Is your cat getting the mental and physical stimulation she needs to thrive? Cats lacking in either area are liable to experience boredom, stress, and even higher obesity risk. This is why, despite what you may be led to believe, playtime is as essential for cats as it is for dogs.
Of course, you’re a busy person. And there will always be times when you need a hand entertaining your cat—even if it’s a robotic one. Electronic cat toys that move will keep your cat engaged, stimulated, and happy. They also provide motivation for cats who are reluctant to exercise.
At their core, these electronic toys encourage your cat to be a cat. They reinforce her natural role as a hunter, and they promote feline behaviors, such as swatting, stalking, pouncing, and chasing.
If your cat could use an outlet for pent-up energy, an electronic toy that moves may be able to help. Here are 7 solid choices that will appeal to a variety of cats and owners.
- PetFusion Ambush Cat Toy
- Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy
- APPLYSU Interactive Cat Toy
- This 2-in-1 toy features a feather teaser and a laser toy
- Perfect for multiple-cat homes
- Made of durable ABS material
- Quiet motor
- Rechargeable battery
- BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy
- Features irregular, unpredictable movements
- Encourages focus and speedy redirection
- Feather attachment captures your cat's attention
- Two speeds for use on carpet or hard floors
- Long-lasting battery
- Blackhole Catch the Tail Cat Toy
- An electronic "tail" moves like a mouse under a cover
- This toy encourages cats to pounce -- a valuable hunting skill
- 3 speed settings
- Shuts down automatically after 15 minutes on the random speed setting
- Requires 3 AA batteries (included)
1. Best Overall: PetFusion Ambush Toy
In our review, the best moving electronic cat toy is the PetFusion Ambush Toy. With a feather teaser that simulates fast-moving prey, the Ambush puts your cat’s hunting skills to the test.
This toy encourages exercise with a colorful feather that automatically rotates and peeks out from 6 holes at random. For cats who might get a little carried away, there’s one feather replacement included. The toy also lights up to pique feline curiosity.
The PetFusion Ambush requires 4 AA batteries, which are included. To preserve battery life, the toy turns off automatically after 8 minutes of use.
- Includes one replacement feather
- Battery-operated (batteries included)
- 8-minute automatic shutdown
- Anti-skid feet
2. Best for Kittens: HexBug Nano Robotic Toy
Here’s a pocket-sized toy for your teeny kitten. This mini robotic “insect” mimics the quick movements of prey to engage your cat’s hunting instincts. A fuzzy tail trails behind the toy to further intrigue your cat.
This toy moves around fairly effortlessly: it avoids obstacles and can even flip itself over if it lands on its backside. The small size, however, does mean this toy can be lost easily underneath couches or other furniture.
While we’ve selected the HexBug as a top choice for kittens, plenty of happy reviewers report their older cats like chasing these toys around, too.
- Variety of colors: randomly selected
- Batteries included
- Only works on hard surfaces
3. Best for Multiple Cats: Interactive Rotating Cat Toy
Households with multiple cats will appreciate this toy’s dual interactive components. This 2-in-1 toy features both a feather teaser and a laser cat toy for double the fun. At the touch of a button, you can send both toys spinning around at random speeds.
This toy takes about an hour to charge completely and should last for four hours of continuous play. The outer shell is made with eco-friendly ABS material that is durable enough for cats who are a little rougher on their toys.
We love how this toy can clamp onto most surfaces with a plastic tightening screw. Feel free to stick it on your desk, attach it to a shelf, or secure it to a cat tree. Another feature most cat owners will love is the low noise level. This toy operates at under 36 decibels (akin to a quiet library or whisper), so it shouldn’t scare your cat—or grate on your nerves.
- Compact size (4.3” X 3.3”)
- 360-degree rotation
- Rechargeable battery
- Auto shut-off after 30 minutes
- Quiet motor
4. Best for Weight Loss: Bentopal Automatic Exercise Toy
Here’s a toy for the ultimate kitty workout. With its irregular, unpredictable movements, the Bentopal requires focus and swift redirections. There are two speeds, which allow for use on both hard floors and carpets. And a long-lasting battery means the fun can keep going and going.
When your cat is ready to play, the Bentopal will run for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, it shuts down for 1.5 hours, giving your pet the perfect blend of exercise and rest. Should the feather teaser become lost or damaged, you can buy replacement tails here.
- Feather attachment gets your cat’s attention
- Built-in sensor detects objects
- Rechargeable battery lasts 8 hours
5. Best for Practicing Hunting Skills: Undercover Catch-the-Tail Toy
Does your cat routinely pounce on your unsuspecting feet when they’re underneath the covers? Protect your toes and give your furry hunter something better: an electronic “tail” that moves around like a mouse under a pink cover.
This toy offers 3 speed settings: slow, fast, and random. There’s also an automatic shut down after 15 minutes, but this function is only available on the random speed setting. You’ll need 3 AA batteries to run this toy, which are included.
- Batteries included
- Halloween and Winter Holiday versions also available
- Cover is removable
6. Best Value: Electronic Floppy Fish Toy
Maybe your cat prefers fish. In which case, this floppy Carp might be a hit. At the touch of your cat’s paw, this battery-powered toy starts flopping up a storm. A pouch of catnip is conveniently stashed inside the fish to make your cat go wild.
For messier cats, this cotton fish toy can be cleaned: just don’t forget to take out the battery pack and catnip pouch, first.
- Made with safe, durable cotton
- Includes catnip
Choosing the Best Electronic Cat Toy: What to Look For
Feeling overwhelmed with choices? We hear you. You can narrow down your search by focusing on the following features.
When we’re dealing with electronic toys, we need to look at how they’re powered. Some run on batteries (which will need constant replacing), while others are USB-rechargeable. Consider, too, how long the power lasts. You might want to pass on a toy that eats through batteries faster than you can replace them.
Your cat’s new electronic toy must stand up to her level of play. Owners of hyper-active kittens or especially curious cats who like to claw and bite should look for sturdy, high-quality materials that are meant to last. Buyer reviews can be pretty telling in this regard, and we stuck to products that can stand up to more active cats.
For cats who like to chew, electronic toys with cords or small parts that may become loose can pose a choking hazard. It’s best to avoid such toys if you have an active chewer or a very curious kitten. In the interest of safety, you should also be on the lookout for secure battery compartments, non-toxic materials, and toys that automatically shut down after a set amount of time.
The Different Types of Electronic Cat Toys: Pros and Cons Compared
Some electronic cat toys are powered by batteries and others are rechargeable. Here are the benefits and drawbacks to both—and what might work best for you.
- Battery Activated Toys: Some electronic toys require batteries to run, which could wind up being an expense if your cat is an eager user. Battery-operated toys are best for kitties who won’t be playing with their new toy around the clock. You can also use a battery-operated toy immediately, instead of having to wait for it to charge.
- USB-Rechargeable Toys: A rechargeable toy, on the other hand, can be hugely convenient for cats who can’t get enough of their new plaything. On the downside, you’ll have to remember to power up the toy before you want to use it (many toys can’t be used while they’re charging).
Verified Review: User Experience
One issue that cat owners frequently run into is a pet who refuses to play with their new electronic toy. Of course, we can’t always predict which toys our cats will love and which ones will go untouched. But we can make the best choice possible by considering our cat’s unique style of play. High-octane kittens, for instance, are typically good candidates for fast-moving toys like the HexBug Nano or the Bentopal Exercise Toy. Senior cats with limited mobility? Not so much.
Noise tolerance is another important factor to consider—your cat’s and your own. If a toy’s noise level is obnoxiously high, it could compromise the peace of the entire household.
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.
The Best Electronic Cat Toys that Move —Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How do I keep my indoor cat entertained?
Interactive cat toys are an easy—and usually effective—tool for entertaining indoor cats. You can also keep things fresh and stave off boredom by routinely rotating which toys are available to your cat. Also worth considering are cat scratchers and cat trees that offer vertical space.
Do cats like moving toys?
Yes! As natural-born hunters, cats enjoy playing with things that simulate prey. Toys like the HexBug Nano and the PetFusion Ambush are great for engaging your cat’s inner hunter.