The Best Cat Toys: Top-Rated Boredom Busters

Cat Toys Play in the Apartment

Last Updated on by Gail Ramirez

It’s impossible to watch a kitty play without at least cracking a smile. To them, it’s exercising their primal instincts. To us, it’s hilarious to watch them stay so serious while they do the goofiest things!

In addition to being adorable, it’s important for their health to get in some playtime every day (even if it is at 5 AM).

In this guide to the best cat toys, we’ll be looking a bit more into the various reasons that it’s so important for your wild thing to play, and what toys she’s sure to love!

Not all cat toys are created equal. While there are plenty of great toys on the market for your feline to get frisky, our favorite cat toy overall has to be the Petstages Tower of Tracks. It’s got everything she’ll need to keep her busy and on her game with our without your participation– and it’s designed to keep the colorful balls in place and out from under your furniture.

The Best Cat Toys Are…

ProductDetails
1. Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

  • Suitable for cats of all ages
  • Weight: 9.6 oz
  • Dimensions: 10” diameter x 5” tall
  • Made from polypropylene
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2. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion

  • Weight: 8.8 oz.
  • Dimensions: 22.51 x 22.51 x 2.99 in
  • Intended for adult kitties
  • Electronic toy
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3. The Original Scratch Lounge

  • Dimensions: 22 x 13.5 x 5 in.
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Cardboard material
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4. KONG Naturals Cat Scratcher

  • Dimensions: 19.25 x 8.88 x 1.5 in
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Made from recyclable cardboard
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5. Catit Design Senses Circuit

  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 4 x 13 in
  • Weight: 1.6 oz
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Made from polyester materials
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6. SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Tunnel

  • Dimensions: 35 x 9.5 x 9.5 in.
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Made from plastic materials
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7. Pet Fit For Life 5 Piece Squiggly Worm Wand

  • Dimensions: 30 x 0.25 x 0.25 in
  • Weight: 3.04 oz
  • Made for adult cats
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1. Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy — Best Cat Toy Overall

Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy – 3 Levels of Interactive Play – Circle Track with Moving Balls Satisfies Kitty’s Hunting, Chasing & Exercising Needs

Cat parents everywhere said their cats love this fun, engaging toy! You can play with her, or it’ll keep her busy on her own while you’re out of the house. Got multiple cats? Even better– with three irresistible rolling balls and three levels of play, it’s enough activity to keep them all happy.

The sturdy design will withstand hours and hours of playtime, and it comes equipped with non-skid pads to keep it from sliding around as she’s swatting away.

The best part? Your days of rooting around under the sofa for her toys are over, this toy is designed to hold the balls in place so they don’t go rolling off and out of her reach.

Got more than one cat? It’s great for that too, three different levels and three spinning balls give everyone something to chase! 

Specs

  • Suitable for cats of all ages
  • Weight: 9.6 oz
  • Dimensions: 10” diameter x 5” tall
  • Made from polypropylene

Pros

  • Comes with non-skid pads, so it won’t go sliding around when your furball plays
  • Three circular tracks each with its own colorful ball makes it easy for multiple cats to play
  • The sturdy design holds up to hours of fun
  • Spinning, rotating balls tempt even the most stoic cat to playtime

Cons

  • Some cat owners said it wasn’t enough to interest their kitties.
  • Some cats said the balls don’t move enough to make it fun.
  • Some owners said it wasn’t as durable as they thought it would be.

Note: This toy should be used with supervision, and is not intended for children. (Pets only!) Make sure your Petstages Tower of Tracks is intact with no damaged or separated parts before use.

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2. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion — Best Automatic Cat Toy

SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Cat Toy Concealed Motion Toy

Every cat owner has played the “moving stuff under the blanket game” and laughed as their cat pounces on what they’re sure has to be some sort of rodent.

Well, that’s what this toy is all about! A wand swings her choice of toy attachment around underneath a covering, hiding it so she thinks she’s stalking prey (bonus: no dead “surprises” on your doorstep).

The SmartyKat Hot Pursuit has blinking lights, interchangeable attachments, and different speeds so you can customize her play and keep her interested for hours, and it’s auto-off feature allows her to play with or without your help.

This toy has been subjected to rigorous child safety standards, so you know it’s safe for your fur baby and your human baby.

Specs

  • Weight: 8.8 oz.
  • Dimensions: 22.51 x 22.51 x 2.99 in
  • Intended for adult kitties
  • Electronic toy

Pros

  • Toy lights up to entice and engage your little hunter
  • A variety of toy attachments switches up her fun
  • A variety of speeds keeps her pouncing
  • Has an auto-off feature so it can be used as an independent toy to keep her busy while you’re out.

Cons

  • Some cat lovers said it was too loud.
  • Some reported the cover bundled up and the attachment came off easily.
  • Some cats were bummed when the play attachment dragged on the floor, slowing it down

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3. The Original Scratch Lounge — Best Cat Toy for Indoor Cats

Scratch Lounge Cardboard Cat Scratcher - New Size - Lasts 10 Times Longer Than Other Conventional Scratchers - Large and Durable with Reversible Floor

This scratcher gives your kitty a place to snuggle and to scratch to her heart’s content. Designed to cradle her, “walls” to the left and right of the pad provide her three sides of scratching satisfaction while supporting her instinctive need to shelter.

The included catnip will lure her in, and the replaceable honeycomb pads are durable and reversible, so you know it’ll hold up to lots of scratching time.

Made in the US from safe, recyclable materials will make you feel good about the hours she’ll want to spend there.

Your furniture will thank you, and so will she!

Specs

  • Dimensions: 22 x 13.5 x 5 in.
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Cardboard material

Pros

  • Great for adult cats of all sizes, provides a cozy, protective space for scratching
  • Includes catnip to sprinkle in her den
  • Three surfaces give her more scratching space
  • Dense, reversible cardboard sides provide durability so she can scratch longer
  • 100% recyclable

Cons

  • Some owners reported the product was flimsier than they thought.
  • Some cool cats felt as if the sides weren’t sturdy enough for their scratching needs.
  • Some owners said they felt the price of the toy was a little steep for the quality.

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4. KONG Naturals Cat Scratcher

KONG CS9 Scratcher Refill for Incline and Double Cat Toy (2 Pack)

This simple scratcher deters your favorite furball from ruining up your furniture, trims their claws, and keeps them satisfied. The included catnip will lure her over and the dense texture will keep her scratching.

The scratchpad is reversible, and it’s made in the US with recyclable cardboard so you can stay confident it’s safe for her to play with, and you can feel better about helping the environment.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 19.25 x 8.88 x 1.5 in
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Made from recyclable cardboard

Pros

  • Included catnip will lure her to scratch
  • It’s scratch pads are reversible for longer play
  • The simple design is built to last
  • Saves your furniture!

Cons

  • Owners reported an incline design was pictured on the package, but wasn’t available in the product
  • Some cats said it wasn’t durable enough for their scratching needs
  • Some owners reported the product was misleading because it didn’t indicate anywhere to save the box, as it’s part of the toy.

Note: The manufacturer recommends supervised use. Discontinue use if damaged.

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5. Catit Design Senses Circuit — Best Cat Toy for Bored Cats

Catit Design Senses Super Roller Circuit Toy for Cats

The Catit Design Senses Circuit toy will keep your fluffy companion interested and exercising with its multiple-senses stimulation. The toy’s track contains a swirling ball for her to swat while it’s sounds and vivid colors keep her curious.

Additions to the track can be purchased separately to switch up the layout possibilities. (Kind of like a Hotwheels track for your furry baby!)

She’ll get plenty of hunting practice in with this toy, pouncing and stalking away, and if you’ve got more than one cat, they can all get in on the action. The balls stay inside the toy, meaning she can get at them but they can’t get out.

No more chasing stray balls around the house! (Although if you dismantle for use with any of the extensions and lose a ball, replacement balls are available.)

Specs

  • Dimensions: 1.5 x 4 x 13 in
  • Weight: 1.6 oz
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Made from polyester materials

Pros

  • Openings along the tracks tunnel are large enough for her to reach in and swat at the ball
  • The ball’s pattern is designed especially for getting your cats’ attention
  • Your kitty can invite her roommates to play, there’s plenty of room for multiple cats
  • The track is expandable with expansion sets sold separately

Cons

  • Some cats found it completely uninteresting
  • Some owners reported the tubes became detached too easily
  • Some owners said the ball got stuck in the tunnels too easily

Note: This toy was intended for use under your supervision. If any of it’s parts become damaged, loose, or separated, discontinue play.

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6. SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Tunnel Best Cat Toys to Keep Them Busy

SmartyKat Crackle Chute Collapsible Cat and Dog Tunnel

This collapsible toy crackles to lure your cat into a tunnel of fun! Curious cats will love exploring the cavernous tunnel, and if you’ve got multiple cats, the side openings give them lots of playful options for a chase, hide and seek, and ambush inside and out.

Easy-storage design folds flat, the pops open automatically for easy setup and play.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 35 x 9.5 x 9.5 in.
  • Intended for adult cats
  • Made from plastic materials

Pros

  • Toy’s crackling sounds entice play
  • Tunnel structure provides lots of hiding places
  • Side openings are large enough for your cat and some friends to play chase, ambush, and hide and seek
  • Collapsible and easily stored.

Cons

  • Some owners reported this toy was too loud
  • Some cats were uninterested in the toy
  • Some cats felt the toy wasn’t big enough

Note: This product is spring-loaded so exercise care when opening. Supervised play is recommended. If any part of the toy becomes detached, loose, or damaged, discontinue play. Intended for pets only!

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7. Pet Fit For Life 5 Piece Squiggly Worm Wand

Pet Fit For Life 5 Piece Worms Teaser and Exerciser for Cat and Kitten - Cat Toy Interactive Cat Wand

The name says it all– this toy encourages your kitty’s natural stalking and hunting instincts with five interchangeable dangling, wiggling “worms” to tempt her. For added fun, the removable bell will make this toy irresistible to even the loftiest felines!

The sturdy wand is made with break-resistant materials, and the dangling string is strong woven nylon so you can rest assured this toy will withstand lots of pulling and batting, playtime will go on and on until she tires herself out. It also has a removable bell to add to the kitty-approved excitement.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 30 x 0.25 x 0.25 in
  • Weight: 3.04 oz
  • Made for adult cats

Pros

  • Carbon fiber, break-resistant dangler pole, and heavy-duty nylon string makes this toy study and hard to break.
  • Contains five interchangeable brightly colored wiggly-worms to give her some variety
  • Comes with a removable tinkling bell to pique her curiosity
  • The easy-to-use clasp makes switching out wigglers easy.
  • Replacement squiggly worms available (sold separately)

Cons

  • Some owners said the wigglers can break easily
  • Some owners said their kitties broke the pole easily
  • Some cats weren’t interested in playing with it

Note: This toy was made for interactive playtime, supervise your kitty when in use.

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Best Cat Toys Buying Guide

Cat toys are a must for your kitty’s physical and mental health, especially if you like to keep your feline friend inside most of the time. She needs the stimulation she would ordinarily get outside, activities like stalking, hunting, scratching, and pouncing are all instinctual to her, and with the right toys, she’ll be perfectly satisfied with hanging out inside.

Cat toys are also a great way for you to bond with your little hunter (or hunters if you’ve got more than one in the house).

There are a ton of toys out there, so choosing what you think she’ll like is sometimes a little much. Here are some things to think about when getting her an awesome toy:

Safety First

Every cat owner knows they can be pretty vicious, so you need to make sure her toys can withstand the full wrath of your tiny predator without breaking and causing an unsafe environment for her to play freely.

Toys should always be made from sturdy materials and parts that can’t become easily detached and swallowed.

Pay attention to safety disclaimers, and be doubly vigilant if you’ve got small children in the house, many cat toys may be safe for your fur baby but not your human baby.

Built To Last

It’s all fun and games until the toy breaks. As stated above, most kitties sleep hard and play hard, so check out what the toy is made of when considering buying something to get her all wound up.

Not only should the toy be constructed with sturdy materials, it’s design should withstand all that batting, pulling, and biting she’ll most likely inflict on it. Besides, it’s doubly disappointing to shell out some cash on a toy that breaks after five minutes of abuse!

May Not Be Suitable For All Ages

Some toys just aren’t great for smaller cats or kittens, use common sense when considering the size of the toy compared to the size of your cat.

Also, it’s a good idea to consider the mental stimulation of the toy for her developing brain to keep her mind and her claws sharp. Lots of sensory stimulation and toys that get her heart rate up are best for babies.

Likewise, if you’ve got an extra-large ball of crazy energy, you may want to choose a toy that fits her, especially toys like tunnels and cat houses.

If you’ve got a senior hunter in the house, she may tire easily with some toys if they’re particularly fast-paced. If your older cat plays with a toy for a couple of seconds then wanders off for an afternoon nap in the sun, maybe find something she can stay engaged with a little more easily.

Why It’s Important For Your Cat To Play

Like human kiddos, cats need their playtime, for stimulation, exercise, and development. Whether she’s exclusively an indoor cat, prefers to spend most of her time outside, or likes a mix of the two, be sure to keep her busy!

Here are a few reasons it’s so important for your furry baby to get in her playtime:

They Need Exercise!

All food and no play makes a fat cat. Just like humans, dogs, cats, pretty much everything that eats, your kitty can become overweight if she doesn’t get her heart rate up here and there. Cats are just as susceptible to obesity-related diseases like heart disease and diabetes as humans are.

She also needs to strengthen muscle and use her joints to keep her fit and agile for jumping, climbing, and stalking. Simply put, your cat should be tearing down the hall, springing into action, and swatting at prey any chance she gets. For fun and her health!

They Need The Thrill Of The Chase

Of course, cats are natural predators, not only is it etched into the DNA passed down from their mamas and dads, they’re taught straight from the womb to stalk and catch prey.

They need to be able to act like the little hunters they are, so provide them with toys that will satisfy that need. If you don’t — no shoelace, sofa, or phone charger cord in your house will be safe. Either that, or you’ll end up with dead things on your doorstep. You’ve been warned. 

They Need to Bond With You

They may not be as attention-seeking as their doggie counterparts (not many animals are, for that matter), but your kitty still wants your love and friendship.

If she’s like most cats, she has an affinity for the hand that feeds her, but if you play with her and pay attention to her, she’ll be your ride-or-die friend till the end. When she doesn’t need a nap. 

Final Thoughts

When a cat adopts you, you’ll have a playful, loving, and sometimes endearingly aloof friend for life. In addition to lap time, most cats love some heavy-duty playtime.

Cat owners everywhere voted hands down that their feline rulers love the Petstages Tower of Tracks, and we have to agree, which is why it got our vote for best overall cat toy. Whatever you choose, be sure to invest in a quality cat toy. She’ll be happier and healthier for it!

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