Our Guide to the Best Interactive Cat Toys   

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

Looking for ways to keep your cat engaged? There are toys that’ll keep your kitty busy for hours on end. Check out our guide to the best interactive cat toys.

There are a lot of traditional cat toys, like toy mice and balls, that cats like to play with, but those toys often become boring, so you’ll end up finding them under your bed or sofa because your cat is no longer interested in them.

A good way to switch things up and keep things fun and interesting for your kitty is by getting her some interactive cat toys. These engaging toys can stimulate your cat’s mind, which is important, and they can also help your kitty get some exercise, which is also necessary. Beyond that, they can be wonderful tools for interacting with your cat in new ways, and strengthening the bond that you share with your pet as a result. And let’s not forget that interactive toys can also help combat boredom that might otherwise lead to bad behaviors if your cat becomes really antsy without a positive outlet for her energy.

There are a variety of interactive cat toys on the market today because these types of toys are in high demand. But which ones are considered the best ones available? We’ve compiled a list of the top interactive cat toys to help make your shopping experience a little easier. So, the next time your kitty is asking for a new toy, one of the following might be just what you need to give your pet something new and exciting.

1. Editor’s Pick: Anntoo Interactive Robotic Cat Toy

Many cats LOVE playing with the feather on the end of a wand, however, we don’t all have unlimited time for playtime day and night the way that they would like. That’s where the Anntoo Interactive Robotic Cat Toy really shines!

Simply turn the toy on and go about your daily routine. The toy will run for 20 minutes at a time before entering standby mode to give your cat time to relax, preventing overexertion. After an hour and a half, it will automatically turn on and run for another 20 minutes, and continue like this until turned off.

This 360-degree self-moving toy features large tires allowing it to be used on all floors without concern. Constructed from high-quality ABS, your cat’s new toy will stand up to being scratched and bitten during play. In addition to the feather mounted on the top, the toy also uses a mouse sound to keep their attention.

Multi-track irregular running keeps your cat guessing at where the toy may be headed next. At the same time, automatic sensors are able to recognize when the toy is going to run into furniture or other objects around your home, preventing it from getting stuck.

2. Runner Up: Pawzone Automatic Electric Rotating Butterly & Ball Toy

This adorable interactive cat toy is actually 2 toys in 1. On the outside, a circular track toy holds 2 small toy balls. In the middle of this track, an automatic toy spins a flying butterfly wall around for your cat to ‘hunt’. The two toys can be used individually or combined for an extra fun experience.

Each of the individual pieces is made from strong, durable materials to ensure that it can stand up to the wear and tear of daily play. The toy is easy to set up and get started, with the butterfly rotation starting with the touch of a button. It is also incredibly easy to clean, just wipe clean with a damp cloth and allow it to air dry before turning it back on once again.

In addition to the option to separate the toy, you can also add to the fun by swapping out the included toy balls with a catnip-filled ball. One note of caution: The automatic portion of the toy is a little louder when operating, which may be frightening for more skittish cats.

3. Best Smart Interactive Camera: Petcube Play 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera

The Petcube Play 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera is another innovative product that has taken the pet products market by storm. That’s because it lets you keep an eye on your kitty, as well as interact with her, when you aren’t home.

This product boasts a camera that records 1080p full HD video. Set it up wherever you want, and then get a wide-angle view of the room throughout the day. At night, the camera also has night vision so you can continue monitoring what’s going on. Basically, this product keeps you connected via the Petcube app, which is free. With it, you can easily talk to your kitty, listen to what she’s doing, and receive notifications when it detects activity.

The best part is that you can play with your cat using a built-in laser toy in the Petcube Play 2. This is a pet-safe laser, and you can easily control it from your smartphone, or you could instead set it up to autoplay. Either way, you can rest assured that your kitty is entertained and getting some exercise.

4. Budget Buy: Petlinks Mystery Motion Concealed Electronic Motion Cat Toy

Does your kitty like to play with your fingers or feet when they’re underneath the blankets in bed? Then she might love the Petlinks Mystery Motion Concealed Electronic Motion Cat Toy. It features a feather wand concealed underneath a round sheet, and the motor moves the feather in an unpredictable, erratic fashion to encourage your pet to hunt down her “prey.”

A great interactive cat toy that entices your pet to exercise, all you have to do is set it down on the floor, turn it on, and choose from four adjustable speed settings to keep things interesting for your kitty. You’ll also need three AA batteries, and if your pet ruins the feather, you can purchase replacement wands as needed.

Because this toy moves the feathers around in a way that real prey would move, it’s sure to grab your feline friend’s attention and keep her occupied for a while. You can let her play on her own while you’re busy, or you can be there to introduce other toys into the play session as well.

5. Best Laser Pointer: PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy

Laser pointers are really popular with kitties who are always excited to chase that elusive red dot. But if you want your cat to be able to play with this type of toy even when you are too busy to point the laser, you might want to check out the PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy. You will need to power this toy with four AA alkaline batteries.

This interactive cat toy has been deemed safe for pets because it has a Class IIIa laser with a 5mW max power output. It also turns the laser off after 15 minutes. While it is on, the laser will move randomly across your walls and floor, and you can adjust where the laser points to ensure your kitty will be able to make the most of this toy.

Although this is a toy that you can let do the work for you, it also doubles as a toy that you can use to play with your cat. For those times when you want to directly interact with your pet, you can switch this toy to manual mode and then use it to point the laser wherever you want. Either way, whether it is in automatic or manual mode, this can be a great product to help your kitty avoid boredom, and to help her get some exercise as well.

6. Best Hide-and-Seek: Running Pet Cat Toy

The Running Pet Cat Toy is an automatic, interactive cat toy that works on three AA batteries. This is yet another great product to try if you want to give your furry friend something to play with when you’re short on time. Just set it up and turn it on to watch your cat go wild as she tries to catch the mouse that zips around on a circular track.

This is a hide-and-seek style toy, as the electronic mouse moves unpredictably and hides under obstacles. It moves forward and in reverse to keep your cat’s attention. Sometimes, the little mouse even does a twitching motion to entice your kitty to pounce.

Also, this durable interactive toy, which is great for kittens and adult cats, features four settings that you can choose from. Those settings are low, medium, high, and variable. It can withstand kitties pouncing on it as they try to catch the mouse, and it runs quietly so it won’t create noise while your cat is playing.

7. Best Electronic: PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy

Designed to encourage your kitty to chase, pounce, and catch “prey” in the form of feathers that pop out of little holes in this toy, the Pet Fusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy can provide hours of fun for your kitty, especially when you aren’t home or your schedule is full. Just set it on the floor, add four AA batteries, and turn it on.

There are six holes in this round toy, and a feather will pop out from one of those holes randomly. Motion that is difficult to predict will grab your kitty’s attention in no time, so don’t be surprised when your cat suddenly starts pawing at the feather and pouncing on the toy to try to get the target. After eight minutes, an automatic shutoff feature will turn the toy off so that you don’t end up wearing out the batteries after your cat is no longer interested in playing.

This toy also features anti-skid feet to help it stay in place while your cat is playing, and it also allows you to replace the feather if it gets ruined by your pet’s rough play. Best of all, because it simulates the way prey move in and out of hiding, this interactive toy can stimulate your kitty’s mind, as well as give her an opportunity to exercise her body.

8. Best Circuit: Catit Senses 2.0 Circuit

The Catit Senses 2.0 Circuit is yet another great interactive cat toy because it gives you the chance to configure it in a variety of ways. This means that you can keep things interesting for your kitty, especially if she is the type of pet who gets bored of the same old toys rather quickly. And the best part is that it doesn’t require any batteries!

Basically, this toy comes with a set of curved and straight tracks with a ball inside that your kitty can try to catch. You can set the tracks up in more than 100 different layouts, so feel free to get creative. And you can choose from several different Catit Senses circuits, such as the Play Circuit, the Wave Circuit, and the Super Circuit.

The Play Circuit is level to the ground, so it can make the ball move fast, while the Wave Circuit has some elevation in the tracks to switch things up a bit. You might like the Super Circuit best, though, because it is the most versatile, since it combines the features of the Play and Wave Circuits.

Also available separately, a motion-activated illuminated ball can give your cat something to play with in the middle of the night, particularly if she is the type of kitty who is active while you’re sleeping. And you can even purchase other add-ons, like the Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree, the Wellness Center, or the Grass Planter, as a few examples. All of these additional features can make this play set even more exciting for your cat, and even easier to change up on a regular basis to keep the fun going.

9. Best Solo Play: SmartyKat Loco Motion Electronic Cat Toy

Don’t really have enough time to spend with your cat, who loves it when you use a feature wand to get her to jump, pounce, and drag down “prey”? Then check out the SmartyKat Loco Motion Electronic Cat Toy. This toy can basically take your place, at least temporarily, as it will do the work of waving a feather around for you.

This cat toy features a base unit that you can put flat on the floor, along with a motorized column and a plastic wand with a feather attached. You can adjust the speed, and it also features an automatic shutoff feature, which is really convenient for busy pet parents. Plus, there is a timer button that lets you set the number of minutes (anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours) that you would like the toy to be on for your kitty to play with.

For this toy, which uses natural, undyed feathers, and is made with 50% recycled post-consumer plastic, you will need three AA batteries. Once it’s all set up and ready to go, your cat can have a great time as she goes on the hunt.

10. Best Rechargeable: YOFUN 360 Degree Self Rotating Ball

The YOFUN 360 Degree Self Rotating Ball is an automatic, interactive toy that doesn’t require an endless supply of batteries. With a press of a button, you can watch this ball – and your cat – roam around your room.

This USB rechargeable toy can provide your four legged friend with 4 hours of uninterrupted play time off of one charge. It’s super easy to operate – simply click the on button and the ball will begin to rotate 360 degrees with your cat in tow. What’s great about this toy is that it will automatically shut off after 40 minutes to help preserve battery life.

Although it can roll across a variety of surfaces, users should be aware that this toy does have a hard time moving around on thick carpets.

11. Best Life-Like: Potaroma Realistic Moving Cat Kicker Fish Toy

This USB rechargeable Potaroma Realistic Moving Cat Kicker Fish Toy not only comes with a soft and durable toy fish, but a vacuum sealed pack of catnip as well to encourage your cat to get up and move.

Keep your cat on their toes by introducing them to this life-like moving fish toy. Thanks to a built-in motion sensor, everytime your cat touches the fish, it springs to life, wiggling its fin, inciting their natural hunting instincts.

This interactive toy is made from soft, non-toxic materials and even features a catnip pouch, so you can add a bit more incentive for them to move around if need be. The fish cover can also be removed and thrown in the wash for simple and hassle free cleaning!

12. Best Water Based: BlackHole Litter Mat Indoor Cat Interactive Swimming Fish Toy

Great for cats interested in water, this interactive swimming fish toy offers a fun new way to encourage your cat to get up and moving while also stimulating their mind.

Looking for a new toy to spice up your collection? Maybe you have a cat that can’t keep their paws out of your running tap. Whatever the case may be, investing in a water based interactive toy like this model from BlackHole Litter Mat can provide your cat with a new game that stimulates their natural hunting instincts.

Each set comes with four colorful swimming robotic toys that automatically swim when placed in water. When removed from water they stop moving to ensure your pet stays safe, while also saving battery power.

13. Best for Hunting: Pawaboo Cat Toy with Running Mouse

Ideal for physical activity, mental stimulation and satisfying their predatory instincts, this cat toy provides your fur baby with hours of uninterrupted fun.

Perfect for multi-cat households, this Pawaboo Cat toy invites your feline friends into a never ending game of hide-and-seek. This battery operated device (batteries not included) can be set to two speeds – fast and slow – that sets a mouse spinning around irregularly, dipping and diving through a designated track to entice your cat’s natural hunting instincts.

14. Also Consider: SmartyKat Hum Singer Electronic Sound Cat Toy

With realistic sounds and catnip made from pure ingredients, this cat toy is perfect for solo or interactive play and requires physical contact to project sound!

To round out our list we’ve chosen a more simplistic toy without all the fancy doo-dads and complicated electronic elements. The SmartyKat Hum Singer cat toy is a stimulating device that resembles a hummingbird to elicit their hunting instincts.

Equipped with bright colors, fluffy feathers and a realistic hummingbird sound, this toy will encourage healthy exercise and provide you with an opportunity to bond with your pet.

15. Honorary Mention: All for Paws Interactive Flutter Bug Cat Butterfly Toy

Backed by a one year warranty, this interactive toy can stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts, making it an amazing option for indoor cats who need a little help getting their daily exercise.

This butterfly teaser toy is a great way to get your cat engaged and expand on their natural hunting instincts. The beautiful purple butterfly rotates 360 degrees and stays in constant motion so your fur baby can have plenty of play time even when you’re not at home.

The interactive Flutter Bug cat toy is a suitable choice for indoor felines and can provide them with the exercise they need to stay healthy. It also includes two extra butterflies to extend the lifetime of the product!

The Importance of Cat Enrichment

Interactive toys are not designed just for the fun of it: sure, no one can deny that playing with toys is an entertaining pastime for kitties, but the effect this engaging playtime has on them provides benefits that go far beyond entertainment. Cats are animals that are active both mentally and physically and will need to be encouraged to burn off their energy and stay fit by engaging in the exercise of both the body and mind. A great way to do so- without any hassle- is by opting for interactive cat toys engineered for enrichment specifically.

Cat enrichment is a method that gives your pet a way to productively and safely express species-specific behavior, which, in turn, helps them stay happy and healthy. So what does that mean, exactly? For instance, your cat might live an indoor-only life, but that doesn’t mean that her hunting instincts are gone or that they shouldn’t be nourished as a part of her personality and a component of her overall wellbeing. This is why teaser toys with feathers or plush mice are a favorite of felines- it gives them a way to feel like the mighty hunter even when they are spending their days inside a living room.

There are different types of enrichment for cats: the activities should include environmental and social enrichment, as well as provide cognitive, emotional, and physical stimulation. For the environment factor, think utilizing vertical space with shelves, hammocks, or cat trees: kitties like perching atop high surfaces where they could have a clear view of their kingdom. Similarly, cat fountains are also a good choice for environmental enrichment as they mimic the fresh sources of running water felines would turn to if they were still in the wild.

For cognitive and physical stimulation, there are a number of interactive cat toys that fit the bill. Whether it’s puzzles that keep your kitty engaged while she tries to figure out where the treat is hidden, mazes that will have her exploring, or the wheel to keep her fit, there’s no shortage of ways to ensure the wellbeing of the body and mind for your feline pet. Last, but not least, you have to make sure that your cat’s social and emotional needs are met: cats might seem like independent creatures but that doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy or require closeness with their owners. Brushing, petting, and even training are all great activities that can only improve the bond between you and your pet.

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Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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