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When you have an adorable kitty as a pet, it’s hard not to spoil them with endless cat toys and new forms of play. It’s the ideal way to build a loving bond, ensure they get enough exercise, engage their natural instincts, and are mentally and physically stimulated enough not to tear up your couch. Of course, like people, cat’s recreational activity preferences will differ between breeds and personalities. Some kitties love a feather on a stick or batting simple balls around the house. Meanwhile, others enjoy a good laser chase or tearing around the house and through a cat tunnel (extra points if it’s at 3 am). Luckily, there are plenty of excellent options available next time you feel like treating your fur baby (or yourself) to some new cat toys.
Best Cat Toys
1. HIPIPET Automatic Cat Laser
A lot is going on with the HIPIPET Automatic Cat Laser, and your feline friend is sure to love every part of it. The laser projects onto the floor, giving your cat something to chase, stalk and hunt. The 360-degree irregular motion keeps it entertaining, engaging and challenging. Additionally, it features removable feather tufts to give your kitty something different to play with. An internal sensor chip automatically turns the laser off after four minutes to prevent overstimulation and wearing your cat out too quickly. However, as soon as your cat gives it a boop or walks by, it turns back on. Safety features include an anti-tip chassis so your pets can’t knock it over, plus it’s made from sturdy, non-toxic ABS material for long life.
2. Dancing Fish Toy for Indoor Cats
Big Mouth Billy Bass has made the transition from singing wall fish to stimulating cat toy. This floppy fish, with its dancing motion, is undoubtedly reminiscent of the kitsch ’90s wall adornment. However, your kitty is going to love it! Start by charging it via USB, then flip the “on” switch to enable the motion sensor. The fish comes alive when hit or shaken, so it continues to move with every cat attack. It’s a great workout, both physically and mentally. If your fur baby needs a little extra encouragement, there are also two catnip pouches for additional engagement. Plus, the soft fabric outers can be separated from the power box, meaning you can chuck it in the wash if it gets a bit gross.
3. UPSKY Cat Toy Roller 3-Level Turntable
Keep your feline friend entertained for hours with this triple-level rolling ball turntable. Sometimes simple is all you need with cat toys, and this is perfect. Each layer clips together easily, trapping the balls yet still allowing them to move freely around each level. Your cat can look through the spy holes and hone its hunting skills. There are three bell balls and three colorful plain balls, giving your kitty a mix of sounds and textures. They’ll not only be able to amuse themselves by batting them around, but it’s also ideal for multiple animals. The broad base also makes it hard to knock over, so you don’t need to worry about the fun stopping when you’re not around.
4. Interactive Robotic Cat Toy
Let the robots do some of the work in entertaining your cat. This self-rotating robot boasts flashing LED wheels and a springy feather wand to entice your cat to play. It charges easily and has different modes for hard floors and carpet. Irregular automatic steering with multi-track running increases your cat’s activity, giving them a great workout. Plus, it taps into their hunting instincts as they stalk and pounce on their prey. Other features include obstacle sensing to avoid collisions and an auto-timer that works in one and a half hour intervals, turning off after 10 minutes of play for some well-earned rest. You’ll get three to four hours of action off a full two-hour charge.
5. BlackHole Litter Mat Store Indoor Cat Interactive Swimming Fish Toy
If your cat doesn’t completely loathe water, then these battery-operated fish are an excellent aquatic game. Simply fill a large bowl with clean water, insert the batteries into the four fish, and pop them in. They have an automatic swimming feature, so as soon as they hit the water, the cute little robotic fins start moving. Flashing LED lights also grab your kitty’s attention, drawing them in for a closer look. It’s a brilliant way to stimulate your fur baby’s natural hunting instincts and gently introduce them to water. Best of all, when the fish are removed and dried, they automatically turn off to save battery for continued play another day.
6. SereneLife Automatic Cat Laser Toy
Follow the red dot with this automatic laser cat toy from SereneLife. The funky dodecahedron design fits well with modern decor, satisfying human desires for an aesthetically pleasing home. However, it also satisfies kitty desires for fun, interactive play. The laser moves erratically and has adjustable speeds for constant engagement. Plus, depending on how you angle it, it will cover the floor and walls. The smalls size and battery power mean it’s exceptionally mobile and will go wherever you want to play with your furry friends. When you’re not around, you can also set up autopilot mode to keep your cat entertained.
7. Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder
Prompt your furry friend to do some thinking with an interactive treat maze. It encourages the use of instincts such as scratching, sniffing, and searching to discover hidden rewards. There are three levels of difficulty, so your cat can improve their skills the more they play. It’s a brilliant boredom buster and stimulates your kitty physically and mentally. Plus, it can also be a valuable tool for food and weight management. If your cat inhales their dinner as if they’ve literally never been fed, you can slow down their eating by putting the kibble in the box and making them work for it. The same applies for aiding weight management and improving digestion.
8. Hartz Cattraction Silver Vine & Catnip Cat Toys
Just because you like to spoil your fur babies with cat toys doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. These catnip mice are a brilliant cheap thrill. The sisal outers are ideal for digging claws into, while the combination of silvervine and catnip stimulates and attracts your cat for lively play. Silvervine, which is similar to catnip, grows in the mountainous regions of eastern Asia is natural and effective. A bell on the tail of each mouse adds another level of excitement for batting and chasing around the house.
9. Pet Craft Supply Co. Kitty Condor Crazy Catnip Cuddler
These soft, slightly alarming-looking birds are perfect for cat cuddles and play. The plush interiors are stuffed with pure, natural catnip for maximum potency, stimulation, and attraction. A mix of textures, including bright red feathers, is engaging and encourages your furry friend’s wild hunting, stalking, and pouncing instincts. It’s also an ideal size for most cats and is light enough to carry yet large enough to snuggle when they get tired. Your kitty won’t feel any kind of boredom with this you around. Plus, it comes as a two-pack, so you’ve got a spare for when the first gets worn out.
10. MeoHui Interactive Cat Feather Toys
Simplicity is key with these cat feather toys. They’re a classic choice that allows you to build a playful and loving bond with your feline friends. The rod is flexible, lightweight, and long, so all ages can use it without getting hands in the firing line of any sharp claws. Your cat is encouraged to flip, jump, pounce, stalk and hunt the many attachments, including feathery and fluffy options. The set comes with two telescopic wands, two extra strings, five feather attachments, and four squiggly worm attachments. Best of all, it’s a brilliant price point and well within most budgets.
11. Goopow Cat Toy Automatic, Interactive Laser Toy
Shiny things are the ultimate distraction for a cat. As such, a laser toy is a perfect choice to entertain your fur baby. The light darts sporadically around the floor, encouraging them to chase it down. This particular model from Goopow has a large play area with five different circle size settings depending on your space and cat’s needs. There’s also the option for fast and slow light, as well as flashing. Make life easy by turning on the automatic timer – it gives kitty 15 minutes of playtime with 360-degree rotation, then turns off for three hours. This ensures your cat doesn’t get overstimulated or tired. However, if you want, there is also a manual mode. It’s powered either by a USB charger or four AAA batteries.
12. OurPets Play-N-Squeak Mouse Hunter Cat Toy
Encourage your cat’s natural hunting instincts with this realistic mouse toy. It features an electronic sound module, that upon paw impact makes a realistic squeaking sound. It’s a great way to give your cat mental and physical exercise, relieve stress, and alleviate boredom. The mouse also comes with catnip inside to add appeal to your cat. While it’s excellent for your kitty, and they’ll love you for getting them one, if you have musophobia (fear of mice), you might want to look at less realistic options!
13. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Cat Toy
What secrets lie under the mat? This is what your kitty will be asking itself when you break out this game that’s sure to fascinate and entertain. A central unit sits beneath a mat, erratically moving the arm with fluffy attachment and shining lights from underneath. It replicates the movement of hidden prey that your feline has to hunt. Select from four different speeds and two prey attachments. Cat toys like this not only satisfy the natural hunting instinct but it helps you bond with your fur baby and encourages healthy exercise.
14. FYNIGO Cat Interactive Toys with a Running Mice and a Scratching Pad
If your cat is a scratcher, then channel that destructive energy into some other than your couch or dining chairs. This multi-purpose cat toy features a scratchpad for energetic clawing, plus a running mouse for interactive play. Once the mouse is tapped, it will rotate in the track giving your kitty something to chase. There’s no power or battery needed, just a curious cat. It’s brilliant for getting your feline friend fit, alleviating boredom, and stimulating their hunting instincts.
15. Legendog 5Pcs Catnip Toy
Let your cat bite or chew away any boredom or anxiety with this set of five catnip toys. The cute cartoon kitties are filled with soft PP cotton and natural catnip to attract and stimulate your kitty’s senses. Meanwhile, the exteriors are resilient but soft cotton linen that won’t damage your cat’s teeth but instead will help to clean them. The size is also great for bunny kicking, which is both a self-defense and hunting move. Not that your cat would have too much preference, but the set also comes in different colors and designs.
16. DELOMO Cat Light Toy
Light up your kitty’s life with this laser light toy. This particular model is very small, just under five and a half inches tall, making it portable and easy to hold in your hand to play with your cat. All it needs is USB charging, and it works for ten to 12 hours on a full battery. Select from two speeds, slow or fast, to match your furry friend’s energy (because even cats need lazy days). The light then moves randomly across the floor and up the walls, giving your pet plenty to chase and hunt. It’s a fun and interactive exercise to keep your kitty fit.
17. Mibote 30 Pcs Cat Toys Kitten Toys Assorted
If you really want to spoil your kitty for their birthday, gotcha day, or just because, this 30 piece set is a great idea. It’s packed full of different cat toys to entertain them in different ways. The lineup includes a cat tunnel which is ideal for shooting through during the 2 am zoomies. There’s also a tumbler toy, feather wand, teaser wand, and a catnip fish to kick and chew. Next are ten balls in various styles, two fake fur mice, three cotton mice, a linen ball with extra feathers, and a column bell toy. Even though your feline friend may like to keep them stored all over the house and underfoot, there is a human-friendly storage bag that helps contain the chaos when the toys aren’t in use.
18. PAKESI Cat Toy Ball, 3 pack
Bring the sounds of nature indoors with this three-pack of balls. Each unit makes a different animal call when touched. One sounds like a frog, another like a bird, and the third like crickets. These calls of the wild will attract your cat and engage their hunting senses as if they were out in nature. If your kitty isn’t as interested as you’d like, you can also take the lid off to add some fresh or dried catnip into the center for additional stimulation. These cat toys have the best result when used on hard floors or thin carpets; however, they can get stuck on thick carpets or rugs.
19. Allstar Innovations Pop N’ Play Interactive Motion Cat Toy
If you know how much fun Whac-A-Mole is at the arcade, then you know how much fun your cat will have with this Pop’n’Play toy from Allstar Innovations. It comes with the base unit, plus two interchangeable peek-a-boo toys. Set it on a surface with plenty of room for your kitty to move, hit the play button, and sit back to enjoy the adorableness. Not only do the sporadic movements stimulate your cat physically, but mentally as well. There’s also an optional chirping sound to add another level of intrigue. It automatically shuts off after 15 minutes of play to give your furry friend a chance to rest.
20. OurPets Play-N-Squeak Real Birds Cat Toys
It’s real-life Angry Birds with this Play-N-Squeak cat toy from OurPets. Your cat will enjoy a good workout batting and chasing this soft toy around your home. It contains catnip for extra stimulation, plus it has an audio module that makes realistic chirping sounds to fuel your kitty’s hunting fire. Not only is it great for a physical workout, but also for mental exercise to alleviate boredom and create a bond with your fur baby. While the bright red cardinal Fly Over style is undoubtedly eye-catching, there are other bird options, including the green Buzz-Off and blue J-Bird.
21. Cat Dancer 101
Keep it super simple with a Cat Dancer 101. This is a great way for you to play with your feline friends and create a lasting bond. The design is basic and consists of a spring steel wire with rolled cardboard on the end. Simply dangle it in front of your cat and watch in joy as they try to catch the cardboard bait. The wire mover erratically, making it more challenging and mentally stimulating.
22. Tempcore Cat Tunnel
Everyone knows cats love to hide then jump out and attack your ankles as you walk by innocently. Consequently, this three-way tunnel is perfect for just that! It’s made with a sprung steel frame and strong, tear-resistant polyester. It also includes a peephole and elasticated dangling ball for extra play. Your furry friend will stay entertained, active, and happy. Best of all, it also folds up into a compact size, so you can store it easily out of the way when not in use or take it traveling if your cat likes to occasionally visit grandma for the weekend.
23. Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy Midnight Crazies
Entice your cat into a game of chasey with these Midnight Crazies balls. They each have a textured surface for erratic rolling and contain a jingly bell for aural stimulation. Your feline friend can happily spend hours batting, chasing, and pouncing on these toys as they engage a natural hunting instinct. It’s ideal for solo and interactive play. Just be prepared for going a little crazy yourself at midnight when kitty decides it’s time to noisily swat them around the house during the witching hour.
24. Petstages Cat Tracks Cat Toy
Get the games going with this tower of tracks. It has three levels with spinning balls that move around when batted, swatted, and swiped. Your cat will enjoy plenty of mental and physical stimulation, with entertainment for hours. The sturdy construction is hard-wearing, and there’s a non-slip base for increased safety. The central opening also has a safety bar to prevent curious kitties from getting stuck. No matter what age your fur baby is, they’ll love this playtime toy.
25. SmartyKat Fringe Frenzy Cat Activity Tunnel
Level up your cat’s tunnel game with this deluxe style that comes with fun fringing for extra excitement. It also features dangling ribbons for additional attack fun. Not only is it great for play, but it also engages the stalking (hiding) instincts that go along with hunting. However, be wary of your toes as you walk past, just in case you’re the targeted prey! Finally, even though it’s a massive 20 inches long when out, it does pack up into a very compact size for convenient storage.
Why Cats Need Cat Toys
Despite being adorable little balls of fur, cats are natural-born hunters. Out in the wild, they would be stalking and hunting small prey like birds and mice for both entertainment and nutrition. However, when they live indoors as pets, this need isn’t satisfied (apart from catching the occasional gecko or spider, and then freaking out about it). As such, it’s crucial to provide this stimulation through alternate means or toys. Your cat gets mental and physical exercise, they satisfy those natural needs, you form a close and secure bond, and no other small animals or insects get harmed.
Playing is a beautiful way to bond with your cat. The human-kitty connection is a complex one that is fostered through the provision of love, care, and security. Playing comes into that because you’re fulfilling some of your feline friend’s core needs for exercise, hunting, and mental stimulation. You can tell if your cat has bonded with you through its behavior. They show love through slow blinks, kneading (also known as making biscuits), head boops, bringing gifts, and grooming you.
Just like people, cats can get bored. They need both physical and mental stimulation to keep active, burn off energy, and not engage in anxious or destructive behavior. Providing your kitty with a selection of cat toys and actively playing with them is the perfect way to do this. Signs of a bored cat can include over grooming, moping and inactivity, self-stimulation such as clawing your couch, and overeating.
As mentioned previously, cats are natural-born hunters. When they live indoors, they don’t have the opportunity to satisfy this need. Providing toys that emulate hunting and stalking is the best way to combat this. Lasers, toy mice, feather wands, interactive feeders, and puzzle toys are all brilliant options. Additionally, by providing your cat with artificial prey, it also means they’re less likely to hunt and kill real animals such as mice, bugs, or birds if they happen to get the chance.
What makes a good cat toy?
A good cat toy will engage your cat in several ways. It will stimulate them mentally, provide exercise, and fulfill the natural instincts to hunt. It will also let you bond with kitty, forming a complex but loving relationship. Finally, it will also be safe for your cat and not pose a risk of swallowing, choking, stabbing, suffocation, or strangulation. Regardless of how harmless a toy might seem, it’s essential to always supervise playtime.
What are the best toys for indoor cats?
Some of the best toys for indoor cats include lasers, roller turntables, catnip stuffed soft toys, toy wands, and balls they can bat and chase around the house.
How do I keep my indoor cat entertained?
The best way to keep your indoor cat entertained is by playing with them using various toys. Different designs stimulate and engage your cat in different ways, so it's good to mix things up. A solid collection will include a laser, some balls, a catnip kicker, a tunnel, and a feather wand or two. That way, they have an excellent selection, and you also won’t get bored playing with them!
How do I keep my cat entertained while I'm at work?
While it’s not ideal to leave your cat unsupervised with toys, one of the best options for when you’re at work is a laser toy with automatic timing. You can set these up, so they turn on and off throughout the day to give your feline friend periods of stimulation then rest. It fulfills the hunting needs, provides exercise, and mentally stimulates your cat. It’s also a lower-risk toy for kitty to play with; just make sure to have the laser moving in an open, clear area, so there’s no risk of knocking stuff down.
What is the best phone app for playing with cats?
There are some brilliant phone apps for your kitty, but one of the best is Mouse for Cats. It’s optimized for cat play, has nine different levels, has vibrations, and uses mouse sounds. Set your phone or tablet on a soft, safe surface, and let your cat hunt away. They’ll be entertained for ages!
What cat toys should I avoid?
While there are heaps of great cat toys on the market, some pose a higher safety risk and should be avoided. Small toys and toys with tiny components can be swallowed, causing suffocation, choking, or blockages. You should also avoid using household items such as string, paper clips, rubber bands, and plastic bags as toys. These can also cause stabbing, suffocation, choking, or even strangulation. Another toy to be careful with is feathers, as they can cause lacerations to your fur baby’s mouth. However, the most important thing to remember is that you should always supervise your cat while playing, even if you think their toys are safe. That way, if anything were to go wrong, you’re nearby to help out.
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