Best Cat Toys
A thoroughly researched review & guide about the most popular toys for cats
Cats are unique creatures, especially among pets. Any cat owner will tell you that having a pet cat can be closer to having a small, furry human in the house with you than just about any other type of pet. They can be picky, moody, and develop their own mannerisms. Another thing they have in common with humans is their need to exercise and play, and both of those needs can be filled with the best cat toys.
While cats may seem to be able to amuse themselves with everything from a discarded paper towel tube to the always-popular empty cardboard box, your cat needs a bit more stimulation and exercise than those can provide. Take a moment and look at Cat World's list of 11 of the top cat toys on the market today, and give your cat a healthier life and a lot of fun, all at the same time. If you have a kitten, you may want to check out our list of the best kitten toys available on the market today.
SmartCat Peek-A-Prize Cat Toy
Cats are built to hunt; their instincts and reflexes are designed to allow them to quickly react to movement and pounce on unsuspecting prey (or even suspecting prey, for that matter). The Peek-A-Prize tops our list because of how much activity is packed into one great product for your cat.
One of the best features of this product is that it uses your cat’s favorite toys. With some of their favorite playthings partially or mostly hidden from view, your cat’s hunting instincts are in for a workout!
Of course, there’s no reason you can’t add some new toys or even catnip to the mix. This is a deceptively-simple member of the list is perfectly designed to appeal to your cat’s natural instincts.
Pet Fit For Life Multi Feather Teaser and Exerciser
Wand toys are always a hit when you’re considering toys to get for your feline friend, and this one is easily one of the more favorite cat toys available.
Made from totally safe materials, this long wand is designed to give your cat the maximum amount of fun while putting their hunting skills to use and giving them a healthy workout in the bargain. This entry in the list includes two different feathered “lures” which are irresistible to cats. Giving the appearance of a small bird fluttering around, your cat’s instincts will take over, sending them into a frenzy of activity.
And there’s another bonus with this toy; you’ll most likely have as much fun as your cat when you play with this together!
Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel – Collapsible 3-Way Play Toy
Cats love enclosed spaces. If you’ve ever left an empty box unattended around your cat, you already know this cat fact. The Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel gives them an enclosed space with some bonuses.
This cool cat toy has not one, but three different tunnels built in. However, while your cat may be satisfied with just that, Prosper Pet went a few steps further. “Crinkle crackle paper” is built-in, plus the center area features a peephole, which lets your cat pop up in the middle of a play session to say “Hello!” All this, plus an included bell toy, make the Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel a natural inclusion in this list.
One feature that you’ll love; the Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel is easily portable, collapsing into a small package for easy transport.
Petstages Tower of Tracks
This entry on our list is a fun one; the Tower of Tracks has three separate tracks with a ball inside each one. When your cat bats at one of the brightly-colored balls with a paw, it shoots around the track, and the chase is on!
The Tower has a non-slip base and sturdy construction with no sharp edges to cause your cat problems, and the balls are safely enclosed in the tracks, allowing full access to the fun without any danger of the balls being batted loose and getting lost.
This fun cat toy is a fantastic way to put some exercise and enjoyment into the daily routine of your cat, or even several cats, as this is a great toy for multiple cats to enjoy.
SnugglyCat The Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat
At first glance, this might not look like one of the best toys for cats, but really, your opinion doesn’t matter. The only opinion that does is your cat’s, and they are going to love the Ripple Rug.
Measuring a massive 35 inches by 47 inches, this is one of the largest and most innovative play mats on the market for cats, but the best part of this design is the fact that it’s an ever-changing play surface. The surface is made of special non-fray carpet that’s stain and mildew resistant, with the top surface able to be shaped into an unlimited number of ways, meaning your cat will never get bored.
Scratching, stretching, hiding, pouncing, stalking, hunting…it’s all in this fantastic example of what a “best cat toy” can be.
Skitter Critters Cat Toys Catnip Mice
Cats and mice: everyone knows that cats are driven to hunt these small critters, while mice are driven to run for their lives (at least the smart ones). This example of the best cat toys on the market is a bit of a no-brainer; the phrase “cat and mouse” is part of the language for a reason.
Each pack contains ten colorful mice that will immediately get your cat’s attention. Of course, there’s no reason not to improve on nature when designing a cat toy, which is what SmartyKat did when designing these.
Each mouse is spiced up with pure catnip, which will take your cat from “interested” to “on the hunt and focused” almost immediately. Cats want to hunt, and these cute cat toys are precisely the prey they’ve always dreamed of.
Fashion’s Talk 20-piece Cat Toys Variety Pack
Just like people, cats can grow bored of the same entertainment options day after day. Fashion’s Talk understands this, and helping to avoid that problem was the driving force behind this example of the top rated cat toys on the market.
The name says it all; this variety pack has 20 different toys to hold your cat’s attention for a long time. This pack has a little bit of everything included…balls, feathers, mice, more feathers and a lot more. With bright colors and solid construction from safe materials, your feline friend could have a new toy every other day for over a month!
Fashion’s Talk did an excellent job of putting together a fantastic assortment of fun cat toys for a reasonable price; this pack has something for every cat.
PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser
If your cat is starting to lean toward being a “fat” cat, this is one of the coolest cat toys to add to your cat’s toy box. This plastic ball has an area inside to hold food or treats. There are holes that allow your cat to get food from the ball by playing with it, but it can be more difficult than it sounds. The team at Cat World has actually compiled a list of the best motorized cat toys available today, if that is more of what you're looking for.
The holes are configurable by you, allowing you to let the treats flow freely as it’s batted around, or limiting the amount of food your cat can get out of the ball. The more weight your cat needs to lose, the harder you can make it for them to get food.
This helps in two ways; not only does it limit the amount your cat can eat, but it also prompts a lot of physical activity, helping your cat get into better shape with exercise.
YOFUN Interactive 360 Degree Self Rotating Ball
This one was destined to appear on any list of the best cat toys. Cats are made for the hunt, and that means anything that’s small and moving is going to hold their attention for hours.
This cool cat toy is battery-powered but includes five changes of batteries with your purchase. This ball does exactly what you think it does; the internal motor drives this ball to roll in all directions, usually in unpredictable ones.
A side benefit of this ball that makes it a shoo-in for one of the best cat toys available is how much fun you’ll have watching your cat play with it. If you want to keep both your cat and you entertained and laughing, the YOFUN 360 Degree Self Rotating Ball is a must-have.
MYIDEA Cat Tent with Hanging Cat Toys
Your cat is your baby, and that means there are toys for your cat that resemble those designed for a human baby. Cats like variety in their playtime and this Play Mat from MYIDEA packs a lot of entertainment possibilities into one single area.
The four hanging toys will immediately fascinate your cat, but don’t discount the playmat itself. It’s soft and well-cushioned, which means that your cat may climb aboard to play with the toys, but you could soon notice that the mat has become a favorite lounging spot.
Like most of the most awesome cat toys, this play mat is collapsible and easily portable, making it easy to store or take with you on the go, giving your cat entertainment and fun wherever you are.
Types of Cat Toys
Every cat owner knows that cats are very much individuals. What one cat will fall in love with, another cat may turn its nose up to. Some cats have a stronger hunting instinct, which means a particular type of toy will appeal to them more than one based on food, for example. Keep this list in mind when deciding what kind of cool cat toys to get for your friend.
Clearly, cats and mice fight like, well, cats and mice. But birds are a solid number two on most cats’ hit lists. Feather-based toys stimulate these instincts in your cat, giving them plenty of opportunities to exercise their bodies and their instincts. Some feather toys are not attached to anything, while others are attached to a stick or wand to allow you to simulate the action of a real bird, which is sure to drive your cat wild.
Speaking of wands, these are a common type of cat play toy, and at least one of this type of toy usually appears on any list of the best cat toys. A wand toy is essentially a small fishing pole; at the end of the line is a lure. However, you’re not fishing for anything but fun with this type of toy. The lure can be anything that gets your cat into motion; some have a mouse-like toy at the end of the line, while others have a feathered lure. The feathered variety allows you to simulate the flight of a small bird just out of your cat’s reach, which prompts a lot of jumping, swiping and pouncing. These fun cat toys are a great way to play with your cat without being on the receiving end of their claws.
This type of fun cat toy earns its place on most “best of” lists because it promotes good health for your cat in two different ways, especially if your feline friend could stand to lose a few ounces (or pounds). First, it motivates your cat to be more active by tempting it with food or treats. It does this by keeping those treats secured behind a puzzle which the cat must figure out in order to eat. This not only prompts activity but can be used to limit the amount of food your cat eats. This type of cat toy is a diet disguised as playtime.
Most of the types listed above also have an electronic version available. If a toy uses batteries (or any electricity), it’s an electronic toy. Things like lasers and motorized toys fall into this category. These can be popular, but eventually, the batteries must be replaced, so there will be a small but ongoing expense.
Around 80 percent of cats react favorably to the stimulant qualities of catnip…very favorably. Many cats love catnip to the extreme, becoming so happy as to appear to be either on drugs or going crazy. However, there’s one caution here; your cat may be in the 20% that don’t care about catnip at all. If they don’t, they won’t be impressed with their new catnip toy. The other 80% will place any catnip-based toy on their list of best toys immediately.
Cat Ball toys
You can find examples of cat ball toys included in most types of fun cat toys. From simple balls with a bell or catnip inside to food-dispensing puzzle balls and ball toys on wands, cat ball toys are an almost-universal favorite for cats.
Cats love to hide. Their ancestors spent a lot of time hidden from view, stalking their prey, and those instincts are still alive inside them today. Cat tunnels give your cat the ability to play out of sight, which fills a fundamental drive. Many cat tunnels include features of other types of the best cat toys as well, such as hanging toys, noise making materials like “crinkle” paper, or others.
Cats do love to hide, and in their past, they usually hid in trees or other high places. This allowed them to see any potential prey from high ground, giving them an advantage while hunting. Cat tree toys give your cat an opportunity to take the high ground without leaving a trail of claw marks from the floor to their perch, usually across your furniture. If you find that your kitty likes to scratch your furniture, check out our list of the best scratching posts for cats! Other types of fun cat toys are often incorporated into cat trees, including cat tunnels, catnip, and hanging toys. Cat trees might not look exciting to you, but it’s one of the best cat toys ever in any cat’s opinion.
Jackie Johnston is the founder of Cat Word – a community of cat enthusiasts with a mission to spread as much knowledge as they can throughout the world on every aspect of raising and nurturing cats! In her spare time, Jackie loves reading and spending time with her two sons Logan and Christopher, and of course with their furry felines Simba and Max.