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The 10 Best Interactive Cat Toys17 min read

March 24, 2020 12 min read

The 10 Best Interactive Cat Toys17 min read

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Reading Time: 12 minutesinteractive toys

Cats are curious creatures by nature. They tend to get into trouble when you’re not looking, and they always seem to find the strangest things to play with.

If you want to keep your cat out of trouble, you might want to buy it an interactive cat toy.

Interactive cat toys are designed to combat cat boredom while also increasing your cat’s activity level.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of interactive cat toys and to learn how to pick the best one for your cat.

You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best interactive cat toys.

Quick Links: Best Interactive Cat Toys to Buy to Buy

ImageProductFeatures

Best Overall

PetStages Tower of Tracks Interactive Cat Toy
  • Three captive-ball tracks with noisemakers to catch and keep attention
  • Encourages healthy activity and hunting instincts
  • Can be used with or without human interaction
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Best Affordable

Cat Dancer Rainbow Cat Charmer
  • Simple but durable design for long-lasting play
  • Provides plenty of aerobic exercise
  • Fun for kittens and cats of all ages to encourage activity
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Best for cats home alone

PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy
  • Automatic shut-off after 15 minutes to prevent overstimulation
  • Laser moves in random patterns to keep the cat engaged
  • Proven to attract even the laziest cat into becoming active
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Best for indoor cats

Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder
  • Keeps cats busy for hours on end
  • Provides mental stimulation as well as exercise
  • Encourages a cat’s natural exploring instincts
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Best electronic cat toy

Hexbug Mouse Robotic Cat Toy
  • Activated by a paw and offers two modes of operation
  • Exhibits realistic mouse-like movements, stopping and starting
  • Can navigate around objects and back out of corners
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What Are the Benefits of Interactive Cat Toys?

Cats often have a reputation for being lazy – after all, they spend much of their time sleeping. Just because your cat isn’t always running around the house, however, doesn’t mean that it is lazy. In fact, cats are very intelligent animals, and they need a certain degree of mental stimulation in their lives to keep their minds sharp and to prevent boredom.

Interactive cat toys are a great option for cats, especially if you have to leave your cat alone during the day.

Here are some of the benefits of interactive cat toys:

  • Playing with an interactive toy stimulates your cat’s mind to relieve boredom.
  • Interactive cat toys encourage your cat to be more active which is important for weight control.
  • Having interactive toys to play with can decrease your cat’s stress and anxiety levels.
  • Playing with an interactive toy with your cat helps strengthen your bond.
  • Interactive cat toys can increase your cat’s confidence and arouse its curiosity.
  • Playing with interactive cat toys stimulates your cat’s natural instincts to hunt and play.

As a cat owner, it is your duty to meet your cat’s needs, and that includes providing it with toys to keep it active.

While keeping the things above in mind, you can now start shopping around for the best interactive cat toys. Here’s what you need to know:

How to Choose the Best Interactive Cat Toy

cat play

Cat toys are a dime a dozen and you never which kind your cat might like. When it comes to interactive cat toys, preference is a major factor because some cats like certain types of toys more than others. You might need to try out a few different options to see what your cat likes and provide several toys, so there is always a choice.

Here are some things to look for in an interactive cat toy:

  • Design – An interactive cat toy needs to have features that attract and hold your cat’s attention. This might include things like feathers, strings, noisemakers, etc. If you already know what kind of regular cat toys your cat likes, you have somewhere to start when looking for interactive toys.
  • Durability – If you’re going to invest in an interactive cat toy, you want to know that it will last. Look for a toy made from durable materials that can handle chewing, swatting, and batting.
  • Automatic – Some interactive cat toys are designed for solo play while others are made for you to play with your cat. For automatic cat toys, you’ll need to consider additional factors such as batteries or recharging.
  • Treats – Though cats aren’t as highly food-motivated as dogs, they still love treats to an interactive cat toy that dispenses treats can get your cat’s attention and encourage it to play.

Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best interactive cat toys.

The 10 Best Rated Interactive Cat Toys  

Every cat has its own preferences for toys, so you may need to try out a few different options before you find one your cat likes.

Take the time to play with your cat, not only for the sake of finding out which toys it likes, but to build a stronger bond and to keep it active.

The right interactive cat toy will provide all of these benefits and more. Here are our top 5 picks for the best interactive cat toys to consider:

1. The Best Interactive Cat Toy Overall: PetStages Tower of Tracks Interactive Cat Toy

Specs:

  • Price Range – Low
  • Size– 10 x 10 x 5.5 inches
  • Battery Operated – No
  • Durability– Mid-High

Pros:

  • Three captive-ball tracks with noisemakers to catch and keep attention
  • Encourages healthy activity and hunting instincts
  • Can be used with or without human interaction

Cons:

  • Makes a significant amount of noise
  • Some cats lose interest quickly, may work best for kittens

If you’re looking for an interactive cat toy that has it all, consider the PetStages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy.

This toy features three captive-ball tracks stacked on top of each other, and it comes in a bright orange color. Each track has its own ball complete with noisemakers to capture and keep your cat’s attention.

The vertical design makes this toy a great option for multi-cat play, and it can be used with or without human interaction. Plus, it is affordably priced under $10.

2. The Best Affordable Interactive Cat Toy: Cat Dancer Rainbow Cat Charmer

Specs:

  • Price Range – Low
  • Size – 18 x 1 x 0.5 inches
  • Battery Operated – No
  • Durability– Mid-High

Pros:

  • Simple but durable design for long-lasting play
  • Provides plenty of aerobic exercise
  • Fun for kittens and cats of all ages to encourage activity

Cons:

  • Not an automatic cat toy, requires human interaction
  • May not withstand heavy chewing

You don’t have to spend a lot for an interactive cat toy. In fact, some of the best cat toys are the cheapest – this Cat Dancer Rainbow Cat Charmer is a perfect example.

This interactive cat toy consists of a rainbow-striped piece of felt attached to a stick. You simply hold the stick and flick and twirl the ribbon around for your cat to chase. It’s just like a feather toy or feather teaser, but longer and a little more durable.

The materials are surprisingly high-quality for a cat toy priced under $5, and it is a toy that cats of all ages will love.

3. The Best Laser Interactive Cat Toy: PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy

Specs:

  • Price Range – Mid-High
  • Size– 3 x 3 x 9 inches
  • Battery Operated – Yes
  • Durability– High

Pros:

  • Automatic shut-off after 15 minutes to prevent overstimulation
  • Laser pointer moves in random patterns to keep the cat engaged
  • Proven to attract even the laziest cat into becoming active

Cons:

  • Toy can be knocked over fairly easily by boisterous cats
  • Some cats lose interest fairly quickly

Sometimes you simply don’t have the time to play with your cat, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be bored. The PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy is the perfect toy to keep your cat active and engaged when you’re busy elsewhere. This toy features a red laser that moves in random patterns to keep your cat guessing. It runs for 15 minutes and automatically shuts off to keep your cat from becoming overstimulated and to ensure that it’s just as excited to play next time.

4. The Best Interactive Cat Toy with Treats: Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder

Specs:

  • Price Range – Mid-High
  • Size– 14 x 9 x 3.5 inches
  • Battery Operated – No
  • Durability– Low

Pros:

  • Keeps cats busy for hours on end
  • Provides mental stimulation as well as exercise
  • Encourages a cat’s natural exploring instincts

Cons:

  • Cardboard construction is not particularly durable
  • Won’t stand up against moisture or chewing

If your cat is motivated by food, this Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder might be the perfect interactive cat toy.

It features a simple cardboard construction and consists of multiple holes and slots that your cat can poke its paw into to try and retrieve the treats inside.

This toy will keep your cat busy for house on end, and you can easily refill it with the treats your cat loves.

5. The Best Robotic Interactive Cat Toy: Hexbug Robitic Mouse Cat Toy

Specs:

  • Price Range – Low-Mid
  • Battery Operated – Yes
  • Material – Soft fabric and rubber
  • Durable – Yes

Pros:

  • Activated by a paw and offers two modes of operation
  • Exhibits realistic mouse-like movements, stopping and starting
  • Can navigate around objects and back out of corners

Cons:

  • Batteries become drained fairly quickly
  • Can sometimes get stuck under objects and furniture

For the tech-savvy cat owner, the Hexbug Mouse Robotic Cat Toy is a great option.

This robotic mouse cat toy exhibits realistic random movement to keep your cat engaged and to stimulate its natural hunting instincts.

This mouse can navigate around objects and back itself out of a corner, so it never gets stuck. Plus, it stops and starts just like a real mouse. This interactive toy lies dormant until your cat is ready to play, waking up with the swat of a paw.

6. Best Interactive Cat Scratcher: Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

Specs:

  • Price Range: Low
  • Size: 16.5×16.5×2.4 inches
  • Battery Operated: No
  • Durability: Moderate

Pros:

  • Activates your cat’s desire to play
  • Spinning ball chaser adds a higher level of play
  • Scratch pad keeps cat from scratching furniture

Cons:

  • Scratch pad will eventually need to be replaced
  • Some cat owners find the sound distracting

Some cats love to bat balls and other small toys around but they have a habit of getting them stuck under things. The Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy solves this problem and more. With a spinning ball track, this toy enables your cat to bat a ball around for hours without you having to chase it down. Your cat can lie on top of the toy or next to it to attack from every angle.

In addition to the spinning ball track, this toy also incorporates a scratch pad. By giving your cat something safe to sharpen his nails on, you can protect your flooring and furniture. The Bergan Turbo Simply sprinkle a little organic cat nip over the pad to draw your cat’s attention and flip the pad over to reveal a fresh side when one becomes worn out.

7. Best Food Dispenser Cat Toy: Catit Senses 2.0 Digger for Cats

Specs:

  • Price Range: Low
  • Size: 14.6×14.6×3.3 inches
  • Battery Operated: No
  • Durability: High

Pros:

  • Activates your cat’s sense of smell and curiosity
  • Provides cat with a reward for activity
  • Can be combined with other Catit Senses products

Cons:

  • Cups should be cleaned after each use
  • May take some cats a little time to figure it out

Some cats don’t like to work without a reward which makes the Catit Senses 2.0 Digger the ultimate interactive cat toy. It features a set of five tubes you can fill with cat food and treats, encouraging your cat to dig in his paws. This toy combines the benefits of an interactive cat toy with the stimulation of your cat’s senses, activating his sense of smell as well as his curiosity.

The Catit Senses 2.0 Digger is great for adult cats and kittens. You can use it to keep your cat busy when you’re away from home or use it during mealtime to keep your cat from eating too quickly. The unit can be completely disassembled for easy cleaning, though it should be hand-washed with natural soap. To add to your cat’s fun during playtime, combine this unit with other Catit Senses products.

8. Best Cat Activity Mat: SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat

Specs:

  • Price Range: High
  • Size: 47x35x0.5 inches
  • Battery Operated: No
  • Durability: Moderate

Pros:

  • Infinite configurations for endless hours of play
  • Safe, non-toxic materials with a non-slip rubber bottom
  • Machine-washable for easy cleanup

Cons:

  • Materials may not withstand heavy chewing or scratching
  • Materials may stain (machine washable)

Indoor cats don’t tend to get as much activity as outdoor cats, but the SnugglyCat Ripple Rug play mat can change that. This interactive cat toy doesn’t require any batteries, but it will keep your cat busy for hours on end. It is made from safe, non-toxic materials with a non-slip rubber bottom to keep it in place while your cat plays.

The SnugglyCat Ripple Rug play mat features infinite configurations so you can create a cat tunnel and provide plenty of peek-a-boo places for your cat to poke his paws out of. Simply lay the Ripple Rug out on the floor and let your cat go to town. To add an extra level of fun, hide catnip cat toys, cat food, or treats in the folds for your cat to discover as he plays.

9. Best Electronic Cat Ball Toy: YOFUN Smart Interactive Cat Ball Toy

Specs:

  • Price Range: Low
  • Size: 4 ounces
  • Battery Operated: Yes (rechargeable)
  • Durability: High

Pros:

  • Unpredictable movement stimulates your cat’s senses
  • Keeps your cat busy and active even when you’re not home
  • Doubles as a cat laser toy as it rolls around

Cons:

  • May not roll as well on carpet as hard flooring
  • Battery requires recharging (takes about 1.5 hours for 4 hours of power)

Though dogs are the pet most associated with playing ball, even your cat will appreciate a good ball toy. This electronic cat ball toy is the perfect way to keep your cat busy for hours on end. It features 360-degree self-rotation, encouraging your cat to chase it around. Updated for 2020, this ball has a rechargeable battery that works for up to 4 hours at a time.

Regular activity is important for your cat’s health, so you need a toy that encourages him to pounce and play. This ball teaser toy will stimulate your cat’s senses, keeping his attention with its unpredictable movements even when you’re not at home. It also doubles as a cat laser toy, producing a red light as it rolls around the house.

10. Best Interactive Cat Toy with Sound: SmartyKat Electronic Sound Cat Toys Chickadee Chirp

Specs:

  • Price Range: Low
  • Size: 1.5x5x4 inches
  • Battery Operated: No
  • Durability: Moderate

Pros:

  • Paw-activated sound stimulates your cat’s senses
  • Encourages your cat to hunt and play
  • Refillable with catnip to heighten your cat’s experience

Cons:

  • May not stand up to heavy chewing
  • Battery may eventually run out with frequent use

Cats are natural born hunters, but they don’t have a lot to chase in the home environment. Electronic cat toys that incorporate sound can stimulate your cat’s senses and activate his curiosity. This SmartyKat electronic bird toy bursts into song with the push of a paw, driving your cat crazy. As an added bonus, you can fill the toy with organic catnip to bring your cat’s play to new heights.

This catnip toy is filled with 100% post-consumer recycled materials, so it is perfectly safe for your cat. If you’re looking for safe kitten toys, this option works well. The cute bird design is perfectly sized for your furry friend and you can refill the catnip cat toy when it runs out to keep the fun going.

How Do You Form a Strong Bond with Your Cat?

Cats can be a little aloof at times, but if you take the time to do it right, you can create a strong bond of friendship and trust with your cat.

When you first bring your cat home, make sure to give it some time and space to adjust to the new surroundings, so it feels safe.

Once your cat becomes a little more confident, start emptying out the toy box and try to get your cat to play with you. As your cat becomes more comfortable with you, try petting it and see if it will let you brush it. Over time, these things will help you build and strengthen your bond with your cat and hopefully keep him away from your furniture.

How Important is Exercise for Cats?

One of the main benefits of interactive toys for cats is that it encourages healthy activity. What many cat owners don’t realize is that exercise is very important for cats. Not only does it help them maintain a healthy body weight, but it encourages them to develop their natural instincts for hunting and playing. Exercise is also an opportunity to engage your cat’s mind to prevent boredom

Final Remarks

Cats are fickle creatures, at times, so you may not be able to predict what type of toy your cat might like. If you’re looking for an interactive toy to give your cat some exercise or mental stimulation, try one of our top five picks reviewed above. Best of luck!

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Kate Barrington is avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines
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