kittens, although not every kitten will respond with interest to every toy. Even older cats who aren’t teething may enjoy a few of these toys; you may wind up having to order more than one.
As you make your choices, keep kitten and cat safety in mind. It would also be a good idea to keep your own safety in mind, knowing that some of these toys are good for interactive play while other options out there on the market aren't exactly designed for this purpose.