Best Cat Toys
Here are some reasons to avoid
Some cat toys look as if they would be amazing fun for humans and this manufacturer’s take on the age-old game of Whack-a-Mole is definitely one of them. It’s made of wood and allows you to press the levers at the sides of the box. One of the five toy animals will then be forced to look through the openings in the top. The cat may then try to swipe the lever at you, and you can continue playing.
Although your cat could also potentially press the levers and (if they’re smart enough) maybe even figure how the toy works, this device comes into its own as a bonding product. In that sense, it’s perhaps best to only bring it out when you want to play. This will allow you to have as much fun with your cat as possible, while satisfying your pet’s need for exploration, scratching and hunting. If you want to keep your cat coming back, an element of surprise usually works well.
The box has holes on the sides to get cats in the right mood. This allows cats to easily see what is inside the box, and may inspire them to try and grab it. This is a good idea. Smooth edges have been used to ensure that the wooden box is safe for paws. Curiosity is also a great tool of engagement, although if you want the toy to last, ensuring they can’t catch the toy animals may be a good idea.
#12 Best Feather Toy: Go Cat Da Bird Original Feather Teaser Wand Cat Toy
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This is a high-flying fishing pole toy that mimics the look, feel, and sound of bird wings. This bird hovers above your cat and invites it to chase their prey.
Remember that Da Bird is breakable and your cat could accidentally ingest parts of it. One reviewer said that their cat accidentally swallowed the plastic cap holding the feathers together, necessitating surgery.
Although Da Bird doesn’t perform well in durability testing, it is still a very popular product that people love. Since the 1980’s, cats have done flips with this toy.
Toys For Cats Home Alone
You may not want to spend your day playing with your cat all day, but you do have a life and it sometimes takes you away from the home.
Rather than leaving your cat to his own devices when you’re not around, provide a few toys to give him a healthy outlet for his predatory energy.
Your cat’s toys, which are not able to be touched by humans, can become essential prey. Standard toys such as mice, springs, or balls may be enough to keep your cat entertained if they have a lot of energy.
An electronic toy, or laser pointer toy may be better for your cat if they prefer more realistic toys.
#10 Best Catnip Toy: Yeowww! Catnip Yellow Banana Cat Toy
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If your cat goes crazy for catnip, they will love this banana-shaped catnip cat toy. Perfectly sized for pouncing and kicking, this toy is filled with 100% organic catnip and made in the USA.
This yellow banana catnip toy is made from durable cotton twill and dyed using natural vegetable-based color. This catnip toy is organic and contains no fillers or plastic.
If your cat is a kicker, they will find this catnip toy absolutely irresistible. The catnip toy is perfect in size and shape for cats to grasp with their frontpaws, and kick using their back legs.
Smartykat Hot Pursuit Electronic Motion Cat Toy
The toy is composed of a base powered by a battery and a skirt made from fabric that can be laid on the ground. The toy turns on and the hidden cat toy attached to the wand pops out from under the skirt to excite the cat.
The SmartyKat Hot Pursuit is designed to encourage a bored cat to exercise and play. If you are away for a long time and need to keep your cat busy, this is an excellent option. It’s easy to turn on the toy and then turn it off when you return.
The Hot Pursuit cat toy is powered by a pair of AA batteries which are included. A downside of this toy is that you must use a screwdriver to replace the batteries located inside the saucer-like disc that operates the cat toy under the fabric skirt. You can still change the batteries.
How do cats love this toy? They love it! Most cats will spend hours on end watching the movements of the skirt and the toy underneath move about and pop out. It’s a very popular toy and a great value.
You can have one cat, or several cats entertained by this toy. If you have more than one cat, this is a good toy to get as there’s plenty of room around the toy for several felines to join in on the fun!
- You can leave it on even if you aren’t there
- Cats enjoy watching the skirt move and waiting to pounce on the toy
- This toy can be used by your cat alone, or together with cat friends.
- Makes a humming noise when turned on
- The skirt part of the toy is flimsy
- To replace the AA battery, you will need a screwdriver
Homemade Cat Toys
Although store-bought toys for cats are great, they don’t have to be your only choice. Many cats will turn their noses up at toys their parents bought them, preferring everyday items like rubber bands and bottle caps.
Alternatives to formal toys include:
- Balls of crushed aluminum foil
- Shower rings
- Empty cardboard rolls
- Paper bags
- Cardboard boxes
- Airflow holes for training golf balls
You might be creative and want to make your own fabrics toys. If sewing isn’t in your wheelhouse, stuffing a small sock with padding and catnip might work.
Hexbug Mouse Robotic Cat Toy
Hexbug Robotic Mouse is our last favorite toy. We’ve all seen these types of toys in every pet supply store. It’s usually a simple stuffed mouse that has a motor to make it move.
However, the Hexbug is a definite upgrade. The rubber ears and tail are sure to draw attention from your cat. And it has multiple modes of operation. There’s paw mode, where the mouse only starts if swatted. You can also choose to chase the mouse, where it will continue moving until you initiate. The best thing about it is its ability to flip over on its own when upside-down.
Nevertheless, some things are just not for us. The mouse only runs on hardwood floors. If you’ve got nothing but carpet, do not get this toy. The durability of this toy is also not up to snuff. The mouse will stop functioning if your cat chases it around, which is likely to happen. This mouse is not as adept at navigating around corners like other Hexbug products. It just gets stuck, which is no fun for your kitty.
Bergan Turbo-Scratcher Cat Toys – The Best Value
If you’re looking for one of the best cat toys for indoor cats for the money, it’s the Bergan Turbo Scratcher.
Cats love to scratch. Instead of giving your cat a scratching post, you can give it a suitable scratchpad. The scratcher is made from corrugated cardboard and will satisfy all your cat’s needs. You can also sprinkle catnip on the Bergan Turbo Scratcher to promote its use.
It’s also stable enough to stay planted in place with non-slip grip feet on the underside. They will stick to any type of hard floor. They won’t grip on carpeted floors, but they can be used toy-style. Corrugated cardboard can eventually rip and fall apart.
Otherwise, this is an awesome scratcher. Plus, with the addition of the ball and racetrack, this will provide tons of entertainment along with a scratch zone. All in all, when it comes to value, this is the best indoor cat toy on our list.
Check out our hands-on experience and Verified Reviews
Reading online reviews and manufacturer product descriptions can be helpful. However, it pales in comparison to testing out a product for yourself. We always test products out before we recommend them to readers. Our kitties enjoyed their ‘job’ for this article as they got the chance to play with a variety of different toys. After observing their excitement and engagement with the different items we tried as well as the quality and durability of each choice, we selected the products highlighted below as our top recommendations. We also consider the pros and cons of each product.
- Pawzone Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise toy: This choice proved popular with our cats. They were very interested in playing with the ball and batting at the spinning butterfly. The butterfly was destroyed quickly and it seems like the extras were used up pretty fast.
- BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy: We thought this was a durable option that should hold up well to a lot of kitty play times. However, a few of our felines, especially some of our more senior kitties, seemed to be a bit hesitant to play with it.
- PAWSOME PETS Interactive Cat Laser Toy: This was such a fun choice for our kitties and kept them busy as they tried to catch the laser. We felt a little disappointed that the laser was not caught by them. Therefore, it is a good idea to have a couple of small mice or balls on hand so your cat can feel satisfied after playing.
Petfusion Ambush Interactive Cat Toy – Premium Choice
Some cats love to be silly and affectionately lazy. Others prefer challenges. PetFusion Ambush toys are a fun way to test your cat’s intelligence and willpower.
This toy is a thick, disc-shaped structure with six holes around the perimeter. When the toy is turned on, a motor inside pushes a colorful feather out of one of the holes at random before quickly retracting it. The indoor cat toy will encourage your cat to concentrate on the excitement of catching the feather.
To prevent cats getting too excited, it has anti-slip feet at the bottom. It also comes with an easy to attach replacement for when your cat finally captures the feather.
We do wish there were some things we could have done differently. First, it’s definitely on the pricey end of the spectrum for cat toys. But that due to its sophisticated motor and quality construction. And secondly, we’re not too jazzed by how loud this thing can get. For jumpy and nervous cats, this might not be the right toy for them.
But, with all that being said, when it comes to premium options, we still think this is the best toy for indoor cats available this year.
Hexbug Nano is the #4 best electronic cat toy
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The robotic prey toy, which is powered by a battery, is among the best on the market. This robotic bug toy moves across the ground like a live creature and carries its fluffy tail.
According to the company, it has an “uncanny ability of balance”. If your cat knocks the toy over, the vibrating movement of the robot will cause it to flip back onto its plastic feet and continue moving.
You should always make sure that there are no loose pieces that could be dangerous for your cat.
Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy
Another 3-tiered trackball toys is the Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly. It also has a attached butterfly wand. This can definitely provide your cat with the mental and physical exercise it needs for the day.
The toy comes equipped with non-skid feet on the bottom to prevent toppling and proper operation. The feet are not strong enough to grip the toy and it tends to slide all around. This may be due in part to the butterfly wand on top. The tower’s center may be pulled against by cats who are interested in the butterflies.
While the butterfly attachment does provide an additional level of fun, we believe that a simpler model is sometimes better.
#1 Best Ball Toy: Petstages Tower Of Tracks
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For cats who love to bat balls around, this three-level track toy is perfect. It encourages your cat to send the brightly colored balls spinning around and around the three-level track.
The anti-slip bottom ensures that the toys won’t slide across the flooring. All of the balls are designed to remain in the tracks and are unlikely to pop out for an adventure under the refrigerator.
The tower is 9.75″ in diameter and 6″ tall, making it the perfect size for most cats. The three-level design makes it spacious enough for multi-cat playtime.
Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish
Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish’s soft, plush exterior is a popular choice. It can be used as a companion for your cat, and also for stress management. During hands-on testing, this fish did extremely well for durability. When vigorously flopping, it was thrown around the room to entice our tester cat with good integrity; it even came out of the wash looking new. The motor is easily removed out of the pouch, and it recharges within an hour. We liked the different rates of tail movement, but our cat prefers the slower flop. If you are looking for a reliable kicker toy with versatility, this is your pick.
No list of cat toys would be complete without mentioning catnip toys.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family native to southern and eastern Europe as well as the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of China. It is also naturalized in North America, New Zealand and Northern Europe.
Only 67% to 88% of adult cats are sensitive to catnip. However, the majority of them will go into an exhale at the sight of it.
Sensitive cats will react to catnip by rolling around, rubbing their heads and bodies in the catnip, and running around the room. Some start to drool and others become agitated or even violent, but the effects typically wear off fairly quickly.
Catnip toys that are truly effective and potent will make your cat go wild!
Here’s a quick comparison of our winners in 2022
- Machine washable
- Multiple ways to play
- This product is designed to stimulate hunting instincts
- Corrugated cardboard perfect for cat claws
- Non-slip feet
- It’s affordable
- Fulfills the desire to hunt
- Includes replacement feather
- Construction of quality
- No assembly required
- Non-slip feet
- There are three tracks with different balls
- Extendable track
- Ball with pattern and illumination
- Track Peek-aboo to Hunting Instinct
To determine the toys’ durability, it was determined whether they could be altered or left intact to ensure safe play. A few of the toys had to be modified, such as reattaching the Youngever’s teaser wand fabric with a hot glue gun, which was successful; however, some toys proved strong from the get-go, like the Potaroma Electric Fish.
Toy for the Best-Food-Dispensing Cat
The unique Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree engages your cat’s brain as they forage, problem-solve, and chow down.
What Toys Are Best For Cats?
There are a seemingly endless number of options on the market when you’re shopping for a toy for your kitty. These criteria will help you narrow down the options to find the right one for your cat.
Material that is Eco-Friendly
When you are looking at the best cat toys, sustainability may be important. We will be looking at different materials and evaluating their environmental impact. The Catify, Cat Dancer 101, and Earthtone Solutions Felt Wool Ball and Mouse were top scorers in this category, either built from 100% recyclable materials or eco-friendly materials.
Best Cat Plush Toy
The durable Hartz Cattatraction Unicorn Kicker is a super cute stuffed toy for wrestling, snuggling, and rabbit kicking.
Catit 43750 Play Treat Spinner Interactive Cat Toy
This toy is perfect for cats who are hungry and want to be entertained.
You just need to give them their favourite treats, and then watch as they figure out how you can get them out.
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Additional Cat Toys That We Liked
In testing some of the top cat toys on the market, we found several more worth mentioning in addition to our top five picks reviewed above.
We recommend these five additional cat toys:
Best Electronic Cat Toy
The Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy scurries around like a real bug to engage your cat’s hunting instincts.
Ability For Solo Play
Next, consider whether you are looking for an option that your feline can play with on their own or only when you’re present. While ribbon and wand items are fun, they can’t be used by indoor cats when the owners are gone. You can keep your elderly or lazy cat active while you are away from work by giving them an interactive or automated choice.