Your cat is one of the most playful members of your household and cat toys are a great way to keep them entertained. Not only do they help build the bond between you and your cat, but allow your cat to replicate what they do in the wild — play, chase, scratch and hunt. Of course, cat toys aren’t really something your cat is going to prey on, but they are great for pretend play to keep your cat’s mind sharp and keep them active and entertained.
However, there are so many different cat toys on the market that choosing a cat toy (or toys) can be quite overwhelming. There are so many jingle toys, plush mice, wand toys and catnip toys out there, so how are you supposed to know which one is best for your cat, what will keep them mentally engaged and which one will your cat actually want to play with? Luckily, there is no right or wrong answer here. The toys your kitty plays with will come down to their preference, as well as a little help from us.
We have complied a buying guide so you can see what makes the best cat toy, what cat toy keeps cats most entertained, and where you can buy them. With so many benefits to cat toys, such as keeping your feline physically active and helping them to use all their senses, your cat will love the toy you pick out for them — and will love it even more if you help them play with it!
Things To Consider When Buying Cat Toys
Your cat should always have some toys to play with to help them keep physically and mentally engaged, as well as entertained so they don’t get bored. All cats are individuals so what one cat may like, another will hate. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers as to what toy your cat may like. However, there are a few things to consider when buying cat toys to make sure that the ones you buy for your kitty are not only safe, but also right for their personal needs.
First and foremost, safety should be the aspect to consider. Cats are extremely playful and if they like the toy, they’re going to play with it. This will be an issue if the toy you have purchased is not safe, and now your cat loves it! Cat toys should be made from pet friendly material and they should not contain any small parts that could be swallowed or choked on. It is always worth buying from a reputable retailer or manufacturer to ensure the toy you pick is safe.
Your Cat’s Preferences
Mentioned above, every cat is different and will have their own preferences to what they like and dislike. Some cats like simple toys like mice, while others prefer much more interactive, complex toys like puzzles and games. In general, the more complex the toy is, the more interactive your cats going to be with it, unless your cat is quite lazy! Either way, you should always take note of your cat’s behavior and likes and dislikes before purchasing, because you know your cat better than anyone and will probably be able to gauge what type of toy they might be interested in.
There is no use splashing out on an expensive cat toy, only for it to break within the first few days. Cats can be ruthless with toys and love to bat, scratch, bite and pull toys apart, so they need to be durable enough to last months or even years. The cat toy you buy should be made from safe and durable material and have a sturdy design.
Your Cat’s Age and Size
You should also take into consideration your cat’s age and size. Kittens will generally need more mental and physically stimulation because they are learning, so interactive, complex toys will be better if you have a young cat at home. At the other end of the scale, senior cats might need simpler toys as they might not be able to run and jump as well as younger cats. They might also benefit from a toy they can play with slowly, at their own pace. Aside from their life stage, the size of your cat is important — if your cat is big, they might want a larger toy to play with.
If your cat is on the smaller side, they might want little toys to play with that they can easily bat around. Again, this will all depend on your cat’s preference because what works for one cat might not work for another.
Feline Predatory Behavior
Cats naturally have an instinct to hunt prey. Although your house cat doesn’t do this as much as it would in the wild, a cat toy can be a great way to stimulate that instinct within them. Your cat is already showing signs of predatory behavior that you may not know about; cats will often swipe at something hanging off the table or they will try to sneak up on you as quietly as possible.
This kind of behavior is handed down to cats through their genes and, although your cat is very different to a cat in the wild, they’re still taught by their mothers to catch prey and programmed to hunt. Therefore, you should definitely take this into consideration when buying cat toys. They need toys that mimic their prey — even if they don’t look like prey, then perhaps just the toy’s movement.
Why Is It Important For Cat’s To Play?
While dogs are much more inclined to seek attention from their owner, cats need playtime too. There are a few reasons why:
As we said above, cat’s have a predatory nature built-in to their genes that they need to replicate. Cats are very aware of their surroundings and can hear the smallest noises or see the smallest movements. Cat toys are a great way to stimulate these predatory feelings within cats, with many toys being brightly colored or built with noise to help them stay curious and alert.
Put simply, if your cat doesn’t move around or get any exercise and just eats all day, they’re going to become obese. By giving your cat something to play with or playing with them yourself, you’re getting them to be more active, running around and jumping onto things or at things. This exercise allows them to work their muscles, helping prevent them from getting health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Muscles and Joints
As your cat ages, their muscles and joints will decrease in mobility. As we mentioned above, cat toys are a great way for your cat to play and get exercise, making sure they are using their muscles and joints and staying agile as possible for as long as possible. Cats are naturally very agile and can jump up to heights and jump down from heights easily too, so encouraging them to do this is very important. This also helps them to become more powerful jumpers, pouncers and runners.
If your cat is suffering from behavioral issues, the chances are they are bored. While you think your cat may love sitting and staying in one place all day, they actually want something to do and play with. By getting them to play with cat toys you may see a decrease in issues such as clawing, scratching and urinating where they shouldn’t, because their mind will be entertained. Cat toys also help them to stay focused and allow them to feel their predatory nature, so they won’t ever be bored.
Cats have often been labelled as unsociable pets, but this is not always true. While it is true that they do not seek as much attention from their owner as dogs do, it doesn’t mean they don’t like it when you play with them. If you play with them enough and give them the right amount of attention, they cane become as responsive to you as dogs can, and they certainly appreciate it when you do spend time with them. Many cat owners have stated that they felt closer to their cat after spending some bonding time with them playing with the cat toys.
Types of Cat Toys
There are many different types of toys on the market these days. Your cat will have their own preference, and, as their owner, you will probably have a general idea of what they like and dislike. Some cats like toys they get to pretend prey on, while others like food related toys and some like complex puzzle toys. Either way, these are the most popular types of cat toys:
A wand toy is something for you to play with your cat. It almost looks like a fishing rod and has a line and a “lure” at the end of it, which is normally something like a mouse or a coloured streamer, but it can be anything that entices your cat. You move the line and your cat tries to catch the lure, by jumping, pouncing and batting at it. This is a great way for you to play with your feline friend but without the risk of you getting scratched!
Feather toys are similar to wand toys and can also be played with by you and your cat together. Normally, a feather is attached to the end of a wand, simulating your cat’s favorite prey — a bird. Sometimes, the feather comes without a wand and can be attached to a plush mouse or some other toy, but it doesn’t matter as long as the feather can move and acts like a real bird!
Puzzle toys are also known as snack or treat dispensing toys and are great if your cat loves their food! The food is normally trapped inside the toy, and your cat must solve the puzzle to get the treat out, just like a prize. This can be a great way to stimulate your cat’s mind, as well as controlling how much they eat.
Catnip contains a volatile oil that is very aromatic to 7 to 8 out of 10 cats. It is thought that catnip stimulates the central nervous system within cats and produces extreme levels of happiness, almost making them seem crazy. It is always best to check if your cat is susceptible to the effects of catnip before you buy any big toys containing it as otherwise you will just be buying expensive toys that your cat will not like and will not play with. However, if they do like it, they’ll love you forever for buying it.
Electronic Cat Toys
Electronic toys are often just electronic versions of the toys we have mentioned above. As long as there is an interaction between the movement of the toy and your cat, it can be considered an electronic toy. Laser lights can also be considered electronic, and many cats love to chase them around the house. Most electronic toys run on batteries.
If you’re ready to give your feline friend the best interactive cat toys, take a look at the top picks and bestsellers we recommend below to you on Amazon.
The Best Cat Toys
Made from safe, eco-friendly, durable, non-toxic material, this EcoCity feather wand toy is perfect for you to play with your cat. Attached to the end of the wand are feathers that your cat can chase and pounce on, replicating a real bird so it simulates their prey. Each packet comes with four feather attachments so they can be easily replaced if your cat gets too excited! The elasticity of the wand is very good, allowing your cat to play as they wish without the risk of the toy breaking. It also means you can be further from your cat when playing, and don’t run the risk of being scratched yourself. The wand is also light and easy to store, and is therefore very convenient.
This remote control mouse cat toy from SlowTon helps to stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts, allowing you and your pet to build a deeper relationship while playing with it. The remote control means you can move the mouse with the feather tail quickly, stimulating your cat’s senses and making it seem more vivid, so they can practice pouncing and prowling from the safety of your own home. This results in your cat doing more exercise, which is great if you’re trying to get them to be more active or lose weight.
It is also great for their mental development and keeping them entertained, as well as helping to eliminate the boredom your cat could be feeling when you’re not at home. The front wheels can be rotated 360 degrees to avoid the car turning over, ensuring this toy is safe. It also means if the car hits something, your cat’s play is not interrupted by the car flipping over. The toy works well on carpet and is very easy to use, so both adults and children can play with it. It needs five AA batteries to operate, which don’t come included.
This laser toy for cat’s by Yvelife gets your cat to be more active by chasing the laser light. With five different circling ranges, this toy will keep your kitty entertained for hours as it moves around the room and they try to catch it. It keeps them exercising, especially if you place it high in the room so the laser is able to hit all different areas of the room. Placing it high also reduces the risk of your cat bumping into it and knocking it over, so there’s no risk of their play being interrupted.
There are both fast and slow modes that can be easily interchanged, keeping your cat on their toes and wondering where the laser is going to appear next. With an automatic on and off switch, this laser toy can keep your cat busy and playful even while you are out, so you don’t need to worry about them being bored. This toy can be operated by batteries or conveniently with a USB charger, saving you money on batteries.
This addictive, interactive cat track toy by Petstages is designed with three levels of tracks and three brightly colored moving balls to attract your cat’s attention, keeping their mind sharp and entertained. With a stacked and sturdy construction, this multi-level circle track cat toy is durably built with a closed top to prevent curious cats from getting stuck, and non-slip base to hold the cat track and ball toy in place. Perfect for one or more cats, this interactive toy stimulates your kitty’s senses and satisfies hunting instincts with an exciting moving puzzle.
It is also a great way for you to bond with your cat — you can spin the balls to get them moving and then bat them to your cat. This interactive cat toy is a great way to get your indoor cat doing some exercise, especially if you are worried they are bored or need to lose weight. There are no batteries needed to operate this toy and your cat can play with it while you’re out, too!
The Bergan Turboscratcher is a great cat toy for owners who are unsure what to do about their cat scratching the furniture, especially when they have to leave their cat at home alone. This cat scratching toy allows your cat to scratch all they want, while also helping to build social and motor skills in kittens and providing vigorous activity. This toy also includes a ball and catnip, giving your kitty something to play with for hours and keeping them entertained even while you are gone.
They get physical exercise as well as mental stimulation from playing with this toy, and you can help play with them by spinning the ball and getting them to chase it. With a detachable scratchpad, you will be able to change it with a new one when you feel that the current one is wearing off. This scratchpad does not only help keep their claws in shape, but it is great way to reduce any kind of stress your cat may face.
This battery-operated string-flinging machine by Moody Pet offers non-stop entertainment for your cat, of any age and any size. This action-packed toy hangs on any standard door knob, with a long, brightly-colored, silky cord sewn onto a white elastic “conveyer belt” which is constantly rotating. The string then flings in and out for your cat’s amusement and they can bite, paw, claw, pull, and ultimately stop the string. However, as soon as they let go, the string automatically starts to rotate again, giving them hours of fun as they try to beat the game.
This toy is perfect to get your cat more active and exercising, as well as stimulating them mentally as they try to stop the string from moving. The toy has two different speeds depending on how active and quick your cat is. Your cat can play with this by themselves, meaning you don’t have to watch over them if you are busy. You can just turn it on and leave them to have fun!
This electronic cat toy by SmartyKat replicates the movements of hidden prey, with moving lights and an erratically moving wand under the circle of fabric, helping to stimulate your cat’s natural preying instinct. The movement and lights fascinates your cat, encouraging them to get active and try to see what it is that is moving underneath the fabric. They can pounce, bat and scratch at the plush toy, exercising without even knowing. There are two different speeds to this toy so you can customize the action based on how active and agile your cat is.
The material, plastic wand and plush toy are very durable and built to withstand your cat pouncing and scratching. This toy isn’t designed to be running continuously and is therefore not great if you are out of the house for the majority of the day, but it is great for your cat to play with when you are at home.
The Ripple Rug from SnugglyCat is a multi-function interactive activity center for your cat, giving them a space to scratch, stretch, pounce and groom on the ripples or in the tunnels. This rug can be re-shaped to create a different area and space, keeping your cat on their toes and entertained. They can hide in the tunnels as well as stalking the peep-holes, satisfying their primal urges while also allowing them to exercise mentally and physically. You can also hide treats inside the tunnels and get them to hunt and pounce for them.
The fabric is tough and durable, making it not only safe but also a great place for your cat to scratch — perfect if they currently scratch your furniture! The fabric is also hypoallergenic, non-toxic and stain-resistant, as well as being easy to clean in the washing machine. Designed for one or more cats, your kitty can learn to be sociable with this mat, while also having great fun.
This twenty-four piece cat toy assortment will keep your feline friend entertained for hours and never bored of the same toy. Included in this set is a two way cat tunnel, four crinkle balls, three cotton mice, two fur mice, one cage mouse, two color balls, two bell balls, one scratcher fish, three scratcher balls, one tumbler mouse, one teaser wand, one star and two cat springs. Each of these toys brings something different to playtime with your kitty, with some being toys your cat can play with on their own, like the balls, and others being interactive for both you and your cat, like the teaser toy.
This assortment of toys can keep your cat active and energized even while you are not at home, and once they have had enough of one toy, they can move onto another. This assortment of cat toys is especially great if you don’t know what sort of toy your new kitten likes, as it gives you the opportunity to present lots of toys to them and see their preference. This variety pack of toys is a great price for new cat owners and will keep your kitty entertained for a long period of time.
The peek-a-boo design of the Catit Play Circuit cat toy allows your cat to see, chase and swipe at the ball inside the tunnel, keeping them entertained and their mind stimulated for hours at a time. Perfect for them to play on their own and great in a house of more than one cat, the swirl patterned ball’s special color combination is specifically designed to catch and attract your cat’s attention, making sure they stay active. There are multiple layout possibilities so your cat doesn’t get bored of the toy and additional tracks can be purchased to make the tunnel even longer and more complicated for your cat.
Incorporating sight, sound and touch, this toy appeals to your cat’s natural hunting instincts as they try to hunt the ball. This toy is extremely durable and is built to endure your cat jumping and pouncing on it, so it will last you a long time and you can buy with confidence.
This teaser wand by Go Cat consists of a mouse toy attached to a 12” teaser wand, designed for your cat to chase. Perfect for you to play and interact with your cat, you can wave the flexible wand about and your cat can pounce and chase the mouse, keeping them active and exercising. With a long wand, you won’t be subject to being scratched but still get the opportunity to play with your cat, and your cat will love how quickly and easily the wand moves. This helps to keep their mind sharp and focused on trying to catch the toy, so they don’t get bored, and users have reported their cat has lost weight while using this toy.
There are two mouse refills that come in this pack, so if your cat gets too excited, you can always replace the mouse. Perfect for all life stages, this toy is durable and lots of fun for your cat to play with.
This multi feather wand from Pet Fit For Life comes with an extra long length of 33 inches, giving more range of motion for you to play with your cat in every room of the house. Without you risking being scratched by your cat, your cat can jump, pounce and bat at the multiple feathers on the end of this wand, keeping them active and entertained. With different colored feathers, your cat’s mind stays stimulated as they try to hunt and catch their “prey”, just like they would in the wild. This toy is perfect for all cats, even older cats and those who are overweight.
The extra soft foam handle makes holding the wand easier for you so you and your cat can play for longer, and the wand itself is very durable so you don’t need to worry about your cat being too aggressive with it. The string is made from nylon, making it very flexible, and there is also a removable bell that can be used to “call” your kitty, or keep them on their toes while playing with the toy. The wand fits together in two easy pieces, meaning it can also be put away easily for storage.
The self-rotating ball from YOFUN gives your cat something to chase, keeping them entertained and curious as the ball rotates 360 degrees around the floor. Very durable, your cat can bat at the ball and try to “catch” it as it moves, stimulating their mind, keeping them active and simulating their prey in the wild. A red light on the ball also keeps your cat entertained as they try to chase it, and because of the sphere shape and self balancing system, the ball will automatically change its direction when colliding with an object, so your cat gets uninterrupted play.
The ball rolls best on hard floors and might not be the right toy if you have lots of carpet, but it is very easy to turn on with just the click of one button and stays on for one and a half hours at a time. There is no need for batteries as you can easily charge this by plugging it in. Even better, the ball will automatically turn off after 40 minutes of rolling and is therefore perfect for those who don’t have time to watch their kitty while they are playing.
This three way tunnel from CO-Z is a great way to keep your cat entertained while you’re not at home. Designed for one or more cats and perfect if you have lots of kitties in the house, this tunnel offers a place for your cat to pounce, hide and play. With a dangling ball on the exit, your cat can bat away at it like it’s their prey and there is a hole in the middle of the tunnel for extra excitement that they can pop their head through.
This tunnel is a great way to keep your pet active and exercising and is made of ultra-strong, tear-resistant polyester wrapped around a sprung-steel frame with protective ends, and so will stand up to any crazy cat antics! The tunnel also folds down very easily for transport and storage, so you can take your tunnel on the go and keep your pet engaged anywhere.
In this pack you get three mouse toys, each spiked with pure and potent catnip that is made without any chemicals or pesticides. This way, you know your cat is having fun but with a safe toy. Catnip is designed to cause a burst of energetic activity in cats and is therefore perfect if you are trying to get your cat to be more active or lose weight, and this burst of energy is then followed by a mellow period after the play session. These mice are the perfect size for your cat to bat around the floor and play with, pretending they are their prey and stimulating their brains. They are also made with 50% more catnip, so you are getting more for your money.
These mouse toys are perfect for your cat to play with by themselves and they can be left alone with them, even when you are not in the house. This pack is also a great size to buy if you’re unsure whether your new kitten likes and reacts to catnip, so you can test it out.
This robotic Boltz cat toy by PetDroid is built with two independent motors, meaning it can roll forwards, backwards, in circles and rotate, keeping your cat constantly entertained and wanting to chase it. With sensors to detect when it is about to hit furniture, your cat has uninterrupted play as they follow the toy around the floor. It is designed to work on all types of floor and is therefore perfect for every room of the house. This toy comes with various accessories such as feathers and streamers, meaning your cat has something to chase that is replicating their prey in the wild.
This keeps them active and on their toes, especially great if you are trying to get your cat to do more exercise. The accessories are also replaceable so your cat never gets bored — they could be chasing feathers one day, and a streamer the next. With an irregular running system and an auto on/off, your cat won’t know what is going to happen next and therefore their mind is kept stimulated. There are also LED colorful wheels to attract your cats senses, providing them with hours of fun.
The Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze encourages your cat’s natural instincts by allowing them to explore, scratch, sniff, find and retrieve hidden rewards in this puzzle box. Great for playing with your cat, you can hide their favorite treats, such as catnip, crinkle balls and mice, as well as their dry cat food kibble, in the holes and watch as they try to find them. Not only does this get them active and moving, but it is also great for stimulating their brain, as well as controlling how many treats they are eating a day or even working as a food dispenser by getting them to eat slower as they have to work to retrieve their food.
There are three difficulty levels to challenge clever cats as their skills improve — beginner, immediate and advanced, where they need to knock the treats out of the sides of the box through the small openings. There is also a bonus secret level included in the instruction pack! The box is made from sturdy and reinforced cardboard and will survive your cat (or cats) jumping on it, and is also printed with metal-free inks for safety.
The cat tower tree from Ruff ‘n Ruffus has many features your cat will love. They can lay in the hammock, hide in the cave, play with the dangling balls and use the cat scratcher pad, keeping them entertained for hours or giving them a soft, plush place to rest when they are tired. The scratcher pad saves your furniture from their claws, and the dangling balls give them something they can bat round, simulating prey in the wild that they have to “catch”. The hiding cave also allows them to pretend they are sneaking up on their prey.
Also included are bonus cat toys, with four pom pom toys they can chase and two bell toys that you can throw for them, with a noise that stimulates their brains and keeps them entertained. There is also a laser light that you can point around the room, again giving them something to chase and encouraging their natural instincts. This cat tower tree is foldable for easy storage, and is perfect for both large cats and small cats and cats of any age. It is also made from very durable fabric, meaning it’ll last you a long time and give your cat something to play with for years to come.
This activity play mat from Animals Favorite not only gives your cat somewhere cozy to rest, but offers interactive toys for them to play with, even when you’re not at home. With four different dangling toys — two balls, a pom pom and a mouse — this is ideal for healthy focus training, exercise and muscle toning and as a stress reliever. This also means they can channel their energy into playing with the dangling toys, instead of playing with things in your house that they shouldn’t be and scratching at the furniture!
The mat is made of plush and comfortable material, with many owners reporting their cat had actually started sleeping on the mat because their toys were right there. This play mat is also foldable and easily transportable, fitting into a storage bag, meaning if you travel a lot with your cat, you can take their favorite toy with you too! You can leave this mat out for your cat to play with and you don’t need to worry about supervising them.
This light toy from GO! is perfect for getting your cat to exercise. With three different modes and three different lights — red dot, UV light and flashlight — you can use the red dot to stimulate your cat’s brain, getting them to chase it around the room as if they are trying to catch their prey. This not only keeps them active but encourages their natural pouncing and hunting instincts, to keep them happy and healthy. Even better, when your cat is not playing with the toy, you can use the UV light and flashlight in your everyday life.
This toy is perfect for bonding and spending quality time with your pet, and it is easy to use, too. You don’t need to press and hold the button while playing with the laser, making it easier than a lot of laser toys to operate. It is also fast charging and does not require any batteries to operate, saving you money. It can be charged in one and a half hours and will last for a week.
Cat Toys FAQ’s
Why does my cat put their toys in water?
There is no one explanation or reason for this, but cat experts have come up with two theories as to why your cat might do this. One, your cat may think it is the safest place to keep their toy. In the wild, cats have to be very protective of their belongings are keep them in their den, where no other cat would go. In the house, the only other place a predator would not go would be their water bowl, so they keep their toys there. The second theory is do with the collecting behavior of cats. Professionals say it is similar to when a mother cat brings home a wandering kitten to a safe place. Your cat is doing that with their toys.
Why does my cat bring their toys to bed?
Similar to some cats liking to put their toys in their water bowl, some cats like to take their toys to their bed or even their owners bed. Again, there is no real explanation apart from the fact that they deem their bed (or your bed) a safer place to keep their toys, away from any predators.
Why does my cat hide their toys?
Cats are typically quite protective of their possessions and will hide their toys if they feel their environment is not safe to keep their toys in. While you may think this is selfish, it is in your cat’s nature to be protective of their belongings and make sure no one can get to them. They just want to know that their toys are going to be safe if they want to play with them again later.
Cat toys are a great way to keep your kitty active, entertained and mentally sharp. With so many toys out there today, there are so many different types to choose from. It will be up to your cat’s preference as to whether they want to play with a wand toy, a catnip toy, a puzzle toy or an electronic toy, but the most important thing is to make sure they do play, so they get to simulate their natural predatory instinct. Your cat will love it if you play with them and, with the great range of toys listed above on Amazon, we know you’ll find a toy both you and your feline friend will enjoy.