Check Out the Best Cat Toys

Written by Abby Parks
Updated: November 23, 2022
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall cat toy is the Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise Toy.
  • Cat toys help to keep kittens, adult cats, and seniors entertained and fit so that they don’t become bored or destructive. The best cat toys help cats tap into their innate instincts of watching, stalking, pouncing, chasing, and scratching, all behaviors they exhibit if hunting in the wild.
  • When choosing the best cat toy, are you looking for one they can play with solo, or by interaction with you? Take into consideration the types of toys that have excited your cat the most when shopping for new ones.
  • Some toys offer added benefits for cats, such as being designed for cats to chew on to improve their teeth health. Another toy may have a built-in scratcher to help a cat maintain its claws.

There are several benefits your feline friend can receive from playing with cat toys. Playtime can help ensure that senior felines, and even younger cats, receive the exercise they need to remain healthy, it can keep kitties from becoming bored and destructive, and it can provide owners the opportunity to bond and spend time with their cat.

From laser toys to motorized toys to food-motivated toys to more traditional mice and ribbon toys, there are a plethora of options on the market when you’re shopping for a toy for your feline friend. The number of options is great; however, it can also make it challenging to decide what to pick. Fortunately for you, we’ve done the research and compiled this list of some of the best cat toys on the market. So, keep reading to discover the best product to buy your kitty companion.

  1. Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise Toy
  2. Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise Toy
    • UFO shape interactive cat toy
    • Box contains 1 track toy, 1 automatic cat toy, 1 rolling ball, 2 butterfly toys
    • 360 degree rotation
    • AA batteries required
    Check Amazon
  3. BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy
  4. 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
    Check Amazon
  5. Friends Forever Interactive Laser Cat Toy
  6. Friends Forever Interactive Laser Cat Toy
    • 3 speed (slow/fast/random) auto rotating laser pointer
    • 360 degree rotation with 15 minute auto timer
    • Indoor or outdoor fun
    • Operates on 3 AA batteries (not included)
    Check Amazon

The Top Picks for the Best Cat Toy: Ranked and Rated

#1 Best Overall: Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise Toy

Our pick for the overall best cat toy is the Pawzone Automatic Rotating Butterfly & Ball Toy. This interactive game is perfect to keep indoor kitties stimulated and excited. It features a track with rolling balls and a flying butterfly wand for felines to chase. Press the button to make the butterfly start spinning for your cat’s endless entertainment.

The ball in the track includes catnip for added kitty attraction. When needed, you can remove and replace the butterfly piece. Choose from six fun colors for your feline friend to enjoy: air blue, green, gray, pink, purple, and super black.

Some buyers said that the wires that hold the butterflies bend easily and other indicated that the toy broke after a brief period of use.

Pros and Cons of the Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise Toy

ProsCons
This interactive toy features a track with rolling balls and a flying butterfly wand for your kitty to chase.The wire that secures the butterflies bend easily.
The ball in the track features catnip to make it even more enticing to your cat.Some consumers reported that the toy broke after using it for a brief time.
Choose from six colors: air blue, green, gray, pink, purple, and super black.
Best Overall Cat Toy
Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise Toy
  • UFO shape interactive cat toy
  • Box contains 1 track toy, 1 automatic cat toy, 1 rolling ball, 2 butterfly toys
  • 360 degree rotation
  • AA batteries required
Check Amazon

2. Best Motorized Cat Toy: BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy

If you have a lazy or senior indoor feline that you want to keep more active when you’re away at work, try the BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy. This robotic toy can be turned on when you leave and will turn itself on and off periodically to keep your kitty entertained.

The robot machine is compatible with different accessories to allow you to customize the overall playtime experience to match your cat’s likes. Additionally, this item features a built-in sensor to help it navigate around obstacles in its way. Some verified buyers report that the sensors don’t work well and the toy has a tendency of running into walls. It also has two motors to help it move on all flooring types, such as tile, wood, or carpets.

Pros and Cons of the BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy

ProsCons
You can turn this robotic toy on when you leave the house and it will turn itself on and off periodically to entertain your cat.Some pet parents report that the sensors don’t work very well and the toy runs into walls.
You can customize the toy by attaching different accessories.
The toy has a sensor that helps it navigate around obstacles and two motors to accommodate different types of flooring.
Best for Weight Loss
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
Check Amazon

3. Best Laser Cat Toy: Friends Forever Interactive Laser Cat Toy

Watch in delight as your kitty tries to catch the laser with the hands-free, automatic Friends Forever Interactive Laser Cat Toy. Unlike other laser pointers that you have to operate using your fingers, this machine does all the work for you. All you need to do is set it up, choose from a slow, fast, or random speed, and let it keep your kitty busy. The top of the machine also rotates 360 degrees to keep the laser moving around the room in random patterns on floors and walls. It even has a 15-minute automatic shutoff to give your cat a break from getting too excited.

Some purchasers said that their cats quickly “got bored” with the toy.

It operates on three AA batteries and has no wires to trip on, so it can easily be set up indoors or out.

Pros and Cons of the Friends Forever Interactive Laser Cat Toy

ProsCons
This laser pointer is automated.Some buyers said that their cats quickly got bored with this laser toy.
Simply select a slow, fast, or random speed setting to entertain your cat.
The top of the toy rotates 360 degrees to create random patterns on floors and walls.
It features a 15-minute automatic shutoff.
This toy operates on three AA batteries, so you can set it up indoors or outdoors.
Best Laser Cat Toy
Friends Forever Interactive Laser Cat Toy
  • 3 speed (slow/fast/random) auto rotating laser pointer
  • 360 degree rotation with 15 minute auto timer
  • Indoor or outdoor fun
  • Operates on 3 AA batteries (not included)
Check Amazon

How to Choose the Best Cat Toy

There are a seemingly endless number of options on the market when you’re shopping for a toy for your kitty. Using the criteria outlined below can help you sort through these options and select the best choice that will keep your feline entertained, happy, and healthy.

Engagement

Cats, by nature, are predatory creatures. Their senses are fine-tuned to objects that move, such as mice. They usually love activities that involve watching, stalking, pouncing, chasing, and scratching, as these are tools they would use if hunting in the wild. Any toy that stimulates one or more of these senses will be a great hit with your fur baby. Some toys, like little stuffed mice, excite the cat that thinks he has captured prey. Other cats enjoy things that move, teasing them to pounce. Still others may enjoy a light-weight ball that rolls when toyed with, invoking a chase. The possibilities are abundant.

One of the most important things to consider when shopping for cat toys is whether your cat will enjoy a specific item or not. Think about the types of items he or she has expressed interest in before, and use that to guide your search. Preventing boredom and encouraging more lazy cats to play will be easier when you choose a product that your cat will enjoy.

Ability for Solo Play

Next, consider whether you are looking for an option that your feline can play with on their own or only when you’re present. Ribbon and wand products, for example, are a fun choice, but they are not one that indoor cats can easily play with on their own when their owners are away. If you’re looking to keep your senior or lazy kitty more active when you’re away at work, look for an interactive or automatic choice that will encourage them to play on their own.

Added Benefits for Your Kitty

Some toys offer added benefits for kitties in addition to the typical exercise and entertainment benefits. Some may be designed for cats to chew on to keep the teeth healthy, may have a built-in scratcher for maintenance of a cat’s claws, or will encourage greater movement for muscle health and development.

Safety

Finally, always consider your cat’s safety when choosing a kitty toy. Look for quality options that won’t fall apart and pose a choking risk to your kitty. The tongue of a cat is barbed, which can make it harder for them to spit out items that accidentally get in their mouth, such as small bells, strings, or yarn. Keep this in mind when shopping, and always supervise your kitty when playing with anything that may pose a potential safety risk.

Our Criteria and Experience — How We Chose the Best

We selected the products highlighted below as our top recommendations. We looked for toys that are durable and able to withstand rough play by cats without tearing apart too soon. We also looked for toys that engage multiple senses in the cat, and give them much-needed exercise. And we researched the items, we investigated how well they fared with reviewers who had bought them for their cats. Here are a few pros and cons we observe for each option.

  • Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterfly & Ball Exercise Toy: We find that this choice is a huge hit with most kitties. The opportunities to swat at spinning balls below and spinning butterflies above eye level are nothing short of great fun! However, the butterfly can be destroyed pretty quickly, and we feel like you’ll likely go through the few extras that were included in a short period of time.
  • BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy: What’s cool about this toy is that it functions sort of like an automatic vacuum–when it hits a wall or corner, it turns around and goes in another directions. This toy has given many energetic kitties hours of enjoyment. Customers who didn’t favor this toy found that the little “tail” attachment was flimsy and broke very easily, so it’s necessary to order replacements frequently. Some complained of other parts breaking, and the robot needs a large area to move about in to really function well. It’s not recommended if you and your cat share a smaller apartment.
  • Friends Forever Interactive Laser Cat Toy: This toy is a great option for the owner who doesn’t have a lot of time to shoot lasers around the room. It’s automatic, runs on batteries, and can easily be set up in any room of the house, as well as outdoors. Some customers complained that it tips over easily, so you’ll need to do a bit of planning how you’ll keep that from happening–perhaps build a base for it.

Up Next…

About the Author

Abby Parks has authored a fiction novel, theatrical plays, short stories, poems, and song lyrics. She's recorded two albums of her original songs, and is a multi-instrumentalist. She has managed a website for folk music and written articles on singer-songwriters, folk bands, and other things folk-music oriented. She's also a radio DJ for a folk music show. As well as having been a pet-parent to rabbits, birds, dogs, and cats, Abby loves seeking sightings of animals in the wild, and has witnessed some more exotic ones such as: Puffins in the Farne Islands, Southern Pudu on the island of Chiloe (Chile), Penguins in the wild, and countless wild animals in the Rocky Mountains (Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Moose, Elk, Marmots, Beavers).

Check Out the Best Cat Toys FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What cat toys do cats like the most?

Every cat has different preferences, so the items one kitty likes the best may look different from what another kitty enjoys. Some popular products include small mice or balls they can flick and run after, ribbons, and interactive toys that will keep cats engaged even when you’re not around to play with them.

What is the best brand of cat toys?

There really is no “best” brand when it comes to choosing a cat toy. Many well-known companies, such as Kong and Hartz make cat toys, but you can also find high-quality toys that will keep your kitty entertained from other lesser-known manufacturers. The key when choosing a kitty toy is to look for toys made using materials that are safe for cats that you think your cat will enjoy playing with.

What is the best toy for a bored cat?

Interactive toys are popular with many cats suffering from boredom. These toys can be very stimulating for cats and don’t require a kitty’s owner to be present for the toy to capture a cat’s attention. Food-motivated cats may also benefit from puzzle/treat toys that will keep them busy as they try to release a treat to enjoy.

What toys should a cat have?

The toys you purchase for your kitty are a personal decision. However, buying a variety of toys for them, such as interactive, ribbon, motorized, and some ball and mice toys will provide them with a nice selection to choose from. You may also want to add some catnip and some food-motivated games if your cat will enjoy them.

Do cats get tired of toys?

Yes, some cats may get tired of the same toys. Refreshing their box with some new selections every now and then will keep things more interesting for them. You can also consider rotating some of your existing toys in and out of the box, as this can offer them a change of pace and help prevent boredom.

What are the best motorized cat toys when I’m at work?

When you’re away from your cat, providing them with a motorized cat toy can help them stay active and keep them from being too lazy when left alone. We really like the BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy for owners who will be away from their cats. This option can automatically turn on to play with a kitty on its own.

What type of yarn is best for cat toys?

When possible, avoid things that are made with yarn. If a cat breaks off a piece of yarn and ingests it, the yarn may become wrapped around its intestine. This can pose a serious health concern for the kitty. String and ribbon can also pose the same risk.

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