Best Interactive Cat Toys
A comprehensive guide about top automated cat toys
The old ball of yarn and squeaky mouse definitely have their place in your cat’s toy collection, but if you really want to satisfy his constant need for physical and mental stimulation an interactive cat toy is definitely the way to go. If you have a younger kitten in the house, you should check out our in depth list of the best kitten toys available today!
From dancing lasers to rotating butterflies to challenging toy boxes, there’s something out there for even the most discerning cat. And the best part is these great toys can keep him busy for hours on end. If interactivity is not a requirement, you can check out our list of the best overall cat toys.
To help you choose the best one for your little furball, our experts have put together a list of the top 8 interactive cat toys on the market today.
Let’s take a closer look…
SmartCat Peek-A-Prize Cat Toy Box
Although it looks like a basic wooden box with holes in it, don’t let its appearance fool you. This is a very well-built, well-designed interactive toy that your cat will really enjoy.
The Toy Box comes with two balls about the size of ping pong balls, but the great thing about this one is you can use just about anything that fits inside. It can be another ball or small toy, or even a healthy treat to reward your cat for his efforts.
You can also add some catnip if your cat needs a little encouragement to try it out. But most owners say that their cats took to it right away, and they really appreciated the fact that you can rotate the toys and treats to keep your furry friend interested.
PetDroid Robotic Cat Toy
The PetDroid is a neat little toy that your cat will absolutely love. Its operation is fairly simple but it will surely keep your furry friend entertained. Several owners that we talked to said that this one quickly became their cat’s favorite toy in the house.
The PetDroid sits on the floor or mounts to the wall and features two moving “mouse tails” that pop in and out of six different holes in five different patterns. There are three holes on the top of the unit and three holes on the sides, keeping your cat on its toes, or paws rather.
The tails are made of safe silica gel so it’s OK if your cat bites or chews on it. It operates in automatic or manual mode and can even make mouse sounds to further intrigue your cat.
WingPet Interactive Ball Toy
This is one of the most unique interactive cat toys we have ever come across, with several cool features that the others on our list don’t have.
The WingPet is a shaking, spinning green tumbler with a feather on top and holes that release cat treats hidden inside. It whirls around and makes chirping sounds as well.
Your cat will just love swatting at the vibrating feather and even the base itself as it dances around the floor or table. It’s a silly, funny little toy that will please even the most finicky cat.
It’s also one of the only ones with color options, available in either pink or blue.
Petronics Mousr Motorized Robotic Cat Toy
The Mousr is definitely one of the coolest interactive cat toys on the market today. It was named Best New Cat Product of 2018 by the American Pet Products Association, and for good reason.
As the name implies, it’s a little robotic mouse that “runs” around the house with a motorized tail that flicks through the air. It automatically senses when your cat comes near and reacts accordingly.
There are three different play strategies to choose from and you can even use your smart phone as a remote control for the Mousr. Plus, it comes with interchangeable tail attachments to keep things interesting and drives on any surface in your house.
When playtime is over, simply place Mousr in the charging station and he’ll be ready to go when it’s time for another run. Its internal 220mAh battery keeps it light weight and functional.
SereneLife Automatic Cat Laser Toy
Sometimes a simple laser light is all you need to keep your cat fully entertained.
The SereneLife Automatic Cat Laser Toy projects a red LED dot on the floor or the wall in an unpredictable pattern, challenging your furry friend both mentally and physically.
It can be placed anywhere in the house, and turns on with the touch of a button. Then, when your cat is finished playing it automatically turns off after 30 minutes to save battery life.
Your cat will be intrigued by the dancing light, which can be set to slow, medium or fast rotation, or simply paused and aimed in a particular direction.
It’s very highly rated at Amazon, and customers have raved about how much their cats love following the red dot around the room.
Patgoal Electric Cat Toys With Rotating Running Mice
This fun interactive toy for cats combines many of the attributes of the other toys on our list into one. It features a yellow mouse that scurries around a circular track, passing three “overpasses” along the way with different sized holes.
What makes this one unique is the fact that your cat can swipe at the mouse when it is out in the open and also reach into one of the holes with his paw when the mouse is not as accessible.
It also changes direction periodically, and you can choose from four different speeds: low, medium, high and variable. After a period of time the Patgoal turns itself off, conserving battery power.
Kitty City Large Cat Tunnel Bed
Play and sleep in the same place? Sounds like a fun time to me. The Kitty City combines a large, circular tunnel for play with a soft, comfortable, round bed for rest or sleep.
Just zip it together to form one continuous loop or unzip it for in and out play. It’s large enough to accommodate any size cat, but kittens will love it too. Plus, there’s an added catnip toy that hangs from the tunnel opening.
The best part is that the bed is machine washable, so all you have to do is unzip it and throw it in the washer. And it folds up in just a few minutes for easy storage or transport.
The company also offers a cube bed, moon bed and teepee bed in the same pattern, so you can collect the others if your cat enjoys the tunnel.
Bascolor Electric Rotating Butterfly Toy
Cats love swatting at butterflies, so they will no doubt be fascinated with this awesome interactive cat toy. We’ve seen a number of similar products, but this one is a bit more durable than the others and will likely last much longer.
The Bascolor features a sturdy, anti-skid base and a large, colorful butterfly on a thin wire that flutters and spins 360 degrees.
The life-like butterfly is made of paper and plastic and the company gives you a spare one just in case your cat is a little aggressive with the first one.
If you already have the mice, balls, feathers and lights, why not add a butterfly to the collection? Your cat will just love the vibrant colors and life-like appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are interactive toys good for my cat?
Interactive toys are beneficial for a variety of reasons. For starters, most of them satisfy your cat’s natural hunting instinct. They feature running mice or rotating dots that they have to “hunt down” and this is very fulfilling for your cat.
These toys also stimulate the mind, as your cat has to figure out how to capture the mouse, get to the hidden treat or learn the pattern of a rotating butterfly. So, it requires some thinking, rather than the typical mindless play.
At the same time, interactive cat toys are physically stimulating, as they encourage running, pawing, stretching and reaching. So, they’re giving your cat a very good workout as well, which keeps him agile and strong.
Lastly, the toys keep your cat occupied when you’re not available to play or not at home. So, it eliminates the boredom factor that can lead to stress and depression. And if you are home, it can be bonding time as you sit and watch your cat have fun.
Are interactive cat toys expensive?
Although they are pricier than a ball of yarn or a squeaky toy, as you might have noticed the interactive toys that our experts have selected are surprisingly affordable. In fact, most of them are under $30, which isn’t so bad for a toy that will keep your cat occupied and happy for hours on end.
Because of their affordability, some of our readers have actually purchased two or more toys, either for multiple cats or just to have something to play with in different rooms.
Which toys should I choose?
That’s a very good question, but unfortunately, we can’t answer that for you. Every cat is different and a toy that one cat finds quite fascinating another may find boring.
All of the toys on our list are extremely popular, so look through them again and try to figure out which one your cat would like to play with.
Some require more work than others so if your cat tends to get frustrated easily then opt for one that is not so challenging. On the other hand, if your cat enjoys working for his reward, then your options will be more open.
Features To Consider
While you’re shopping for interactive cat toys there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you end up with the right product for your pet.
Cats will scratch, nip, bite and whack with their paws so make sure that you choose a toy that will stand up to the abuse. Better cat toys are built with this in mind and will even come with replacement parts for the more delicate elements of the toy. Read the descriptions very carefully, as well as the reviews, and try to avoid a toy that’s going to break the very first day.
Type & Style
As we touched on in the FAQ above, consider what would interest your cat and use that as your guide. Would he prefer to run around the room chasing the Petronics Mousr or stay in one spot with the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Peek-A-Prize Toy Box and hunt for a ball or a treat? Each toy is a little different, and appeals to different cats in different ways.
Some toys are battery operated, others are not. Keep this in mind when making your selection. Most of the battery operated toys require 3 AA batteries, which are not included with your purchase. However, these types of toys offer more capability, which is something that your cat might appreciate.