back
to
top
Last updated: 05 Dec 2019

The Best Cat Toys (Review) in 2019

best choice cat toy

Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

premium pick cat toy

MOODY PET Fling-AMA-String Cat Toy

affordable cat toy

Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

Show contents
Angela Westfall
Published 11:40 am

Cat toys are a fantastic way to keep your kitty entertained, physically active and mentally engaged. They also give you, the pet owner, a chance to directly connect and bond with your cat by doing with them what they’d instinctively do in the wild – play, chase, scratch and hunt. Of course, you won’t actually go on roaming and hunting trips with your cat, but a pretend “prey” in the form of a toy can help your feline companion activate and use all of their senses, leaving them satisfied after every play session. The trouble is, googling “cat toys” alone can send an average pet parent down an Internet rabbit hole because there are so many interactive toys, jingle balls, colorful wands and plush mice to choose from. To help you find the right toy for your feline pet – or better yet, the right selection of toys – we went through dozens of different pet toys. The result is this buying guide with some of best cat toys currently on the market. So whether you’re looking for a simple but quality cat toy for your multi-cat household, or a premium pick for a pampered feline, you’re guaranteed to find it here.

The Best Cat Toy

1

With three tiers of circular tracks, each with its own fixed and vividly colored ball, the Petstages Tower of Tracks is the perfect cat toy. Three reasons why this is our top pick: one, because the balls are attached to their levels, you’ll never again have to chase lost toys under your furniture; two, thanks to its unique design, the toy allows you to play with your cat as you can push the balls around the tracks; and three, the toy also allows your pet to play independently as they can push the balls themselves. The toy is great for both entertainment and physical and mental stimulation, which makes it ideal for cats of all ages, kittens included. Thanks to its three levels and three colorful balls, it’s suitable for multiple cats too.

3 levels plus 3 brightly colored balls

Non-skid bottom

Physically and mentally engaging

Suitable for all multiple cats of all ages

Specification:
  • Brand: Petstages
  • Model: 317
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

2

If you’re looking for a simple but highly engaging toy that will keep your kitty occupied for hours, plus help sharpen their claws, the Bergan Turbo Scratcher is the toy for you. Although simple in design – a textured scratch pad with track and a ball – the toy manages to tickle two of the most important needs for feline well-being: playing and scratching. Basically, by chasing the ball around the track, your kitty will exercise their hunting instincts, and by scratching the pad, satisfy their claw sharpening needs. The toy is especially beneficial for indoor cats as they rarely get the opportunity to chase and hunt around the apartment. As a bonus, the Bergan Turbo Scratcher comes with catnip which you can toss on the scratch pad for extra engagement.

A scratch pad with a ball track

Catnip included

Great for exercise and mental stimulation, plus claw sharpening

The ball is removable while the scratch pad is replaceable

Specification:
  • Brand: Bergan

3

For super-active cats and pets who quickly get bored of simple toys, the Moody Pet Fling-AMA-String is a must have. This battery-operated string-flinging machine offers non-stop entertainment plus plenty of physical activity that is bound to keep any cat busy for hours. Just hang the toy on any standard doorknob and watch your kitty chase a long string that is attached to an elastic conveyor belt that constantly rotates. And if your cat is an expert hunter and catches the string? No worries, the toy will automatically begin to rotate after it has been released, providing entertainment all over again. There are 2 speeds to satisfy both the passive and super-active feline, so cats of all ages, sizes and personalities are welcome.

Battery operated (3 AA batteries not included, also takes rechargeable)

String-flinging design provides non-stop entertainment

Perfect for cats of all ages and personalities

2 speeds to satisfy both highly active and passive cats

Specification:
  • Brand: MOODY PET
  • Model: FAS-1
  • Weight: 9.4 ounces

4

smarty kat toy
SmartyKat Electronic Motion Cat Toys

Simple but effective in providing proper ‘cattertainment’, the SmartyKat Electronic Motion cat toy is perfect for both indoor and outdoor felines who love to chase their prey. This circular in design toy entices cats into chasing a “prey”, promoting exercise and healthy play. How is this done, you ask? Through a combination of moving lights, erratic motion and a fluffy, soft toy that is attached to the center of the circular fabric via a wand. Basically, as the wand moves and with it the plush toy, a bulge is created on the surface of the circular fabric, which in combination with lights, fascinates cats and encourages play. There are two speeds which let you customize the action, making the play enticing for both super-active and lazy felines. The toy is operated via batteries but they are not included in the purchase.

Battery operated (3 AA batteries not included, takes rechargeable too)

Prey-simulated circular design

Promotes play and mental stimulation

2 speed settings for action customization

Specification:
  • Brand: SmartyKat
  • Model: 32013
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

5

Designed to mimic a prey dangling from a branch, the Teaser Cat Catcher Wand is one truly interactive feline plaything that will surely keep your pet busy for any hours. The dangling piece is shaped like a rat with a bulky body and a long and slender tail. Made of highly durable materials, the Teaser can withstand repeated pouncing and swiping from any feline breed.

It’s more like fishing for your pet as the Teaser comes with a 36-centimeter rod for you to hold it while teasing your kitty with the “tiger tail”. The “line” is made of durable and highly flexible wire so there’s no worry of it snapping or being cut unlike other playthings of the same kind that are made of fabric strings. Now, there are safety concerns about the flexible wire as it can get entangled around your pet’s neck or even limbs. That’s why it is always recommended to never leave the Teaser lying around in your home as your furry pal might play with it unsupervised. Like all things that we allow our pets to play with, it is best to use with our supervision.

The Teaser is one effective plaything for cats as it stimulates their natural tendencies to become the mighty predators that they are.

Line made of flexible braided safety wire for durability

Handcrafted mouse made of pet-safe materials

12-inch wand adorned with glitters for added attention-getting

Wand comes with soft tip and swivel clip

Specification:
  • Brand: Go Cat
  • Model: AL241
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

6

smartykat catnip
SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys

While the Skitter Critters Catnip Mice is not the lovable mice, Jerry, from the Tom and Jerry series we as kids have grown to love through the years, it does make for an excellent object of interest for any kitty. The pack already comes with three very colorful mice that are sure to stimulate the inner predatory instincts of your pet. Each of these Catnip Skitter Critters are filled with safe and high grade fiber made from eco-friendly 100 percent recycled plastic.

There are also no pesticides nor chemicals involved in its production. You can rest assured that whatever your furry pet decides to do with these make-believe critters, it will remain safe. It’s no wonder more than a thousand pet owners have left their very positive reviews about the product. It’s as close to the real prey of these furry pets. You can just imagine the excitement building inside them every time you bring these critters out for your feline to play with.

The Catnip Skitter Critters is the perfect interactive cat toys we can ever give to our beloved pets. The design is made in such a way that it stimulates our furry pal’s innate behavior while giving them something to be busy with.

Three colorful, pet-safe, and adorable mice

Each mouse spiked with potent and pure catnip

Fiberfill is composed of 100% recycled plastic

Doesn’t contain any chemicals

Specification:
  • Brand: SmartyKat
  • Model: 39384
  • Weight: 0.64 ounces

7

hartz kitty frenzy
Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy

What if you could give your feline pal not one, not two, but twelve beautiful and colorful imitation mice to play with? Just imagine the endless fun that your kitty will be having with these kitty toys. Just pour the pack of HARTZ Just for Kitty Frenzy on the floor or even on your pet’s play area and leave it be. Let your pet explore these different creations complete with their furry bodies and slender tails. Watch your kitty take a swipe or even bat these furry objects.

Now, if you’re concerned about the safety of Tom, don’t be. The HARTZ Just for Kitty is manufactured with only the safest yet most durable materials you can find. Even if you’ve got an Abyssinian, a Burmilla, or even a Cornish Rex that are known for their playful nature, you’ll feel more confident about their safety with the Just for Kitty Frenzy. These things are guaranteed to keep your feline’s interest for longer hours. When playtime’s over, all they’ll ever need is a place to rest and no more time for scratching your furniture.

The Kitty Frenzy is one perfect way to keep your felines happy and content. They’ll never be frustrated anymore as they’re able to direct their energies on more constructive ways.

Twelve pieces of colorful mice

Each mouse contains catnip

Designed specifically to stimulate cat’s predatory instincts

Specification:
  • Brand: Hartz
  • Model: 3270098059
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

8

Looking for cat toys for indoor cats? How about the Charmer Wand Teaser? Designed like the rope that dancers, figure skaters, and even gymnasts use during their routines, the Charmer Wand is a superb teaser that will surely capture the fascination and enjoyment of any feline breed. Since the Charmer Wand’s rope is made of fabric and not wire, you should at least feel more secure as there’s less likelihood that it will hurt your beloved kitty.

However, we’d still recommend caution as this can get entangled around their bodies and necks if we let them to play with the Charmer Wand Teaser on their own. As responsible owners of these lovely pets, it’s up to us to keep their playtime safe. As such, we should be wise enough to store these toys out of their reach until we’re ready to play with them. The colorful fabric rope should be gentle to your feline pet and keep it amused for longer periods. The wand itself is made of polycarbonate so it is comfortable to grip. Be the fairy to your pet and let it follow the movement of your magical wand.

The multicolor nature of the Charmer Wand makes for an interesting plaything for felines. At least, you’ll keep your cat super busy, it’ll drain its energy that it won’t have enough left to direct its attention on your furniture.

Flexible and colorful wand made of polycarbonate

Fabric band comes in various colors

Designed specifically to charm cats

Available in various color designs

Specification:
  • Brand: Cat Dancer
  • Model: 301B
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

9

If it’s variety that you’re actively looking for, the 20-piece Variety Pack for Kitty should provide your pet with enough variety to last its lifetime. With a dazzling array of playthings to choose from, your feline friend will never be bored ever again. Drain its energy so it will not direct this into other non-constructive endeavors like ripping your mattress apart, scratching on your carpet, or even leaving marks all over the place.

Got an aquarium that your kitty is eyeing to fish? Then give it the fish-like plaything in the Fashion Talk. There are furry balls, colorful feathers, catnips, enticing mice, and a whole lot more to keep your feline’s attention glued to these objects and away from the precious furniture in your home. As always, we’d like to caution you against letting your pets play with these unsupervised or unattended. While these items are made of safe materials, they can still pose some risks especially if you have young kids at home.

The sheer number of the toys to choose from in one convenient packaging is simply astounding. At least, your pet will now never get bored as it will have plenty of items to choose from.

Twenty assorted, pet-safe, high-quality toys for cats

Contains feathers, catnips, toy mice, balls, teasers, and many more

Designed for optimum cat interaction

Specification:
  • Brand: Fashion’s Talk
  • Model: Fashion’s Talk-022

10

Remember the marble run that kids love to play with? Well, the Design Senses Play Circuit is built primarily to mimic this kiddie play set, giving the opportunity for your felines to try and follow the movement of the ball through the tunnels only to appear very briefly on some open section. Your kitty will try to pounce on the ball as it emerges in these openings before it disappears again into the tunnel.

It would really be fascinating to see kitties play in amazement with the Design Senses as they try to figure out just when the ball will pop out from the opening. It’s a great way to stimulate our pets’ innate predatory instincts as they must have lightning-quick reflexes to pounce or even bat the ball off its track. The other good thing about the Design Senses is that, like the human or kiddie marble run, you can actually expand it by purchasing additional tracks. Just imagine how much fun these kitty toys would be fully expanded.

Built especially to entice feline predatory instincts, the Design Senses is a very unique way to encourage your pets to have fun while nurturing its very nature.

Unique peek-a-boo-inspired track design

Special balls with unique color combinations

Fully expandable set with additional circuits

Multiple layout configuration

Specification:
  • Brand: Catit
  • Model: 50730A1
  • Weight: 1 pounds

11

If your pet needs interactive cat toys, then The Giddy Kitty Feather Interactive might be a great option. It comes with an extra-long wand, stretching 3 inches short of 3 feet, so you don’t get in the way whenever your pet begins batting, reaching, or swiping at the colorful feathery attachment. Additionally, small bells are integrated into these contraptions further stimulating your kitty’s curiosity and awaken the predatory instinct slumbering inside it.

Made of non-toxic and feline-friendly materials, the Giddy Kitty feather teaser is one superb way to help nurture the innate behavior of felines in our homes. This helps ensure that they are well-balanced, happy, and well-exercised so they will not be focusing their attention on the other fixtures in your house such as your carpet and your furniture. Like they say, a playful kitty is a happy kitty. And since your kitty is happy, then you should feel a lot more comfortable at home as well.

Feather teasers have always been recommended by vets as excellent cat toys for indoor cats as it helps mimic the natural prey of these animals in the wild. Nurturing this instinct helps them to become more well-balanced.

Made of pet-safe, non-toxic, premium quality materials

Heavy-duty and extra-long wand and line

Colorful feather lure available in 5 color patterns

Comes with small bells for added prey effects

Specification:
  • Brand: The Giddy Kitty
  • Model: dehs
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

12

If you’ve got a kitty that is already on the brink of becoming the next Garfield you might want to give it the PetSafe SlimCat. As the name suggests, this feline toy is perfect for tabbies that are already overweight. Inside this plastic ball toy is a spacious cavern capable of accommodating up to 2/3 cup of your kitty’s dry food. You can also put its treat if you want. There are holes on one part of the SlimCat where kibbles are supposed to come out. The good news is that you can also twist the ball to change the configuration of the holes, thus changing the level of difficulty. Your pet will be exercising trying to get the food from the SlimCat. It’s a great way to entertain your cat while watching its weight.

Treat dispenser and interactive toy design

Maximum feline food capacity: 2/3 cup dry cat food

Fully adjustable holes for changes in level of difficulty

Dishwasher-safe, FDA-approved plastic construction

Specification:
  • Brand: PetSafe
  • Model: TOY00001
  • Weight: 0.96 ounces

13

cat maze
Cat Amazing Maze & Puzzle Feeder for Cats

Another feline toy that also serves the purpose of food portion control is the Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder by Cat Amazing. It’s essentially a rectangular box with three different sections intended for beginners, intermediate, and super-smart kitties. Each section comes with their corresponding level of difficulty in reaching for the treats or toys inside. It’s a great way to have a rough estimate of just how clever your kitty is. If it can retrieve its food from the Top-Cat level, then you can perhaps open the Bonus section to really reward your pet. It has a very simple design, yet it works wonders when stimulating your cat’s cognitive development while helping it lose weight.

3 levels of difficulty in one cat toy with bonus level

Game and puzzle box design

Works with cat treats and other toys

Specification:
  • Brand: Cat Amazing
  • Weight: 12 ounces

14

Cats love anything that moves. And when you turn on the YOUFUN 360-degree Self-Rotating Ball, you can expect tons of laughter in the process. As the ball bumps into walls and furniture or any obstacle it changes course, often catching your kitty off guard. This is one of the best ways to keep your kitty entertained. It may pounce on the YOFUN, but given the fact that it’s a ball there’s a good chance the ball will simply bounce right off its paws. YOFUN already includes 5 packs of 3 batteries each for the interactive ball so there’s no need to worry about where to buy the next set of batteries. Don’t get it wet, though.

360-degree self-rotating toy ball

Made of pet-safe ABS materials

Come with 5 packs of batteries

Specification:
  • Brand: YOFUN
  • Model: XMS564
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces

15

It is a well-known fact that 7 to 8 of 10 kitties absolutely go crazy over the volatile oils emitted by catnip. It’s like the feline version of marijuana, getting them high, of course without the psychotropic effects of cannabis. That being said, when Our Pets decided to design 7 different styles of cat toys and filled these with 100% premium-quality North American-grown catnip, you can expect catnip-susceptible cats to go crazy. Fancy a snake? How about a fish? There’s also carrot, cigar, chili, banana, and cactus toy designs to choose from.

100% catnip-filled cat toy design

Catnip sourced from North American farms

Available in 7 colorful designs

Specification:
  • Brand: OurPets
  • Model: 808073
  • Weight: 1.6 ounces

16

The Creaker 3-Way Cat Tunnel is pretty much like the play tunnels that your kid may have used. It’s basically the same principle, except that the Creaker comes with crinkly and crackly paper that helps stimulate the predatory instincts in your kitty. Like kiddie play tunnels, the Creaker comes with a spring steel frame that helps keep it standing when folded open. The same frame allows it to be easily folded and stored. An elastic band secures the folding so it won’t suddenly pop out from its storage. The fabric used in the construction is made with durable polyester, although there have been issues about certain cats shredding the Creaker to bits.

Collapsible, configurable, portable, and lightweight cat tunnel

Built-in crinkle paper with soft ball toy and peephole

Tear-resistant, durable, heavy-duty polyester

Spring steel frame with safe protective ends

Specification:
  • Brand: Creaker
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces

17

What sets the Cat Dancer from similarly-designed feline toys is that the ‘prey’ lure that is attached to the tip of the 35-inch spring steel wire is actually made of eco-friendly materials. Specifically, it’s made of cardboard tubes that are used in tissue paper rolls. These are twisted and rolled to form the shape of a ‘prey’ that should help stimulate your cat’s innate predatory nature. Technically, the Cat Dancer has a very unobtrusive design that we believe you can actually make one yourself. Nevertheless, why bother making one when you can get three of these in a single pack. It’s great if you have several kitties at home.

Made of rolled and twisted paper tubes

35-inch spring steel wire

Guaranteed pet-safe

Specification:
  • Brand: Cat Dancer
  • Weight: 1.12 ounces

18

Everyone knows KONG especially the Classic KONG. Using the brand’s expertise when it comes to making nearly indestructible doggie toys, the HDP Catnip Refillable Cat Toy was designed specifically to cater to the play and exercise needs of the feline population. What makes it quite interesting is that the KONG HDP comes with North American-grown all-natural, 100% pure catnip that is well-known as a feline central nervous system stimulant. Each fluffy toy comes with a secret canister upon which pet parents can refill with the catnip already supplied by KONG. As your cat pounces on the toy, it will emit that classic volatile oil of the catnip into the air, further stimulating your pet to play. It’s a toy that will endear you more to your kitty.

Contains natural catnip

Various catnip-refillable plush toys

With hidden special compartment just for catnip

Specification:
  • Brand: KONG
  • Model: NH42
  • Weight: 0.16 ounces

19

Some prefer balls while others go with springs. And if you’re the pet parent who prefers the latter you’ll be interested in the Ethical Pet Colorful Springs. Each pack of the Colorful Springs comes with 5 each of a 1-inch and 2-inch long springs in various colors. Simply throw them on the floor and watch them spring into action, bounce, and entice your cat to go after these springy contraptions. Each one is made of cat-safe plastic. The joy is actually in watching your feline friend attempt to catch these toys. It can pounce on them, but they’ll be springing back up or eve roll to another part of the room. It’s fun pandemonium at its best.

Colorful spring toy

Made of pet-safe plastic materials

1-inch and 2-inch springs

Specification:
  • Brand: Ethical Pet
  • Model: 2515
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces

20

The Cat Play Mat from Animals Favorite is just like the play mat and activity center play set for babies that come complete with a cushiony mat and a dual arch where plush toys are hanged. That’s exactly what the Animals Favorite is. The soft cushiony material that serves as the play area can also double as a resting mat for your feline friend. It comes with 4 hanging toys that cats will have no issues swatting and swiping, perfect for stretching their limbs. The dual arches are made of durable core and wrapped in soft padding so it will not hurt your pet. It’s fully collapsible and portable, allowing you to easily store it once your pet is done playing.

Plush and soft play surface

Fully padded arches with rounded edges

Foldable, lightweight, and portable design

Specification:
  • Brand: Animals Favorite
  • Model: 02-00021-01
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces

Best Cat Toy Buying Guide & FAQ

There’s no doubt that cat toys come with a host of benefits: they help keep our feline companions physically active, mentally sharp, entertained and, as a result, happy and healthy. But how to pick the best cat toy or your pet? With so many different playthings and interactive toys available both online and in brick and mortar shops, it’s difficult not to feel confused and overwhelmed with choices. Luckily, you don’t have to make any purchasing decisions on your own – in this buying guide, we offer you not only the selection of some of the best cat toys on the market, but also plenty of advice on how to pick the right one(s) for your pet.

Things to Consider When Buying Cat Toys

Any cat owner should consider purchasing a couple of cat toys as they help keep our feline companions physically active, mentally sharp and entertained. But how to choose the right toy(s) for your pet? Should you buy a simple plush mouse, a colorful wand or an interactive and electronic toy? The truth is, since all cats are individuals, there is no right and wrong here. What really matters is to get a safe toy your pet will actually love to play with. That said, if you need a little help in selecting the best cat toy for your four-legged friend, you’re in the right place.

Consider the following things before making a purchasing decision:

  • Safety

First and foremost, make sure the toy you intend to purchase is actually safe for your cat. Toys should be made from pet-friendly materials, and should not contain small parts that could easily become choking hazards. To ensure safety, always buy from reputable brands.

  • Your cat’s preferences

Some cat like simple toys like plush, soft mice the best, while others prefer more complex, interactive toys. Before purchasing any toy, consider your cat’s usual behavior, likes and dislikes. In general, the more complex the toy, the more engaged your cat will be. That being said, lazy kitties may avoid overly complex toys, so choose your product wisely. Alternatively, purchase several different toys and see which one entices your kitty the most.

  • Durability

A quality cat toy should be made from safe and durable materials and have a sturdy design. After all, a toy needs to be able to withstand constant kicking, wrestling, scratching and batting, so make sure it’s up to the task. Ideally, you want a toy that will last for years or at least several months (depending on the toy, of course) before it needs to be replaced.

  • Your cat’s age and size

Finally, take into consideration the age and size of your pet. Generally speaking, kittens need a lot of both mental and physical stimulation so they do best with interactive and challenging toys. Seniors, on the other hand, may not be able to jump and chase as much as their younger counterparts, so simpler toys that allow them to play with them on their own pace are a better choice. The size of your cat may matter too – typically, larger cats will need bigger toys, while smaller kitties may prefer smaller toys. This, of course, also depends on your feline companion’s preferences.

How We Chose the Amazing Kitty Toys in Our List

For many picking the right kitty toys can be quite daunting. For one, we need to understand the unique behaviors of cats so we’ll have a pretty good idea of what to look for in their playthings. That’s why we had to consult with our resident animal psychologist to provide us with an overview of what naturally stimulates kitties. This is a very fundamental purpose of toys. They have to be able to stimulate development, curiosity, and fascination from those that use them regardless of whether they are humans or animals.

toys for cats

It is well understood that cats are natural predators. So, we had to choose interactive cat toys that can help quench their predatory thirst. If they can pounce on it or even grab it or bite on it, we’d definitely include those in our list.

However, since almost every other feline plaything is designed and manufactured to stimulate their predatory instincts, we knew we had to look for another way to come up with the magic 10 in our circle. As such, we sought only products that have an excellent reputation based on consumer ratings. This gave us an understanding of how well these cat toys for indoor cats actually fare in the real world. The experiences and observations of cat owners who’ve already bought these products for their respective pets were taken into consideration.

Another aspect that was factored in the selection process was the company’s reputation. You would agree with us that you’ll trust only those products that come from reputable brands. While these may not really be cheap cat toys, the mere fact that you can depend on its quality and safe design should more than negate any price concerns.

You May Also Like: Best Cat Christmas Costumes this Holiday Season

Feline Predatory Behavior and the Choice of Toys

We have already shared with you how we chose the kitty toys in our list. For the most part, all of these products are designed primarily for one very specific purpose: to nurture the predatory or hunting instincts of cats. It should be understood that cats are excellent predators, whether they are in the wild or right in the comforts of our homes.

While it is true that thousands of years of domestication has clearly tamed the wild cats of our times, it is impossible to completely erase the genes that dictate the hunter instincts of these animals. Nature designed them to hunt prey in order to survive especially in the wild. Even if you give them plenty of nutrition, this hunter’s instinct will always be there. You may not know it but your cat is really showing a lot of its predatory behavior. As such, in choosing toys for cats, it is imperative to understand cats’ predatory behavior.

Kittens are already programmed at birth to chase prey. Mother cats teach their kittens how to kill to survive (it’s a cruel world, we know). The learning occurs in stages until the kittens have developed the necessary skills to hunt on their own. This teaching is passed on from generation to generation. It’s already programmed in the genes of mother cats. So, there’s not much we can do about it.

Cats exhibit a variety of behaviors related to predation. They usually swipe at anything dangling off the edge of the table or chair. They will try to sneak up on you as stealthily as possible. They will try to create as less noise as possible, not wanting to draw attention to their presence. They like being perched higher than anything else so they’ll get a great view of prey underneath them.

These should always be taken into consideration when shopping for their toys. They need items that closely mimic their prey if not in terms of its appearance, at least, in terms of movement. This helps in ensuring their well-being as a genetic trait that is suppressed can lead to problems later on.

Related Post: Best Cat Window Perch

Why Is It Important for Cats to Play?

There are many reasons why play time is very important for cats. While they may be more aloof than dogs, with dogs being more inclined to seek the attention and approval of their human masters, cats do need playtime, too. Here are the reasons why:

  • Play time empowers cats to live out their predatory nature

It is no secret that cats are natural predators. It’s in their genes. Playing can help cats nurture their very reason for existence, giving them the opportunity to relive their predatory heritage. Kitties are especially tuned to faint noises, miniscule movements, and even the slightest scent.

They know the presence of prey when they see movement or color, hear squeaks and squeals, and smell specific scents. That is why the best cat toys are designed specifically to mimic the different characteristics of cats’ many preys.

  • Playing helps prevent feline obesity and its associated complications

This is short of saying playtime is your feline’s way to get some exercise. Most cats are observed to be ‘lazy’ like Garfield, crawling out of its bed only to feed before returning for a much-needed siesta. If your kitty continues with this lifestyle it may end up becoming the next Garfield or Fat Cat. Playing with them allows them to pounce, run, and jump at their toys. This allows them to work their muscles and help burn extra calories that have been stored after several hours of inactivity. This can help prevent feline obesity and many of its associated problems like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and metabolic abnormalities.

  • Play optimizes muscle and joint functions

We mentioned above that playtime is the cat’s exercise time. We also mentioned that this will work their muscles. What we forgot to mention is that it can also improve the range of motion of their joints. Cats are known to be very agile creatures. Agility relies on the flexibility and elasticity of the joint capsule. Strong joints will help them climb up a tree with relative ease or even pounce on their prey like cutting through butter. Playtime gives cats the opportunity to optimize their range of motion while toning their muscles so they can be more powerful jumpers, pouncers, and runners.

  • Play prevents feline boredom

Majority of behavioral problems among pets stem from boredom. Although it would seem cats are perfectly okay just lying in their favorite nook all day long, experts now agree that boredom can also set in. This can lead to the formation of destructive feline behavior such as clawing, urinating in restricted areas, scratching, and many more. Playing with them stimulates their brain so they don’t get bored. Interactive feline toys can be exceptionally beneficial in this regard since these toys allow cats to be interested and stay focused on the game.  A focused mind is never a bored mind.

  • Play time is bonding time

Dogs love the attention they get from their human masters. And while cats may not be as clingy as their canine counterparts, they do appreciate moments that you spend with them. They may have been cast as antisocial animals, but given the right circumstance and the right attitude from their pet parents, cats can also be as socially-responsive as other dogs. As a matter of fact many cat-lovers agree that it is during playtime that they were able to form stronger and more meaningful relationships with their respective kitties. Fostering a healthy relationship with your pet is always a hallmark of a true pet parent.

kitten with a toy

Types of Cat Toys

One of the most important considerations when picking the right toy for your feline friend is the type of toy that they will most likely play with. It is critical to realize that different cats have different preferences. Some may like prey-like toys while others would prefer something related to food. To give you an idea of what you need to take for your kitty, take a look at the following types of cat toys.

  • Wand toys

These playthings are like your fishing rod with line and lure. The only difference is that the lure is actually made up of almost anything that can entice your cat to pounce on it. Many come with mouse-like lures while others come with colorful bands of cloth. Pet parents hold the handle and just move it with their hands. The lure moves with it and cats attempt to ‘catch’ the lure. It’s an interactive way to play with cats without the danger of being scratched.

  • Feather toys

These are somewhat similar to wand toys as majority actually come attached to a wand. The lure is made to simulate another of cats’ favorite prey – birds. In some cases, the feathery toy is not attached to anything. As long as the feathers can be ascertained to move, it should simulate live prey.

  • Puzzle toys

Perfect for Garfield-wannabes, puzzle toys are also known as treat- or snack- dispensing toys. These have mechanisms that hold the treat inside the toy. A system of openings must be ‘solved’ by the cat to obtain the treats. Like any puzzle, once solved the cat gets the prize which is the tasty treat. In many ways these are preferred if you want to harness the problem-solving skills of your feline. What’s more it’s a great way to control the amount of food your cat is taking.

  • Catnip toys

Catnip contains a volatile oil that is very aromatic to 7 to 8 of 10 cats. It is believed that this volatile oil acts more like a central nervous system stimulant producing extreme levels of happiness to cats that most folks who see them will think that they are crazy. Before you buy such a toy it is imperative to check first whether your pet is susceptible to the effects of catnip or not. If not, you’d simply be buying a toy that your pet will not like. If yes, then rejoice as your feline friend will love you for it.

  • Electronic toys

These are electronic versions of the different types of cat playthings we have already shared above. Laser lights can also be classified as electronic. As long as there is interaction between the toy or the movements or actions produced by the toy and your cat it can be rightfully classified as a toy. In this case, if it runs on batteries or some other form of electricity, then it is considered as an electronic cat toy.

Best Cat Toy FAQ:

Q:  Why does my cat put her toys in her water?

A:  There really is no conclusive explanation as to why cats love putting their toys in their water bowls. There are two theories that feline behaviorists use to explain such odd behavior.

The first theory is that cats put their toys in their water bowls because it is a lot safer. Consider a wild cat that has to hunt for food. Wild cats will hide their prey in their respective dens as a means of protecting it against other predators. In like manner, cats are believed to ‘safeguard’ their toys by keeping them in a place where no other predators will go – the water. This is so they can play with it later on.

The second theory is more a reflection of the gathering or collecting behavior of cats. Behaviorists say that it is similar to a mother cat bringing home any wandering kitten or when moving its kittens from one location to another, usually by grabbing onto the nape of the kittens.

Q:  Why does my cat bring toys to bed?

A:  Just as many cats like to put their toys in their water bowl, some actually bring theirs to the bed, whether theirs or their master’s. Again there really is no scientific explanation for such a behavior except for the assumption that they’re bringing their toys to a place that is deemed ‘safer’ or which cats perceive as their own.

Q:  Why does my cat hide her toys?

A:  Hiding toys is a sign of the cat’s distrust of its environment. It doesn’t actually believe that it is perfectly safe to leave its toys on the place where it played with it. Cats with this behavior are typically protective of their ‘possessions’ that they don’t want others to be getting it from them. One can think of it as being selfish, but it is only in keeping with a cat’s natural tendency to hide and ‘protect’ its prey so it can enjoy it later on.

Our Top Pick

While every single product on our Top List is a great pet toy to have in a single or multi-cat household, the PetStages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy is definitely our Top Pick. Here’s why: although simple, the toy manages to both stimulate cats’ senses and keep them entertained for hours at the same time. And thanks to its unique design – three tiers of circular tracks each with its own fun ball– the toy is great for independent play sessions, multi-cat play and also for bonding with your pet. Equally important, the PetStages Tower of Tracks is sturdy and durable, able to withstand lots of knocking, batting and hitting, making it one of the best cat toys around.

Whichever cat toy you choose, we’re certain both you and your feline companion will be entertained for years to come.

Related Post: Cat Houses

Rate This Article:
4.94 / 5.0
107 User Voted
Add Your Rating:
Angela Westfall
Angela Westfall
Angela has fostered, adopted, screened and saved cats for over 15 years. She is known as one of Central Ohio’s most passionate and knowledgeable cat enthusiasts. Her rescue, Angels Assisting Felines has partnerships with PetSmart and PetSuppliesPlus to help more cats find great homes.
The Best Cat Muzzles (Review) in 2019
The Best Cat Scratching Pads (Review) in 2019
The Best Cat Hammocks (Review) in 2019
The Best Cat Trees (Review) in 2019
The Best Laser Pointers for Cats (Review) in 2019
The Best Interactive Cat Toys (Review) in 2019