For cats, playtime is so much more than a simple bit of fun. It is a time when your kitty can get a physical workout, some mental stimulation, and the chance to show off their natural hunting instincts. As a cat owner, it also provides the perfect opportunity for you to bond with your four-legged friend, developing a stronger connection that lasts for life. And rather than just using the same old bit of string or half-chewed mouse, your cat will appreciate the game a lot more if you choose something that captures their interest and requires a little more skill. So, we have selected the best interactive cat toys for you to browse through and perhaps even find your kitty’s next favorite toy.
The Best Interactive Cat Toy
With its bright colors and three levels of balls that spin around as your cat bats and paws at them, this interactive toy is a great way of allowing your cat to access their inner hunter. The construction offers a level of durability, while it has a non-slip base that keeps it firmly in place while your cat is playing.
This is a great option for indoor cats who otherwise struggle to get the exercise they need. You can leave it for your cat to play on their own or you can give them a helping hand by spinning the balls around and starting off the fun.
Built with a closed top
Suitable for one or more cats
Provides mental and physical workout
Highly rated product
- Weight11.7 ounces
The next one is a battery-operated laser toy that emits a light for your kitty to chase around and ‘catch’. It moves around over both walls and floors in an unpredictable pattern, which encourages your cat’s hunting instincts.
You can use it in both automatic or manual mode, so you have the option of playing with your cat directly or allowing them to have fun on their own. Either way, it automatically shuts off after 15 minutes to prevent your cat from becoming overstimulated.
Laser moves randomly over surfaces
Safe for automatic or manual use
Shuts off after 15 minutes to prevent overstimulation
- Weight7.8 ounces
Sometimes, you just need a simple toy to play with your cat and you can entertain them for hours on end. This one consists of a spring steel wire and rolled cardboard, but the way it moves has an endless allure for kitties.
A highly affordable option, all you need to do is bounce it around a little bit for your cat to enjoy chasing it around. Millions of owners and their pets have home tested the device, and it has received thousands of positive reviews online.
Made in the USA
Thousands of positive reviews
Home-tested by millions of cats
- BrandCat Dancer Products
- Weight0.6 ounces
Next on the list, we have this puzzle box game, which helps your cat to work out their natural instincts. There are three difficulty levels, so if they get the hang of one, you can up the challenge and start on the next.
This maze and puzzle feeder is compatible with a wide range of treats and toys including catnip, wand toys, and crinkle balls. And when using it with treats, it presents some natural advantages including slowing down your cat’s eating and aiding digestion.
Encourages natural instincts
Works with popular cat toys and treats
Recommended by vets
Promotes the improvement of digestive health
- BrandCat Amazing
- Weight12 ounces
Under the cover of a mat, this cat toy replicates the way that hidden prey moves with lights and a wand. Both light and motion combine to make this a highly attractive toy to your four-legged friend. You can even choose between two different speeds.
Everything is made in a durable way, but there are additional feather wands available if you need them. Remember that you need to turn the toy off manually when it is time for your cat to stop playing as you don’t want them to get overstimulated.
Moving lights and wand
Two different speeds
Battery life of one hour
Mimics the movement of prey
- Weight12 ounces
Formulated to provide a highly strong and aromatic blend of catnip, this will provoke a high level of playfulness in your furry friend. The material is super soft felt, which your cat will enjoy attacking and hunting to their heart’s content.
Some of the positive effects include relieving your kitty of stress, anxiety, and boredom. This one comes in a pepper format, but there are several different designs to choose between.
Catnip-filled feline toy
Made of super soft felt
Several designs to choose between
Helps to relieve stress and anxiety
- Weight1.6 ounces
A popular cat toy with three different fun attachments, the wand itself is highly durable. The handle is made of soft foam, which makes it comfortable for gripping.
As for the string, it is extra-long, which encourages your kitty to leap and bound after it as it bounces around. Ultimately, a wand is a great addition to any cat’s toybox, and this is one of the best options out there.
Friction-based pole connection
Handle is soft and durable
Three different attachment heads
- BrandPet Fit For Life
- Weight2.4 ounces
Our premium pick is a unique toy that you may not have seen before. It consists of a circular dome base and a feather that pops out of six different openings in a random manner, encouraging your cat to ‘hunt’ it.
At the bottom are some anti-skid feet which keep it locked firmly in place. You can extend and replace the feathers when needed. Replacement packs are available. The battery life is long, but it also shuts off automatically for preservation and to prevent overstimulation.
Suitable for kittens and older cats
Replacement feather available
Random and fast-paced movements
Provides mental and physical stimulation
- Weight1.2 pounds
A collapsible three-way tunnel, this toy encourages your kitten inside with the crinkle paper and balls that hang off the side which are just waiting to be batted! The construction is strong and polyester tear resistant.
If you want to take this toy on the go with you, all you have to do is fold it down and travel and storage are made possible. Several different colors are available, and you can tell that this is a quality product from the strength of the reviews.
Three large tunnels joined together
Construction is durable
Different colors available
Suitable for kittens
- BrandProsper Pet
- Model Cat Tunnel Black Pink
- Weight13.6 ounces
Last on the list, we have this electronic motion toy that is made of real feathers to trigger your cat’s hunting instincts. The movements also replicate the sometimes random way that prey would move. All of the plastic parts are made from recycles materials, so it is also an environmentally friendly option. Helps to maintain physical and mental health.
Erratically spinning feathers
Provokes natural hunting instincts
Made with real feathers
Small button prevents it from turning on and off accidentally
- Weight8.8 ounces
Best Interactive Cat Toy Buying Guide & FAQ
How to Choose the Right Toy for Your Cat
- Safe and Durable
Before you start looking at the individual benefits of the different toys to your four-legged friend, you need to ensure that whatever toys you choose are both safe and durable. Check previous reviews for any safety concerns that have been highlighted in the past. Give the toy an inspection to make sure that everything is attached where it should be and that it holds fast. Do the same whenever you play with your cat as there is every chance that some of the things could become loose or break off.
- Solo or Joint Play
Some cat toys are meant for your cat’s individual use, whereas others can be enjoyed together. Some are suitable for both. Ultimately, this has to be a judgement call based on what your cat enjoys and what you still need to add to their toybox.
The best cat toys move in the way that their prey would as this encourages them to ‘catch’ them. Sometimes, it is the simple toys that can be the most appealing. Again, you may need to do a bit of experimentation to work out what your cat enjoys and what they don’t respond to quite so well.
This comes down to the size of your pet and making sure that you don’t get anything that is too big for them to handle. Otherwise, they are not going to get the full enjoyment out of it and there may even be an element of danger there.
Benefits of Interactive Cat Toys
- Physical Exercise
The first and most obvious benefit to cats is the physical exercise that these automatic cat toys encourage. Many cats don’t get the exercise they need, whether this is because they live indoors, or they are simply too lazy. So, it is important that you make a special effort to get them moving. Not only does this serve to keep muscles working properly and maintain heart health, but it also helps to stave off obesity, which is an increasingly common condition in domesticated felines and one that has a myriad of health issues associated with it.
- Mental Stimulation
Just like humans, cats can get bored as well – and it is your job to provide them with something to do all day. Otherwise, it is more likely that they are going to engage in destructive behavior and suffer from mental health difficulties. The great thing about interactive cat toys is that they provide the interaction and activity that can keep your kitty interested in them for a long time.
- Build Up a Stronger Bond
Who doesn’t want to build up a strong bond with their four-legged friend? And one of the best ways of doing so is playing with your cat on a regular basis. In this way, they will naturally start to associate you with enjoyable and fun activities.
Different Types of Interactive Cat Toys
- Wand Toys
First, you have the classic wand toys, which in their essence feature a rod, some string, and attachments that go at the end and encourage your cat to bat and play with them. While they are simple, sometimes, they are all your cat needs for plenty of fun.
- Ball Toys
Balls are another simple and great addition to your cat’s toybox. What makes them interactive is the additional features such as tracks that they run around.
- Tunnels and Climbing Apparatus
Cats often have the urge to dive through an enclosed space or climb up to reach high ground. These interactive cat toys encourage your cat to tunnel and climb to their heart’s content.
- Catnip Toys
While this is a relatively broad category, catnip toys essentially consist of any toys that use catnip as a way of encouraging playful behavior in your feline.
- Laser Pointers
Another common category of cat toy are the cat laser toys. Some of these are simple handheld pointers, while others are standalone toys that shoot out the beams for your cat to chase.
- Treat or Puzzle Toys
Next, you have the treat toys, which encourage your cat to access the treats inside through a combination of mental and/or physical challenges.
- Moving Cat Toys
There are also the electronic cat toys that move on their own, encouraging your cat to chase and catch them.
Best Interactive Cat Toy FAQ:
Q: What are interactive cat toys?
A: Interactive cat toys are a little more complex than regular cat toys. It is a broad term that encompasses a number of different toy varieties, but what they have in common is that they engage your cat both mentally and physically. So, as well as giving your cat a physical workout, they also help to alleviate other issues such as stress, boredom, and anxiety.
Q: Are laser pointers really safe for cats?
A: There is some debate about whether laser pointers are a safe toy for cats, but you can help to improve their safety. First, you should move any objects out of the way that your kitty could hurt themselves on. Supervise them at all times while they are playing to watch out for any signs of overstimulation. One of the main issues that people have is that they provide the thrill of the chase without the satisfaction of actually catching anything, so you could always try using them in conjunction with other toys like toy mice, directing your cat to catch them from time to time.
Q: Are catnip toys safe for cats?
A: Catnip is safe and non-addictive for all cat breeds. Effects of it tend to last for between 5 and 15 minutes, though it doesn’t work on all felines. Around a third of cats will not react at all. However, you can overindulge your cat by giving them catnip toys too often, so it is best to bring them out from time to time and keep them hidden away on other occasions. Rotation of your cat’s toys is the best way of keeping them interesting and ensuring that your kitty receives the benefits of them all.
Our Top Pick
Returning back to our number one choice, it is this one, where the balls spin and roll around three different layers. The top is closed to ensure that the balls stay in place, while the non-slip base ensures that your kitty won’t knock it over. It is suitable for playtime with one or multiple cats. Both affordable and popular, we rank it at the top of our list of interactive cat toys.