Nothing is cuter than watching your cat chase after a little felt mouse.
(We all admit our hearts go soft watching a cat prey on an inanimate object as if he’s a lion in the savannah.)
But more than making them look super adorable and silly, cat toys are actually key for fulfilling your pet’s natural instincts.
In the wild, playing helps kittens (or baby jungle cats) learn important survival skills like stalking and capturing prey.
Now, your domestic cat probably won’t be hunting down their own food for survival, but they still have that hereditary instinct that needs to be satisfied. And if your cat spends its time exclusively indoors, playing provides regular exercise to help them stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
Cat toys also keep them from getting bored and they help you spend quality-bonding time with your furry feline – which is why having a few amazing cat toys is so important!
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best cat toys so you can find a plethora of ways to keep your cat happy, healthy and entertained.
How We Picked Our Favorite Cat Toys
As we mentioned, cat toys and playtime are important for keeping your cat happy and healthy.
Cats like to play in a variety of ways – they pounce, bat, chew, swipe, jump, etc. The cat toys you choose should serve a few of these different playing habits.
For example, a dangling feather toy is great for cats that are attracted to birds and like jumping and swiping at something. Small, lightweight toys (like fake mice) satisfy that desire to pounce and hunt, as well as bat at an object.
Cats also like chasing things and are very curious creatures that need to be engaged by toys they find peculiar. Basically, what we’re saying is that there are tons of ways to play with your cat.
That’s why we wanted to pick a wide variety of toys for you to consider. Some of these toys suit certain feline instincts more than others, but they all generally will stimulate your cat in more ways than one.
That being said, you won’t find any high-tech or pricey toys on this list.
For one, any cat toy is going to be inevitably destroyed by your pet so it’s simply not practical to spend a lot of money on one.
Also, your cat may not like it. Any cat owner knows that felines are very particular creatures and if they don’t like a fancy toy you just bought, you’re going to feel very annoyed and disappointed.
We’ve all had those moments where we come home with a shiny new toy for our cat because we love them so much – and then they take one look at it, turn around, and keep playing with a piece of crumpled tin foil they pulled out of the garbage can.
So even though we love our cats dearly, we all secretly know better than to buy them very expensive things.
In general, we looked at product ratings to see how many pet owners said that their cat liked a particular toy when creating this list. You will find that these cat toys are all inexpensive but fun ways to keep your pet moving and shaking.
The 10 Best Toys for Your Cat
Consider this your guide for scoping out awesome cat toys for your purring little pal. There’s a cat toy here for everyone and we’re glad to help you spoil your cat rotten.
A bestseller on Amazon, the Tower of Tracks cat toy is an excellent way to keep your cat occupied and on the hunt.
The brightly colored toy has three tiered tracks with three fun balls rolling around inside. Your cat will love to bat and the balls, and it stimulate those hunting instincts.
Because the balls keep rolling around, your cat will never be able to catch them, thereby keeping them stimulated and moving for long periods of time. It really is a great toy for both mental and physical exercise.
The toy also has a non-slip base so the toy wont slide around too much as your cat is attacking it. Plus, it’s durable and very affordable!
This cat toy is excellent for cats that are food-motivated, very smart, or both!
This cat activity center features five different games that stimulate and challenge your cat. You simply put little treats in the different games and then let your cat strategize their way to a tasty reward! It seriously can keep your cat busy for hours.
It will satisfy your cat’s natural curiosity, sharpen their sense and concentration, and force them to use a number of their natural instincts. It’s perfect for sharpening your cat’s mind – and for getting them to eat their food slower. Cat owners who have felines that scarf down their food love this toy because it forces their cat to take it easy when they eat.
Many owners say that it’s very fun to watch how dexterous and resourceful their cats can be when playing with this toy. It’s a real winner in our book.
It’s maybe a little on the expensive side for a cat toy, but you’ll find that it’s durable and worth it considering how stimulating it is for your pet.
Some cats are small critter cats, and some cats are bird cats.
For example my cat goes on high alert and makes this weird chirping noise anytime she sees a bird (or anything that flies for that matter). Can you guess what her favorite toy is?
Yep, a feather teaser.
This feather teaser is awesome because the handle is extra long at 33 inches AND it comes with five different feathers. Our biggest complaint about a lot of feather teasers is that eventually cats break the feather part off of the string. But with this one, you have replacements!
Plus, each feather attachment is equipped with a jingly bell to stimulate your cat’s hearing, and the toy is made with non-toxic materials. Also, customers have attested to its durability compared to other feather cat toys.
Overall, this is the perfect “bird” for your cat to play with.
If you’ve never played with a laser pointer with your cat, you seriously need to reevaluate your life as a cat owner.
It’s hilarious. You will literally be clutching your side because it will hurt from laughing so much.
Cats freak out over laser pointers. The combination of the bright red light, the quick movements, and the fact that they can’t ever actually catch that little red dot means that they will be incessantly hunting this cat toy.
We like this laser pointer from Innozon because it comes in packs of two, uses a LED light that’s safe for animals, and it’s very inexpensive. (But, to be honest, you can use any laser pointer you have laying around.)
This is what we meant when we said that a great cat toy doesn’t require a huge investment.
These catnip-filled mice are such great little toys for pouncing, chasing and preying. And the catnip in the center will literally make your cat wild.
Plush little toys like this these mice will ultimately get destroyed (I mean, your cat is going to want to pretend to kill it like it would with an actual mouse), so the fact that these cost less than $2 is amazing.
For superb hiding and pouncing play, we recommend this three-way cat tunnel from Prosper Pet.
The three roomy tunnels are equipped with built-in crackle paper, a bell toy and a peephole to keep your kitty amused while they exercise. Your cat can run through the tunnels, hide and pounce at other cat toys you dangle at the openings, and pop out of the center hole!
It comes in 11 colors and is made with tear-resistant polyester (because your cat is going to scratch the heck out of it) around a sprung-steel frame. It’s collapsible and transportable, so you can easily store or travel with it.
This mentally stimulating puzzle box occupies cats for hours.
The interior of the box has a bunch of different chambers and nooks and crannies for hiding your cat’s favorite treats and pounce balls, catnip and toy mice. Veterinarians recommend this box for exercise and for weight management if your cat is a heavy eater.
The box has three difficulty levels to keep your kitty challenged as his or her skill level improves, plus a secret bonus level with instructions on how to unlock it. And it’s made from recycled cardboard, so you’ll win eco-friendly points as well!
This toy might sound super high-tech – but it really isn’t.
It is, however, an inexpensive insect-like cat toy that your cat can chase around the house!
The little robot bug can move around objects and has very realistic movement patterns to spark your cat’s killer instincts. It also has a little feather attached to catch your cat’s attention even more.
The critter scampers around using vibration technology, and can even flip from its back to its feet in an attempt to escape your feline huntress. It’s seriously looks like a real bug – it’s almost creepy.
The downside is that this guy can get lost pretty easily (like if it goes under your refrigerator or something) and can get stuck.
Perfect for batting practice, this cat toy hangs from the top of a door and makes a realistic squeaking noise when swiped at.
The noise will stimulate your cat's hunting instincts and make them really work to catch their prey since it dangles high above. It’s great for solo play since you can’t always be there to swing a mouse in front of your cat’s face.
Reviewers say that their cats love this toy, but it is a bit flimsy and a rambunctious, young cat may break it sooner than you expect. Also, it doesn’t always fit over newer, wider doors.
Another low-key way to keep your cat entertained for hours is this Mylar crinkle balls from YGDZ. The balls are 1.5 inches wide in every direction – so yeah, it’s pretty large for a cat pounce toy!
A lot of cats love objects that make funny noises, and anything they pounce on this ball it will crinkle and keep your cat chasing for more. And of course kitties are attracted to anything bright and shiny!
Unlike other Mylar balls, this one is a plain silver color so you don’t run the risk of the dyes getting all over your cat’s face or paws.
Price & Rating
5.5 x 1 x 6.5 inches
12" L x 16" W
15.3 x 2.5 x 0.3 inches
1.18 inches (H) x .98 inches (W) x 4.0 inches (L)
2 x 10 x 10 inches
14 x 9 x 3.5 inches
6.5 x 0.5 x 0.8 inches
4.5 x 1.57 x 7.75 in
4 inches (H) x 4 inches (W) x 4 inches (L)
As you can see, there are a ton of cat toy options out there for you to choose from.
The toys you see here suit a variety of your cat’s instinctual needs while also providing maximum fun for you and your fur baby.
When you’re buying a cat toy, be sure that it will satisfy those natural feline behaviors, like preying and pouncing, as well as their tendency to be very curious. Your cat is smart, so give him or her a little challenge!
As we mentioned, we wouldn’t recommend spending an arm and a leg on your cat’s toys even though you love them to the moon and back. Some of the least expensive toys are the best ones!
(Your cat would probably play with a shoelace for hours, for goodness sake.)
Just look for toys that are shiny, noisy, puzzling, catnip-filled or critter-like, and your feline friend will be satisfied to no end.
Now go find a feather toy and spend some quality time with your cat!