Best Cat Toys to Prevent Boredom - Buyers Guide
This content has been reviewed and approved by our in-house Veterinarian for accuracy
Did you know that cats can get depressed? It happens often, but most of the time they’re just bored.
Living life as an indoor cat can be a bright and wonderful life for your furry companion. However, cats by nature are supposed to live outside with grass, trees, and other animals. That involves stimulation around every corner that’s probably not present in your home.
Unless you’re the Tiger King.
Swapping out nature for Netflix, a cat tower, and a sandy litter box can cause some boredom from time to time. The best way to prevent your cat from getting bored is to get another cat.
Just kidding. Kind of.But, go ahead and do it if you’re thinking about it! However, for many of us we have a limit on the number of fluffy fur balls we can have around. Also getting another cat doesn’t ensure that they’ll be best friends and play together. So, we’ve compiled a list of the best cat toys to prevent boredom in order to help solve your problem without a trip to the animal shelter. 🙂
To compile and create our list, we’ve spent a total of eleven hours over the course of three days. That probably sounds like overkill for a list of cat toys, and there were times that we felt like we were going in circles like some of the toys themselves.
But, it was totally worth it, and we’re glad that we did. Toys don’t seem like such a significant topic, but the psychological and physical health and wellness of your cat is a pretty significant topic--I hope you’ll agree. And, toys are a huge part of that!
While going through all of the toys that are on the market right now, we noticed that cat toys cost as much as children’s toys these days. There are no wise jewels of information there. I’m just letting you know.
So, if you’re going to spend the same amount of money on your cat’s toys as you do on your child's then it better be a great one! That’s why we were excited to create our list, and now we’re excited to share it with you.
Yvelife Cat Laser Toy makes the top of our list for its simplicity, cleanliness, and ability to work safely while your back is turned.
There are options included for cats of any age or temperament, so keep reading below to decide which one can help your cat ward off boredom the best.
Why You Should Trust Our Review
Our staff spent a total of eleven hours spread out across three days to come up with this list and write it all down. As I’m sure you’ve figured out already, there are a lot of cat toys out there today.
So, so, so many.
You’d think that would make finding the best very easy. It actually makes it extremely difficult. There are so many to go through!
We tried to find the best of the best cat toys for each age and activity level. We rooted out the subpar ones, and we now feel that we’re left with only the most fun toys to offer to you!
What Features Did We Look For
For cat toys, there were specific traits that we kept an eye out for. Here’s what they are:
- Functionality - Toys are only valuable if they have a purpose, even if that purpose is only entertainment. You’ve probably seen your cat sniff their stuffed animal and trot on by as if it’s a lump on a log. That means it’s not stimulating enough for them at that time. That means the toy’s functionality is useless to your cat for the time being.
We tried to make extra sure that the cat toys we recommend were designed specifically to grab and hold a cat’s attention. Otherwise, what’s the point?
- Safety - There are some pretty poorly designed cat toys out there, so we tried to steer clear of those. Anything that looked like it could be easily broken, tipped over, or catch your cat's paws was avoided.
- Price - We don’t believe that fun toys have to be expensive. We didn’t exclude any over-priced toys, they just weren’t impressive enough to beat out their more normally priced counterparts that do essentially the same thing.
- Durability - Some cats are gentle and graceful. Others are gentle, graceful, loud, destructive, clumsy, and spastic. We picked out toys that would hold up through all types of cat personalities.
There were toys whose motor burned out prematurely, but that can be easily fixed with a replacement item. Factories are imperfect, and sometimes you just get a bad product. (Make sure to check it first before giving any new toy to your cat!)
- Longevity - If it can stay in one piece for a while, can it be effective, too, for a long period of time? We’ve got our answers, and we’re about to pass them on to you now.
Who Are These Toys For?
This list is for any person who owns a cat. It doesn’t really matter if your cat is old, young, big, small, nice, mean, pretty, or...almost pretty (of course, perfect in your eyes!). This is one of those rare lists that transcends almost all boundaries and is applicable to most all cats regardless of their stage in life or physical attributes.
Whether you have a kitten, five kittens, an elderly cat, or a teen cat, you’ll find something on this list that you can use to entertain your pal.
This list isn’t for anyone with a dog. For some reason, a lot of people are absolutely determined to find toys that can double as a cat and a dog toy. We’re not really sure why the determination on this issue, but this list does not apply to dogs in any way. None of our research or testing was performed with dogs in mind.
How We Choose Our Products
This part was so fun! First of all, we looked everywhere. From Petco to Ebay. When I say everywhere, I mean even at gas stations. They sell cat toys in so many places, y’all. It might be our new adventure/tradition at Cat Kingpin to see where the most random place we can buy a cat toy is.
Try it with us. I think you’ll have fun. Then tell us how that went for you! I’m excited to see if we’ll get some pretty fun ones in the comment section!
Anyway, we looked through everything and decided that we were looking for toys specifically designed to entertain your cat for hours at a time. Or, at least for a dedicated amount of time. The goal is to engage your cat fully, not just catch their attention briefly.
That helped eliminate hundreds of cat toys. Some toys are just built to sit there and stare at your cat. They get bored with that kind of thing easily. Many of our kitty pals want engaging and interactive toys because your cat isn’t always ready to play when you are, and you can’t always play when they want to. So, you’ll need toys that can keep your cat entertained for those times.
You’ll find that all of the toys on our list are interactive and engaging.
Plus, here’s an honorable mention that we love. Check it out. It’s awesome.
Our Top Choice - Yvelife Cat Laser Toy Automatic
The Yvelife Cat Laser Toy is so cool! It’s a self-starting and self-stopping laser toy. It can sit wherever it fits, and the laser will go in a circle. The advantage of being able to place this on a high surface enables your cat to get a 360 degree play area.
You’re able to adjust the laser’s course and speed on the gadget itself, and you’re entitled to a one year warranty after you purchase the product. That’s not a bad deal.
On the other hand, people reported conflicting issues with this toy. One person said it only had two settings and was slower than molasses. The next one-star review said it had numerous circle settings, and it said that it moved super fast. Clearly, a glitch has been found…
If you receive a product that is like that, definitely request an exchange because the majority of users adored it. There are supposed to be multiple settings, and it’s not supposed to be excessively fast or slow.
Others’ lasers broke within the week of delivery, and we’d recommend the same for that situation, too: replacement.
Although there’s a dog in one of the pictures, dogs’ eyes aren’t built like cats. The laser could affect your dog’s eyesight in a negative way.
Premium Pick - Yvelife Interactive Cat Toy Ball
This toy is definitely for an active, high-energy cat. Yvelife’s Interactive Cat Toy Ball is an automatic toy that rolls around your floor with a cat toy attached to it. It basically rolls around swinging the toy so that your cat can chase it...for hours.
Or however long your cat can handle!
There are different attachments (toys) to choose from, and it has a nice, bright light for when your home lights are turned down. The proximity sensor helps the toy to not run into too many things, but the attached toy part likes to fling itself anywhere it can.
Fair warning though: it might drive you a little crazy. It has very active lights flashing and sounds blaring, so if you’re easily annoyed, stay away. For those same reasons, some cats were totally turned off by it. Personality differences, you know.
Budget Friendly - Upsky Cat Toy Roller 3 Level Tower
The Upsky Cat Toy Roller is a little three level tower that each has roller balls for your cat to chase around and around. It could keep one cat entertained for hours, but it could keep multiple cats entertained for days!
Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but multiple cats have a lot of fun with this one. It’s meant to entertain your cat, but also to provide some light exercise for them as well. Those types of things definitely help your cat ward off boredom and even depression.
Yes, cats can get depressed!
It’s extra light and quite small. You can put it almost anywhere without consequence. But, please don’t put it on a high counter because your cat is sure to fall off.
That being said, if you have a cat baby with a few extra pounds, you might want to try to assist them in refraining from body slamming this toy. Or, sleeping on it. The toy is great, but it’s not equipped to handle that much weight!
Customers seemed to have a considerable amount of problems with their package arriving damaged or in a different color than they ordered. The seller is quick to fix it, but we all know how inconvenient that can be.
If you’re buying it as a time-sensitive gift, buy ahead to avoid potential issues.
Other Choice: Zenes Cat Toys-Electric Flutter Rotating Cat Teaser with Butterfly
This toy is absolutely perfect for kittens. It’s similar to our premium pick except it’s stationary. The Zenes Electric Flutter Rotating Cat Teaser goes on the floor and stays in one spot while the butterfly that’s attached to it ‘flies’ around in circles.
Just press a button, then walk away. It’ll keep going as long as your kitten or cat wants to. It’s also bottom heavy to prevent your cat from easily tipping it over. The butterfly toy awakens your cat’s hunter instincts, so they tend to enjoy this one a lot.
The way the toy moves can eventually become predictable, so some older cats felt ‘whatever’ about the toy fairly quickly.
Numerous people received a toy that had already been returned to Amazon and was sent out without even realizing. Unfortunately, they do that a lot. Just send that thing right back where it came from and ask for a brand new one.
In rare instances, the motor burned out prematurely--as in within the first hour. Same thing: return that thing! That’s just a glitch. A properly working toy shouldn’t do that, and since this is electric, don’t take any chances giving the toy to your cat if it starts shorting out right away.
Other Choice: Moody Pet Fling-AMA-String Cat Toy
This Moody Pet Fling String Cat Toy will appeal to any cat. Really. I do believe that.
It hangs (easily) from whichever spot you choose. The toy releases a piece of colorful string for a few seconds then messily pulls it back in. Cats love it.
Since there isn’t much physical exertion required, all cats from kittens to elderly cats are able to enjoy the string toy. You don’t have to put anything together either! Customers say theirs is still going super strong after months to even years.
So, people had some pretty terrifying experiences with the toy, too. A super small number of curious cats figured out that they could try really hard and fish out the long string even when the toy is turned off.
Those cats then ate the long string and had themselves one expensive vet visit. One other person said they think the string hit their cat in the eye, costing them a lot in vet bills. We’re really confused by how that happened, but the owner wasn’t in the room, so we don’t have details, only speculation.Those are very strange situations. Pick up the toy when your cat is finished playing with it, and never let your cat play with it unsupervised.
Care and Maintenance
Most of the toys we’ve recommended are electric, and that’s a big deal. Please never leave your pet alone with a motorized or battery-operated toy. They can pierce the battery pack or wire with their teeth and be in a world of hurt...or worse.
It’s standard to wipe and rinse off your cat toys every now and then. Since cats play on the floor and we walk on the floor, your cat’s toy will inevitably accumulate floor gunk.
Before you give your cat any toy but especially an electric toy, check it out for a few minutes. This is to make sure everything is running properly before you hand it over to your cat (who will trust it implicitly) and immediately start biting and clawing.Just another reminder: don’t leave your cat alone with electric toys.
Answers to Common Questions
Q: How do I know which toy is right for my cat?
A: We get that question often. It depends on your cat completely. Every single cat is different. If you have an active cat, they’d probably enjoy an active toy, and vice versa.
If your cat is a little extra curious, you might feel more comfortable sticking with a plain, stationary toy to avoid any accidents.
Q: Which toy is best for a kitten?
A: It’s not officially the best for a kitten, but kittens in particular love the stationary toy with the butterfly attached. It stimulates them and gets them moving, but it’s gentle enough to not scare them away.
Q: Which toy is best for an older cat?
A: Again, it all depends on your cat. But, if you mean ‘older’ as in ‘less mobile,’ then the string toy may best suit you. An old or lazy cat could play with it without moving. The cat ball tower (budget pick) is stationary, too.
Q: Why shouldn’t I let my cat play with electric toys unsupervised?
A: There are just too many things that could go wrong. The most obvious being that your cat could bite into any of the electric parts and get electrocuted. Getting electrocuted doesn’t normally work out very well for anyone.
The other thing to watch out for is if your electric toy moves or falls over into water. Again, electrocution. Let’s just do what we can to avoid that.
Q: Which toy is best for multiple cats?
A: One that looks sharable! Multiples have their own group personality, so base your decision on that.
Your cats might not be sharers, and if that’s the case, go ahead and get them their own individual toys.
Q: Are any of these able to be used also as a dog toy?
A: I mean, you can technically use any of these for your dog. I wouldn’t recommend it because of dogs’ tendency to bite and shake, but technically you can.
The laser toy says it’s suitable for dogs, but it’s not good for their eyes.
Go ahead and buy your dog a dog toy, and leave these for your cat.
We only focus on cats here at Cat Kingpin, so we will never recommend a product to you with your dog in mind. Not because they aren’t wonderful, but because we’re only experts on c-a-t-s!
Well, we hope we’ve helped you find the cat toy of you and your cat’s dreams. There isn’t an exact science to choosing a cat toy for your pet even though it may seem like there is. Try not to get overwhelmed by the options and remember your purpose for buying it.
Just remember, you want your cat to be playing with things that are safe, engaging, and interactive. It doesn’t make sense to give them costly toys made with expensive materials that you don’t want to get messed up because...it’s a toy. It will get messed up.
We know some of you buy your pet toys based on aesthetics only! Try to switch that up this time.
I want to know what toys are keeping your cat entertained all day long. The Yvelife Cat Laser Toy is our top pick. Have you tried it? Tell me in the comments.
Tips to Avoid Cat Boredom - https://www.petcurean.com/blog/tips-to-avoid-cat-boredom/
Whitney is a south Louisiana native who stopped fishing after she got her first pet fish. Her love of animals only grew stronger as her family began to have room for other friends like birds, cats, dogs, horses, and…a few more cats. She has experience handling a pet problem or two, and she spends her days either talking or typing about it. If you have any fun pet stories to tell, you can write to her at @WriteWhitney