If you own a cockatoo, then you’re probably on the constant hunt for new and engaging toys to occupy and stimulate your feathered friend. There’s no telling whether your bird will even give the time of day to any particular new toy. If they do, there’s a good chance they’ll have it shredded to bits in the first few hours.
We know this problem all too well, so we set out to solve it once and for all. To do so, we ordered as many cockatoo toys as we could find. Then, we put them to the test. We introduced each toy to several birds so we could get their opinions. Of course, cockatoos aren’t shy about making their opinions known, so we got plenty of feedback!
In the end, seven of these cockatoo toys earned reviews, but only three of them were universally loved enough for us to recommend.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Planet Pleasures Pineapple Foraging||
|Best Value||Prevue Pet Products Naturals||
|Premium Choice||Super Bird Creations 4 Way Play||
|JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Bird Toy||
|Super Bird Creations Paper Party||
The 7 Best Cockatoo Toys
1. Planet Pleasures Pineapple Foraging Bird Toy – Best Overall
Available in four different sizes to fit all kinds of cockatoos, the Planet Pleasures Pineapple Foraging Bird Toy was our favorite overall. Some of the toys we tested were too small or too large for some of our birds, so we liked that this toy had several sizes to choose from.
Birds love to shred apart just about anything, and it can serve as good beak conditioning for them. That’s why this toy is made from shreddable materials that will help ease your bird’s stress while getting in that much-needed beak conditioning. Thankfully, this product is made from all-natural materials, so you won’t have to worry about your bird’s health while they shred it to pieces!
This toy also encourages foraging, keeping your bird mentally and physically stimulated. It does this with loads of little hiding spots where you can place treats for your cockatoo to find. They’ll have a great time seeking out the next treat and you’ll enjoy watching them! The only complaint we have is that you can’t choose the colors, which ship at random. Aside from that, this is a great toy and all of our birds agreed.
2. Prevue Pet Products Naturals Rope Ladder Bird Toy – Best Value
Cockatoos need a lot of physical and mental stimulation, which is why the Prevue Pet Products Naturals Rope Ladder Bird Toy is one of our favorite toys for them. It provides multiple ways to play and keep your bird engaged. Plus, it’s priced very affordably; this is one of the reasons we think it’s the best cockatoo toy for the money.
At first, we tried to hang this like a ladder, but it seemed to be a bit too small for that purpose; the ladder portion is only about 10 inches long. Then, we decided to hang it as a bridge, and our birds went crazy! Every cockatoo we introduced it to spent hours balancing as they made their way across. They also enjoyed chewing on it and tossing it around with their beaks.
The wooden links got torn up after a while, as is to be expected. Thankfully, this whole toy is made from all-natural, eco-friendly materials, so you don’t have to worry about anything being harmful to your bird. It’s also easy to set up. The quick-links snap easily to a cage or any other mounting point, so you can set it up in seconds.
3. Super Bird Creations 4 Way Play Bird Toy – Premium Choice
All birds can be temperamental and choosy, and cockatoos are no exception. But two things almost all of them love are colors and textures. That’s why the Super Bird Creations 4 Way Play Bird Toy has so many different colors and textures. It’ll keep your cockatoo interested and occupied for as long as possible.
This toy uses several different types of materials, allowing for multiple play surfaces for your bird. It incorporates wooden blocks, rope, beads, and a tough PVC core to provide plenty of mental stimulation for any cockatoo. All the materials are tough to allow for great beak conditioning. But they’re also completely safe for birds to chew.
Despite the tough materials used, very strong chewers might still make pretty short work of this toy. But for the average cockatoo, it should provide weeks of entertainment and stimulation. That’s especially good because this toy is quite a bit more expensive than some of the others. Still, we think it provides a lot of value, even at a higher price, which is why it has earned our premium choice pick.
4. JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Bird Toy
The design of the JW Pet Hol-ee Roller Bird Toy may seem simple, but it doesn’t have to be complicated to make a great toy. This one is a ball on a chain that can be easily clipped to any cage. The ball has multiple small holes that your bird’s beak will easily fit through so they can try to get to the bell inside.
But the bell is more than just a noisemaker. You can actually hide treats inside the bell for your bird to forage, keeping it occupied for long periods. Not only is this great mental stimulation, but the birds also love it!
Once your cockatoo manages to snatch the treat from inside, as they continue playing, the bell will ring loudly, indicating that it’s time to add more treats. Of course, the bell isn’t exactly silent the rest of the time, but you’ll know the difference when it’s empty. Still, that constant clanking of the bell can get to a bit annoying!
This toy is made from tough rubber that should last quite a while, even with constant cockatoo attention. The rubber is 100% natural and non-toxic so even if they destroy it, no harm is done.
5. Super Bird Creations Paper Party Bird Toy
Since cockatoos love textures and colors so much, any toy that provides lots of stimulating colors and textures should be a hit. The Super Bird Creations Paper Party Bird Toy meets these criteria. It was enjoyed by our birds, but it just didn’t hold up to the abuse long enough.
This toy has a cylindrical base with an assortment of multi-colored sticks protruding from it. The sticks and cylinder feature different textures to entice your bird, and all of the colors are definitely stimulating. The question is whether the toy will even last long enough to clip it into your bird’s cage!
Thankfully, this toy is made from entirely bird-safe materials, so it’s fine for them to destroy. But it’s more expensive than many of the other options we tested, and we were hoping for better quality at this price.
6. Kaytee Forage-N-Play Ladder Bird Toy
Most toys with lots of colors and textures are going to interest a cockatoo, but the Kaytee Forage-N-Play Ladder Bird Toy wasn’t a favorite with our testers. The birds seemed to enjoy it just fine, but only for a few minutes before destroying it completely.
Granted, we expect and even encourage our birds to destroy their toys, but we usually hope to get at least a few days of use from each one! This toy isn’t very durable though, and the wooden parts are very thin. For smaller birds, it may not be an issue. But birds with beaks that can do some damage, like a cockatoo, will tear this toy apart the moment they lay eyes on it.
Still, Kaytee got some of the elements right. Multiple textures and bright colors definitely stimulate our birds visually. And tearing this toy apart did provide exercise, just not for very long.
But we were concerned about the exposed glue that we found on various parts of this toy. We prefer all-natural materials that are safe for birds. Glue isn’t on the list of ingredients we usually feed them!
7. JW Pet Swing N’ Perch Bird Toy
It’s easy to focus entirely on your bird’s beak when thinking about toys, but what about their feet? Birds’ feet need to be strengthened as well, and the JW Pet Swing N’ Perch Bird Toy is a great toy for that purpose. It’s made from tightly wrapped cotton to help soothe tender talons.
But there’s a reason that this toy is relegated to the bottom position of our list. Actually, there are several. First, it’s far more expensive than other toys we tested. This would be ok if it were also more durable and long-lasting or it provided more ways to play, but this toy does neither.
Since it’s just rope, there aren’t many textures to stimulate your cockatoo. It also doesn’t provide many ways to play, just holding on and swinging. For the limited usability, it takes up a lot of space in the cage, so you won’t be able to fit many other toys in there with this one.
Unfortunately, this toy also isn’t very durable. It tends to break where the hook is mounted to the rope, a problem we experienced more than once with it. In the end, this is one toy we’d stay away from.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Cockatoo Toys
We’ve covered quite a few toys in this list, but we’ve only barely scratched the surface of what’s available. So, how do you decide what toys to try with your cockatoo? After seeing how our cockatoos react to many different types of toys, we’ve narrowed down the decision-making process to the most important questions you need to ask.
Do They Like It?
If your bird doesn’t like the toy, then nothing else about it matters! Of course, there’s no surefire way to guarantee that your bird will like any toy. If they’ve enjoyed a particular toy before, then you can assume they’ll probably enjoy it again. Likewise, if they’ve enjoyed a similar toy before, then you can bet they’ll at least show some interest in what you’re bringing into their cage.
How long will the toy withstand being played with? Some toys we tested fell apart before they even made it to the cage! Others lasted through several weeks of daily playing and chewing. But most fell somewhere in the middle, managing to survive a few days to a couple of weeks worth of good play.
Whatever toys you pick, they need to mentally stimulate your bird. Living in a small cage 24/7 isn’t easy. To avoid destructive behaviors, it’s important that you keep your bird mentally occupied with any toys you choose.
Birds need to shred things apart. It’s actually very good for the health of their beak. But if they shred the wrong materials, they could end up ingesting things that aren’t good for them. To avoid this, ensure that any toys you choose are made from all-natural, bird-safe materials.
Colors and Textures
Birds are instantly attracted to colors and textures. Any toy that has multiple colors and textures will keep their attention longer and provide more mental and visual stimulation. When possible, opt for toys with loads of different colors and textures to help keep your bird stimulated and avoid boredom.
Foraging is excellent behavior for birds. It helps keep them mentally sharp and engaged. Plus, it’s just fun! Some of our favorite toys include foraging spots where you can hide little treats or things for your bird to destroy. They’ll enjoy the foraging while getting loads of benefits for their health. And you’ll even get to enjoy watching it!
After testing so many of these toys with our cockatoos, we had several garbage bags worth of shredded mess to clean up! But in the end, it’s well worth it because we found our winners. Seven toys earned reviews on our list, but only three of them were impressive enough for us to recommend.
The Planet Pleasures Pineapple Foraging Toy was the top performer overall. It comes in four sizes to fit any cockatoo and has multiple hiding spots to encourage foraging. Plus, it’s made from all-natural, shreddable materials to help safely condition your bird’s beak.
For the best value, we recommend the Prevue Pet Products Naturals Rope Ladder Bird Toy. The quick-links attach easily to the cage, allowing this toy to work excellent as a bridge. It provides exercise and mental stimulation at the same time, and it’s made from all-natural, eco-friendly materials.
Our premium choice pick was the Super Bird Creations 4 Way Play Bird Toy. It’s made out of tough materials that are great for beak conditioning but also completely safe to chew. Moreover, it’s got multiple colors and textures, providing stimulating playtime for any cockatoo.
Featured Image Credit: sandid, Pixabay