Many observations of a number of different cats of different breeds, ages, and sizes have brought about a number of conclusions on the characteristics a toy should have in a cat's perspective. It is the combination of these characteristics that produce the ideal cat toy.
Cheap or Free - As a human is to a brand new car, a cat is afraid to play with the toy for fear of damaging it if the toy is expensive. Also remember, cats don't earn money, because of this very small amounts of money may be seen as very large sums of money to cats.
Small - If the object is too large, the cat begins to feel the toy is playing with it instead of the customary it playing with the toy.
Light - A light object possesses the ability to be thrown into the air with little to no effort on behalf of the one doing the tossing. This makes for a much better toy than the 'no matter how hard you push, no matter how long you push, it just won't budge' toy.
Soft - A soft toy gives the opportunity for a cat to sink his claws in on the victimized toy and harass it repeatedly with jaw-clenching bites. This action to a cat is like a light buzz is to a human. Thus, they always go back for more.
Fuzzy - A fuzzy toy allows the toy to take on a new frame of mind, the fuzz often will get caught in the claws of a cat for a small period of time thus allowing the cat to make a life saving reaction and bash it away, then chase it down, and repeat the process, over, and over again.
Crackling Sounds - Cats by nature are very afraid of noises, thus as a general rule, a toy that makes noises is not a toy at all. However, the exception to this rule is the sound of crackling. Crackling arouses the cats senses and allows the cat to get a high off life.
Hanging - Cats enjoy to stretch for the big blow, thus making hanging toys great. Just out of their immediate reach, only to be claimed by a successful leap into the air with outstretched claws. Toys hung on an elastic cord allow for some bounce and thus create an active twist to the toy.
Reflections - Reflections are one of the biggest fear factors of cats. Upon sight of their own reflections a cat may begin to run frantically around the house stirring up all the dogs that also begin to run around the house chasing the cat stirring up all the kids that also begin running around the house chasing the dogs that also wakes the parents of the household that makes for an awful lot of explaining.
Noisy - Noise to a cat is like a car horn blaring in ones ear. They hate it because it annoys them, turns them off, irritates them, and just may cause a few extra grey hairs. Because of these reasons, especially the last, cats despise noisy toys that click, squeak, squawk, croak, scream, or make any other noise. The exception to this rule is noted above with the beloved sound of crackling.
Red - The perfect toy: free, small, soft, fuzzy, crackling, and hanging on an elastic cord, can be ruined by a splash of red placed in an obvious spot. Red, like yellow to us, strains the eyes of a cat. This reaction irritates the cats, tuckers out the cats, and sends the cats off in a new direction.
Now that you have the appropriate standards for the ideal cat toy, it is your job to go out, find the toy, bring it home, and surprise the dear family pet. Your rewards will be, but not limited to:
Less trips to the laundromat to remove white cat hairs from your pants and/or shirt.
Less trips to the store to buy new pants and/or shirts after the cat releases his built up anger on the victimized leg or sleeve.
Extra warmth from the cat on those nights that your wife refuses to let you sleep in the bed with her.
Less food being eaten out of uncovered dinner containers left unprotected on the counter tops.