How to Keep Cat Toys Clean and When to Throw Them Out

It’s so easy to spoil someone you love; and if you’re a true cat lover, there’s a good chance your furry friend is also a spoiled friend. This probably means that your cat has the best food and best cat bed in the world. It also likely means that it has the best and coolest toys around. We can’t blame you if you’ve got cat toys all over your house. Majority of them probably doesn’t even get used. But many of them get played with, which means a lot of cat spit, grime, dust, and any other dirty accumulation you can think of. Just know that if you’ve got cat toys, you better know how to clean them up for the sake of your cat and your own sanitation. Here are different ways you can clean up cat toys depending on their type.

Textile toys

Fabric toys are some of the easiest to toys to clean. They get most of the gunk because they absorb everything. This is also why they should be cleaned the most often. Fabric, rope, and any other textile toys can be washed by hand, or more preferably washed in the machine with hot water. The combination of hot water and detergent should kill any germs on these toys. Stains can also be removed this way, so you can keep your cat toys looking new for as long as you can. If you are going to use the machine, we suggest you put the smaller toys in a garment bag. You can keep them from getting lost this way. Try to use unscented detergents because cats tend to be hyper sensitive to certain smells. The best way to dry the toys after washing is by air-drying them. We don’t recommend the dryer for the very same reasons why you don’t put some of your clothes in the dryer either. They just break down the materials too quickly.

Plastic toys

Many plastic toys these days can be washed in the dishwasher. This is especially useful for toys that also act as treat dispensers or feeders. The heat drying function of a dishwasher can help disinfect the feeders before the next use. That being said, most plastic toys still need to be washed by hand. You’ll need to use hot water and dish detergent to kill off any germs that might be lurking around. Make sure you use a soft sponge for cleaning instead of a scrubber. Scrubbers can scratch the surface of these toys, which can become breeding grounds for bacteria. Make sure you read a toy’s description or cleaning instructions before you decide whether it’s going in the dishwasher or not. You wouldn’t want to mess up your dishwasher either.

Fur or feather toys

These are simple to clean. It doesn’t matter whether they’re real or artificial fur or feathers. These cat toys should just be hand washed gently in hot and soapy water. You can rinse them off with hot water as well, and then hang them up to dry.

Catnip toys

These get a lot of chewing, and therefore, they also get a great deal of spit in them. Since most catnip toys are made of fabric, we recommend a good cleaning with just hot water. Avoid using detergents or soaps when cleaning catnip toys because you wouldn’t want soap particles to end up in your cat’s mouth. You’ll also need to hang them up to dry.

Some catnip toys can be refilled with fresh catnip. If you’re going to wash the toy, we recommend you remove all the old catnip first. Wash and dry the fabric receptacle before you put in any new catnip. The toy will basically be brand new once you’re done.

When to let go

It’s difficult to let go of your cat’s favorite toy, but all toys can only last for so long. When a toy becomes a risk for your cat, it means it’s time to let it go. For example, if your fabric toys are ripping at the seams and spitting stuffing out, it’s probably time to let it go. You wouldn’t want your cat to swallow any stuffing because that medical emergency will end up costing you a lot more money than a new toy. Any scratches on plastic toys should be enough for you to get rid of them as well. As mentioned earlier, those can become breeding grounds for bacteria. If a toy is in the brink of breakage, it’s time to throw it out. You wouldn’t want your cat to swallow any small parts whether it’s fabric, plastic, fur, feather, or any other make. Safety should always be prioritized over play. Your cat will surely appreciate that kind of care.


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