18 cat toys with thousands of positive reviews
Buying cat toys doesn't have to be a shot in the dark
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Cats should be our self-worth heroes. They know exactly what they deserve, and they’re not afraid of walking away from people—or toys—who aren’t giving them what they need. Figuring out what they need to stay engaged and entertained is a whole other matter. I wish I could sit down with my cats and ask if a new toy looks fun or boring, but sadly, our communication hasn’t quite reached that level.
The good news is that I’m not the only person searching the internet for toys that will keep my kitties happy. No single toy will be a surefire hit for each kitty, but you can increase the odds that your cat will love their new toy by understanding their play patterns and reading up on how the toy was received by other cats. We pulled together 18 of the most popular cat toys from Amazon and Chewy to get your furbaby moving.
1. A rainbow cat charmer, because you can’t beat a classic
There are plenty of unique and fancy cat toys on the market, but there are few as reliable as a good old fashioned wand toy. Wand toys are highly interactive and easy to control, so they’re great for a play session that gets both you and your cat moving. The length of this charmer gives your cat plenty of fabric to hold onto and attack once they’ve finally caught their prey.
While about 94% of the reviews for this toy are positive, many the negative ones highlight the same concern—if your cat is ripping it up without supervision, they could ingest and choke on a part of the fabric. For that reason, we advise putting this charmer away when playtime’s over! Used mindfully, this toy can bring a huge amount of fun to your home. Take it from reviewer John, whose cats “literally jump for joy when you dangle it overhead."
2. A cat toy to get their zoomies out and give them a place to scratch
This toy is a staple in my house. Like pretty much every cat toy, it’s a hit with some cats and a miss with others—one of my cats is a huge fan, while the other one couldn't be bothered. If your cat is sensitive to catnip, you can spread it in the cardboard scratcher, and entice them to give this toy a try. I love the fact that my cat can use this toy totally independently. When she gets the zoomies in the middle of the night, she has options other than waking me up!
Thousands of reviewers report success with this toy. As a multi-purpose toy, there’s a good chance your kitty will get some use from it. Reviewer Kittyinthesouth says their cats enjoy both the scratcher and the ball track, writing, “My adult cats are hard to please when it comes to toys. But this thing is a hit. He loves to bat the ball and watch it go round and round. It stays securely in the turbo. My big girl likes to lay across it (I sprinkled the catnip on it). For this price point, it is a great value.”
3. A robotic toy with 360-degree movement to keep your cats on the prowl
We all have moments when we’d prefer our cats to entertain themselves. Some cats love independent play, but just as many tend to get bored with toys they have to manipulate themselves. This robotic cat toy is the perfect compromise. With the ability to zoom around your home on its own, it will keep your kitty occupied without interrupting you during an important video call.
Reviewer Kiki is in the exact situation, writing that their kitten is very rambunctious, “but I can’t always drop everything to play and feel bad when I’m busy or have to work. This lil’ gem keeps her entertained! Cats need the ‘hunt, catch, kill, eat, groom, sleep’ cycle and I want to do what I can to make sure that I’m supporting this. She was a little hesitant at first but now she chases that thing like her life depends on it!"
4. A perfect laser pointer, which might be the only toy you need
If my house was burning down and I only had time to grab one cat toy (that’s how burning buildings work, right?) it would be my laser pointer. I’ve said that cats are picky and that every cat has their own taste, and that’s true—but I’ve never met a cat who isn’t at least a little bit interested in a laser pointer. It’s one of the cheapest and most time-tested cat toys you can possibly buy, and it is definitely a favorite in my house.
Reviewer Becky compares this laser pointer to others, writing, "I had another laser pointer that my cats liked to chase, but the light wasn’t that bright. This one is much better!” Becky goes on to describe how one of their cats is super energetic, and needs an outlet. “Without a toy like a laser pointer, he gets bored and spends all his time chasing my other cat and starting fights. With this, his energy is redirected to a fun activity that keeps him active and stimulated and doesn’t annoy his sister. This toy helps keep the peace in our house!"
5. A soothing pillow for cuddly kitties
This soft pillow is designed to soothe cats who could use a little extra snuggling. It’s microwavable, so it can provide warmth, and the “purr pillow” option plays touch-activated purring sounds. Depending on your cat’s needs, they might bat this pillow around, or just snuggle up with it for some lovey time.
Buyers have thousands of success stories using this pillow to help calm a new kitten, or to soothe a cat who has lost a friend. Reviewer Jessica writes that "If your cat chews and kneads on the blankets, this purr pillow will definitely add comfort. Our Salem is four months now, and when she hears the purr, she jumps into her kitty bed with the purr pillow and starts to knead and purr and usually falls asleep.” If you get the pillow with the purring motor, the velcro design makes it easy to remove the electronics while you wash the soft fabric.
6. A feather wand to satisfy just about any playful cat
Let’s take it back to another surefire classic. This feather wand toy is weighted enough to flick around, and the goofy little charms are likely to awaken your cat’s predator instinct. The charm is soft fabric and feather with hidden crinkle material in the body, making an enticing noise when your cat pounces on its prey. This toy comes in three styles, and you don’t get the chance to select which one you want, so be sure you’re all right with surprise!
Reviewer Ehlee07 writes, "Got this for my kitten and she’s absolutely OBSESSED with it. While she’s dead asleep, if I grab this, she goes bolting to it. She plays pretty rough so make sure you don’t pull too hard with a rough kitty or the feathers will fall out (like mine did). She loves it just the same without the feathers.” As with the other wand toy on this list, reviewers also remind potential buyers to keep the toys away from kitties when they’re unattended to prevent them from chowing down on the string or fabric.
7. A whole assortment pack for the distractible kitty who can’t make up their mind
Just can’t decide on one toy? If your kitty is the indecisive type, you can hedge your bets by getting a whole collection of highly-rated toys for under $15. This pack includes favorites like crinkle balls, a wand toy, stuffed mice, and a pop-up cat tunnel. Reviewers advise either closely watching your cats with small toys, or removing some of the small parts (in particular, the foam balls and the ears and eyes attached to the mice).
All in all, this set is a win for buyers whose cats go through toys fast, and who are looking for quantity rather than toys that will last for years. Reviewers like Ashlar are happy with the set, saying that "This is a smorgasbord of fun for your kitty. There were one or two throw-away toys, but the pop-up tunnel is great and the teaser wand is as well. I was happily surprised at the amount of quality cat toys included for such a great price."
8. A favorite catnip toy that playful kitties find irresistible
There are so many catnip-stuffed toys out there, it’s hard to give one the spotlight. There’s no denying, though, that the reviews of this banana-shaped toy are something special. Almost universally, buyers say their cats pounced on this toy the first chance they got and never let it out of their sight.
Plenty of reviews mention that this toy might be quickly destroyed by an excited kitty. But because of the affordable price, and because so many cats seem equally happy to play with this toy whether it’s brand new or ripped apart, 84% of reviewers still gave it five stars. Alicia is one such reviewer, writing that their cat “carries it around the house, sleeps on it, and has nearly destroyed it already. She never acts this way with toys. Very happy, please never discontinue this."
9. A cheap and simple toy that’s stood the test of time
This deceptively simple toy could be the one to awaken your kitty’s inner lion. First created in 1995, the Cat Dancer is basically just a piece of wire with a series of paper cylinders attached to the end—but don’t let the simplicity fool you. Reviewers say this toy makes their cats go wild. Since the charm is on a piece of wire instead of string, you probably won’t be able to move it with the same level of control, but something about this design makes domestic kitties go into full jungle cat mode.
Reviewers like Kwoo note that sometimes, the cheapest toy is also the best one. “I have a whole room filled with cat toys that my cat is not interested in,” Kwoo says. “It's funny how the least expensive cat toy I have makes him go crazy. He plays with this until he's panting like a dog and I have never seen him jump so high." Other reviewers add that the toy holds up well with gentle cats, but might see some wear during energetic play.
10. A gold-standard scratch lounge
Sometimes, nothing can beat the original. This catnip-infused scratch lounge was the first of its kind, and going by the reviews on Chewy, it’s holding onto its title as the best. The catnip encourages hesitant kitties to go for the scratching pad instead of the couch, and once your kitty is worn out from all that scratching, it doubles as a bed.
There are cheaper scratch lounges on the market, but given this one’s durability, replacement pads, and absolutely glowing reviews, it’s safe to say the investment is worth it. Reviewers echo this sentiment—Kate writes, "It’s worth every penny and will actually save you money in the long run because it lasts soooo long. I have THREE cats and I bought ONE of these scratchers to see what all the hype is about. Well, after three weeks of continuous scratching, lounging, and snoozing by all three of my kitties, I just turned the scratch pads over to the second side. A scratch pad that lasts six weeks for three cats AND doubles as their favorite sleep spot? YES PLEASE!” If you want even more scratcher options, check out our review of that has earned 10,000 reviews on Amazon.
11. A couple of old-school mice to test their catnip affinity
Not every cat goes wild for catnip. Scientists have suggested that a cat’s response to catnip is actually genetic, and it’s possible that as many as half the cats in the world don’t have the “catnip gene.” Of my two cats, only one of them is sensitive to catnip—the other one wants to know why I keep giving him boring dried leaves. If you’re not sure whether your cat has an affinity to catnip, you probably don’t want to shell out for a collection of catnip-infused toys. Better to start small, with these time-tested mice for under $2, and see how your kitty responds.
In one review, Jemma writes that their cat loves that he can carry these small toys around in his mouth. “I like them because they're well made,” Jemma adds. “They hold up to a lot of abuse. Every once in a while, I see a little pink felt ear on the floor, but otherwise, none have torn, nor have the tails and eyes come off nor has my cat been able to bite them off." The one trouble with these mice is the same as many small, soft cat toys: if your cat is a rambunctious player, they may rip it apart, which could lead to ingesting pieces of the toy. As always, it’s a good idea to watch out for your cat, and to put small toys away after playtime.
12. A pop up bed that doubles as a play tunnel
I’m all about multi-purpose cat toys. Cats are picky creatures—if you can find toys with more than one use, there’s a much better chance they’ll actually enjoy it. Whether they’re chasing each other through the tunnel or just taking a nap in the soft center, reviewers say this item is a win.
Buyers like that cats can get their zoomies out in this tunnel, instead of running underfoot. They also mention that it’s pretty big—about three feet across—so be sure you actually have the space! In her review, buyer Deb writes, "My cat loves this, even sleeps inside the tubes. The zippers are a bit tricky, but I won't be taking it apart now that it's together...It is attractive and big enough for large cats. Highly recommend!"
13. A touch-activated moving fish for hours of on-land hunting
For another toy that will keep your cat involved in independent play, consider this catnip-filled moving fish. This is a touch-activated toy, so it will only begin flipping around once your cat pounces—no need to worry about finding an off switch. Plus, it’s USB-rechargeable! That being said, reviewers mention the battery life could be longer. If your cat really loves this fish, it might not stay charged all day.
Many reviewers say the fish is surprisingly large, lifelike, and durable enough to survive a high-energy play session. Buyer Hailie writes, "my cat was skeptical at first when the toy was flipping out all over the place but eventually she found it amusing. The only struggle I have is that my two-year-old daughter fights the cat for it and I have to take it away from both of them. Wish it held a charge longer and the catnip that's supposed to go in the pouch with the charging port gets messy, but it’s AMAZING. So lifelike that I almost freaked out when it started to move.”
14. A top-tier, multi-tier track toy
This three-tier ball track promises that your cat can have playtime without losing toys under the couch (or, in my case, under the refrigerator). It also has a non-skid base to help keep it stay in place during playtime. One of the things I love about cat toys with tracks is that I know there’s much less of a chance my kitties will eat or choke on something. Although determined cats might be able to pop the balls off the track, in general you’re hugely cutting down on the chance the toy could get lost or become dangerous.
With multiple tiers and rolling balls, this toy offers more interest than a single-level track—something that reviewers like 7ruby18 love. "My cats love this toy,” they write. “They have a similar toy with only one level, but they like this one more. I think the reason is because when they smack one of the balls it shakes the whole toy so that the other two balls "move on their own" which intrigues my fur babies no end."
15. A cat grass planter to help your kitty’s digestion
Almost every plant in my house is in a hanging planter these days. If they weren’t, there’s no way I could keep my cats from eating leaves every day of their lives. You might know that a lot of household plants are toxic to cats—but if your kitty is determined to snack on some leafy greens, there is actually a healthy option out there. This grass is friendly to your cat’s digestion, and gives kitties an alternative to chewing up the houseplants.
Buyers say the grass is easy to grow, and that lots of seeds are included, but also note that the kit doesn’t come with instructions—for that, you should look to the Catit brand’s website. Reviewer Conceptress says this kit has been “a huge hit,” and that it produces a plentiful crop of grass. “The kit comes with A LOT of seeds,” they write. “I only used about a quarter of them, and it still produced a lot of grass. I also purchased some wheatgrass seeds to mix with the seeds that came with the kit so the kitties get two kinds of grass. I actually purchased two so I could have one current crop for the kitties to play in & eat, and a second one to start growing when the first starts to fade."
16. A squeaking toy to satisfy hunter instincts
Poor indoor cats—sometimes it feels like outdoors cats get all the fun! If your cat is hypnotized by the chirping of nearby birds, they’ll love this toy. It contains a speaker that plays a realistic squeaking sound when the toy is caught, so your cat will get the full experience of tossing around unsuspecting prey. Yes, it’s a little bit bloodthirsty, but that’s what we get for adopting and loving tiny predators!
Even if your cat isn’t interested in the sound this toy makes, they may be attracted to its catnip-stuffed body. When cats like this toy, they really like it, with many reviewers saying they’ve repurchased it over and over again. Amanda is one of these buyers, writing, "At this point I have bought this toy multiple times. Still a favorite among all my cats. I have even bought one for family members cats, and they also love it. It’s a low cost toy that def gets the cats going. Mine keeps getting lost somewhere under the furniture, but the cats really love it."
17. A treat ball to keep their minds and bodies active while they snack
Got a food-motivated kitty in the house? It might be hard to get them to slow down when they eat. Luckily, there are solutions! Food-filled puzzle toys like this one can do great things for kitties that are overeating or eating too quickly, while also stimulating their brains as they figure out how to get at their dinner. This simple, affordable treat ball can entice your cat into play mode, even if all they really want to do is chow down.
Reviewer Lee has had a positive experience with this treat ball, and appreciates the simple, effective design. “The spiral design requires the cat to work a little harder to get treats and increases the sound and movement that the ball makes, which makes kitty more interested,” Lee writes. “The product is well-made enough that it does its job without frustrations. My cat loves it. I use mine to give my cat an activity while I'm away and to supplement his diet between wet food meals. (He has a few pounds to lose.)"
18. A motion-concealed toy to train them for mouse hunting
This nifty toy will keep your cat's mice-hunting instincts sharp, even if your house is pest free (as I hope it is!). Essentially, this is a wand toy attached to a motor. The motor spins the charm in a circular motion at two different speeds, with the mechanics hidden underneath a fabric cover. The result is a toy that keeps moving, even when you aren't there to whip it around under your kitty's nose.
Buyer Carol says that her cat had to warm up to this toy, but once he did, it was a hit. "It took him a little while to get brave and interact," says Carol. "Now he really enjoys it. I especially like the automatic shut off feature. He just lets me know when I need to turn it on. My cat is a senior and picky about his toys but he really likes this one."
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.