Cat toys are the best – but have you ever thought about how to clean cat toys? Or why how we clean our cat’s toys is important?
If your cats are anything like ours, they have a ton of toys. We know they can’t play with all the toys, all the time – so we switch them up. We’ll leave out certain toys for a certain amount of time. Once our cats are bored with them, we store them away and bring out other toys for playtime. Cats love novelty – so what they once grew bored of, they find new and exciting again.
And then there are the favorite toys. One of our girls has a knitted cat-butt coaster she’s loved since she was born. She carries it around like her baby, scoots it all over the floor, and gives it (her version of) baths. It gets pretty gross pretty quickly with all that love.
No matter what toys your cat favorites, all toys will get pretty dirty. In fact, The National Safety Federation found pet toys to be the 7th germiest household item (pet bowls were number 5!). Although many of us overlook all the cat toys underfoot, they accumulate dangerous bacteria, yeast, and mold! Many people toss fuzzy or fabric toys in the washing machine, but does that really get them clean enough to be safe again for our cats? And what about all the other toys?
How To Clean Cat Toys
Fill your sink with warm water and add apple cider vinegar (ACV). As much or as little as you like. We use about a cup of ACV to a sink-full of water. Soak the toys for 20-30 minutes, rinse thoroughly and air dry.
Why ACV? Why not soap and water? Cats toys will spend the best of their live in your cat’s mouth. While there are some pet-safe soaps and detergents out there, think safety first and be very sure of any cleaning product you use. ACV has natural anti-bacterial properties and is completely cat-safe in every way.
This is why, whether you are washing toys in your sink, your dishwasher, or washing machine, our preference is ACV to avoid any chemical contamination.
But won’t my cat hate the taste/smell of ACV? A thorough rinse in warm water takes care of any leftover ACV residue. Our cats have never turned their nose up at a toy cleaned correctly with ACV.
And what about cat-nip filled toys? We still soak and wash in ACV. Be aware that it will look gross – turning the water yellow – but a small price to pay for preserving favorite toys and kickers. The potency of catnip will ebb with time, so we like to re-invigorate our washed catnip toys with a few spritzes of organic catnip spray. We also know our cats enjoy many herbs other than catnip – and so provide an herb garden for them regularly.
So get happy about clean and healthy cat toys!