Best cat toys of 2023

Cat entertainment reaches furry new heights with these cat trees, lasers, and more of the best cat toys on the market.

Best toy for active kitties

The rabitgoo Cat Tree Tower is the best cat toy for active kitties.

rabitgoo Cat-Tree Tower

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Best toy for cat entertainment

The Potartama Electric Flopping Fish is the best cat toy for entertainment.

Potarama Electric Flopping Fish

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Best cat toy on a budget

The Petstages Cat Tracks Toy is the best cat toy on a budget.

Petstages Cat Tracks Toy

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Is your cat scratching for some new toys to throw into the mix? Even if you’re not 100 percent sure which purr or meow means what, it’s safe to assume your feline pal won’t turn down a new toy. No matter your cat’s age,  whether she’s a frisky kitten or senior grimalkin, toys and playtime are a necessity.  Much like dogs, cats need mental and physical play, stimulation, and exercise to prevent boredom, which can lead to behavioral issues. The best cat toys will excite and motivate your cat. To find your finicky one’s new favorite toy, experiment with different options. We’ve rounded up the best of the bunch, from cat trees to a floppy fish cat toy to automatic cat toys, and more to keep your cat happy and entertained throughout all her nine lives.

Factors to consider when shopping for the best cat toys

When shopping around for the best toys, consider your kitty’s needs. Some felines love to play fetch, roll around and paw a crinkly or plush toy back at you. Whether their favorite toy is shaped like a mouse, beaver, or tea kettle is up to you and the furball to decide. Meanwhile, some pets will prefer chasing lasers or puzzle toys to miniature stuffed animals. Pro tip: Cats can become frustrated when they can’t catch the red-laser dot, so offering a physical toy afterwards that they can actually swat around may be beneficial. 

Does your cat have a natural instinct to hunt?

Most cats have a natural instinct to hunt and it’s completely normal—some cats are more inclined to stalk and attack toys, insects, or even crumpled up paper than others. To engage felines with this instinct, consider a small stuffed animal. The plush outside feels like a real animal and if the toy is capable of moving around or being manipulated to move by you, it can feel even more life-like to them.  Lasers and feathers may keep your cat’s mind and body engaged in this way, as well. 

How many cats do you have?

If you’re a multiple-cat household, consider toys that are best for two or more cats in order to avoid any tussles. Cat trees are great because of the many levels, activities, and nap spots available. Just make sure the tree is stable and can withhold the combined weight of your cats. 

Is exercise a top priority?

Simply put, pet health is a priority for pet owners. To encourage a healthy mind and body, much like humans, pets need exercise. If you don’t have the luxury of space, think vertically. A cat tower encourages climbing, jumping, and playing to get your cat’s heart rate up. Lasers are also great because they can move all around a room and up on furniture, so your cat gets the exercise and playtime  she requires.

Is your cat crazy for catnip?

Let’s be real—most cats go wild for catnip. The infamous, feline-friendly plant contains nepetalactone oil, which attracts, energizes, or possibly sedates your kitty. . Often, when a cat smells or eats this oil, it activates the sensory nerves and creates an overwhelming sense of happiness, similar to the “high” humans experience from certain substances. Toys that have catnip in them will likely pique your cat’s interest and activity level. 

Does your cat need mental stimulation?

The answer is most likely yes, your cat does need mental stimulation because it promotes a happy and healthy lifestyle. Cats are very intelligent creatures and they love a challenge, so why not try a cat puzzle or wand? By introducing these arousing toys into your cat’s play routine, you can avoid impromptu fights between, say, your cat’s claws and your couch, as well as unnecessary weight gain.

Is space something you need to consider?

The good news is that most cat toys are small, so you have the option of trying different ones to see what appeals most to your cat. To avoid overstimulation, keep your cat’s toys in a little basket so she can focus on one game at a time.

The best cat toys

The best toys are not only fun and entertaining, but they promote a happy and healthy lifestyle. Toys that feed into your cat’s natural instincts and stimulate them mentally and physically will prevent boredom and weight gain, keep them out of trouble, and provide endless laughs for you.

Best cat toy for for active kitties: rabitgoo Cat-Tree Tower

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The rabitgoo Cat Tree Tower will have your cat climbing, jumping, scratching, bird-watching, and cuddling all in a day’s play. The many platforms, scratch posts (reinforced with natural sisal rope), ladder, hanging ball, and loop will offer endless entertainment and stimulation while the cozy hammock, basket, and condo provide options for nestling in for a nap. Plus, the top-level perch has a raised edge creating the perfect spot for your cat to sunbathe and watch the outside world. Designed with maximum safety in mind, this cat tree tower is made with heavy-duty particle wood so your cat can jump and scratch without getting hurt. It’s also covered with a plush, faux-fur cover that’s gentle on noses and paws.

Best chewy cat toy: KONG Beaver Refillable Catnip Toy

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While KONG is synonymous with dog toys, the brand has many amazing products for cats, too, such as the Beaver Refillable Catnip Toy. (This toy also comes in a duckie and hedgehog version). Ideal for cats that like to paw, bat at, and roll around with their toys, the beaver is made with durable plush fabric so your cat won’t be able to rip it apart—at least not too easily. Stored within the hidden flap is an inner cavity made for catnip, which can be easily refilled when low. Included in your purchase is a small supply of catnip, naturally.

Best cat toy for entertainment: Potarama Electric Flopping Fish

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The Potarama Electric Flopping Fish wiggles just like a real fish, creating entertainment, real-time engagement for your cat, and many laughs for you. Intended for long-time use (although we can’t predict your cat’s toy-destroying abilities), this toy is rechargeable and comes with a USB-cable. Plus, its smart standby feature saves battery power when not in use and turns back on with any sort of movement. Safe for your cat to wrestle with and chew, the fish cover is made of durable and non-toxic plush that can be removed and washed as needed. Included in your purchase is a small zip-sealed bag of fresh catnip, so your cat will be ready to play as soon as you rip open the package.

Best cat toy for extra stimulation: YVE LIFE Cat Laser Toy

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Most cats love chasing lasers, so consider treating your pet (and yourself) to the YVE Interactive Laser. With two adjustable speeds, this interactive and automatic toy rotates in random patterns over the floor, tables, couch, and more so your cat can enjoy playtime to the max. To avoid overstimulation and to keep the game exciting, the lasers shut off automatically after 5 minutes.

Best cat toy on a budget: Petstages Cat Tracks Toy

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Sold for less than $10, the Tower of Tracks is a thrilling toy for cats and can be enjoyed by just one feline or multiple cat households. Engaging your cat’s natural instinct to hunt, the three levels and moving balls will have your cat swatting, batting, pawing, and pouncing with pleasure. For added safety, this toy is designed with a small bar across the top so curious cats can’t get their paws (or heads) stuck. Plus, it comes with a non-slip base and durable plastic construction that allows for rough and adorable play. 


Q: What are the best cat toys for indoor cats?

The best cat toys for indoor kitties all depend on what objects and activities hold her interest. A couple of great places to start are interactive toys like the Potarama Electric Flopping Fish, or ones that stimulate like the Interactive Laser Toy. These will keep your cat entertained and mentally engaged. But if exercise is your top priority, the rabitgoo Cat Tree Tower features different tiers and activities to get your kitty climbing, as well as places to stop and take a short rest. If all else fails, cardboard boxes should do the trick too!

Q: Do cats like stuffed animals?

Many cats love stuffed animals, and if there is a hidden layer of catnip inside (think: the KONG Beaver Refillable Catnip Toy), even better. Cats love the soft, plush texture of a stuffed animal because it mimics other animals, which in turn engages the kitty’s predatory instinct. This type of play is completely normal, healthy, and necessary. Additionally, the surface of a stuffed animal holds scents well, which also appeals to cats.

Q: What makes a good cat toy?

There are many types of toys that will appeal to your cat. That said, there are a few important features that make some toys stand out. First of all, almost any toy (or makeshift toy!) a cat loves to play with makes for a “good toy.” Secondly, toys that mentally stimulate your feline not only excite them but help prevent boredom. Lastly, good toys appeal to your cat’s natural hunting instincts, so stuffed animals or toys that encourage pawing and batting are great. Safety is also important. Ensuring the toy doesn’t have any pieces that can fall off or that the cat tower is stable and won’t fall over is a must so your cat can play with abandon—and you can relax. 

The final word on the best cat toys

Finding the best cat toys depends on what engages your kitty. Whether they prefer to fetch, climb, roll around with a dancing fish, or chase lasers is learned through trial and error. Luckily, cat toys aren’t too expensive, so you won’t have to break the bank in your attempt to figure out what your cat loves most. As long as your feline is getting exercise, mental stimulation, and actually enjoys playing with it, you’ve found the right toy. 

Alexandra was born in NYC and still resides there with her fiance and border collie mix, Layla. She studied Psychology at Binghamton University and the American University of Rome. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, reading, traveling, and going to the movies.

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