Entertaining your cat has to be a priority for any cat owner and if you’re a new cat owner, be sure to heed that as a warning before your cat is forced to entertain herself. If it could, your furniture would definitely thank you for picking up a few toys for your cat. Knowing which toys make the best ones for your cat can be a struggle, though. Because all cats have personalities and each are different, you may need to do a bit of trial and error to find which toys are best for your cat. But don’t worry; we have a starting point for you.
We reviewed dozens of cat toys to identify the best of the best. We looked at all types of toys to find the very best; from balls to mice and electronic to catnip. We considered the durability and how long it would hold a cat’s interest and picked the top dogs – or top cats for each.
During our research, the Petoy Cat Toys Set stood out as a clear winner, having a little bit of everything. It has a pole for you to play with your kitty and a variety of toys that are notoriously popular with cats, making it the best you can get.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Cat Toys
|Best Overall||Petoy Cat Toys Set||4.6|
|Runner Up||Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy||4.5|
|Best Budget Buy||Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy||4.7|
|Best Catnip Toy Pick||Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana||4.5|
|Best Electronic Toy Pick||Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Twice the Mice Cat Toy||4.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: Petoy Cat Toys Set
The Petoy Cat Toys Set includes all the best toys for your cat’s entertainment. The teaser wand will facilitate bonding time by encouraging play with you and it comes with two attachments that give the wand and your play a variety. The ribbon and feather attachments will be perfect for tickles and flutters while she swats at them. Keep an eye on these attachments to make sure she’s not ingesting them, though, otherwise she may get a blockage. You may want to make sure these toys are put up and only brought down when you’re there to monitor and play with her.
This toy set also includes a variety of self-entertaining toys. The other toys included are two crinkle balls that your cat will enjoy batting and chasing, a mouse within a ball cage, a catnip fish, and three other varieties of mice to play with, as well. Again, you’ll want to monitor the feathers but the variety provides a little bit of everything for your feline friend.
This variety pack has a rating of 4.9 stars on Amazon and for all 11 toys, you will only need to cough up $11. So even in the highly unlikely event your cat likes none of these toys, you still won’t be out a lot of money. No matter how you look at this, it’s minimal risk and high potential.
Petoy Cat Toys Set Key Features:
- Includes 11 toys: wand and 2 attachments, 4 mice, 1 mice ball cage, catnip fish and 2 Mylar crinkle balls
- Wand is elastic and made of ultra-strong fishing line
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed
Our Runner-Up Pick: Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy
The Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy give your cat an opportunity to play and to groom her nails as well. The disc of this toy contains a ball that can be spun around the open tunnel without worrying about it falling out of place. You should be aware, however, that the ball can be removed if your cat is determined enough, but it’s by no means an easy feat. More likely, she’ll bat and chase the ball until she grows tired and then come back to it time and again.
The inside circle of the base is, interestingly enough, just rolled cardboard, so it’s incredibly easy to replace once your cat has destroyed it. Talk about recycling! In fact, you can use the box this toy ships in and feel even better for it. Destruction is the very point of this center piece and if you’ve ever seen your cat playing with cardboard in this way, then you know it’s a brilliant addition to the toy. Your cat and her nails will thank you for this purchase.
This scratcher has over 7,400 reviews on Amazon and a rating of 4.5 stars, making it a solid investment. And for just over $10, it’s a steal.
Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy Key Features:
- Replaceable center cardboard
- Base is 16″ diameter
- Includes 1 textured scratchpad and ball
Best Budget Pick: Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy
The Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy is one you’re sure to buy again and again. And you shouldn’t feel too badly throwing it out after its destruction; it’s meant to be destroyed once your cat catches it. After all, it’s simply rolled cardboard on a steel spring wire. The durable wire shouldn’t be easily destroyed and how difficult is it, really, to roll a piece of cardboard and replace the lure for your kitty’s play?
This toy is a wonderful way to make sure your cat is getting the activity he needs for a healthy life and also to nurture your relationship with him. Although, keep in mind you will have to let him catch the toy from time to time so that he doesn’t start distrusting you, too terribly much.
If absolutely none of that sways you, the purchase price still may. At only $2 you can buy this as an add-on item every time you pick up something on Amazon and not feel too terribly guilty.
Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy Key Features:
- Spring steel wire and rolled cardboard
- Made in the USA
- Wire is approximately 30″
Best Catnip Toy Pick: Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana
The Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana is 7 inches long and made with a durable cotton twill material. The dyes used on the fabric are all soy or vegetable based and therefore completely non-toxic. Cats love the curve of the banana because it makes carrying it easier and that may lead to your cat taking it everywhere she goes. Obviously, you won’t be able to machine wash this, else you will ruin the catnip, but you can get it decently clean just with spot cleaning and the fabric will likely last as long as the catnip inside it.
It’s filled completely with the all-organic catnip and absolutely no fillers so you won’t have to worry about whether your cat is actually getting through the fluff and to the catnip while she plays. The catnip is a blend of only the flower-top, making it the most potent part of the plant. If your cat reacts to catnip, she will react to this.
With over 1,700 reviews and a rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon, it’s no wonder it’s Amazon’s Choice for Catnip Toys. It’s only $6 and this particular toy has almost 50% fewer returns on Amazon than other catnip toys.
Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana Key Features:
- Comes in banana, apple, lemon, and rainbow
- 100% organic catnip
- Handmade in the USA
Best Electronic Toy Pick: Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Twice the Mice Cat Toy
The Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Twice the Mice Cat Toy will play to your cat’s natural hunting instincts and if he’s an inside-only cat, this may be just the thing to keep him happy and stimulated. These mice come in a two pack and are designed to be as lifelike as is necessary to trick your cat into thinking she has caught a mouse. (Or at least to please her by pretending.)
These mice make a realistic squeaking noise that mimics that of a mouse caught by a cat, so your cat will be all the more convinced. You can hide these mice to add to her play, giving her an excuse to practice her hunting, stalking and pouncing skills. Not only will this keep her active and more likely to remain at a healthy weight, but it will stimulate her mentally as she acts out her primal instincts.
This is Amazon’s Choice for Battery Operated Cat Toys and has earned a 4.6 star rating with over 500 reviews. And getting a two pack for less than $10 is a great deal.
Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Twice the Mice Cat Toy Key Features:
- Patented “RealMouse” sound
- Contains Catnip
- Includes 2 lifelike mice
Who Should Buy Cat Toys
Most anyone with a cat will want to pick up at least a few cat toys. But there are a few motivating factors that can make toys especially beneficial to you and your cat. If your cat is acting out and destroying your things, for example. It may seem counter intuitive to reward bad behavior, but don’t worry; your cat won’t make that kind of connection. If you provide constructive or approved activity and toys for your cat she’s less likely to play (and tear up) your things.
Another great reason to get cat toys is if your cat is getting a bit over weight. Creating a more active environment will allow kitty to shed a few pounds and that could really help her overall health. Even if neither of those justifications fit, it’s okay to get your cat toys just because. You love them, they will enjoy them. That’s enough for us.
Important Features to Consider
Cat toys should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a cat toy:
- Durability vs. cost. Your cat is a lovable creature, but don’t forget how destructive she can be. So when you’re looking for a toy for her, keep in mind anything you’re likely to give her that’s played with often will be the recipient of her destructive tendencies. You won’t want to spend a lot of money on toys that are designed to be disposable. Conversely, don’t be opposed to spending serious cash on a quality toy that will last your cat many hours of play.
- Safety. There are toys you’ll want to watch your cat with and some toys you may choose to eliminate altogether. Always read the labels and the cautions that are presented there. If a toy needs to be monitored then you’ll have to make special accommodations and put them up when you’re not able to be with your cat. Because cats are prone to blockages with hairballs, you’ll need to consider the safety of anything that, if digested, can contribute to those.
- Fitness. If you’re getting cat toys because your cat is gaining a bit of weight, you’ll want to look for toys that require a lot of activity on your cat’s part. That could mean electronic toys that they have to chase to play with or it could mean the feather poles to tantalize. As long as your cat’s play with a toy is the kind that keeps her active, that’s the kind you’ll want for a chubby feline.
- Hands-on vs. independent play. You probably love to play with your cat but simply don’t have the time. And during those down times kitty can get bored and cause trouble. If you can’t be with them all the time, though, (and who can!) you may want to look into some electronic toys or ball toys that won’t run out of batteries while they bat them. For toys that you purchase that require hands-on, don’t waste the opportunity; pick up the ones that are particularly enjoyable for your cat but need you to keep an eye on. I.E. The catnip toys that you’ll want to limit their contact with or the feather and string toys that need monitored. Just because you need to watch them, doesn’t mean they won’t be the cat’s favorite toys.
- Longevity of interest. This is particularly relevant if you plan on getting catnip toys. You shouldn’t get too many toys with catnip, knowing that they can only play with those toys for a period of time before it stops effecting them. And if you know your cat kind of likes a toy, maybe it’s not one you should waste the money or time on giving her. If you don’t know if your cat will remain interested in a particular toy, start small and make the purchase as inexpensive as possible to gauge interest before big investments like cat condos.
- Space. There are plenty of cat toys that take up a good amount of space. Between cat tunnels and scratching posts, cat beds and cat condos, there’s plenty that you can get to make your cat a very stimulated and happy cat. You could turn your whole house into a cat playpen and your cat will not be one bit sad. But you shouldn’t need too many of these to keep them satisfied and you should keep in mind your home when you’re making these purchases. Just because a cat tunnel is rated highly and you just know your cat would love it, doesn’t mean you should get it if it will block off parts of your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are cat toys?
Honestly, if ever were there an animal to make their own fun, a cat would be that animal. But their form of entertainment is not necessarily in your best interest. So while your cat may think the armrest of your recliner is a fun toy (or pushing all of your belongings off a counter is a fun game), buying toys that will occupy her time is probably the safest route. You can look for toys with soft bells or string, electronic things for her to chase or even toys that are meant for them to scratch and destroy and that should keep your cat occupied enough that you won’t have to worry as much about your own possessions.
What toys do cats like best?
Each cat is different but generally, the toys that are the most well loved are those that either foster interactive play and bonding with you or those that appeal to the cat’s instincts. If you are playing with the cat, then she’s getting attention and most cats love that. If the toys plays on the cat’s hunting instincts, like an electronic mouse to pounce, or a ball to bat as if she were batting her prey, it goes over pretty well, too.
The other (possibly obvious) answer is catnip toys. Catnip is a mild hallucinogen for cats and is similar to a mint. If you crush the catnip leaves, the scent of those crushed leaves is what will give the kitty the buzz, so cats will roll and paw at it to make the scent stronger. It also has many similarities to a male cat’s urine, so perhaps that’s why some cats react as if they’re in heat; rolling, yowling and slobbering.
Are catnip toys safe for cats?
Yes, catnip is absolutely safe for a cat. They can’t get addicted and they aren’t harmed by its inhalation. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind, though. First, your cat needs to be at least 6 months before it really effects her. And even after 6 months, 1/3 of cats still have no reaction to it, and another third only react mildly; the final third are those who have strong reactions. Second, the effects only last for 5-15 minutes, so don’t expect hours of play. And lastly, you can overindulge your cat. That is, she can develop a tolerance for it and no longer feel the “high” after inhalation. So if you’d like to keep this toy in regular rotation, best to give it to her for special occasions and no more than once a week.
Are toys with feathers safe for cats?
Like most toys, the answer to whether it is safe is both yes and no. You can play with your cat using ribbon, yarn and feathers, of course. But you want to make sure you’re keeping an eye on her while she does. If she ingests too much of any of those three, she runs a severe risk of a blockage she can’t move. And with cats and their hairballs, they are already at an increased risk of that, so you need to be extra diligent with toys that can contribute to a blockage. Before you nix them completely, though, keep in mind how much enjoyment they typically get out of these toys. There’s a reason when you think of a ball of yarn you think of a cat: most absolutely adore playing with them.
Other Cat Toys We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other cat toys. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat toys list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing. We broke them down into the following categories:
This is Amazon’s choice for variety packs because it has twenty different, quality toys for under $15.
- Contains 3 catnip toys: 2 sacks and a fish
- Includes feather wand, rope balls, and a variety of bell, ball, and mice toys
- Some colors and styles vary
Your cat will have her pick of toys with this variety pack of 13.
- Includes 6 balls, 3 poms and 1 wand baton
- 3 catnip toys included: 2 mice and 1 fish
- Color and styles may vary
This cat toy is a hide-and-go-seek box where your cat will hide a variety of toys within.
- Strong wood material
- Contains box, rattle ball, foam ball, and toy mouse
- 9.8″L x 9.8″W x 2.4″H; Hole diameter – 1.7″
This variety pack features a wand baton, and several other classic toys to keep your kitty happy.
- Cat “fishing pole” and a fish attachment
- 7 other toys: Mylar balls, feather toys and mice
- Catnip pillow also included
This variety pack includes large and small toys and all the sizes in between, giving your cat a wide range of activity from which to choose.
- Contains tunnel, wand, attachments and crinkle balls
- 5 Mice and 4 rope toy varieties included
- 100% satisfaction guaranteed
This electronic mouse will play peek-a-boo with your cat making her pounce over and over with delight.
- Quiet track tech; no noise
- 2 speed settings to keep cat entertained
- Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)
This toy will play hide-and-seek with your cat, making her chase the feather all over.
- RealMouse sounds
- 8.2″ Diameter
- Center is carpeted for scratching
This electronic bird will chirp realistically, making your cat frenzied in her excitement to play.
- 7 varieties of chirping toys available
- Filled with Catnip
- Touch activated real bird sounds
This is a toy that will have your cat chasing and pouncing it for months!
- Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)
- 2 speeds to keep cat guessing
- Satisfaction guarantee
This toy set will provide your cat plenty of light chasing fun.
- Flashlight or laser pointer mode
- Includes bonus feather mouse
- Requires 1 AA battery (not included)
The more actively your cat plays with this, the more treats she’ll get, making this a wash for weight loss but a win for fun!
- Works for dogs or cats
- 4.6″H x 3.9″W
- 1-year warranty
This will give your cat an active workout without you needing to engage her yourself; just turn it on and let it go!
- 360 degree rotation
- Auto shut off
- Requires 2 AA batteries (not included)
All cats love this taunting feather; or rather, they love to catch that taunting feather!
- Soft foam handle
- Made with durable and non toxic materials
- Includes wand, feather and 6 replacement feathers
This wand is a durable rainbow ribbon for your cat to chase; she’ll remain interested as long as you can wag it.
- Durable and safe construction
- Made with non-toxic materials
- Made in the USA
This toy doubles as a comfy bed and nice place for privacy for your cat.
- 3 entrances to tunnel
- 2 color choices
- Hanging ball in entrance
This pack of mice is sure to keep your cat well-stocked in hunting prey.
- Includes 12 mice
- Each mouse is filled with catnip
- Made with hard plastic center and furry exterior
With this tunnel, your cat can get away from it all and feel protected as she stalks her prey (whatever toy she puts inside).
- Windows for maximum visibility
- Folds flat for portability
- Key feature 3
The crinkle sound may drive you nuts, but your cat absolutely loves it.
- Made of metallic Mylar
- Each ball measures 1.2″ wide
- Set of 12: 4 purple/green ones, 4 red/gold ones, and 4 green/gold
This toy offers three rows of balls to chase in circles, giving her plenty of opportunities to fit her active play into her day.
- 3 layers of tracks with 1 ball in each
- Closed top and no slip base pads
- 9.75”L x 9.75”W x 6″H
This catnip set will give your kitty all she needs for a wonderful little kitty-buzz.
- Includes 3 fish catnip toys with crinkles
- No chemicals or pesticides during the production of catnip
- Contains recycled plastic