Why Do Cats Kick Toys?

Cats are fascinating creatures that have been domesticated for centuries. They are independent, agile, and playful animals that often keep us entertained with their amusing antics. One of their favorite pastimes is to kick toys, and this behavior has puzzled many cat owners over the years.

Have you ever wondered why cats kick toys? Is it just a playful act or does it have a deeper meaning? In this article, we will take a closer look at this behavior and explore the reasons why cats love to kick their toys. So, sit back, relax, and let’s unravel the mystery of why our feline friends kick their toys.

Cats have an instinctual behavior to kick toys because it mimics their natural hunting instincts. The action of kicking allows them to simulate catching prey and is also a way for them to release pent-up energy. Additionally, kicking toys is a form of play and can help keep cats mentally and physically stimulated. So, if you see your cat kicking toys, it’s just their way of having fun and staying active!

Why Do Cats Kick Toys?

Cats have been known to be playful creatures, and one of their favorite activities is playing with toys. They can spend hours playing with a ball of yarn or chasing after a toy mouse. But have you ever noticed that they also love to kick their toys? Have you ever wondered why they do it? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this feline behavior.

1. Instinctual Behavior

Cats are predators by nature. They have a natural hunting instinct, and their prey is usually small animals like mice, birds, and insects. When a cat catches its prey, it will use its hind legs to immobilize it. The act of kicking is an instinctual behavior that comes from this hunting instinct. So when a cat kicks its toys, it’s simply practicing its hunting skills.

When cats kick their toys, they are also releasing pent-up energy. This is especially true for indoor cats who don’t have the opportunity to hunt in the wild. Kicking their toys is a way for them to release their energy and exercise their muscles.

2. Playful Behavior

Cats are known for their playful behavior. They love to chase after things and play with toys. Kicking their toys is just another way for them to play. It’s a form of entertainment for them, and it can be quite amusing for us to watch.

When cats play with toys, they are also stimulating their minds. They are using their problem-solving skills to figure out how to catch their toys and keep them from getting away. This mental stimulation is important for their overall health and wellbeing.

3. Territory Marking

Cats are very territorial animals. They like to mark their territory by leaving their scent on objects. When a cat kicks its toys, it’s leaving its scent on them. This is a way for the cat to mark its territory and let other cats know that these toys belong to them.

4. Stress Relief

Kicking toys can also be a stress-relieving activity for cats. Cats can get stressed out just like humans, and kicking their toys can help them release that stress. It’s a way for them to vent their frustrations and anxiety.

5. Dental Health

Kicking toys can also have some dental benefits for cats. When they kick their toys, they are also using their teeth to hold onto them. This can help keep their teeth clean and healthy by removing plaque buildup.

6. Vs. Scratching Posts

Kicking toys can also be an alternative to scratching posts. Cats need to scratch to keep their claws healthy, and scratching posts are a great way for them to do this. However, not all cats are interested in scratching posts. Kicking toys can be a way for them to exercise their claws and keep them sharp.

7. Benefits of Interactive Toys

Interactive toys, such as toys on strings or sticks, can provide even more benefits for cats. When cats play with interactive toys, they are getting exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. These toys can also help strengthen the bond between cats and their owners.

8. Vs. Electronic Toys

Electronic toys can also be a great way to entertain cats. These toys can move on their own and mimic the movements of prey, which can be very exciting for cats. However, some cats may not be interested in electronic toys and prefer the simplicity of traditional toys.

9. Safety Precautions

When letting your cat play with toys, it’s important to take some safety precautions. Make sure the toys are safe and don’t have any small parts that your cat can swallow. Also, make sure to supervise your cat while it’s playing to prevent any accidents or injuries.

10. Conclusion

In conclusion, cats kick their toys for a variety of reasons. It’s an instinctual behavior that comes from their hunting instincts, but it’s also a playful activity that provides mental stimulation and exercise. Kicking toys can also have some dental benefits and can be an alternative to scratching posts. Interactive toys and electronic toys can provide even more benefits for cats, but it’s important to take safety precautions when letting your cat play with toys.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions people have about their cats and their toys.

What kind of toys do cats like to kick?

Cats enjoy kicking toys that are small enough to pick up with their paws and light enough to toss around easily. These can include small stuffed animals, balls, and crinkly toys. Some cats also enjoy toys that make noise, like bells or jingle balls.

It’s important to note that every cat is unique and may have different preferences for their toys. Experiment with different types of toys to see what your cat likes best!

Why do cats kick their toys?

Kicking is a natural behavior for cats, and it can serve a few different purposes. For one, it can help them release excess energy and provide mental stimulation. Kicking can also be a way for cats to practice hunting skills, as they would do in the wild with prey. Additionally, some cats may use kicking as a way to mark their territory by leaving their scent on the toy.

Overall, kicking toys is a healthy and normal behavior for cats, so it’s important to provide them with appropriate toys to engage in this activity.

Is it okay for cats to play with toys unsupervised?

While it’s generally safe for cats to play with toys on their own, it’s important to supervise their playtime to ensure they don’t ingest any small or dangerous parts. Additionally, some cats can become too aggressive during play and may accidentally hurt themselves or damage furniture. It’s a good idea to set aside specific playtimes with your cat and provide them with appropriate toys to keep them engaged and safe.

Always monitor your cat’s playtime to ensure their safety and well-being.

How often should I replace my cat’s toys?

It’s a good idea to regularly inspect your cat’s toys for signs of wear and tear, such as loose strings or stuffing. If a toy is looking worn or damaged, it’s time to replace it with a new one. Additionally, cats can become bored with the same toys over time, so it’s a good idea to rotate their toys and introduce new ones periodically to keep them engaged.

Replacing your cat’s toys regularly can help keep them safe and stimulated.

What are some DIY toy ideas for cats?

There are many creative and inexpensive DIY toy ideas for cats. Some options include making a toy out of a cardboard box, creating a wand toy with feathers or string, or making a stuffed toy out of an old sock. You can also try hiding treats inside an empty toilet paper roll or creating a puzzle box for your cat to play with.

DIY toys can provide mental stimulation for your cat and can be a fun and rewarding activity for both you and your pet!

Cat Bunny Kicks Are Cute but Painful!


In conclusion, cats kick toys for various reasons, including play, exercise, and hunting instincts. These behaviors are natural for cats, and providing them with toys can help keep them mentally and physically stimulated. However, it is important to supervise their playtime and ensure that the toys are safe for them to play with. Understanding your cat’s behavior and providing them with appropriate toys can lead to a happy and healthy feline companion.

Moreover, kicking toys is just one of the many fascinating behaviors that cats exhibit. From purring to kneading, cats have unique ways of communicating with their owners. Being aware of their behavior and body language can help strengthen the bond between cats and their owners. By observing their feline friends, cat parents can gain insight into their cats’ personalities and preferences.

Lastly, kicking toys is not only a fun activity for cats but can also provide entertainment for their owners. Watching cats play with toys can be entertaining and heartwarming. It can also serve as an opportunity for bonding and playtime with your feline friend. So, next time your cat kicks a toy, take a moment to appreciate their playful nature and enjoy the moment.