Our Guide to the Best Interactive Cat Toys
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 10 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.
If your cat loves it when you play with her using a wand with a feather on the end, but you are sometimes too busy for your pet, consider getting the Petronics Mousr Interactive Robotic Cat Toy. This innovative toy will move on its own, keeping your cat focused and ready to take down her prey as it races across the floor.
This little toy has three automatic play strategies to choose from — Stationary, Wall Hugger, and Open Wander — and software updates continually enhance these automatic play styles. On the other hand, if you want to play along, you can direct Mousr from a mobile app instead.
With the rechargeable Mousr, you can choose a different game, as well as further configure it however you like, to keep your cat interested in the toy. Then, when your kitty hunts down Mousr successfully, it can either struggle to get away or it can play dead, giving your pet the satisfaction of knowing she accomplished her task.
The tail on Mousr is replaceable (and there are different tails to choose from), so there’s no need to worry about the entire toy being ruined if your cat destroys the tail. Plus, this toy also has the option of using sound to attract your kitty. And you can set this toy up anywhere in your home, as it will work on all floor surfaces, including carpet.
Finally, what makes this toy even more fascinating is the fact that it contains sensors for navigating the environment, avoiding obstacles, and knowing when your kitty is approaching. It even has an orientation sensor, so it’ll know if it’s being held in place or if it’s upside down.
The SmartyKat Feather Whirl Electronic Motion Cat Toy is another great option when you are too busy to play with your cat and her favorite feather wand toy. It features a round base that wobbles, and that starts and stops unpredictably, causing the feathers on the end of the wand to spin around, enticing your kitty to swat and pounce.
This is an enjoyable interactive toy for kitties because it can inspire your pet’s instinct to stalk prey, swat at it, and pounce on it to take it down. The base is weighted, and there is a wand that will securely attach to it. Once it is turned on, the base rolls around so that the feathers will move around erratically too. All the while, though, the motor will be quiet so your kitty won’t be scared off by any noise.
To use this toy, all you have to do is put two AA batteries in it. Then, set it in your kitty’s favorite play area and watch her have a blast.
Yet another toy that will do the work for you is the PDX Pet Design SHRU: The Intelligent Cat Companion. It rolls around all on its own, acting a lot like a mouse would, in order to get your kitty into hunting mode. The toy even tries to avoid your cat, and when your pet does tackle it, it struggles to get away or it plays dead. This is a great feature because giving your cat the opportunity to feel accomplished at hunting is an important part of play.
Another nice feature is the fact that the SHRU will play for a short amount of time each hour for five hours. This means that you can keep your cat occupied and having fun even when you aren’t around. Plus, because it stops and starts up again unpredictably, your cat might not grow tired of it or annoyed by it.
With the SHRUPlay desktop application, the SHRU also boasts three play modes that you can choose from to keep your cat entertained. And this toy has a long-lasting, rechargeable battery too.
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.
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.
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.
The PetSafe Pounce 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. No matter what, the toy will turn off on its own after 10 minutes (although there is a manual on/off button as well).
The round PetSafe Pounce Cat Toy measures 13” x 12” x 3”, and it weighs only 1.3 pounds. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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