The 21 Best Cat Toys To Keep Kitties Feeling Frisky

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on June 28, 2023
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best cat toys

Cats need play for healthy living at every age and stage, so providing the best cat toys to keep your cat stimulated and engaged is so much more critical than cat parents realize. When cats grow bored and unfilled in life, their behaviors can change. Your once lovebug snuggle puss can become a grumpy kitty that develops unwanted behaviors like inappropriate scratching and destruction.

But some signs of boredom in cats aren’t as easy to spot. A bored cat’s appetite can increase or even decrease. Cats who need more play and stimulation tend to sleep too much as well. They can also develop anxious grooming habits that can lead to hair loss. If you spot any of these symptoms of boredom in your cat, give the vet a call because it’s always good to rule out medical issues that could be causing these problems. But once your kitty gets a clean bill of health, then it’s time to paw-rty with new cat toys!

cat boredom

Busting Boredom in Cats with Fun Toys

One of the best ways to liven up a bored cat’s life is playtime! But did you know cats crave two types of play?

“Cats display two different types of play behavior: solitary play and social play,” explains the Humane Society of Huron Valley in Michigan. “They direct solitary play toward objects, like toys, skeins of yarn, paper bags, boxes and rolled-up paper. Social play is directed toward fellow cats, people or other animals.”

When aiming to alleviate boredom, consider both solitary and social play needs and choose toys to fulfill each. For example, a cat wand toy is excellent for social play, while food puzzles make for tasty solitary play.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Excite Your Bored Kitty

So Many Cat Toys, So Many Cat Preferences

Whether your cat needs more playtime or just because you feel like splurging on some new goodies, shopping for things to enrich your cat’s life can be a little overwhelming as the market has exploded with shiny, fringy, cat-nippy things designed to draw a kitty in for fun. But cats have varied preferences when it comes to toys. As you’ve probably seen before, a cat will stick her nose up at a toy you think is the absolute cutest but fall for the tiniest little toy that seems like it would have no appeal. What can we say? Cats are picky, but this is no secret!

Another thing to remember—cats have prey preferences. These preferences for one type of prey over another aren’t just for the wild. Prey preference also spills over into a feline’s toy choices, too. Pay attention to which of your cat’s toys he likes the most. Does he go cuckoo for feathers? Or is he more of a wiggly worm guy? How about a fluffy mouse? Just watch, and you’ll soon notice what your cat likes to stalk best of all.

RELATED: 7 Traits That Make Your Cat A Fearless Hunter

When going on a feline-inspired shopping spree, be sure to keep your purr child’s preferences in mind as you peruse the selections. To help you find the best toys for your cat, we’ve also put together the factors to consider when choosing toys. And don’t miss the frequently asked questions section after the list to find answers to any queries you might have.

Buyer’s Guide: What Factors To Consider When Buying Cat Toys

When buying fun goodies for your feline companion, there are several factors to consider to ensure that the toys are safe, engaging, and appropriate for your cat’s needs.


The safety of your cat should be the top priority. Avoid toys with small parts that can be easily swallowed or pose a choking hazard. Ensure materials used are non-toxic and durable enough to withstand your cat’s play. Also, consider the size of the toy relative to your cat to prevent accidental ingestion.

Interactive and Engaging

Look for toys that stimulate your cat’s natural instincts and keep them entertained. Cats are hunters by nature, so toys that mimic prey, such as feather wands, mice, or balls, can be engaging. Toys that encourage physical activity, such as interactive treat puzzles or laser pointers, can also be beneficial.


Cats can get bored easily, so having a variety of toys can help keep them engaged. Offer toys with different textures, sounds, and movements to provide a range of sensory experiences. Rotate the toys periodically to maintain your cat’s interest, and don’t forget to include toys that satisfy your cat’s prey preference.

Cat’s Age and Energy Level

Consider your cat’s age and energy level when selecting toys. Kittens may prefer toys they can chase and pounce on, while older or less active cats may enjoy toys they can bat or swat. Providing appropriate toys for your cat’s age and energy level ensures they can play comfortably and safely.


Cats have sharp claws and teeth, so choose toys made from sturdy materials that can withstand scratching and biting. Reinforced stitching and durable fabrics or plastics are essential for toys likely to be subjected to rough play.

Interactive Playtime

Some toys can be enjoyed together with your cat, promoting bonding and interactive play. Wand toys, interactive laser pointers, or toys that involve treats can create enjoyable shared experiences.

Size and Portability

Consider the size and portability of the toys. Toys that are too large or heavy may be challenging for your cat to play with, while toys that are too small or light may not hold their interest. Opt for toys that are easy to handle and manipulate for your cat.

Cat’s Preferences

Each cat has unique preferences, so observe your cat’s behavior and play style to understand what types of toys they enjoy. Some cats may prefer toys that make noise, while others may prefer quieter toys. Pay attention to your cat’s reactions to different types of toys to find what they like best.

Remember, while toys are important for your cat’s mental and physical stimulation, spending quality time with your cat through interactive play is equally vital for their overall well-being. With that, here’s our list of the best cat toys to liven up feline lives!

21 Best Cat Toys to Frisky Up a Bored Kitty

Best Interactive Cat Toys

Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy
  • Robotic bug moves in erratic patterns like the real thing & drives cats wild 
  • Fluffy tail entices cats even more 
  • Super stimulator for cats who've grown bored with other toys
  • Ready for play straight out of the packaging 

Watching a cat chase a bug is funny stuff. Especially when the bug runs up under the cat, and the kitty starts doing a little dance to find the invader! But who wants live bugs in their house just for cat fun? No one…so the Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy will give kitties the same want to hop around and skitter after a bug.

ALL FOR PAWS Cat Toys Interactive Butterfly Flutter Bug Cat Automatic Toy
  • Interactive butterfly that moves & flutters realistically
  • Encourages natural hunting instincts
  • Automatic operation for hours of fun
  • Bright, attention-grabbing colors
  • Robust & safe materials suitable for active play
  • Easy to assemble & maintain

The ALL FOR PAWS Cat Toys Interactive Butterfly Flutter Bug is an automatic toy that ranks high among the most engaging moving cat toys. This butterfly toy for cats features a realistic butterfly that flutters and spins, captivating your feline friend’s attention and stimulating their natural hunting instincts. The unique combination of unexpected movement and bright colors makes this toy irresistible to cats, providing hours of healthy and fun playtime. Refill butterflies available once your cat destroys the originals!

Best Laser Cat Toy

Cat LED Light Pointer Interactive Toy
  • Classic and durably-built laser toy with strong bright beam 
  • 3 different colors modes, 5 patterns to mix up the fun
  • USB charging means no batteries, just charge, and play
  • Provides great exercise for cats who need lots of activity

For cats with high-energy drives, the Cat LED Light Pointer Interactive Toy will help those hyper kitties run out their batteries, but the pointer’s charge will still be going strong! When it needs charging, just plug the laser in for USB charging. Remember, though, after playing with a laser toy, put a real toy in your cat’s paws to give them the satisfaction of a catch.

Best Wand & Feather Toys for Cats

Pet Fit For Life 5 Piece Squiggly Worm Wand Cat Toy
  • Stimulates feline hunting drives for engaging and enriching play
  • Interchangeable toy lures with easy clasp will please differing prey preferences
  • Removable jingly bell to attract feline attention  
  • Break-resistant telescoping carbon fiber & fiberglass pole stand up to tough play
  • Reinforced eyelet & nylon filament won't snap no matter how hard cats tug 

The Pet Fit For Life 5 Piece Squiggly Worm Wand Toy features a telescoping pole to help you get the toy at the end to really dance for your cat. Plus, with a lobster-style clasp on the end of the nylon filament, you can change out the worm to keep things spiced up for your kitty. With lots of options online for additional toys that can be clipped on, you can really appeal to your cat’s prey preferences.

Did you know cat behavior expert Pam Johnson-Bennett recommends one or two 15-minute play sessions a day for cats? A cat wand toy is a purrfect way to create a fun experience for your cat and you! And one tip for fulfilling play, be sure to let your cat catch the toy and hold on to it for a second. Then, tease the toy out of your cat’s paws like prey trying to squirm away. Your cat will go crazy to catch the prey that wiggled out of their clutches!

RELATED: CattyCorner: The Whimsy Of Wand Toys For Cats

Hartz Just For Cats Interactive Feather Cat Wand Toy
  • Feathers are fun! 
  • Great for together-time play sessions that encourage bonding
  • 24-inch flexible wand gives the appearance of a flitting bird 
  • Budget-friendly at less than $4

Like cat wands, feather teasers only lack the long ribbon or filament. The Hartz Just For Cats Interactive Feather Cat Wand Toy appeals to all cats, but especially felines who love flying prey, as you can keep the feathers in the air more easily than with a wand that sports a long string or ribbon. Fun feathers mean no bored cats!

Best Food Puzzle Toys for Cats

Petstages Buggin' Out Puzzle & Play Cat Toy
  • Stimulates your cat's brain and satisfies natural feline foraging instincts
  • 14 compartments will keep your cat busy searching every spot for a snack 
  • Use with your cat's favorite treats
  • Helps food-gulping cats slow down their eating 
  • Made from food-safe materials;100% free from BPA, PVC, and phthalate

Also available at Petco

Much like the body, the feline mind needs to be exercised, too! And the Petstages Buggin’ Out Puzzle & Play Cat Toy can be just the thing as snacks motivate just about everyone. Make kitty think to get their treats with this mental stimulation toy!

Catit Senses 2.0 Digger Interactive Cat Toy
  • Outfitted with 5 tubes of varying heights & widths
  • Smart design encourages your cat to work for his food
  • Use as a stand-alone system or integrate with other Catit Senses 2.0 toys
  • Delivers food, fun, & entertainment

This fun interactive cat feeder encourages cats to work for their food. The Catit Digger 2.0 has five green cups that can be filled with food or treats. And to get the food out, cats must use their wits and paws to reach in and drag the food over the rim of the cup. This helps slow eating, which can help prevent obesity and other health problems related to gulping down food while stimulating their brain and satisfying their instincts.

Best Kicker Toy For Cats

Jackson Galaxy Denim and Sisal Twisted Kicker Toy
  • Cat Daddy-approved! 
  • Sisal and denim material will stand up to the toughest of claws & teeth 
  • Satisfies feline hunting instincts while allowing them to purrfect bunny kicks 
  • Catnip pods located at both ends for double the herby fun

For the cat that loves to get its back feet in on the play-action, cat kickers are the ultimate toy. And the Jackson Galaxy Denim and Sisal Twisted Kicker Toy will deliver bunny-kicking fun that lasts thanks to sturdy sisal and denim materials. Thanks to Cat Daddy’s 20 years of experience, Galaxy and Petmate came together to create a toy that will delight cats who love rough play.

The Kitty Kick Stix 15
  • Set of two 15" long toys ideal for kicking & wrestling
  • Filled with premium-grade, potent catnip
  • Durable fabric cover to withstand vigorous play
  • Promotes physical activity & stress relief
  • Handmade, ensuring high-quality & safe construction

The Kitty Kick Stix 15″ Original Catnip Kicker Toy is a popular choice for cat parents seeking a unique, fun-filled kicking experience for their wild one. Each 15-inch stick is packed with premium-grade catnip and encased in durable fabric, providing an irresistible aroma and enticing texture that cats adore. The elongated design promotes active play, such as kicking and wrestling, which not only offers physical stimulation but also aids in stress relief for your feline companion. Plus, they’re handmade in the USA.

Best Cat Tunnel

Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy
  • Fun for kittens and adult cats of all ages
  • Three chutes allow for deluxe tunnel experience 
  • Great for one cat or kitties who love to play together 
  • Opening in the center allows for hide-and-seek silliness
  • Pops out for easy use, simply folds down to store

Cats who enjoy tearing through tunnels will love the Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute! It’s three tunnels in one! Plus, a game of hide-and-seek will be so much fun for multiple kitties. And when you need the space, just fold the tunnels away until it’s playtime again.

Best Catnip & Silver Vine Cat Toys

Yeowww! Catnip Yellow Banana Cat Toy
  • Stuffed with 100% organic catnip that's all leaf and flower-top, with no stems
  • Durable cotton twill stands up to crazed claws and teeth 
  • Yellow coloring is made using natural vegetable or soy-based colors
  • Handcrafted in the U.S.A.

Oh, this silly banana cat toy! For some reason, the Yeowww! Catnip Yellow Banana Cat Toy has become a staple among feline necessities. Purrhaps cat parents go bananas for this toy because their cat looks pretty darn cute hauling around a bright yellow banana. It also serves as a good chew toy for cats as they’ll gnaw at the durable fabric with hopes of getting the catnip inside.

Keep in mind, though, not all your cat’s toys need to have catnip in them. Think about catnip like chocolate cake; a slice now and then remains a delightful treat, but eating chocolate cake every single day makes it less exciting. Before you know it, you’re burnt out on cake. It’s just what happens with kitties when they’re overexposed to catnip.

RELATED: Catnip 101: The Highs, Lows, and Everything In Between

From The Field Jacques Le Sock Silver Vine Cat Toy
  • Unique sock-shaped design cats will love to wrestle
  • Filled with a potent blend of silver vine & catnip
  • Made with durable, cat-safe materials
  • Provides an alternative stimulant for cats not attracted to catnip
  • USA-grown catnip & silver vine

From The Field’s Jacques Le Sock Silver Vine Cat Toy is a delightful and engaging toy that offers a unique experience for your feline friend. It features an enticing sock-shaped design filled with a potent blend of silver vine and catnip, which can be more effective than catnip alone in driving cats wild with excitement. The toy encourages active play, mental stimulation, and overall well-being, making it a fantastic addition to your cat’s playtime routine.

Best Cat Toys for Chasing & Batting

Frisco Colorful Springs Cat Toys
  • Springs roll, bounce, skitter, and fly when swatted, creating silly fun for cats
  • Provides great exercise and stimulation for cats of all ages 
  • Great price for lots of toys
  • Good for solo or interactive play

Some kitties like itty-bitty toys they can chase, toss, and bat all over the house, and the Frisco Colorful Springs Cat Toys appeal to the paws that want to terrorize the tiny! Because these fun cat spring toys bounce, flip, and fly, your cat will feel like a wild kitten chasing after these silly springs.

PETFAVORITES Original Mylar Crinkle Balls Cat Toys
  • Lightweight & easy for cats to bat & chase
  • Unique crinkling sound stimulates natural hunting instincts
  • Bright, shiny mylar texture
  • Durable construction for extended use
  • Versatile & suitable for solo or interactive play
  • Comes in a variety of fun, vibrant colors

PETFAVORITES Original Mylar Crinkle Balls are an irresistible treat for cats of all ages and breeds. These lightweight, crinkly balls create a unique rustling sound that stimulates your cat’s hunting instincts while their shiny mylar textures attract and retain their attention. Versatile and durable, these balls can be batted, chased, and carried around, providing hours of active and enriching playtime for your furry friend.

Dezi & Roo Glow-in-The-Dark Wiggly Ball
  • Glows in the dark for engaging night play
  • Erratic, wiggly movement mimics real prey
  • Bouncy design adds an extra layer of fun to playtime
  • Suitable for cats of all ages and sizes
  • 3-count package

Dezi & Roo Glow-in-The-Dark Wiggly Balls offer a fun, stimulating play experience for cats, even in low-light conditions. This bouncy ball is designed to glow in the dark, offering an irresistible moving target for cats to chase and pounce on. The attached tail’s erratic wiggly movements mimic the unpredictability of real prey, encouraging physical activity and stimulating your cat’s hunting instincts. Keep an eye on your cat with these balls, as the string tail can become detached.

Best Cat Ball Toy

Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy
  • Keeps balls in place on the tracks so they aren't underfoot
  • Great for kittens who are learning the joy of toys
  • Ideal for helping senior cats get much-needed exercise
  • Non-slip pads keep toy in place even during the most vigorous of play 

Also available at Petco

The Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy makes the list of best cat toys because it engages cats of every age. Kittens will love chasing the balls round and round, while senior cats can enjoy a playtime session where they can bat at balls and not have to run all over after them.

Best Cat Scratcher Toys

Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Cat Toy
  • Fulfills play needs as well as provides space for necessary scratching 
  • Your cat will love going round and round with a ball that never gets away
  • Corrugated cardboard scratcher refills are available
  • 15-inch diameter makes an ideal size for kittens and cats of all ages 

Much like the ball tower above, the Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher holds a ball in the track, so kitties don’t have to scurry all over the house. Senior cats will appreciate it! Plus, cats of all ages can fulfill their scratching desires on the cardboard center.

RELATED: Ask A Vet: Why Does My Cat Scratch My Stuff?

AGYM Natural Sisal Cat Scratcher Toy with Ball
  • Natural sisal scratcher helps maintain healthy claws
  • Discourages destructive scratching
  • Durable & robust design for long-lasting use
  • Suitable for cats of all ages & sizes
  • Easy to assemble

The AGYM Natural Sisal Cat Scratcher Toy with Ball is a multi-functional toy designed to cater to your cat’s natural instincts. This toy combines a robust sisal scratcher, perfect for maintaining healthy claws and alleviating boredom, with a captivating ball that rolls and spins to inspire active play. With its durable construction and dual-purpose design, this toy provides a perfect blend of physical activity and satisfying scratch time for your feline friend.

Best Splurge for Your Kitty

PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy
  • Easy-to-use, simply install 4 AA batteries (not included) and turn on to stimulate your cat
  • Automatic mode moves the laser in random patterns to keep your cat engaged 
  • Manual mode allows you to use like traditional cat laser toys
  • Timer automatically turns the laser off after 15 minutes for perfectly-timed play sessions 

A hands-free way to engage your cat with laser play, the PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy is perfect for moments when you need your cat engaged while you need to do something without their furry paws helping! While this will never be a substitute for playtime with you, it does allow for 15-minute sessions of solitary play, which is also essential. After all, we can’t entertain our felines 24/7, even if we want to!

Best Automatic Cat Toys

Potaroma Flopping Fish
  • Realistic look and flopping motion draws cat curiosity and engages natural prey drive 
  • Automatic motion sensor activates flopping when felines approach
  • USB charging means no changing batteries 
  • Made of soft and durable plush fabric, kitties won't mind cuddling the fish after attacking it

The flopping fish toy has been a sensation for a while now, and it’s no wonder. Cats are just too cute going after them. If you haven’t treated your cat to one, go ahead and catch the Potaroma Flopping Fish! For 2022, the makers have upgraded the battery for longer flopping between charges. Some cats are put off by the noise, so if your kitty doesn’t like motorized noises, the fish may not be for them.

RELATED: 15 Cats Who Love To Terrorize Their Floppy Fish Toys

Catit Senses 2.0 Mushroom Interactive Feather Toy for Cats
  • 360-degree motion-activated cat toy
  • 2 play modes: sensor & continuous
  • Eight holes across top & bottom
  • Use with 3x AA batteries

This adorable electronic cat toy will tease your kitty with a red feather toy that randomly pops in and out of the eight holes scattered on the top and bottom of the mushroom top. The Catit Senses 2.0 Mushroom Interactive Feather Toy for Cats is three hundred and sixty degrees of hunt-and-catch fun. And once your cat de-feathers the feather, you can buy replacement ones so the fun can continue. This mushroom cat toy can also be used with other Catit Senses 2.0 products to set up a whole play center for your cat.

FAQs About the Best Cat Toys

What are the benefits of cat toys?

Here are some benefits of toys for indoor cats:

  • Physical exercise: Interactive toys, such as wand toys or laser pointers, can engage cats in physical activity, helping them burn off excess energy and maintain a healthy weight. Regular play sessions can contribute to better overall fitness and reduce the risk of obesity-related health issues.
  • Mental stimulation: Toys that challenge cats mentally, such as puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys, provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom. These toys encourage problem-solving skills, keep cats mentally sharp, and prevent behavioral problems that can arise from a lack of mental stimulation.
  • Emotional well-being: Playtime with toys helps alleviate stress, anxiety, and boredom in cats. Engaging in interactive play sessions creates a bond between cats and their parents, enhancing their relationship and providing a source of comfort and security.
  • Enriching the environment: Toys can enrich a cat’s environment by providing outlets for natural behaviors like hunting and pouncing. This helps prevent destructive behavior and encourages cats to engage in appropriate play.
  • Preventing behavioral issues: Regular play can help redirect a cat’s energy away from undesirable behaviors, such as scratching furniture or excessive meowing. By providing an alternative outlet for their energy and instincts, toys can contribute to a well-behaved and contented cat.
  • Bonding and socialization: Interactive toys that involve playtime with parents promote bonding and strengthen the relationship between cats and their human companions. This quality time together can also help shy or timid cats become more comfortable and sociable.
  • Dental health: Some options, particularly those designed for chewing or dental care, can help maintain good oral hygiene. Chewing on appropriate chew toys for cats can assist in removing plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of dental diseases.

It’s important to note that not all cat toys are suitable for every cat. Each cat has unique preferences and play styles, so it’s essential to observe and understand your cat’s individual needs and preferences when selecting options for them.

How often should I rotate my cat’s toys?

It’s recommended you rotate your cat’s toys regularly, ideally every few days or weekly. By rotating the selection, you keep them fresh and interesting for your cat, preventing boredom and ensuring continued engagement. Introducing new items and temporarily removing others from your cat’s play area helps maintain their curiosity and enthusiasm during playtime. Additionally, rotating toys can also help extend the lifespan of products, as cats may become less interested in toys that are constantly available. Observing your cat’s response to different options and experimenting with various types can help you determine which types they enjoy the most and make the rotation process more effective.

Why does my cat bring me toys?

Cats often bring toys to their people as a way to express affection and engage in interactive play. By presenting a toy to you, they may be inviting you to participate in their playtime or showing trust by sharing their prized possessions. This behavior is a sign of bonding and a cat’s attempt to include you in their play and social interaction.

Why do cats put toys in water?

Cats may put their toys in water as a natural instinct inherited from their wild ancestors. This behavior mimics hunting and capturing prey near water sources. By “drowning” their toys, cats are satisfying their hunting instincts and engaging in a form of play that simulates real-life hunting scenarios. It can also be a way for cats to experiment and explore different textures and sensations.

Why do cats kick their toys?

When cats kick their toys, they are displaying their natural hunting behavior. The act of kicking with their hind legs is reminiscent of how they would immobilize and capture prey in the wild. This behavior allows cats to exercise their leg muscles, release pent-up energy, and satisfy their instinctual drive to hunt. Kicking also provides tactile and sensory stimulation for cats, adding to the enjoyment of playtime.

How do I make DIY cat toys?

Making DIY cat toys can be a fun and cost-effective way to provide entertainment for your feline friend. There are numerous simple options you can create at home. For example, you can tie a string to a stick and attach a feather or a small, lightweight toy to create a wand toy. Another idea is to stuff a sock with catnip or crumple up a piece of paper to make a makeshift toy. Just ensure that any DIY cat toys you create are safe, free of small parts that can be swallowed, and don’t pose any choking hazards for your cat.

Final Words

Enrichment and exercise are two very important things to keep felines sharp and happy. Providing your cat with toys and scheduled playtime is the best way to bust boredom in kitties. And while your cat is fulfilling their need for play, you can enjoy their cuteness while they get frisky!

Still looking for more cat toys? Check out 10 Household Items That Make Great Cat Toys!

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