Best Cat Toy – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Cat Toy – Reviews & Buying Guide (July 2019)

Updated: June 6, 2019

Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy

After 38 hours spent researching the best cat toys, we think Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: brand, type, design, color, battery, activation, auto off, speed control, lights, durable, fun, child-safe, assembly required, weight, and warranty, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityDurabilityAppearanceMaintenanceValue for Moneybrandtypedesigncolorbatteryactivationauto offspeed controllightsdurablefunchild-safeassembly requiredweightwarranty
Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat ToyCatit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat ToyCheck Price4.54.55.04.04.54.5CatitInteractive toyBall, trackWhite, blueNot requiredPull tabNoNoYesYesYesYesYes2.44 lbs1 year
Friends Forever Laser Interactive Cat ToyFriends Forever Laser Interactive Cat ToyCheck Price4.85.04.54.55.05.0Friends ForeverInteractive toyLaser, mirrorGrey3 AAOn / off switch15 min3 speedsYesYesYesNoNo0.61 lbs1 year
PetFusion Ambush Interactive Cat ToyPetFusion Ambush Interactive Cat ToyCheck Price4.95.05.05.04.55.0PetFusionInteractive toyPlush toyWhite4 AAOn / off switch8 minNoYesYesYesYesNo1.3 lbs1 year
PetSafe Bolt Laser Interactive Cat ToyPetSafe Bolt Laser Interactive Cat ToyCheck Price4.65.04.54.54.05.0PetSafeInteractive toyLaser, mirrorWhite4 AAOn / off switch15 minNoYesYesYesNoNo0.4 lbs1 year
SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat ToySmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat ToyCheck Price4.34.54.04.04.54.5SmartyKatInteractive toyWand, plush toy, coverBlue3 AAOn / off switchNo2 speedsYesYesYesYesNo0.4 lbs1 year
Best Cat Toy

The best cat toy can make your feline friend forget everything else in the entire world, although it usually has no problem doing that on a regular basis.

At least a toy can provide exercise, unlike the bird outside the window your cat stares at all day.

You’ve just lured your cat into its cat carrier with some cat food because it was time to take them to the vet for a serious cat flea treatment. After returning home with a cat cone around their little neck you notice that your couch has become the latest cat scratching post and the sound from their formerly beloved automatic cat litter box terrifies them.

Your cat is probably still a little anxious or upset, but you have their favorite toy for them and in no time, the world is right again.

A really great cat toy can settle your cat down, relieving their anxiety and soothing them. It can keep them from using the cat litter box like it’s a cat scratching pad when they’re bored and can simply provide them with hours of entertainment.

Though your cat is easily amused by their cat harness and the cat litter crystals stuck in the cat litter mat, a toy made specifically to bring joy also helps them work on their hunting and tracking skills, letting them dig into those natural instincts instead of shredding the curtains or knocking over the cat water fountain.

A cat tree is a great start, but there are many other toys out there and a few may even be perfect for your cat.

Selection Of The Best Cat Toys

Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy

Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy
(rated 4.5 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Friends Forever Laser Interactive Cat Toy

Friends Forever Laser Interactive Cat Toy
(rated 4.8 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

PetFusion Ambush Interactive Cat Toy

PetFusion Ambush Interactive Cat Toy
(rated 4.9 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

PetSafe Bolt Laser Interactive Cat Toy

PetSafe Bolt Laser Interactive Cat Toy
(rated 4.6 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy

SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy
(rated 4.3 / 5)
Quality
Durability
Appearance
Maintenance
Value for Money
Check Price

Best Cat Toy Buying Guide

Toys that Dispense Food or Treats

Entice your cat to play by giving them a toy that promises cat or kitten food for figuring out some kind of puzzle. They will have to use their smarts and skills to figure out the necessary steps to release the food.

All of these toys don’t revolve around a reward system, however. Some function as an automatic cat feeder, only dispensing food after a certain amount of time. These might be the best cat toys for lazy cats that have become overweight.

Catnip Filled Prey

Have your cat chewing, licking and drooling over any toy containing catnip. Even the feline that never leaves the cat bed would come running to play. These toys usually come in the shape of small animals like mice, and make your cat feel as if they are on a hunt, chasing real prey.

Truly irresistible, these are some of the best cat toys for bored cats and will keep them entertained for hours on end. Too bad you can’t sprinkle some on the cat leash so that they love that too!

Built for Individual Play

Designed for play on their own, these cat toys for lazy owners or those too busy to play with their feline friends as often as they want, come in a wide variety. Some of the most popular ones are climbing towers or tunnels that your cat can run through all day long.

If you have more than one cat, look for toys that have multiple levels of play so they can all get in on the fun at the same time.

Toys for You and Your Cat

Think the classic mouse hanging from a string and the laser pointer. The best cat toy to bond with your kitty over is an interactive one. The whole point of these is for you and your cat to play together.

Interactive toys can be tiring (for the both of you!), but are by far the best cat toys for indoor cats. The energy your cat expends while playing decreases the chance that they’ll roam around and get into trouble from boredom.

Durability of Parts

For all their cuteness, cats can be destructive. Make sure the toys you buy are more durable than that last cat collar. Toys like cat balls will be sturdy because of their simplicity, but motorized toys can include components that over-excited cats can easily damage.

Before you buy a toy, pull on it gently. It shouldn’t come apart in your hands and it should also return to its normal shape after you’ve let go of it. Don’t buy anything that seems too fragile.

Safety of Parts

Cats may love playing with furry toys, but you’ll have to keep an eye on them to make sure the fur doesn’t loosen so much that the cat can swallow it. Wand toys should also be kept out of reach from your cat when you’re not around.

Buying safe cat toys that can be used when you’re not around is imperative. It’s equally important to check certain toys often and discard them when they become too damaged to play with.

How Challenging is it?

Boredom will set in if a toy is too simple or if it’s just too hard to figure out. Look for toys that include multiple degrees of difficulty so your cat doesn’t out-grow it.

Cats can like something one minute and be over it the next, but by choosing a toy that keeps them on their toes, the product will last much longer. Challenging games and puzzles are a good way to hone a cat’s skills and entertain them.

Sight & Sounds

Every cat doesn’t need to be enticed by food to play, but something usually needs to capture its attention. Cats are curious little creatures so if you don’t want them to get too used to playing only when food is the prize, try getting a toy that excites their ears and eyes.

Noises that cats respond to are bells, electronic chirps and crinkly sounds. When it comes to what draws their eye in, look for toys with lights, feathers, fluttery material or moving parts.

Can You Change the Scent?

The best cat toy can add surprise and delight to your cat’s daily exploration with a simple scent change. Scent signals are important to your cat’s exploration and communication. When they are exposed to new smells they become more active and ready to discover new things.

Find a toy that allows you to switch up the scent (what you can put inside of them). Catnip is a given, but your cat also loves cat grass, herbs like cardamom and cinnamon, honeysuckle and pheromones.

Electronic Options

Thankfully cats with a ton of energy have the option of playing with electronic toys. These are the types of toys that typically require a battery and keep your cat running through the entire house.

Laser pointers fall in this category, but you can find toys that run automatically or through the use of a remote. Either way the best cat toys for active cats probably fall into this category. These toys will ultimately produce some of the best cat naps.

Multi-Use

There’s nothing better than a product that can benefit you and your cat in more than one way. Some of the best motorized cat toys can be used manually. This is incredibly helpful for you if you still want to play with your cat once the batteries run out.

Other toys combine awesome features like scratching zones with balls that roll around a track. Cats can get their scratching needs done while simultaneously honing their skills. You’ll be surprised by the combinations available.

Movement of Toys

Consider how the toy you’ve chosen is going to move around the house. If it has batteries, it may be able to move on its own. However, most toys will move because your cat chooses to move them.

Look for toys that have rubber grips at the bottom to keep your floor from being scratched up. For lazy cats, consider toys that are weighted and can be played with in a more stationary capacity. Weighted toys are particularly good for cats that spend a good deal of time in a cat cage.

Size of the Toy

People often forget that cats aren’t all the same. They come in different sizes and the toys they play with do as well. Getting a toy that’s the right size for your cat is an important consideration to keep them safe and entertained.

Toys that are too large may be too difficult for your cat to manage and they will not play with it. If you buy toys that are too small, they can accidentally swallow one of the parts.

Materials

Cat toys come in a variety of different materials. Common materials are plastic, which are what most puzzles and electronic ones are made of, wood (make sure you check for splintered pieces) or fabric.

Soft, plush toys made of fleece, fur and wool are easy for a cat to pick up and carry around the house. They are great for engaging in stalking prey, allowing your cat to pounce and chase, but are also comforting and encourage snuggling making them great toys for anxious cats.

Price

If your cat is like most, they are going to get a kick out of toys that entertain them no matter the price, so don’t feel the need to buy the most high-end toy on the market.

Finding a toy that can grow with them or offers more than one benefit may be worth the investment, but it really comes down to what’s convenient for you. Make sure you know the best cat toy for your cat before investing a ton of money in an item.

Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy
Our pick for the best cat toy is: Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching cat toys.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I figure out what kind of toys my cat enjoys playing with?

The only way to really know what your cat likes is by experimenting. This is one of the most difficult parts of the buying process because cats can often be unpredictable.

You’ll have to try out different types of toys and notice your cat’s reaction to them. Don’t spend too much money during this stage. Head to the dollar store and buy various types of toys, spending no more than a few dollars. Your cat will quickly show you what they like.

How many toys does my cat need to have at one time?

While there’s no set number of toys a cat should have, you should know that if your cat is young it will change its mind often about what it wants to play with. Keeping a number of toys around to rotate can keep it from getting bored and destructive.

Another reason to keep enough toys to rotate is that having only one or two means they will get worn out much quicker if it’s the only thing your cat has to play with.

What kind of toys are good for my older cats?

The best toys for older cats are typically those that are catnip-based. She can spend hours rolling around with it and enjoying it at her own pace. It’ important that she’s allowed to play and expend energy at the rate she wants to.

Any interactive cat toy for older cats with batteries is out of the question. Senior cats will not be interested. But a soft felt banana filed with catnip may turn them into a kitten all over again!

Are cat toys actually necessary for my cat?

New cat owners may feel that cats are too stand-offish to bother with cat toys, but the truth is they are beneficial for a number of reasons.

Cat toys provide exercise to sedentary cats, relief from anxiety for cats dealing with change, help you bond with your cat and provide them with mental stimulation. Most importantly, they improve the overall health of your pet. The key is to find toys to keep your cat entertained for hours.

What toys are dangerous to my cat?

Avoid toys that are choking hazards for your cat. This includes toys with very small pieces and yarn. Also beware of cat toy balls. Cats love to chase them but you must buy the right size so your cat cannot swallow them.

Super cheap toys shouldn’t be left unsupervised because you are paying for what you get. Check out any toy to make sure it doesn’t fall apart after regular levels of cat play. Softer toys will always be safer than hard plastic, too.

Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy
Our pick for the best cat toy is: Catit Design Senses Roller Circuit Cat Toy. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching cat toys.

Sources

  1. Environmental Enrichment for Indoor Cats: Implementing Enrichment, National Institutes of Health, Jan 5, 2012
  2. Santa Paws Pet Toy Project and Supplies for Shelter Cats and Dogs, Huntsville Alabama, Dec 14, 2016
  3. An owner survey of toys, activities, and behavior problems in indoor cats, US Department of Agriculture, Jan 5, 2014
  4. Cat play and toys, Wikipedia
  5. Laser Cat Toy, University of Wyoming, Jul 27, 2018
  6. eMouse Smart Cat Toy, College of Engineering Boston University
  7. 10 of the best cat toys, The Telegraph, Dec 12, 2017
  8. Cat Toys, Target
  9. LURVIG Cat toy, IKEA
  10. 7 Cat Toy Dangers You Should Know, petMD

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