There are a wide variety of toys for cats, but picking one that your child and cat will both enjoy could pose a challenge, since most felines aren't great sharers. In order to develop the bond between child and cat, allow your child to be the dispenser of toys and treats in the family, letting her pick out the toy of the moment and give it to the cat. Most felines love balls because the movement mimics prey, so it's possible that your child could teach your cat to play fetch. This does require a level of patience on behalf of all parties involved, as most cats will catch but not return a tossed toy.
Other great toys for cats include treat balls that your feline must bat and spin to finagle the treats inside to fall out, as well as battery-operated toys that interact with your cat by automatically moving objects around and enticing kitty to pounce. These toys won't do much to entertain your child, but your cat's hilarious reactions will.
No matter what game or activity you try with your cat and child, the time spent together is most important. Don't forget to always supervise any interaction between animals and young children to ensure a happy playtime for all.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "Cats Who Play Rough." (August 1, 2011) http://www.aspcabehavior.org/articles/29/Cats-Who-Play-Rough-.aspx
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "Cat Toys." (August 1, 2011) http://www.aspcabehavior.org/articles/106/Cat-Toys.aspx
- Lang, J. Stephen. "1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About Cats." Howell Book House. 2004.
- Tedeschi, Bob. "Will Game-Playing Cats Now Dream of Electric Mice?" The New York Times. January 5, 2011. (August 1, 2011) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/06/technology/personaltech/06smart.html
HowStuffWorks examines the practice of cat declawing, a procedure that causes pain for the animal and is, in most cases, unnecessary.