The Best Toys for Cats Alone at Home — Ranked and Reviewed

Written by Liz Coleman
Updated: May 27, 2024
© Katrin Baidimirova/Shutterstock.com

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Best forProduct
Best OverallKONG Puzzlements Pockets Cat Toy
Best for KittensFrisco Butterfly Cat Tracks
Best for Heavy ScratchersSmartyKat Scroll Cat Scratcher
Best for Catnip LoversFrisco Refillable Catnip Squirrel
Best Electronic Moving ToyPetDroid Cat Toy
Best LaserTITIPET Automatic Laser Cat Toy
Best ValueFrisco Plush Ball & Tri-Tunnel Toy

If you feel guilty about leaving your cat home alone, perhaps it’s time to consider a special cat toy that will make the experience less painful and stressful for both parties. The best toys for cats offer many benefits: They keep pets out of mischief, promote exercise, alleviate boredom and separation anxiety, and stimulate your cat’s mind. 

Whatever your cat’s preferred mode of play, there’s a cat toy out there to add to the fun. You’ll find interactive motorized toys, soft plush toys, puzzle toys, feather teasers, laser toys, and more. 

So how do you know which type of toy your furry friend will like, or even play with? That’s where things can get tricky. To help you find a toy that meets your cat’s unique needs and preferences, we’ve taken a look at some top-rated toys in several categories. Let the games begin!

  1. KONG Puzzlements Pockets Cat Toy
    • Hide-and-seek mat for multiple modes of play
    • Hide treats, toys, or catnip in the pockets for your kitty to discover
    • Made of crinkly material that most cats love
    • Includes a rattling ball for kitties to swat
    • Also includes a catnip mouse
    Check Chewy
  2. Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks
    • Budget-friendly
    • Available in baby blue or pink
    • Easy to assemble
    • Non-skid pads on the bottom
    Check Chewy
  3. SmartyKat Scroll Cat Scratcher
    • Designed for cats who love to scratch
    • Unique S shape marries form and function
    • Durable
    • Includes snap-on dangling feather toy
    • Strong enough to support heavy felines
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Frisco Refillable Catnip Squirrel
    • Very affordable
    • Features a refillable compartment for catnip
    • A small container of catnip is included
    • Machine-washable
    Check Chewy
  5. PetDroid Cat Toy
    • This electronic toy features colorful LED wheels
    • Includes 3 attachable toys so it's always new and different
    • Works on carpets and hard floors due to built-in sensors detect obstacles
    • USB rechargeable with an 8-hour battery life
    Check Amazon
  6. TITIPET Automatic Laser Cat Toy
    • This automatic laser cat toy will shut off for 1.5 hours, then resume for 15 minutes of play time
    • Features five adjustable circling patterns
    • Fast and slow modes to suit your cat's preference
    • Operates on four AA batteries (not included) or USB
    Check Chewy
  7. Frisco Plush Ball & Tri-Tunnel Toy
    • Includes a tunnel and 19 cat toys
    • The pack includes plushies, feather teasers, crinkly toys, balls, catnip toys and a 3-way tunnel!
    • Great for homes with multiple cats
    • Perfect for pet parents who don't know what their cat's toy preferences are
    Check Chewy

Top Picks for the Best Toys for Cats Alone at Home: Ranked and Rated

#1 Best Overall: Kong Puzzlements Pockets Cat Toy

In our review, the best toy for entertaining cats at home is the Kong Puzzlements Pockets Cat Toy. This hide-and-seek mat won us over for its nearly universal appeal: it offers multiple modes of play, for all kinds of felines. 

Before you head out for the day, simply stash some of your cat’s favorite treats, toys, or catnip in the mat’s pockets. Then your furry pal can pass the time working to find her rewards, whatever those may be. 

This toy is made with the crinkly material that (most) cats love. There’s also a rattling ball attached for kitties to brush up on their swatting skills. And for catnip lovers, a plush catnip mouse is included. 

When your cat is tuckered out after playtime, this mat gives her a cozy place to nap until you return home.

This toy measures 15.75” X 15.75” and includes nine pockets for hide-and-seek. Spot-clean only.

A couple reviewers said that this toy was too small. A few others said that their cats didn’t pay any attention to it.

Pros and Cons of Kong Puzzlements Pockets Cat Toy

ProsCons
This hide-and-seek mat is made from the crinkly material most cats love.A couple reviewers said that this toy was too small.
A rattling ball is attached for your cat to swat.A few reviewers said that their cats didn’t pay any attention to it.
It includes a catnip mouse.
Simply hide treats, toys, and/or catnip in any of the mat’s nine pockets for your cat to find.
It measures 15.75” X 15.75”.
Spot-clean only
Best Overall
KONG Puzzlements Pockets Cat Toy
  • Hide-and-seek mat for multiple modes of play
  • Hide treats, toys, or catnip in the pockets for your kitty to discover
  • Made of crinkly material that most cats love
  • Includes a rattling ball for kitties to swat
  • Also includes a catnip mouse
Check Chewy

2. Best for Kittens: Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Toy

The Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Toy should win a “cuteness” award, since there’s nothing cuter than a kitten playing with butterflies. This budget-friendly toy, which is available in baby blue or pink, keeps young cats occupied with three circular tiers, each with a plastic ball for your cat to swat and push around the track. An adorable fluttering butterfly on the top adds to the fun. 

If your kitten gets a little too frisky and damages the butterfly, there’s a spare one included. Of course, this toy isn’t just for kittens — we have a feeling your older kitty will like it, too.

It’s easy to assemble and has non-skid pads on the bottom.

Several reviewers said that their cats were able to pop the balls out of the track and the balls are now lost. They wish that there were an option to purchase replacement balls.

Pros and Cons of the Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Toy

ProsCons
This toy is designed for kittens, but adult cats may enjoy it, too.Several reviewers said that their cats were able to pop the balls out of the track and the balls are now lost. They wish that there were an option to purchase replacement balls.
It’s available in baby blue or pink.
It features three circular tiers, each with a plastic ball for your cat to swat and push around the track.
This toy is topped off by a fluttering butterfly. (A spare is included.)
This affordable toy is easy to assemble and has non-skid pads on the bottom.
Best for Kittens
Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks
  • Budget-friendly
  • Available in baby blue or pink
  • Easy to assemble
  • Non-skid pads on the bottom
Check Chewy

3. Best for Heavy Scratchers: SmartyKat Scratch Scroll

Cats need to scratch, and the SmartyKat Scratch Scroll makes it fun. As far as cat behaviors go, scratching isn’t one of our favorites. But, alas, cats need to scratch. The key to keeping your furniture intact? Give your cat something he’s supposed to scratch. The unique “S” shape of the SmartyCat Scroll offers the perfect blend of form and function. It allows for angled scratching, which is more comfortable for cats. The sisal and carpet combo provides two surface options. And it includes a snap-on dangling feather toy

Several reviews mention this scratcher is sturdy enough to hold their cat, and even heavier felines gave their stamp of approval. So after your cat has satisfied her urge to claw, she can curl up in the scroll’s cozy nook. On the downside, some reviewers said that this scratcher, which measures 7” x 18.5”, is too small. Also, the SmartyKat doesn’t score well on longevity. But with the affordable price, purchasing a couple of replacements seems reasonable. 

Pros and Cons of the SmartyKat Scratch Scroll

ProsCons
This cat scratcher has a unique “S” shape that allows for angled scratching, which is more comfortable for cats.It doesn’t score well for longevity.
It has sisal and carpet for two surface options.Some reviewers said that it is too small.
It includes a snap-on dangling feather toy.
It’s sturdy enough to hold even heavier cats.
This scratcher measures 7″ x 18.5″.

Best for Heavy Scratchers
SmartyKat Scroll Cat Scratcher
  • Designed for cats who love to scratch
  • Unique S shape marries form and function
  • Durable
  • Includes snap-on dangling feather toy
  • Strong enough to support heavy felines
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best for Catnip Lovers: Frisco Refillable Catnip Squirrel 

If your cat goes nuts for catnip, it will love this super-cute, machine-washable Frisco Refillable Catnip Squirrel. It comes with a refillable compartment for catnip, so you can keep the fun going as long as you like. A small container of catnip is included, but when that runs out (because you know it will), you can buy a tub of catnip here

Some reviewers said that the squirrel was very small.

Pros and Cons of the Frisco Refillable Catnip Squirrel 

ProsCons
This machine-washable squirrel has a refillable catnip compartment.Some reviewers said that the squirrel was very small.
It includes a small container of catnip.
Best for Catnip Lovers
Frisco Refillable Catnip Squirrel
  • Very affordable
  • Features a refillable compartment for catnip
  • A small container of catnip is included
  • Machine-washable
Check Chewy

5. Best Electronic Moving Toy: PetDroid Interactive Boltz Toy

If you’re looking for an interactive electronic toy that will get your cat moving, thePetDroid Interactive Boltz Toy may be for you. It’s a fun choice for active kitties that need to blow off steam. The toy’s irregular movement patterns are sure to keep your cat on its toes. 

The Boltz comes with three toy attachments that are interchangeable to keep things fresh and new. It’s suitable for carpets and hard floors, has colorful LED wheels, is USB-rechargeable, has a long-running battery life (eight hours), has built-in sensors that detect obstacles.

If we had to pick a favorite feature, it would have to be the automatic shutdown. After 10 minutes of active play, the Boltz turns off to give your cat a sufficient rest period of 1.5 hours. Then it powers back up for another 10 minutes of fun. This gives your cat at home the perfect amount of interactive playtime throughout the day. 

Some reviewers reported that the attachments broke too easily. Others said that their cats weren’t interested in this toy.

Pros and Cons of PetDroid Interactive Boltz Toy

ProsCons
This interactive electronic toy features irregular movement patterns to keep your cat guessing.Some reviewers reported that the attachments broke too easily.
It includes three toy attachments to keep things interesting.Others said that their cats weren’t interested in this toy.
It’s suitable for carpets and hardwood floors.
This interactive toy has colorful LED wheels.
It’s USB rechargeable and has an eight-hour battery life.
Built-in sensors detect obstacles.
It shuts down after 10 minutes of play and let’s your cat rest for 1.5 hours; then it powers up for 10 more minutes of fun.
Best Electronic Moving Toy
PetDroid Cat Toy
  • This electronic toy features colorful LED wheels
  • Includes 3 attachable toys so it's always new and different
  • Works on carpets and hard floors due to built-in sensors detect obstacles
  • USB rechargeable with an 8-hour battery life
Check Amazon

6. Best Laser Toy: TITIPET Automatic Laser Cat Toy

If you want to encourage your feline friend to exercise while you’re away, you might want to consider the TITIPET Automatic Laser Cat Toy. This automatic cat laser toy features two speeds, slow and fast, and five adjustable circling patterns.

The toy turns off automatically after 15 minutes to keep your cat from becoming overstimulated. It turns back on automatically after 1.5 hours for another play session.

The unit, which is cleverly shaped like a futuristic, robotic cat, requires four AA batteries (not included) or USB power supply.

Some reviewers said that the batteries wore out too quickly.

Pros and Cons of the TITIPET Automatic Laser Cat Toy

ProsCons
This automatic laser cat toy features two speeds and five adjustable circling patterns.Some reviewers said that the batteries wore out too quickly.
It turns off automatically after 15 minutes and turns back on after 1.5 hours to begin another play session.
This cat-shaped device requires four AA batteries (not included) or a USB power supply.
Best Laser
TITIPET Automatic Laser Cat Toy
  • This automatic laser cat toy will shut off for 1.5 hours, then resume for 15 minutes of play time
  • Features five adjustable circling patterns
  • Fast and slow modes to suit your cat's preference
  • Operates on four AA batteries (not included) or USB
Check Chewy

7. Best Value: Frisco Variety Pack with Catnip

Here’s a smorgasbord of toys that has something for every cat. With 20 toys to choose from, feline boredom will be a thing of the past. There are soft plushies, feather teasers, crinkly toys, rolling balls, catnip toys, and even a three-way tunnel

This pack makes a great starter kit for new cat owners who aren’t sure what type of toys their new family member prefers. It works for both kittens and adult cats, and it’s a smart choice for folks with multiple cats.

Some reviewers said that the tunnel was smaller than described. Others said that this variety pack was suitable for kittens, not cats.

Pros and Cons of the Frisco Variety Pack with Catnip

ProsCons
This variety pack includes 20 toys, including soft plushies, feather teasers, crinkly toys, rolling balls, catnip toys, and a three-way tunnel.  Some reviewers said that the tunnel was smaller than described.
It’s appropriate for kittens and cats.Others said that this variety pack was suitable for kittens, not cats.
It’s an excellent choice for homes with multiple cats.
Best Value
Frisco Plush Ball & Tri-Tunnel Toy
  • Includes a tunnel and 19 cat toys
  • The pack includes plushies, feather teasers, crinkly toys, balls, catnip toys and a 3-way tunnel!
  • Great for homes with multiple cats
  • Perfect for pet parents who don't know what their cat's toy preferences are
Check Chewy

Choosing the Best Cat Toy: What to Look For

With the abundance of toys available to cat owners, where do you begin? We recommend that you keep the following criterion in mind: toy type, durability, and safety.

Toy Type

Cats are particular creatures, and what suits one feline may not suit the next. Consider your cat’s play habits and preferences: does she like darting around in pursuit of prey? A laser toy or electronic moving toy might appeal. For more sedentary kitties, a puzzle toy or mat can encourage gentle exercise and some mental effort. 

Durability

If your cat is going to be left at home with her new toy, it needs to stand up to her level of play. Buyer reviews can be pretty telling in this regard, and we stuck to products that can hold up to more active cats. 

Safety

If you’re looking for something your cat can play with by herself, safety should be your first priority. Avoid toys with sharp points or small parts that could be swallowed, and look for secure batteries and nontoxic materials.

The Different Types of Cat Toys: Pros and Cons Compared

If you’re torn between all the different kinds of toys, here are some benefits (and drawbacks) to each type. Please keep in mind that some cats may benefit from more than one type of toy, as they each work on different skills. We’ve taken a closer look at cat puzzle toys, electronic toys, and the ever-popular plush cat toys.

  • Puzzle Toys: Puzzle toys challenge cats cognitively and physically. They require problem-solving skills and put your kitty’s hunting chops to the test. Puzzle toys are appropriate for kittens and senior cats alike, and they can alleviate boredom and destructive behavior. If you have an 
  • Electronic Toys: For energetic cats on the go (or for cats who need persuading to exercise), an electronic toy that moves is a good option. These toys use motion, sounds, and/or lights to engage cats and get them moving. While electronic toys are helpful in most cases, some sensitive or nervous cats may find them too frightening. Also, cats with limited mobility may not fare as well with these kinds of toys.
  • Plush Toys: Often filled with catnip, plushies are a soft, snuggly choice for cats. They’re good for easing nerves, but they may not be durable enough for pets with a mischievous streak.

Verified Review: User Experience

One of the most common issues raised by shoppers is their cat’s lack of enthusiasm (or outright disdain) for their new plaything. While we can’t predict with absolute certainty which toys our cats will like and which ones will be ignored, we can make an educated decision by paying attention to our cat’s unique habits and abilities. 

There’s also the issue of durability. It’s important to remember that no cat toy is ever 100% indestructible, and active cats with a penchant for scratching or biting will wear out a toy faster than more sedentary felines. 

And don’t forget about your own noise tolerance — some cat toys are louder than others, and you might find them too intrusive to enjoy.

Best forProduct
Best OverallKONG Puzzlements Pockets Cat Toy
Best for KittensFrisco Butterfly Cat Tracks
Best for Heavy ScratchersSmartyKat Scroll Cat Scratcher
Best for Catnip LoversFrisco Refillable Catnip Squirrel
Best Electronic Moving ToyPetDroid Cat Toy
Best LaserTITIPET Automatic Laser Cat Toy
Best ValueFrisco Plush Ball & Tri-Tunnel Toy
About the Author

Liz is a freelance writer who loves putting pet owners in touch with top-rated, life-enriching pet products. She shares her home in Western New York with 2 cats, 2 zebra finches, 1 husband, and an animal-loving daughter. Visit her at Lizwritesforyou.com.

The Best Toys for Cats Alone at Home — Ranked and Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best toy for a cat to play with?

This depends largely on your intentions for the toy. Ask yourself: do I want to encourage exercise, redirect scratching, or give my cat something to cuddle with? Puzzle toys are a good option for all kinds of cats, from kittens to seniors. Electronic moving toys are best for active cats who become easily bored. And soft, plush toys are an affordable choice that often include catnip.

 

How do I keep my indoor cat entertained?

Keeping your indoor cat entertained is critical to raising a well-behaved and happy pet. To that end, interactive cat toys are extremely helpful. Also worth considering are cat scratchers, and cat trees that offer vertical space.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.