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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.
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.
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 scratchpad 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 scratching pad for extra enticement.
A scratch pad with a ball track
Great for exercise and mental stimulation, plus claw sharpening
The ball is removable while the scratch pad is replaceable
For super-active cats and pets who quickly get bored with 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
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, captivates cats and encourages play. There are two speeds that 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)
Designed to mimic prey dangling from a branch, the Teaser Cat Catcher Wand is one truly interactive feline toy that will surely keep your pet busy for many 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.
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
While the Skitter Critters Catnip Mice is not the lovable mouse, 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 is 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.
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. 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.
Twelve pieces of colorful mice
Each mouse contains catnip
Designed specifically to stimulate cat’s predatory instincts
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 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.
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.
Twenty assorted, pet-safe, high-quality toys for cats
Contains feathers, catnips, toy mice, balls, teasers, and much more
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
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
It is a well-known fact that 8 out of 10 kitties absolutely go crazy over the essential 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 are also carrot, cigar, chili, banana, and cactus toy designs to choose from.
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 a 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.
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.
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 essential 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.
Some cats 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 even roll to another part of the room. It’s fun pandemonium at its best.
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 Toys for Your Cat
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:
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.
Your cat’s preferences
Some cats like simple toys like plush, soft mice the best, while others prefer more complex, interactive robotic cat toys. Before purchasing any toy, consider your cat’s usual behavior, likes and dislikes.
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.
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 at 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 feline treat. What’s more it’s a great way to control the amount of food your cat is taking.
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.
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.
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.
Whichever cat toy you choose, we’re certain both you and your feline companion will be entertained for years to come.
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.
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.
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 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.