The Best Cat Toys for Kittens, Adults and Seniors

Keep your favorite feline healthy and happy with these top-rated cat toys.

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May 24, 2023

Our Top Cat Toy Picks

Although cats certainly have no trouble entertaining themselves (with boxes, tissue paper, shoelaces, you name it), they still need toys for exercise and mental stimulation. Below, we'll show you the best toys for kittens, older cats and more, and provide some helpful tips for keeping your cat safe and engaged during playtime.

Things to Consider When Buying Cat Toys

Small Details Can Be a Major Choking Hazard: Cat toys are designed to be enticing and appeal to their hunter instincts, but those bells, ribbons, feathers and more can be extremely dangerous if swallowed. (Especially because cats have barbed tongues that make it difficult to spit out items like string.) To be safe, always monitor your pet during playtime and toss any toys with loose ribbon, yarn, etc.

Third Time's the Charm: Some cats can be pretty aloof when it comes to toys, so don't be discouraged if yours doesn't show interest in a new item right away. They might need a good two or three interactions before they really warm up to it.

Best Cat Toy Overall

We repeat: Cats can be pretty aloof when it comes to new toys. So what better way to find something they'll like than with a variety pack? We're obsessed with this starter set from Youngever, which has over 30,000 positive reviews and a 4.6-star rating on Amazon. For under $13, you and your furbaby will receive 24 classic cat toys, like a collapsible play tunnel, a teaser wand, crinkle balls and bouncy springs. It's an amazing value and perfect for kittens and adult cats alike.

Best Cat Toys for Kittens

Playtime is crucial to a kitten's development and helps them learn how to engage with the world around them. So it's important to supply your new kitten with a variety of toys that stimulate their senses. We love the Kong Pull-A-Partz Yarn because the strings are super soft and stitched through the middle, so your kitten can swat and catch without actually unraveling anything. We also suggest picking up a set of bouncy springs, a play tent and an interactive tower.

Best Interactive Cat Toys

Here's an easy way to keep boredom at bay: Treat your favorite feline to an interactive cat toy. These devices can either be stationary or battery-powered and encourage your cat to pounce and paw at moving targets (which is so good for their mental health). Some of our favorite designs include the SmartyKat Concealed Motion toy, treat-dispensing balls, the Catit Design Senses Circuit and even electronic flopping fish.

Best Cat Tunnels

Every cat deserves a hideout for playing, pouncing and snoozing. Before you buy any old tunnel, though, consider the following: Is it large enough for your pet? Does it have windows so your cat can keep an eye on its surroundings? Does it include any toys or crinkle material? These features will lure your cat in and help hold their attention. And needless to say, the tunnels below check all of the boxes.

Best Robotic Cat Toy

Want to ensure that your cat gets their daily dose of exercise? Start with this robotic toy from Bentopal. The small, but incredibly entertaining ball uses automatic steering to roam through your living room and keep your cat moving for hours. The ball has two speed modes, one for hard floors and one for carpet. Simply press the button once to activate the hard floor mode, twice for carpet and again to power it down.

Best Cat Teasers and Wands

Nothing will lure your cat out of hiding or off the sofa like a teaser toy. If you really want to grab their attention, opt for a colorful and stimulating end piece, like feathers with crinkle material. All of the options below are highly rated and include catnip, bells or tassels for added excitement.

Best Laser Pointer for Cats

Take some of the work out of entertaining your furbaby by investing in the ultimate automatic laser pointer: The PetSafe Bolt. Unlike other laser pointers, which you have to press and hold for extended periods of time, the Bolt can stand on its own and uses a rotating mirror to shoot beams around the room. And when you want to play with your cat? Just switch to the manual setting and create your own patterns.

Best Catnip Toys for Cats

Instantly pique your cat's interest and boost their mood with a catnip toy. For best results, stick to designs with a single (preferably soft) texture, so your cat can focus on the scent, and avoid animal-shaped toys with hard, plastic eyes or noses that could be swallowed. The catnip toys below are all highly rated and varied to hold their interest.

Best Pouncing Toys for Cats

Pouncing is what cats do best; it helps them sneak up on prey and really fine-tune those hunting skills. So if you're looking for toys that will speak to and cultivate this instinct, we say start with the ORSDA 2-in-1 Ambush Ball & Feather toy. While the little blue ball zooms around the track, the feather pops out randomly for your cat to swat. You could also introduce crinkle balls, fish or a flying squirrel toy for them to attack!

Best Strategy Cat Toy

If your cat is particularly clever (and we know that they are), then give them an exciting new challenge in the form of a puzzle toy. This TRIXIE Cat Activity Board offers five unique enrichment exercises, from chasing treats through slots to fishing them out of plastic bowls with their paws. The mat is also BPA-free and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Best Communication Toy for Cats

What would your cat say if they could talk? With the FluentPet Basic Vocab Kit, you can finally find out! This high-tech cat toy features six HexTiles topped with recordable buttons, allowing you to choose which words you want your pet to learn. (And they only require 0.5 pounds of pressure, so your cat can push them and communicate in no time.) And yep! A step-by-step training guide is included with your purchase.

Best Scratching Posts for Cats

It's a fact: Cats need to scratch. Give them a healthy outlet and help them take care of their claws with a new scratching post. Frisco's Cactus is our top choice because it's cute, sturdy and wrapped in multiple textures for high-energy kitties. But we also love Frisco's classic sisal scratching post and K&H Pet's two-in-one window cradle.

Best Cat Toys for Older Cats

Just like senior dogs, senior cats can greatly benefit from playtime. The trick is to provide toys that are stimulating to their aging senses (think flutter balls, noisemakers, etc.). We love the flutter balls, birds and chew toys below because they're exciting but lightweight and gentle on older cat teeth.

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