We've spent lots of money on cat toys the past few years. Cat toys that are played with for a few minutes and then promptly ignored forever after. The only cat toy worth the time and money spent on procurement are the little fuzzy mice that come in a convenient five pack and sometimes you can also find them in the mega pack of like a dozen. Our cats, especially Buddy, love these.
They are just the right size to fit into a cat's mouth, they fling well, and they also have a very satisfying clunk when whacked against a wall. Which they usually like to do when we are trying to sleep. Clunk clunk clunk.
Buddy has always delighted in knocking these mice around the kitchen because they slide so well on the still bare concrete floor (whole other ongoing story, there) and they will fit under the appliances, like the stove, washer, and dryer, never to be seen again until we get the fly swatter out and scoop out all the stray bits and pieces from underneath. The last time Keith cleaned out under the stove he found, besides numerous mice, a glue stick, a wad of paper, a bead, a cap to a bottle, and other assorted junk.
Buddy has now been thwarted in his quest to hide everything under the stove, though. Keith cut a piece of wood to fit underneath and keep most of the toys from being swatted under there. Yesterday I found four mice all lined up in front of the stove instead of underneath it, so I think it is working. I'm sure Buddy is totally perplexed as to why his mice won't go under the stove any more. Ha ha.
Even the big kids like to play with these mice, but they only do it if we are not watching. They seem to get embarrassed when they are caught playing, like they are just too mature to swat a mouse around. Harri and Bear will stop what they are doing and kind of slink away if they see us watching them play, it's really weird. So, when they play with a mouse I kindly avert my eyes.