cat toys

The Best 10 Cat Toys for Any Age: Your Complete Guide

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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Best Cat Toys Summary

Do Cats Need Toys?

do cats need toys

Yes, cats toys are a must for our feline friends. While toys aren’t a basic need for cats, they are a wonderful addition to day-to-day life, especially for indoor cats lacking proper physical and mental stimulation.

Cat toys are not only entertaining, but they also keep the cat busy. By keeping cats occupied, they help minimize boredom, anxiety, depression, and bad habits like urine spraying and unnecessary crying. Specific cat toys, like cat scratchers, even support their innate needs.

While cat toys are generally a good idea, not all toys work the same. You need to do a little research and find the best cat toys before clicking checkout on sites like Amazon or Chewy.

What Types of Toys do Cats Like?

There are many different types of cat toys – from refillable toy balls to scratching posts to catnip mice. Here are the main type of toys for cats:

  • Interactive Cat Toys. Interactive cat toys are toys that challenge your cat mentally and physically. Usually, they respond to stimuli provided by your cat, for example, a fish that wiggles when your cat touches it.
  • Cat Chew Toys. Cats love chewing on items just as much as dogs. Therefore, cat chew toys are similar to dog toys – they encourage chewing and support dental health. Plus, chewable cat toys are made of durable materials.
  • Cat Puzzle Toys. Puzzles are not only fun but can also help improve your cat’s cognitive function. In cat puzzle toys, the cat needs to solve the toy to get the rewards hidden in the fun puzzle game.
  • Cat Scratching Toys. Scratching toys for cats are usually in the form of a scratching post or scratching pad. Cats love scratching, and scratching toys support the cats’ need to sharpen their claws.
  • Catnip Toys. Catnip is a cat-friendly minty herb. About 50 to 67% of cats are stimulated by catnip which makes them lick their whiskers. However, overexposure to catnip makes the cat desensitized. Instead of catnip, some cat toys feature silvervine.
  • Teaser Cat Toys. These are cat toys designed to exercise your cat’s hunting instincts. They usually involve some level of chasing and catching. Common types of teaser cat toys are the lasers and wands with an attached catchy item at the top.

The Best Cat Toys Reviewed

Looking for new cat toys for your feline friend? Here is a detailed overview of the best cat toys available on the market – some engage and sharpen the mind, and others entail turbo physical exercise.

Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish

Potaroma Electric Flopping Fishh

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Toy Type: Automatic

Life Stage: Adult

Summary: This toy resembles what a fish would look like if it were put out of water. When the automatic sensor senses your cat, the fish starts to wiggle, producing a rather entertaining motion for your cat. The fish kicker toy is very fun to play with, and the best part of it all is that you don’t need to be around for your cat to use it. You don’t even have to turn the toy on for your cat.

Pros

  • Automatic and durable design
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Convenient USB charging
  • Machine washable
  • Compact size for easy storage

Cons

  • Not suitable for kittens

Review: This fish cat toy is a favorite among cat parents. They say their cats are able to enjoy the toy for long stretches of time without running out of battery.

BENTOPAL Automatic Interactive Cat Toys

BENTOPAL Automatic Interactive Cat Toys

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Toy Type: Automatic

Life Stage: Adult

Summary: If you are looking for an automatic toy that your cat can enjoy in your absence, then this is the right one for you. The toy has an automatic mode that enables it to turn itself on every 1.5 hours for ten minutes. This way, your cat gets short bursts of playtime and exercise throughout the day, even when you are gone. The toy can go for up to 8 hours, so it is perfect for workdays.

Pros

  • Allows attaching items like feathers or toys
  • Rechargeable battery for long playtime
  • Detects obstacles automatically
  • Encourages physical exercise

Cons

  • Only works on flat smooth surfaces.

Review: Customers that loved this toy say that it was a wonderful purchase that they and their cats got to enjoy. They found that the toy was a wonderful tool for exercise, and most cats were tired in a good way after a long day of using it.

SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Concealed Motion Toy

SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Concealed Motion Toy

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Toy Type: Interactive play

Life Stage: Kittens and adults

Summary: This toy has a mat under which is a flashing light and a moving lure that are supposed to excite your cat and get her moving about trying to catch her targets. The toy is meant to mimic the experience of hunting prey which many cats seem to naturally enjoy. It encourages cats to run, target, and pounce on the mat. It is battery-powered and requires triple-A batteries to run.

Pros

  • Automatic and durable design
  • Mat is made from recycled plastic
  • Supports physical exercise
  • Features two-speed options

Cons

  • The batteries need frequent changing

Review: Reviews have good things to say about this cat toy. Some cat parents, however, did complain about needing to reset the wand after a couple of swings.

MeoHui Cat Toys Retractable Cat Wand Toy

MeoHui Cat Toys Retractable Cat Wand Toy

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Toy Type: Interactive

Life Stage: Kittens, adults, and senior cats

Summary: To picture this wand cat toy, think of a traditional fishing rod, but instead of a normal hook with bait, the end has a fun, cute feather for your cat to chase around. The chaser toy is human-operated, so you get to spend some time with your cat when using this toy. Of course, this comes with the downside that your cat can’t use the toy in your absence.

Pros

  • Interactive yet affordable toy
  • Very affordable price
  • Retractable design for easy storage
  • Different feather options for switching

Cons

  • Cats can’t use the toy without their owners

Review: Cat owners love using this toy with their cats. Cat owners who used to bear their cats’ scratches during playtime are especially pleased with this toy.

UPSKY Cat Toy Roller 3-Level Turntable

UPSKY Cat Toy Roller 3-Level Turntable

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Toy Type: Puzzle

Life Stage: Adult and senior cats

Summary: This ball cat toy is simple in design but very effective in delivering fun for cats. The toy features three levels so cats of different heights can enjoy it. On each level is a ball that can go around in the grooves of the toy. Each level has holes through which the cat can observe the balls as they move around. The setup is ideal for both active and inactive cats as it can be enjoyed in one position.

Pros

  • Automatic toy with sturdy design
  • Multi-level, interactive toy
  • Suitable for cats of different ages and sizes
  • Affordable price
  • Comes in five color options

Cons

  • Bulkier in comparison to other pet toys

Review: Cat owners are in awe of this toy. Most say their cats love it and spend hours using it even after having it for a while. The toy is straightforward to assemble for most owners. As a bonus, the balls act as separate toys if your cat is bored with the whole getup.

Tempcore Pet Cat Tunnel

Tempcore Pet Cat Tunnel

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Toy Type: Puzzle

Life Stage: Kittens, adults, and senior cats

Summary: This toy is a Y-shaped tunnel with three entrances and a hole at the center. At the entrance is a dangling red ball that acts as a source of amusement for your cat.

The tunnel walls are reinforced with a steel frame that keeps them from collapsing on your cat. Even though the frame is sturdy, it is also collapsible, so you can easily store or transport it. If you are in the mood to play with your cat, you can dangle another cat toy around the tunnel and watch your feline friend run around trying to catch it.

Pros

  • Both automatic and interactive
  • Requires no power to work
  • Features a collapsible frame
  • Encourages physical exercise
  • Comes in four different colors

Cons

  • Tunnels may not hold up with larger cats

Review: Cat parents say their cats love this tunnel toy. Cats that love to hide under blankets especially love to use the tunnel as a hiding space when they want some alone time. Customers are generally happy with this purchase and happily recommend it to others.

Flurff Interactive Butterfly Electric Rotating Cat Toy

Flurff Interactive Butterfly Electric Rotating Cat Toy

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Toy Type: Automatic

Life Stage: Kittens and adult cats

Summary: Parents of gentle cats will love this butterfly-themed toy for their felines. The toy compromises of a firm base on top of which a butterfly on a flexible string is attached.

When turned on, the string with the butterfly swings about, mimicking the look of a flying butterfly. The movement and colors of the butterfly can excite a cat keeping her entertained and engaged. This toy is best for gentle cats as it can easily get damaged. However, if this happens, the toy has two replacements, and more can be purchased at a fair price.

Pros

  • Automatic cat toy at an affordable price.
  • Non-slip bottom to keep it in place
  • Spare butterflies in case of damage
  • Compact size for easy storage and transportation
  • One-year warranty

Cons

  • The batteries are not included in the toy

Review: Customers adore how well this toy works for their cats. They say it is well worth the money since their cats use it all the time. The spare butterflies have also proven handy for those times when cats get too excited when using the toy.

SmartyKat Skitter Critters Catnip Cat Toys

SmartyKat Skitter Critters Catnip Cat Toys

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Toy Type: Catnip toy

Life Stage: Kittens, adults, and senior cats

Summary: For a cat owner looking for something simple for a cat to hold and nibble on, these plush toys will do just fine. The toys are simply stuffed animals that your cat can play with around the house as they would a regular toy. These, however, have the advantage of having some organic catnip on them, so your cat may enjoy them just a little bit more.

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Can be automatic or interactive
  • Doesn’t require power to work
  • Lightweight and portable toy

Cons

  • Not very mentally or physically stimulating

Review: This cat play toy is coming up on almost 50,000 reviews on Amazon, and over 80% of them are five stars. The simplicity of the toys makes them an easy favorite among cat parents that are just looking for something basic for their cats. Cat parents love that the toys are very low-maintenance and don’t require running power.

Automatic Interactive Cat Laser Toy

Automatic Interactive Cat Laser Toy

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Toy Type: Automatic and interactive

Life Stage: Kittens, adults, and senior cats

Summary: Cats love a good chase, so why not award yours with a constant game of chasing a laser pointer around. This toy functions as a laser pointer that shoots a laser beam that your cat is supposed to try to catch up with. It has two modes: a normal mode and an active mode.

You can choose to hold the toy and shoot the laser randomly around the house or place it on a high surface and let it run automatically. If you choose the latter, you can set the laser beam at an angle that suits your cat best. The automatic mode also has auto on and off, where it goes off after 15 minutes and turns back on every 1.5 hours.

Pros

  • Both automatic and interactive
  • Runs on batteries and is rechargeable
  • Features two-speed modes
  • Very simple to use and maintain

Cons

  • Not suited for senior cats

Review: Cat owners that got this toy are very happy with it. The toy works great in both automatic and interactive modes. It is very efficient at keeping cats occupied when their owners are busy or occupied. It comes highly recommended by almost all parents that have tried it.

31 PCS Kitten Toys Assortments

31 PCS Kitten Toys Assortments

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Toy Type: Chew toys, puzzles, and interactive

Life Stage: Kittens, adults, and senior cats

Summary: If you are having a hard time deciding on which toy is best for your cat, why not pick up this assorted set with over 30 pieces. The set is also great for parents with multiple pets that need various ways to keep their furry friends entertained. The set contains many items, but a few notable ones include a cat tunnel, cat teaser wand, feather toy, fluffy mice toys, and crinkle balls. Most of the toys are interactive, but a few can be used in your absence.

Pros

  • Provides a wide variety of options
  • Ideal for parents with multiple cats
  • Less costly than buying the toys individually
  • Includes both self and interactive toys

Cons

  • Storage can be an issue due to the number of toys

Review: Customers say this set is great value for the toys you get. All the toys are high-quality and durable, even with the most destructive cats. Cats also love the variety they get from using the toys in this set because they never run out of new ways to use them.

What is the Best Toy for a Cat?

what is the best toy for a cat

The best cat toy is the Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish. This is because the toy has many wonderful features such as durability, portability, and ease of use.

However, we should note that the best toy for a cat varies depending on a cat’s preference, age, and needs.

Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish
  • Fun for Cats: every time your feline touches this cat kicker toy, the automatic built-in motion sensor kicks into action and the cat teaser fish moves in a wiggling way, intriguing your cat to kick and play. Perfect Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year gift for pet owners or your own pets
  • The vivid moving fish toy looks like a real fish, an eye-catcher for cats, keeping your kitty on her paws and engaged in real time, alleviating boredom and loneliness and promoting cat's exercise when you are away from home
  • This toy is USB chargeable which saves you from the hassle and costs to replace batteries. USB cable is included in the package.

What Should I Look for in a Cat Toy?

When looking for cat toys, pet parents need to consider several factors, such as:

  • Durability. Cats are quite destructive pets, so you should pick a toy that can withstand constant wear and tear. Try to go for damage-resistant fabrics like plastic and nylon to maximize the durability of the cat toys.
  • Safety. The toys you choose for your cat must not compromise your cat’s safety and well-being. Electric cat toys should be well insulated to prevent shocks, and chewable toys should be made from pet-safe materials.
  • Ease of Use. Choose cat toys that are easy to operate, especially if your cat uses them in your absence. Complex toys will only lead to frustration for you and your cat.
  • Size and Shape. The toy structure is also an important consideration because it affects how well your cat handles it. A very big toy wouldn’t be the best option for a small kitten.