Top 18 Best Cat Toys Reviews – for Cat Lover in 2019
18 Cool And Best Interactive Cat Toys
Cat owners who take great care to provide their pets with all of the great food and creature comforts possible often neglect one of the most important ingredients for happy and healthy cats: the best cat toys.
You might think, while watching your feline friend lazily sunning himself or dozing contentedly, that play isn’t all that important to him. The truth is just the opposite; cats enjoy the physical and mental stimulation of play, they enjoy time spent with their owner, and they relish the opportunity to exercise and demonstrate their natural hunting skills. It also helps keep them healthy and active.
Poking at a limp mouse sitting on the ground or swatting a little ball with a bell in it isn’t going to constitute long-term “play” for most cats. You can buy him lots of solo cat exercise toys or gadgets advertised as the best toys for cats home alone, but for most pets that’s not enough. He wants interaction and that requires toys that will stimulate him, or even better, ones you can use to play with your feline friend.
There are lots of awesome cat toys that will challenge your cat to indulge his natural instincts or to let the two of you bond, while keeping him happy and healthy.
The 18 Best Cat Toys – Reviews
I’ve mixed in some more traditional solo cat toys, but these are my choices for the 18 best stimulating, interactive cat toys, based both on experience and cat toys Amazon reviews from other owners.
1. Catit Design Senses Play Circuit
This sensational setup isn’t geared for full cat-human interaction, but you can help your cat play with it – and it may be the best cat toy ever. The Play Circuit has three different sections, all created to indulge your cat’s curiosity, hunting instinct and intelligence in very creative ways. The main area features a curved track with a small ball inside, designed to encourage a cat to bat the ball through the side cut-outs of the track and be rewarded with the visual and audible sensations the movement creates.
There’s a lot more, though. There’s a Food Maze that dispenses treats for your cat, but only if he reaches in and pushes them correctly through the maze. There’s a Massage Center which has different areas for relaxing and rubbing, all at different heights and with different textures. And additional sections, like speed circuits, scratch pads and grass gardens can be added as options.
The Senses Play Circuit is extremely reasonably-priced for all of the stimulation and relaxation it provides, and it provides ample opportunity to lie on the floor with your cat and help him play. It deserves a spot on anyone’s list of the top cat toys, and it hits the top spot on mine.
- Engages sight, sound, touch, hunting instinct and intellect during play
- Lightweight, easy to assemble and move around the house
- Not a fully-interactive toy
- Adding extra sections require extra expense
- Not every cat is interested in the more complicated tasks
2. Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy
This less-complicated cat toy was created with the same basic goals as the Play Circuit, and can be picked up for about one-third the price. In short, it’s a cat toy circle with a ball inside; actually, there are three levels and three balls that your pet can roll and spin for entertainment and to engage his hunting desires. The fact that there are three different balls makes this ideal for a multiple cat home, since kitties can play together with the Tower of Tracks.
This may not be the perfect choice if you’re comparing it to the best interactive cat toys for an owner and a cat, but it does double duty as a solo/group cat toy and one that lets you play along with your cat while sitting on the floor. One important note: if you’ve looked at this in the past and seen criticisms about the hole at the top of the tower, where cats can potentially stick their heads and get stuck, Petstages has put a bar across the top so it’s no longer an issue.
- Good for solo play, multiple cat play and play-along by owner
- Three tracks with three balls, and different patterns on balls, intrigue cats
- Not a fully-interactive toy
fragile,breaks easily if side tabs are stepped on
- Fascination wears off for some cats
3. Petty Love House Cat Activity Center
Parents are very familiar with baby activity centers – the ones with a floor mat and all sorts of dangling toys that babies can bat and pull as they develop their dexterity. The Petty Love House is the feline version, and it’s just as much fun for cats. Your pet can sit, sprawl, roll or play on the padded mat (putting a little catnip there might make the Love House even more addicting) and reach up to play with the four dangling stuffed mice and noisy balls hanging from the criss-cross fabric braces. You can hang your own toys there as well.
I know I started out by saying that toys for cats should be interactive, and this may sound like more of a solo activity. Without question, if you have multiple kitties this is one of the best cat toys to keep them busy. But as with the first two listings, the real fun comes when you play along with your cat, making the balls or toys swing to entice him to get involved; that’s much different than a stuffed toy that sits on the floor, requiring him to do all the work. One caveat on the Petty Love House: it’s somewhat flimsy and not going to hold up for years. It’s definitely worth it for the price, though.
- Good for play-along and also solo play
- Engages cat’s hunting instincts
- Not a fully-interactive toy
- Might require catnip to get
- Rather flimsy
4. FroliCat Bolt Interactive Laser Pet Toy
We move further into the interactive realm with this cat laser toy, which is also versatile enough to be set on automatic mode to entertain your pet while you’re busy for a little while. A red laser light is mounted on a rotating turntable, so when operating in automatic mode it generates patterns of light that cats love to chase and try to “catch.” In manual mode you can aim the laser to make this truly a two-way point-and-chase game. The Bolt makes a very low-volume noise when it’s in use, not annoying to humans but good for letting your cat know that you’ve turned it on and it’s time to play. There’s also a 15-minute shutoff feature in automatic mode.
The FroliCat Bolt isn’t expensive but it’s built well, manufactured by PetSafe which makes great equipment. It does require four AA batteries, but that’s a small price to pay for automatic cat toys that can also provide a fully-interactive experience.
- Perfect for interactive play but also great for solo activity
- Laser is strong enough to be used in bright rooms
- Cats love lasers (at least, any cat I’ve ever known)
- Made of plastic, could crack if mishandled
- Automatic patterns aren’t completely random
- Requires batteries
5. SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toys Catnip Mice
Please, no complaints. I know catnip mice aren’t interactive. But I didn’t feel any best cat toys reviews compilation would be complete unless solo toys were represented, and this very inexpensive three-pack from SmartKat is the best on the market. The three fluffy mice with long tails are well made, they’re filled with fiberfill and pure catnip, and they’re just the right size for cats to bat and chase – at least until they end up under the couch and your pet is whining at you to retrieve them.
Interactive and automated cat toys are great, but you always have to have a few of these around the house, too. Skitter Critters fit the bill very well.
Generousamount of catnip to keep cats interested
- Less expensive than most commonly-seen sets
- Not interactive
- No way to refill catnip inside
- Will get lost quickly
6. Fashion’s Talk Cat Toys Variety Pack
While on the subject of simple but addicting fun cat toys, this variety pack is worth checking out if you’re tired of constantly replacing toy mice and balls, or if Christmas is coming and your cat has been nice this year. It’s a 20-pack of assorted traditional cat toys, with balls (hard and soft, with and without bells), stuffed mice and other creatures, crinkle toys, glitter balls, small catnip packs, teaser toys with feathers and small leashes – every pack is a bit different but each has a very good, varied collection.
Whenever you have a new kitten, you always find yourself at the pet store picking out a bunch of kitten toys for the new arrival; it’s part of the required routine. The Fashion’s Talk Variety Pack saves you the trip to the store, and at a bargain price, saves you some money as well.
- Lots of toys with
- Very inexpensive for 20 cat toys
- Catnip toys included
- Not interactive
- Toys have varying quality, some won’t last long
- Assortment is heavy on balls
7. Kong Cat Cozie Kickaroo Catnip Toy
Some cats will find these great to chase around the house, but others will prefer to grab one to sleep with while taking a nap. The Cozie Kickaroo is a nine-inch long cuddly fabric toy with a fuzzy tail, and you’ll randomly receive a frog, bear or raccoon when you order online. There’s premium catnip inside and the toy makes a crinkly sound during play.
The manufacturer says that the material, shape and size of the Cozie Kickaroo were specifically chosen to promote hind-paw kicking and wrestling, which seems to be over-analyzing things just a bit. But this toy definitely resemble a cat’s prey much more than an unrealistic-looking blob of fabric that’s labeled as being a “mouse.” It’s a small toy, but cats do seem to be surprisingly obsessed with the Cozie Kickaroo in the same way that small children lock onto their favorite stuffed animal.
- Better resembles prey than most toys
- Premium catnip inside
- Most cats fixate on them for long periods of time
- Not interactive
- Can’t choose color or model when ordering online
- Rather expensive for a single small toy
8. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Concealed Motion Toy
The top electronic cat toys allow you to customize movement as you play with your cat, and that’s why the Hot Pursuit is one of the best choices you’ll find among the tons of battery operated cat toys on the market. There are two interchangeable wands with cat toys on their ends; they’re mostly concealed just underneath the fabric base, and manipulated so that they move in unpredictable directions to tease your cat until he pounces.
With four movement speeds to choose from you can adjust the pace and challenge of the cat’s hunt during play, allowing for interaction during playtime. The motor automatically shuts off whenever your pet “catches” the prey and won’t release it, and while it’s possible for him to detach the wand if he pulls hard enough, you can click it right back into place when he’s finally ready to let go. The Hot Pursuit requires three AAA batteries, and is great to satisfy a cat’s hunting instinct.
- Well-designed to let cats hunt
- Speed selections allow a measure of interactive play
- Two wands/toys for variety
- Arms can detach frequently when
- Possible for some cats to catch prey quickly and get bored
- Requires frequent battery changes
9. PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy And Food Dispenser
Those who are looking for useful yet unique cat toys for only a few bucks might be taken with the SlimCat Food Dispenser. It’s a ball about six inches in diameter (and available in several colors), which can hold cat treats or dry food. As your cat pushes the ball around, pieces of food drop out of three holes on the bowl, encouraging him to continue exercising in order to get more food or treats.
The SlimCat holds about ¾ cup of food, and you can adjust the size of the holes to accommodate what you put inside or to adjust how quickly the food comes out. By doing that, you can spread a mealtime over as long as an hour or two while ensuring that your voracious cat gets the exercise he needs.
- Prevents binge eating
- Motivates cats to exercise
- Adjustable holes are convenient for tailoring food release
Ballcan get stuck in some large spaces
- Very smart cats can learn to bat the ball between two paws to dispense food
- Food can end up left on floor and potentially crushed into carpet
10. Kong Naturals Crinkle Cat Toy
There’s nothing fancy about these toy fish, but they’re environmentally-friendly and inexpensive solo playthings. They’re made from all-natural fabric, dyes and feathers with fluffy middles and long feathery tails that entice curious cats, and are filled with natural catnip. They also crinkle when touched, a favored sound for most kitties.
There’s really not much more to say about them, other than mentioning that you could pay double the price at your local store for these simple cat toys. Amazon and other retailers make it possible to pick them up cheaply – and that’s the best way to go.
- Cats love the feathers and the crinkling sound
- High-quality and environmentally-friendly
- Easily lost behind or under furniture
- Fascination can wear off quickly for some cats
- Feathers can occasionally be pulled off and potentially be eaten
11. Catit Senses 2.0 Digger For Cats
Most people probably wish they had the imagination that the designers at Catit do. Their toys are specifically created to indulge and stimulate cats’ natural instincts and the Digger for Cats is another great example. A large plastic base has five different sizes of green tubes, into which you place cat treats or dry food; this encourages your cat to hunt for his food, and then dig for it with his natural pawing behavior.
The Senses 2.0 Digger is stable with a wide base and has a rubber mat underneath, to stop it from moving as your cat digs. The rounded tubes are safe and can be removed easily for cleaning, or to show your cat the kibble in the wells at the bottom so he can see what the goal of the feeder is. Well-designed, well-built and fun.
- Stimulates cats’ natural behavior
- Prevents binge eaters from over-indulging
- Well-built and well-designed
- Some cats simply can’t figure it out
- Declawed cats may have difficulty
- More expensive than a food bowl (but more fun)
12. Kong Refillable Catnip Cat Toy
The Kong Catnip Toy doesn’t look like much. It’s a tiny (and ugly) squirrel that only costs a few bucks. However, there are two important positives to this Kong toy: it’s refillable, so you can continually replace the catnip inside – and for whatever reason, cats really do love it. If there was such a thing as a licking/biting/carrying around the house quotient, this squirrel would score off the charts, even though I can’t understand why. The refillable catnip pouch, though, is a great benefit for cat owners since most toys have to be thrown away or sprayed once the catnip inside dries out. The toy is well-made and durable (for a small cat toy), making it one of the best toys for kittens in the budget range.
- Refillable catnip pouch
- Better construction than most cheap cat toys
- Cats adore it
- Easily lost
- Some cats may lose interest in it
- Not interactive
13. Go Cat Teaser Cat Catcher Wand
Motorized cat toys are great, and they’re definitely cool, but I’m a huge fan of interactive manual play between owner and cat. There’s no better way to do that than with a wand toy. The Go Cat Teaser consists of a 12-inch long, plastic glitter wand (which attracts your cat’s attention) and a two-inch mouse with a three-inch tail that’s attached to one end of the wand with a braided wire (much better than string which can be bitten off and be eaten).
You can easily figure out the rest of the game. Being able to tease your cat with the dancing and darting mouse, and then letting him satisfy his hunting urges by catching it, creates the type of interactive play experience that makes a cat happy and reinforces the bond between the two of you. If you own a natural hunter, he won’t be able to get enough of this toy over the long haul.
Idealway to indulge a cat’s hunting desires
- Interactive cat-owner play creates a strong bond
- Most cats go crazy for it
- Rough hunting play can damage the mouse or wire
Metalconnection between wand and wire can be hazardous if a cat bites it
- Addictive for both cat and owner
14. PetFavorites Original Mylar Crinkle Balls
Anyone who’s owned cats knows that you usually don’t need an automatic laser cat toy to hold their interest. Crinkle balls can do the trick just as often – and they’re a lot, lot cheaper. This PetFavorites pack has twelve mylar balls in three different shiny patterns, each about 1½ inches in diameter and all built to crinkle when they’re carried, batted or grabbed. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
Mylar is a good material for crinkle balls because it’s tougher for cats to rip apart, but there still is that possibility, so these are not a good idea for solo play. For toss-and-chase, catch, or other supervised use, though, very little beats good crinkle balls.
Low-costway to entertain most cats
- Made from mylar, the best material for crinkle balls
- Loud crinkle sound
- Supervision required as cats could potentially rip the mylar and eat it
- Can’t be used near water, as the dye will bleed
- Easily lost
15. Kong Cat Hugga Wubba
The Hugga Wubba looks like it might fit right into the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba! or another children’s TV program. It’s an eight-inch long, fuzzy pink polyester “thing” with undefined features, three legs and a tail. And it’s another one of those cat toys that is unexplainably a hit with the feline crowd. Actually, some of its popularity can be explained by the fact that the head has a bell, the body rattles and the tail crackles, and there’s a good amount of catnip inside.
The Hugga Wubba doesn’t seem like anything special, but the price is reasonable are chances are good that it will be a big hit in any cat’s home.
- Popular with most cats
- Can be ripped by aggressive hunters
- Cat hair can stick to polyester
- Not interactive
16. Ethical Pet Wide Durable Heavy Gauge Plastic Colorful Springs
I’ve seen a lot of cool cat toys, but this one is really unusual. It’s a pack of ten colorful, flexible plastic springs, each about two inches long. The idea is that the shape of the springs allows them to easily roll on the floor, or bounce around in unexpected ways much differently than balls or stuffed mice. The unpredictability of the springs’ movements attracts attention and captures interest for much longer periods of time than more traditional moving cat toys.
The plastic is durable without any sharp edges, so these are very safe toys that will add a new dimension to your cat’s play.
- Lots of springs for the price
- Most cats find the unpredictable movement fun and stimulating
- Well-made and safe
- Small and can be lost easily
- Not all cats are intrigued
- Prolonged chewing can break pieces off; supervision required
17. Cat Charmer Wand Teaser Toy
Less elaborate than the Go Cat Teaser Wand reviewed earlier, this polycarbonate wand with dangling multi-color fabric performs the same function at a slightly lower price. And any wand that allows you to have fun with your cat while he gets aerobic exercise is still one of the best kitten toys ever invented. The construction of the Cat Charmer wand is simple but effective, and if there’s one thing that most cats love, it’s getting to use their hunting instinct and play with their owner at the same time.
Be sure not to leave the wand unattended, however, because cats have been known to gnaw at the fabric, chew off pieces and swallow them.
- Best way to indulge indoor cats’ hunting urges
- Good aerobic exercise
- Fabric can be dangerous to cats if eaten; don’t leave unattended
- Inexpensive materials and construction
- Relatively short wand
18. EOCU Remote Control Cat Toys
No list like this is complete without at least one remote control cat toy. So consider this list now complete with the inclusion of this set of three remote control cat toys from 5SPet. Three mice come with the kit, all able to go backward or forward by means of individual hand-held wireless remote controls. The mice are made from plush fabric and are set on little PVC carriages with wheels, and work as far as 30 feet away from the remotes.
The mice are pretty big, about six inches long with a five-inch tail, so they may scare some cats instead of engaging them. Others, though, will find them intriguing and fun to chase around the house. And the combination of younger kids, cats and the remote controlled mice is tough to beat. Five batteries are required for each mouse, three in the toy and two in the controller.
- Remotes have good range and work well
- Mice move well on wood floors
- Many cats are fascinated with them
- Some cats are scared by the large mice
- Loud motor
- Only forward and reverse movement, no turning ability
Why It’s Important to Play with Your Cat
Cats are naturally active and agile, but those who spend most or all of their time indoors can easily become lethargic, gain an unhealthy amount of weight and develop behavioral issues linked to boredom.
Playing with your cat gives him the mental and physical stimulation he needs to live a long, healthy life. It also gives him an outlet for the natural hunting urges he was born with but usually can’t indulge in an indoor environment, while building the important bond between happy cat and happy owner.
Any one of the options in these reviews will go a long way toward all of those goals, but I think the best cat toys to start with are either the Catit Design Senses Play Circuit or Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy described at the top of this list, which blends hunting, physical activity and mental stimulation and can be used either solo or together with an owner.