Buying the best cat toys for your feline can be vital to your pet’s happiness and physical and mental health. Cats are natural hunters, which is why you may often find them stalking the family dog or pouncing on that lone crumpled piece of paper. But without the right toys, a cat can quickly become bored and depressed, especially if the cat is indoor-only. In my buyer’s guide, I’ve put together some great information that new and experienced cat owners will appreciate. It includes some great tips on how to buy the perfect cat toy, one a cat will love and spend hour after hour playing with. I’ve also included six products that have been cat tested and cat parent approved.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the models that made it onto my must-have list, their top features, and how each toy rated.
Cat Toys Comparison Chart
Best Motorized Cat Toy-PetDroid Boltz Robotic Cat Toy
This robotic toy works by automatically moving backward, forward, rotating, and running in circles. It will also turn off automatically after 10 minutes. This toy is designed to instantly attract a cat’s attention by mimicking prey-like movements. This roller has a thick string with a feathered toy attached to one end. It will move and roll all over the floor as it drags the feathered toy. Your cat will stalk, attack, pounce, and chase after this battery-powered toy for hours.
- Causes a cat’s prey drive to kick in
- Designed to give cats exercise
- Provides mental stimulation
- Automatic shut off feature
This toy will provide your cat with hours of entertainment. Fun, colorful, and fast, this interactive pet toy is a great choice for cats of all ages. Additionally, this model is equipped with large rubber tires that will work well on all types of flooring and the product itself is covered by a one-year warranty.
Best Cat Toy for Active Cats-JIARON Feather Teaser Cat Toy
This fun, colorful feather wand is designed to keep cats active and can provide young cats with mental stimulation, while helping them to exercise their hunting skills. The retractable design will make the game more challenging for your cat, who will chase after and claw at the colorful feathers. This is a great cat toy that will allow you to spend some quality one on one time with your pet.
- Perfect for kittens and juveniles
- Retractable design
- Provides physical exercise and mental stimulation
- Not recommended for older cats
While this toy is not the best choice for older cats, kittens and juveniles will love chasing after the colorful feathers, while pet owners play around with the retractable string and cause their cats to go wild. This fun, effective interactive toy will allow cat owners to strengthen the bond with their new cats, while providing the mental stimulation and exercise that all young cats need.
Best Cat Toy for Cats Home Alone-Gigwi Squeaking Cat Toy Mouse
This realistic, battery-powered mouse not only moves like a real mouse, but it also emits squeaking sounds that will drive your cat wild. This interactive toy will provide your cat with hours of entertainment as it zips across the floor, causing your cat’s prey drive to kick in almost instantly. However, if you have carpeted floors, then this toy may not be the best choice, since it can struggle to move quickly on thick carpet.
- Does not work well on thick carpet
This toy is perfect for cats of all ages and can be a great way to get your cat more active around the home, while providing mental stimulation. If you have carpeted floors, then you may want to pass this model by, since it has a reputation for struggling to move quickly. Overall, this realistic mouse, complete with sound effects, is the perfect toy for cats of all ages and a great way to keep your indoor cat active.
Best Cat Toy for Bored Cats-Petstages Cat Tracks Cat Toy
This interactive cat toy is highly addictive and includes three levels of tracks and three fast moving balls that are sure to attract your kitten’s attention. This three-tower toy is made out of durable plastic, with a non-slip base and a closed top. The base will prevent the toy from sliding on smooth surfaces. This toy is perfect for single or multi-cat households and will satisfy a cat’s hunting instincts.
- Stimulating puzzle toy
- Non-slip base
- Perfect for single and multi-cat households
- Cats can pop balls off tracks
This fun, colorful interactive puzzle toy will be the perfect addition to any cat household. The durable design and non-slip base will prevent the toy from sliding or moving around during use, as cats fight to catch and reach the colorful balls encased inside the three-level tower.
Best Cat Toy for Young Cats-DELOMO Cat Light Toy
This laser toy features two speed options. You can switch to the fast speed mode or slow speed, based on the age of your cat and their activity level. You can adjust the light range by tilting the built-in mirror up to thirty degrees. This toy is rechargeable, via a USB cord. Per charge, this model can run up to twelve hours, which is pretty impressive.
- Two light speed modes
- Perfect for cats of all ages
- Low price
- Emits a humming noise
This light pointer is a great way to entertain a bored cat, day or night. The twelve hours per charge will allow you to set up the toy, switch it on, and watch your cat race across the room stalking and pouncing on the light. This interactive toy is a great buy for cats of all ages.
Best Cat Toy for Older Cats-Yeowww! Catnip Toy
This banana-shaped cat toy is filled with catnip, which most cats will love. If your hyperactive cat needs to calm down, just toss this toy on the floor and watch as they relax, roll around, and enjoy some quiet time as they snuggle up to this handmade toy filled with organic catnip. However, not all cats respond to catnip, so it will not be a good choice for all felines.
- Organic catnip
- Made out of one hundred percent cotton twill
- Low price
- Not all cats will respond to catnip
This toy is made out of one hundred percent natural cotton twill and filled with organic catnip. It’s soft, colorful, and cats who are responsive to catnip will instantly fall in love. It will work to soothe anxious, overactive, and hyper cats instantly and features a durable design that can withstand even the most playful feline.
Cat Toys Buyer’s Guide
For a cat, a toy can provide both physical exercise and mental stimulation. A toy can get an otherwise lazy cat active again, and can provide hours of entertainment, especially for cats who are normally stuck indoors. Without any toys around, you’ll find that your cat spends most of their time sleeping, pacing, and grooming. Some cats may even resort to destructive behavior out of boredom. All cats crave physical and mental stimulation, which is why purchasing a few fun and colorful toys is so important to their physical and mental health. Before I go over the features to look for in a great toy for your feline, first, let’s learn more about the many benefits cat toys can offer and how they can have such a major impact on your pet’s wellbeing.
Benefits of Cat Toys
Cats of all ages will appreciate a toy or two to play with, even your low energy senior cat. The right toys can have your otherwise lazy cat moving around, playing, and enjoying the day.
Using the right toys can be very beneficial for single and multiple cat households, in a number of ways, such as:
- Toys encourage your cat to get the exercise they need. Many indoor-only cats are overweight. This may be due to an owner who’s too generous with their treats, but in most cases, it’s because indoor cats tend to sleep more and don’t have that drive to explore, run, play, and hunt. The average cat will spend almost seventy percent of their life sleeping, and because of this, many cat owners don’t think that exercise is important for felines, but it is. A cat that leads a sedentary lifestyle will be at a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and other health-related issues such as diabetes. Bringing some new toys into the home will encourage your cat to be more active and burn off any excess energy.
- A cat is naturally curious and has a thirst for adventure. Toys can provide mental stimulation, which will prevent boredom from settling in.
- Some cats can become anxious when they’re stuck indoors. They may spend the night pacing around the home, vocalizing their distress. Not only will this keep cat owners up at night, but it can be very stressful on the cat as well. A toy can make for a great distraction and will provide the mental stimulation an anxious cat needs. Anxiety and stress can be very bad for cats, just like it is for people. So, try purchasing a few toys for your pet for the perfect playtime distraction.
- If you’ve decided to bring a new cat home, playing with your new cat using some great cat toys can help you and your cat bond quickly. A new cat will feel anxious, stressed, and afraid. In order to reduce the tension and to make your cat feel more at home, bring out some cat toys and spend some quality one on one time together.
- Some cats can be very timid, especially those who have been adopted from a shelter. This can prevent them from socializing with the members of their household. Toys can be a great way to combat your cat’s fear and can help them loosen up, relax, and have some fun, making them feel more confident.
- Playing with a toy can also satisfy a cat’s natural instinct to hunt. A cat is a predator. Toys that can satisfy a cat’s instinct to hunt will be very engaging and fun for your cat. Toys such as laser pointers or feather wands are both great choices that can satisfy your hunter’s need to pounce, chase, stalk, and jump.
Cat toys should be colorful, durable, and fun. Not all cats will prefer the same types of toys, so purchasing a few different types of toys is recommended and will allow you to experiment and learn how your cat likes to play.
Every cat should have some toys to play with that can keep them mentally and physically engaged and entertained. But not all cat toys will entertain all cats, which is why I recommend purchasing several different types and models of toys, in order to determine how your cat loves to play.
The toy you choose should be safe to chew on and tear apart. It should be made out of material that’s pet-friendly and shouldn’t include any small pieces that could be choking hazards.
Choose a reputable retailer or manufacturer to ensure the toy you pick is safe.
Some cat toys can be pretty pricey, so make sure the toy you choose is one that earned a high score for durability. You don’t want to spend money on a toy that your cat is able to destroy in a matter of hours. The toy should have a sturdy design and should be made out of materials that are safe and durable.
Types of Cat Toys
There are many different types and styles to choose from. Some will be best suited for younger cats, while an older cat may appreciate a soft toy filled with some catnip or a fun few minutes of exercise using a laser pointer.
These toys are pretty popular with cats of all ages. They’re also a great way to satisfy a cat’s hunting instincts since they will remind cats of birds. The biggest drawback of a feather toy is that it’s not quite as durable as other types of cat toys, however, they’re usually pretty affordable, so they can easily be replaced once your cat has managed to annihilate it.
Some cats, especially older felines, may prefer an intellectual game. These puzzle games can come in the form of toys that will dispense treats. Most cats will enjoy food puzzle toys, just make sure you don’t go overboard with refilling the toy, especially once your cat has managed to figure out how the toy works.
This is one type of toy that both the owner and feline will enjoy. The owner can use a laser pointer, which will display a red dot or a design, on a floor, while the owner slowly or quickly makes the dot move around, causing a cat’s hunting instincts to go into overdrive. Many cats will quickly become tired out chasing that red dot all over the house, and it’s definitely entertaining for the owner to watch.
Wand toys are a great choice if you want to spend some quality time with your cat. They’re also a must for younger cats, especially those who are new to the home. These toys look similar to a fishing rod and have a line on one end and a lure on the other. However, some wand toys may not have a lure and will feature a simple design that consists of a long plastic stick, some line, and feathers or a type of material located at the end of the line. The goal of this toy is to move the line with toys, crinkly material, or feathers around, just out of your cat’s reach as they take a go at it. This will have your cat running around, swiping, and jumping. It’s a great toy if your cat is in desperate need of exercise, or you have a cat that’s too energetic and destructive during the night.
Battery-Powered cat toys may involve a toy that looks like a mouse and it’s designed to zig and zag all over the floor, causing your cat to chase it. It can also be an electronic version of the toys I’ve covered above, such as a puzzle toy that also includes bright flashing lights. These toys are usually designed for cats who play by themselves and not many promote owner and cat playtime, however, some will.
Toys that are filled with catnip won’t work for all cats. In fact, catnip doesn’t have the same effect on every cat. While one cat may go crazy for catnip, others may ignore it entirely, so try not to be too disappointed if your cat is the latter.
Do All Cats Play?
Most cats do play, even seniors. However, if you’ve purchased a new cat toy and your cat doesn’t seem interested in it, it may be that they don’t know how to play with it, or the toy simply isn’t their cup of tea, in which case, it’s very important that you keep trying to find a toy that they’ll enjoy. But don’t give up on the new toy so quickly. Instead, try playing with your cat using the new toy. This may be just what your cat needs to take a new interest in their toy.
Cats are some of the most playful animals on earth, so if you’re having a hard time finding the right toy and playing with them isn’t working, you can also try sprinkling a little catnip on the toy, which will drive some cats wild.
Since there are so many different models of cat toys to choose from, finding the right one for your cat can be a matter of trial and error. Some cats will appreciate a toy that has bells, while cats that startle easily may not appreciate the noise at all. It’s all a matter of working with your pet to find a toy that they enjoy.
Choose Toys Based on Age
Before you buy, consider your pet’s size and age. A younger cat will need more physical and mental stimulation than a senior. Kittens and juvenile cats are still learning, so they’ll benefit from complex toys that are interactive. Seniors usually prefer toys that are simple and will not usually go for a toy that they have to run after. However, there are older cats out there that still appreciate a good feather wand or laser toy.
As I mentioned earlier, all cats have a natural instinct to hunt. While your indoor cat will not do this as often as an outdoor cat, a toy that satisfies this instinct can be very entertaining for them. Cats will show signs of predatory behavior at a young age. This can include chasing, pouncing, and swiping. This type of behavior is instinctual. However, mom cats will also teach their babies how to hunt and pounce. Indoor cats may not feel this instinct as strongly as an outdoor cat, but it’s there. A toy they can chase and wrestle with will be a great choice for kittens, juveniles, and adults.
How to Play with Your Feline
While playing with your cat may seem easy, it’s a little more complicated than most cat owners think. The way a pet owner plays with their feline will set the stage for the strength of their bond, while encouraging him to play in ways that will not hurt the pet owner or other people in the home. Playing with a cat appropriately is good for the cats physical and mental health. Below you will find some great playtime tips that will help to maximize your cat’s fun while also reducing the risk of future bad behaviors.
- Exercising a cat’s desire to hunt or their prey drive, using interactive play is an important part of their development and can contribute to their quality of life. When you use an interactive cat toy such as a feather wand, you should move the toy just like the prey it’s designed to represent. A bird that doesn’t fly will hop around on the ground fluttering their wings when they land. Mice and other types of rodents will run using sudden stops and starts. Mimic the same motions, which will instantly attract your pet’s attention and cause them to run after their new toy.
- A cat’s life cycle often consists of sleeping, eating, and hunting. Playing with your cat before a meal can encourage a good appetite. If a cat usually wakes up their owner in the middle of the night, playing with them for 10 to 20 minutes before they go to bed can help encourage the cat to sleep through the night.
- When playing with a cat, it’s very important for the pet owner to allow their feline to catch their prey during the play session. If the cat owner does not let the cat win, cats often get frustrated and will either act out in response, or they will stop playing altogether. When using a laser pointer, make sure that the cat has the opportunity to catch the toy as well.
- Avoid using your fingers to teach your cat and allow them to chew and bite on your fingers. While this type of play can be very cute when the cat is a kitten, it can be painful when they become an adult.
- Cats that enjoy attacking ankles need interactive toys in the home. Once you notice your cat has moved into a position that indicates he or she will pounce, bring out a toy to distract them. Doing this consistently will teach a cat how to exercise their prey drive on their toys instead of your ankles.
Learning how to properly play with your cat and doing so on a regular basis is a great way to bond with them, train them, and socialize them. If your cat is being more destructive than usual, seems very hyper, or just generally bored, then using interactive cat toys can be a great way to keep them entertained and can work well as a form of play therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it bad to use a Laser Pointer to Play with my cat?
If used incorrectly, it can potentially be a bad idea to use a laser pointer to play with a cat, such as directing the laser to furniture, which can cause a cat to claw at the furniture. When used appropriately, a laser point can be a great way to entertain your cat and give them some much-needed exercise.
Is a Cat Tree Worth it?
Yes. A cat tree, especially one that has hanging toys and multi-levels, can be a great way to keep your cat happy and active. It also gives cats an appropriate place to sharpen their nails, climb, and play.
What are the Best Interactive Cat Toys?
Toys that dispense treats can give your cat exercise, while providing mental stimulation. Additionally, battery-operated toys that encourage cats to chase and roll around are also great options since your cat’s hunting instinct will kick in and cause them to happily stalk, pounce, and chase after a toy.
Why Does My Cat Meow When Carrying a toy?
Mother cats will usually bring their prey to their kittens in order to help the kittens to practice their hunting skills. Mothers will usually announce their arrival to their kittens by meowing with the prey hanging from their mouth. When cats exhibit the same behavior when carrying around a cat toy, they’re basically just announcing their arrival and want your attention.
The best cat toys provide indoor cats with hours of entertainment, not to mention exercise and mental stimulation. Since there are so many types and styles to choose from, you may find that you have to do a little experimenting in order to find a type of toy your pet will love. However, once you do find the right toy for your cat, you’ll enjoy watching them pounce, swipe, and race around the home and get the mental stimulation and exercise they need to stay happy and healthy.