The Best Interactive Cat Toys: Reviewed and Ranked

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Updated: May 27, 2024

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Many cats do not meet their daily exercise needs. Even if your feline seems to be quite active during the day, unless you are regularly providing simulation, they probably aren’t getting enough. This is one reason why 59% of all cats are overweight or obese. If you’re looking to increase your cat’s activity (or entertain a very active cat), interactive toys are a great way to go about that.

They keep your cat active even when you aren’t there. Plus, they encourage cats to move more than your average toy, which requires some input from the feline.

Below, we’ve taken a look at some of the top interactive cat toys on the market. With these, your cat will hopefully get a bit more exercise and run off its energy.

  1. Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Cat Toy
    • Provides plenty of interactive playtimes
    • Features nonskid pads on the bottom
    • Provides physical stimulation to burn off excess energy
    • Includes three different tiers with balls on each tier
    Check Chewy
  2. Potaroma Flopping Fish 10.5"
    • Comes with a certified battery that lasts quite a long time
    • Made with natural materials
    • Premium catnip is included
    • With the smallest touch, the fish begins to flop around
    Check Amazon
  3. RIOFLY Cat Toys Interactive - 2 in-1 Laser Toy
    • Completely interactive and require no owner setup
    • Provides four hours of continuous play on a full battery
    • Can be placed on any surface
    • The shell is made of high-impact ABS
    Check Amazon
  4. Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder for Cats
    • It requires your cat to use its brain as well as its body to receive the treat reward
    • Comes with three different built-in levels
    • Very useful for bored cats
    • Best for owners that are at home, as you have to set it up
    Check Amazon
  5. Automatic 2 in 1 Laser Cat Feather Toy
    • Comes with quite a few different play options
    • A ball that rolls around a ramp included
    • The feathers are made with completely natural materials
    • Machine features an auto shut-off
    Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals Top Picks For Interactive Cat Toys

#1 Best Overall: Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Cat Toy

Our selection as the best overall interactive cat toy is the Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Cat Toy.

Not only is this interactive toy very fun, but it is also quite inexpensive. It includes three different tiers with balls on each tier. Two butterfly pieces are also included, which are attached to springs. With three different levels, this cat toy provides plenty of interactive playtimes. Combined with the bounce of the butterflies, the spinning action of the balls helps keep your cat entertained.

This toy also features non-skid pads on the bottom, which prevent the structure from sliding around when your cat bats and plays. You can place this toy on wood, tile, or other slippery surfaces without needing to worry about it sliding about.

For the most part, this toy simply provides physical stimulation. While there is some mental work involved, this is mostly for felines that need to burn off some energy or get some extra exercise.

However, although the balls are designed to stay in their tracks on each level, it is possible for particularly persistent and enthusiastic cats to remove them. Also, it is a lightweight toy which means that it can be tipped over easily.

Pros and Cons of the Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Cat Toy

ProsCons
This toy has three different tiers with balls on each level.It does not provide much mental stimulation.
It includes two butterfly pieces that are attached to springs.Persistent cats can remove the balls from their tracks.
It features non-slip pads underneath to prevent it from moving around while your cat is playing.It can be tipped over easily.
Best Overall
Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Cat Toy
  • Provides plenty of interactive playtimes
  • Features nonskid pads on the bottom
  • Provides physical stimulation to burn off excess energy
  • Includes three different tiers with balls on each tier
Check Chewy

2. Best Value: Potaroma Flopping Fish

For those looking for something a bit less expensive, you can’t get much better than the Potaroma Flopping Fish.

Although this toy is simple, many cats love it. With the smallest touch, the fish begins to flop around, “interacting” with the feline. Therefore, it encourages cats to kick and play longer — hopefully helping them burn off some energy.

The fish looks extremely realistic. While your cat likely doesn’t care much about the look, it does make it quite entertaining for those watching. This toy is made with natural materials, similar to what is typically used in baby toys. Also, premium catnip is included to encourage your feline to play with the toy.

This interactive toy also comes with a certified battery that lasts quite a long time and is not dangerous for your feline. Of course, a charger is also included.

Unfortunately, some customers have reported that their pets simply weren’t interested in this toy and would not go near it.

Pros and Cons of the Potaroma Flopping Fish

ProsCons
The fish begins to “flop around” at only the slightest touch.Not all cats enjoy playing with this toy.
It has a realistic fish-like appearance.
It is made from natural materials.
This toy comes with a certified battery and a charger.
Premium catnip is included with this toy.
Best for the Money
Potaroma Flopping Fish 10.5"
  • Comes with a certified battery that lasts quite a long time
  • Made with natural materials
  • Premium catnip is included
  • With the smallest touch, the fish begins to flop around
Check Amazon

3. Best When You’re Away: RIOFLY Interactive Cat Toy

Even when we’re out at work, our cats need something to keep them entertained and moving, and that’s why we recommend the RIOFLY Interactive Cat Toy.

This toy provides cats with many different ways to play that are completely interactive and don’t require any owner setup. This toy comes with a cat feather, streamer, and two lasers. It automatically turns on when a cat interacts with it, and then turns off when the interaction stops.

It does require regular charging. However, it provides four hours of continuous play on a full battery, which is perfect for those that aren’t home all the time.

This cat toy can be placed on any surface, including a cat tree, door, or table. It only requires that the surface is thicker than 1.1 inches. The whole thing is 360-degrees, so you can place it facing any direction. The laser is completely adjustable, so you can always point it towards the floor.

The whole operation is quiet so that it won’t scare your feline. The shell is made of high-impact ABS, which can handle drops, scratches, and bites.

Although this toy as a lot going for it, some customers have reported that they wish they could turn the laser off while their cat is playing with other aspects of this toy as some pets can become overwhelmed and over-stimulated by it.

Pros and Cons of the RIOFLY Interactive Cat Toy

ProsCons
This toy does not require any setup.There is no way to turn the laser off while cats are playing with other aspects of the toy. This then causes some pets to become overwhelmed and over-stimulated by it.
It provides four hours of continuous play with a single charge.
This toy comes with a cat feather, streamer, and two lasers.
This interactive toy automatically turns on when cat’s play with it and then switches off when they stop.
The shell is made from high-impact ABS material which makes it durable against drops, scratches, and bites.
Best When You're Away
RIOFLY Cat Toys Interactive - 2 in-1 Laser Toy
  • Completely interactive and require no owner setup
  • Provides four hours of continuous play on a full battery
  • Can be placed on any surface
  • The shell is made of high-impact ABS
Check Amazon

4. Best Cat Toy for Intelligence: Interactive Treat Maze and Puzzle Feeder for Cats

Our selection as the best toy for intelligence and metal stimulation is the Interactive Teat Maze and Puzzle Feeder for Cats.

While cats do need physical stimulation, many of them also need quite a bit of mental stimulation as well. As you might imagine, much of this is reliant on how intelligent your cat is, as well as other sources of mental stimulation that receive each day.

If your cat seems to be quite bored throughout the day, you may be interested in this cat toy for intelligence. It requires your cat to use its brain as well as its body to receive the treat reward.

This puzzle toy comes with three different built-in levels, which allows you to slowly increase the difficulty as necessary. The harder the level, the more holes the treats can hide. We recommend starting with the easiest level and then working your way up as your feline gets the hang of it.

The only negative of this toy is that you have to set it up. Once the treats are gone, they’re gone. Therefore, this is best for those that are home at least some of the time. You’ll also have to be careful not to feed your felines too many treats.

Pros and Cons of the Interactive Treat Maze and Puzzle Feeder for Cats

ProsCons
This toy requires cats to use their brain as well as body to access the treats.This toy requires regular set up so is best used when owners are at home.
It features three built-in levels which allow you to increases the difficulty as needed.Care needs to be taken not to allow cats too many treats.
Best Cat Toy for Intelligence
Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder for Cats
  • It requires your cat to use its brain as well as its body to receive the treat reward
  • Comes with three different built-in levels
  • Very useful for bored cats
  • Best for owners that are at home, as you have to set it up
Check Amazon

5. Best Premium Cat Toy: Automatic 2-in-1 Laser Cat Feather Toy

Our selection as the best premium option is the Automatic 2-in-1 Laser Cat Feather Toy.

Compared to others on the market, this cat toy is quite expensive. However, it comes with quite a few different play options, preventing your cat from becoming bored. For one, it includes six different feathers for your cat to play with. You can change these feathers out to maintain freshness and change up the play routine. There is also a ball included that rolls around a ramp, providing another play opportunity.

The feathers are made with completely natural materials, so there isn’t any toxic coloring that may potentially harm your feline. The shell is made with ABS and has smooth edges.

This machine also features an auto shut-off, as well as five different speed modes. You can set the speed to a different option each day, which helps prevent your cat from getting bored. Unfortunately, some owners reported that even the slowest speed setting is quite fast which is unsuitable for some pets.

Pros and Cons of the Automatic 2-in-1 Laser Cat Feather Toy

ProsCons
This toy has several different play options to prevent cats from becoming bored.Even the slowest speed setting is quite fast which is unsuitable for some pets.
It includes six different feathers that can be changed as needed.
It features a ball that rolls around a ramp.
This toy features an automatic shut off.
It has five different speed modes.
Best Premium Cat Toy
Automatic 2 in 1 Laser Cat Feather Toy
  • Comes with quite a few different play options
  • A ball that rolls around a ramp included
  • The feathers are made with completely natural materials
  • Machine features an auto shut-off
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For

If you’re looking for the best interactive cat toys, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. For instance, you’ll want to consider the durability, price, and versatility. Let’s take a look at each of those factors one-by-one:

Durability

Your cat is going to be biting and scratching the interactive toy — that is the point, after all. Therefore, it is vital that you find a toy that can withstand this kind of rough-and-tumble play. Otherwise, the toy is not going to last very long.

Preferably, both the shell and extensions on the toy should be quite durable and made from a safe material as you don’t want your cat to accidentally break a piece off and ingest it

Price

While we would all like to ignore the price tag, most of us cannot do that. Therefore, it is vital that you choose an interactive cat toy that fits within your budget. Because these toys have a bit more to them than your average cat toy, you can expect to spend a more than you would otherwise on a regular toy.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find an inexpensive, interactive cat toy. You just have to look a bit more carefully. Most interactive cat toys are at least $15. However, some of them are as much as $30.

Versatility

It can be hard to determine exactly what cat toys your feline is going to like. Therefore, your best bet is to find a cat toy that can be played in a variety of different ways. Luckily, there are quite a few different options that you can look at. For instance, most of them have multiple extensions that do different things, which helps the toy cater to different play styles.

Unless you know exactly what your cat likes, you should avoid toys that only do one thing. Your cat might not like batting at that particular kind of feather, for instance. In these cases, you may end up spending money on a toy that your cat just won’t use.

Different Types of Interactive Cat Toys: Pros and Cons Compared

The categories of different interactive cat toys are not set in stone. Therefore, discussing them can be a bit complicated. However, in this section, we are going to do our best to review the different pros and cons of the many types of interactive cat toys.

Some cats will like different styles more than others.

  • Puzzle cat toys: these cat toys are great for felines that need some mental stimulation. However, they don’t move or have batteries, so they don’t encourage lots of activity.
  • Batting toys: typically these have some sort of a string or cord that the machine then moves around, sending the feather on the end moving all over the place.
  • Laser toys: this sort of interactive cat toy is very easy to make, so they are quite common. Simply put, this type of cat toy features a laser that moves around to excite your feline.
  • Ball towers: there are tons of different ball towers on the market. These feature multiple levels (usually) of balls on tracks. Your cat hits a ball and sends it flying around the track.
  • Battery-powered toys: these toys don’t fit into any other category, but they do have a battery that causes some sort of movement. You’ll find some self-moving balls in this category, for instance.

There are probably some interactive toys that don’t fit in these categories, as well as some that may fit in both. Either way, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each:

Puzzle Cat Toys

ProsCons
They are mentally and physically entertaining.They often utilize treats which can cause your feline to gain weight.
As they don’t move independently they don’t encourage a lot of activity.

Batting Toys

ProsCons
They are simple and easy to use.Cats can become bored easily using this toy as it can become repetative.
They are well-loved by most cats.

Laser Toys

ProsCons
They are easy to install just about anywhere.Not all cats are entertained by lasers.
Some cats act as though they can’t see the laser beam.

Ball Towers

ProsCons
They are very durable and there are not many parts for cats to break.They are not very versatile and cats can become bored easily.
They are easy to use.

Battery-Powered Toys

ProsCons
They promote exercise and interest.They are not very versatile.
There are many different styles available.

Our Criteria and Experience: Why We Chose the Best

There are many benefits to purchasing an interactive cat toy. Many cats do not get enough exercise. Not only can this make them gain weight, but they may also search for their own fun, which usually means getting in trouble. If your cat runs around the house like a maniac in the middle of the night, it could be that they aren’t getting enough exercise during the day.

Either way, many people do see a difference in their cats once they provide them with an interactive toy to use during the day. Cats tend to get calmer and behave badly less.

However, you can’t just go out and buy any interactive cat toy. One of the biggest problems with all cat toys is that it’s hard to know what your feline is going to like. Some cats absolutely love a certain toy, while others may not pay any attention to it. This isn’t necessarily a problem with the toy. Some cats just like certain things.

Of course, this pickiness can make it challenging to pick out a toy for your feline. For this reason, we recommend either choosing a more expensive, versatile toy that does many different things or choosing a few cheaper toys that all do different things. Either way, this will provide your feline with multiple different options to play with.

The interactive toys that we have recommended are well-made, versatile, and do the job of entertaining cats. We also consulted reviews of the products to ensure that the owners of these products found them to be good choices for their cats. We found the top recommendations to be the best interactive cat toys we found and we hope that you do too!

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

The Best Interactive Cat Toys: Reviewed and Ranked FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are important safety precautions for cat toys?

Most cat toys have safe designs, but some cats are more destructive than others. Sometimes, some cats can easily destroy toys that others seem indestructible. One helpful thing to remember is that no toy is completely indestructible.

Proper supervision, especially with kittens, helps prevent a lot of problems. Disposing of a toy when broken is a better option than attempting repairs. Making sure there are no broken pieces left behind that your cat could swallow and choke on is a smart idea.

Are interactive toys good for cats?

Yes, interactive toys are great for cat as they encourage them to exercise more while stimulating their mind.

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