The Best Cat Toys (Review) in 2020
Cats are curious and playful creatures who need proper entertainment on a daily basis to be happy and healthy. While this is true for all cats, it’s particularly relevant for indoor kitties who can get bored easily when left alone for longer periods of time. How can you keep your feline companion entertained and physically active while you’re away? The answer – cat toys. Whether simple and traditional, or automatic and interactive, toys can help your kitty stay mentally engaged and in great shape. Here is our list of 15 best cat toys that will keep even the fussiest of felines occupied and amused!
Mentally and physically engaging
Lightweight and collapsible for easy storage and travel
Made from polyester so it doesn’t collect pet hair
Comes in various enticing colors
Great for pouncing, batting and exercise
Toys with catnip entice even the laziest of cats
Perfect for multi-cat households
The pack makes for a beautiful pet gift
Encourages hunting instincts
Natural and environmentally friendly
Catnip energizes and mentally stimulates your cat
Budget-friendly, suitable for multi-cat households
The Best Cat Toy
If you want a cat toy that will not only keep your pet entertained and mentally engaged, but also physically active, check out Prosper Pet’s 3 Way Collapsible Tunnel. This toy works similarly to the way play tunnels for kids work, except – dare we say – it’s more entertaining! Instead of one tunnel, the toy has 3 spacious areas your kitty can play in, one of which features built-in crinkle crackle paper. There is also a peephole and bell toy for maximum stimulation, so the toy is guaranteed to keep your furry friend occupied for hours. Importantly, the whole thing is made from tear-resistant polyester, so it’s durable and capable of withstanding lots of scratching. The toy is also collapsible, so easy to store. All in all, one of the best cat toys on the market!
Collapsible 3-way cat tunnel
Features crinkle crackle paper, bell toy and peephole
Durable and tear-resistant
One of the best interactive cat toys around, the Petstages Tower of Tracks is a brilliant way to keep your kitty mentally engaged for hours. The toy is designed with 3 levels of tracks and 3 colorful balls that your pet can bat and chase for hours on end. Because there are three balls, the toy is a perfect choice is you own multiple cats, although it’s just as fun for single kitties. Entertaining and engaging, the tower toy will keep your cat occupied while you’re away, but you can also use it to bond with your pet if you want to – just spin the balls to get them moving and watch your cat trying to catch it! The Petstages is perfect if you want to encourage the hunting instincts in your cat and keep them mentally sharp.
Interactive cat toy
3 tier tower construction with 3 chasing balls
Mentally and physically engaging
Suitable for multiple cats
Durable with a non-skid bottom
Looking for a budget-friendly mouse cat toy? The SmartyKat’s Skitter Critters might be exactly what you and your kitty need. The pack comes with 3 colorful, plush mice that contain pure catnip – 100% guaranteed to keep your feline friend mentally and physically engaged for hours! The toys are small enough for your cat to be ble to carry and ba them, so they’ll encourage the natural hunting and chasing instincts. Because they contain pure and potent catnip, they’ll also energize your kitty and make each play session extra fun. Importantly, the catnip is natural, produced without pesticides and chemicals, while the fiberfill is from recycled plastic, so environmentally friendly too.
3-pack mouse cat toys
Spiked with pure, potent catnip
Made from 100% recyclable plastic
Perfectly sized to bat and carry
If your kitty is a fan of cat wand toys, you need to check out Pet Fit For Life’s Multi-Feather toy. This is a teaser and exerciser in one as it’s incredibly entertaining and engaging, plus extra-durable – sure to withstand lots of rough play sessions. The toy features a carbon fiber wand with soft but foam handle that’s easy to grip and hold onto while you play with your pet, as well as a long, removable string with two bells inside for extra stimulation. The pack comes with a pink and brown feather boa and furry tail as well, which you can leave on or take off as you please. This is one of the best cat feather toys on the market as it’s fun, mentally engaging and extra-durable!
Cat wand with 3 attachments
33” carbon fiber wand+ soft foam handle
Lightweight but durable
Includes a long string with bells, furry tail and colorful feather boa
Simple, yet fun and engaging, this spring coil toy from Ethical Pets is perfect if you’re on a tight budget and your kitty is not overly fussy. Made from hard plastic with a rounded end for comfort, this toy is very durable and stretchy, perfect for rolling and chasing as well as swatting and batting. Extra wide, the toy is designed for strong bouncing, which will have your cat running around the apartment – great for promoting physical exercise!
Colorful springy toy
Made from durable, stretchy plastic
Extra wide for bouncing
Promotes exercise and mental stimulation
A toy to play and “brush” teeth with? Yes, the Petstages’ chew mice feature soft but durable bodies with netting that helps remove tartar and stimulate gums – perfect two in one toys for all cats but especially teething kittens! Floss-like action when chewing will help clean your cat’s teeth and gently stimulate their gums, leading to better oral health overall. To top it all off, the mice toys are filled with catnip which attracts and energizes cats, helping keep them busy and physically active. The pack comes with two colorful, 9-inch mice that are lightweight and easy to toss and bat.
Two dental chew mice toys
Netting design cleans teeth and removes tartar
Filled with catnip for mental stimulation
Lightweight, easy to toss and carry
Simple but ingenious, the Cat Dancer toy is perfect for both entertaining and exercising. The toy is made from twisted cardboard tubes that are attached to a flexible wire, which you can hold to tease and entice your cat. While very simple in design, this old-school interactive cat toy is perfect for bonding with your pet. Just hold one end of the toy and watch your kitty go crazy batting and pouncing after the bobbing paper strip. The wire is incredibly bouncy, 35 inches long, so it’s practically impossible to hold still – great for intensive playtimes!
Simple interactive cat toy
35” long, bouncy wire + cardboard tubes
Simple yet highly efficient design
Promotes play and exercise
The All for Paws cat toy features a sturdy base and an attached butterfly that spins through the air at a 360-degree rotation, stimulating your cat’s natural instincts. It’s a cute, fun way to entertain your cat and keep them physically active as well. This is one of the self moving cat toys, so you don’t have to do anything – the moment your kitty swats it, the butterfly will spin erratically, enticing your pet to catch it. The toy comes with two detachable butterflies, is quite compact and relatively quiet, so an all-around great cat toy.
Battery operated cat toy
Spins at a 360-degree rotation for maximum stimulation
2 butterfly attachments
3 AA batteries needed
Eleboot is a fantastic interactive and automatic cat toy that will provide hours of playtime for both you and your kitty. It’s made from quality ABS plastic and has a smart and attractive design: it rotates 360-degrees all by itself, using the power of a LED red light to entice your kitty. Importantly, it works all on its own, moving both on carpets and floors, so it’s one of the best toys for cats if you’re often away from home. It automatically turns off every 40 minutes though, saving the battery. Speaking of which, the Eleboot is also easily rechargeable as it has a 2–hours charging time. As a bonus, you can use any generic USB cord!
Automatic cat toy, 360-degree rotation
Made of durable ABS plastic
USB chargeable, 2 hours charging, 4 hours working time
LED red light attracts and entices cats
Automatic shut off after 40 minutes
Looking for a cute stuffed cat toy? The Munchiecat’s Sushi Toy may be just what you and your kitty need – plush, stuffed with catnip and perfectly sized for batting and carrying, this cat soft toy is ideal for felines of all ages and sizes. It’s made from pet-friendly material, so it’s perfectly safe, and equally important, durable and long-lasting as well. The pack comes with 8 toys, where half are in the shape of Nigiri Sushi and the other 4 Maki Sushi. They’re great for pouncing and exercise as the catnip helps energize even the laziest of kitties. Because they’re brightly colored and adorable, they make for a beautiful pet gift – just in time for New Year!
8 sushi-like cat toys
Stuffed with organic catnip
Made with pet-safe materials
Plush, soft and durable
For cats who love nothing more than hunting and playing with their prey, the SmartyKat Electronic Motion toy might be the perfect gift. With its erratically moving lights and wand, this electronic toy mimics the movements of a wild, hidden prey, encouraging your cat’s natural hunting and chasing instincts. It comes with two speeds and lets you customize the action to best suit your cat’s play style. While durable, the wand is not likely to survive a very long time if your cat is a fan of rough play. Thankfully, replacement wands are available. It should be noted that the SmartyKat toy is not designed to run continuously, so it should be turned off after your pet is finished playing.
Electronic cat toy
Features an erratically moving wand and lights
Encourages natural chasing instincts
Requires 3 AA batteries
Another great SmartyKat toy, the Feather Whirl comes 12th on our best cat toys list. This spinning ball toy with feathers encourages healthy physical activity through play, as well as natural chasing and hunting behavior all felines have. It erratically starts, spins and stops, changing direction for maximum engagement. Thankfully, it has a very quiet motor which won’t bother you or your kitty. The ball’s outer casing is made with recycled plastic, so it’s environment-friendly, and there are always replacement wands available for rough-play loving cats.
Electronic cat toy
Plastic ball with a wand and feather
Spins erratically for maximum enticement
Encourages exercise through play
Friends Forever Interactive Laser Toy is one of the best if not the best cat laser toy on the market. Why? Two main reasons: it’s automatic so your cat can play for hours on end even when alone, and it has 360-degree randomized patterns, appealing to the feline hunting instincts. Basically, it’s both entertaining and physically engaging, perfect for cats of all ages. The toy’s laser beam is quiet as well, so it won’t disturb anyone in the house. As mentioned, it has a full rotation which coupled with random moving, forms an infinite circle area to play in. Importantly, the laser works anywhere you place it, including outdoors, so you don’t need any special conditions – just 3 AA batteries!
Automatic laser cat toy
Randomized 360-degree rotation
Encourages natural hunting instincts and exercise
Automatic 15-min shut off feature prevents over-excitement
Requires 3 AA batteries
If you’re after cool cat toys that will not only entertain and tire your kitty but also double as a nice sleeping area, check out Catit’s Super Roller Circuit Toy. This 8-piece circuit is made from multiple high and low sections which allow the motion-activated and illuminated ball to quickly move around the tracks, enticing even the most apathetic of felines and encouraging healthy play. The toy has large openings along the circuit which allow your kitty to safely reach inside and touch the ball. Although not intended as such, the toy also makes for a nice bed – the shape of the circuit is comfy and perfect for cat naps!
Interactive cat toy
8-piece circuit with a motion-activated illuminated ball
Enticing high and low design propels the ball at high speeds
Promotes healthy play and exercise
If you have a super-curious cat, the SmartCat’s Peek-a-Prize box may be something they’d love to have. Made from heavy-duty wood, this box with holes hides the toys partially (or whatever else you place inside it), enticing the cat to seek the “prey” and fish it out. Besides toys – and two come with the box – you can also place catnip or treats inside, which is guaranteed to entice even the laziest of cats. While simple in its design, this toy is very effective at engaging cats, especially the already curious ones, making it great for independent entertainment.
Box for hiding toys + 2 toys
Durable, made from heavy-duty wood
Keeps cats mentally and physically sharp
Works with any appropriately sized toy, treat or catnip
Best Cat Toys Buying Guide & FAQ
Cat toys provide your cat with much needed mental and physical stimulation, keeping them sharp, fit and happy. And while most toys are designed for entertainment, there are some double-purpose models on the market, including toy scratchers, dental toys and more. How to decide which toys are the best cat toys for your pet? If you only need something to keep your cat occupied while you’re away, you have many options to choose from. If your kitty could benefit from teeth cleaning as well, it’s best to purchase a chew toy for cat. If you need something for claw sharpening, toys with built-in scratchers are your best bet. Still confused by the sheer number of cat toys on the market? No worries, our buying guide is here to help!
Things to Look for in a Cat Toy
To purchase the best toy for your cat, consider the following things.
Does your cat need a simple toy for entertainment only or do they need a toy that fulfills multiple needs? For instance, if your kitty refuses to have their teeth cleaned the traditional way, they may greatly benefit from a chewing toy that will help remove tartar and massage their gums. If they don’t have a scratching post, consider buying a cat toy with a built-in scratcher as scratching is a natural and healthy behavior for all cats. Likewise, if your cat is on the heavier side, look for toys that are first and foremost physically engaging (interactive toys are great for this!).
- Durability and Safety
One of the most important things to pay attention to when buying cat toys is safety. You don’t want any products that are made from toxic materials and fabrics, and you certainly don’t want toys that can become choking hazards. Besides safety, also pay attention to the construction and design of the toy as you want a durable product, one that your kitty cannot destroy in a matter of minutes. Of course, if you have an especially rambunctious, hyper-active cat, you can’t expect the toy to last for years. Still, it’s wise to look for products that are durable and sturdy.
To be effective, a toy needs to be engaging – able to entice even the laziest, most apathetic of felines. But what is engaging to one cat may be boring to another, so how does one find a fun cat toy? Instead of relying on reviews only, consider your cat’s preferences too. After all, you know your pet better than anyone, so take their previous likes and dislikes into account. If this is your first time buying cat toys, it’s a good idea to pick a few different ones and see which your kitty likes best.
How to Clean Cat Toys
Because cats like to chew their toys and carry them around anywhere they go, and we like to snuggle and kiss our furry companions, it’s important to keep their toys clean. If you own washable toys, chuck them in the washing machine every once in a while, as this is the easiest and most efficient way to keep them clean. Of course, you want to make sure you’re following the washing instructions on the toy as some can only be hand-washed. As for plastic, wood and other toys, you can just wipe them with hot water and a little bit of soap when they get dirty. To ensure the soap you’re using is safe for your kitty, use an all-natural, non-toxic soap bar or detergent, or an actual pet-safe cleaner.
The Potential Dangers of Cat Toys
Everything comes with a “potentially dangerous” label when it comes to pets, including their very own toys. To ensure your cat’s safety, it’s best to always supervise their playing sessions. If that’s not an option, make sure your cat doesn’t have access to the following household objects and/or toys:
- Dental floss, ribbon, string, elastic yarn
- Plastic bags
- Very small toys or toys with small parts inside
- Delicate, not well-built dangling, feather and bell toys.
You should be especially careful with strings, ribbons and other fabrics because your cat can easily swallow it. The reason your cat’s tongue feels sharp and hairy? There are small, backward-facing barbs on feline tongues that, when presented with a string of some sort, can act like Velcro, forcing the cat to continue ingesting it instead of spitting it out. Needless to say, swallowed strings and other fabrics can lead to a host of serious problems. As for very delicate toys such as those with feathers, bells and other small attachments, they can be choking hazards. Thankfully, there is a very small risk of your cat ingesting toy parts if the toy is well-built and sturdy. That’s why it’s important to buy only good-quality, durable cat toys.
Best Cat Toys FAQ:
Q: Do Cats Get Bored of Toys?
A: Like all animals, cats can get bored with things, including their toys. While some kitties can stay interested in the simplest stuffed toys for months on end, some kitties get bored quickly no matter the toy. How to keep a cat entertained? The key is to choose toys that fit your pet’s preferences the best. If your cat is curious and likes exploring things, consider purchasing puzzle-like toys – models that hide smaller toys that your cat has to find or fish out or those that dispense treats when the pet hits the right button. If your kitty is quite pampered and generally finicky, consider going all out – toys with bells and whistles, both interactive and automatic may be exactly what they need.
Q: How Often Should You Play with Your Cat?
A: To keep the bond with your cat strong, as well as your kitty entertained and physically fit, it’s a good idea to have 10-15 minute play sessions at least twice a day, preferably more. You can use any toy you have at hand, including the fun, interactive models, or simpler toys such as stuffed animals - the best cat toys are the ones which allow you to play with your pet so use whatever works best for you!
Q: Are Laser Cat Toys Safe?
A: Laser cat toys are perfectly safe for both cats and humans as long as you don’t shine the light directly into your pet’s or your own eyes. Even if the beam hits your or your kitty’s eyes for a second during play, there’s no reason to worry (just don’t make it a habit). The potential problem with laser cat toys are the never-winning games they create– no matter how much your cat tries to catch the dot, they'll never make it! This can lead to overly-excited, frustrated pets that can’t calm down for hours after the game has ended. Thankfully, there is a solution to this problem – after you’ve played with laser, switch to a “real” toy, something that your kitty can actually catch and “kill”.
- Cats Need to Play—and Prey: Pillar 3 of a Healthy Environment - Veterinary Medicine at Illinois