15 Best Cat Toys of 2023


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Sep 13, 2023

15 Best Cat Toys of 2023

Every item on this page was chosen by a Woman's Day editor. We may earn

Every item on this page was chosen by a Woman's Day editor. We may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.

Beat pet boredom with the best chew toys for cats, stimulating catnip toys for indoor cats to hunt, and more.

Whether you're about to adopt a cat and want to prepare by purchasing a few of the best cat toys to help build a bond with your cat, or you have a particularly picky feline at home who just isn't excited by anything you select at the pet store, the last thing you want is more cat clutter around the house.

Cats are natural predators. In the wild, it's their instinct to hunt. Instead of "hunting" your leg, the furniture, or other objects that you may not want them to play with, help them fulfill the need to hunt prey with stimulating, interactive cat toys. A cat's prey sequence is as follows: staring, stalking, chasing, pouncing, biting, and, well, killing. The best toys for indoor cats (like this trending flopping fish) give cats the opportunity to mimic cycling through these actions.

"When cats are young, everything is a toy," says Heather Alvey, a certified cat behavior consultant and owner of Felidae Behavior Consulting. "But as they age, they may develop a prey preference. One cat may prefer toys that resemble birds, while another likes bugs, and a third prefers rodents." Cat parents, take note of what your cats are interested in or even find out your cat's breed, so you can choose the best types of toys that your cat will engage with frequently.

For more of the best products for cats, browse our top guides:

Best Cat Harnesses | Best Water Fountains for Cats | Best Cat Chew Toys

This 3-in-1 cat toy comes with a fluttering butterfly, an "ambush" feather, and two balls on a track. Cats can hunt, catch, and play with this toy's irregular movements giving kitty a bit of a fun challenge. You just have to turn on the base, and let it do its thing. It requires little effort from you!

When it comes to the best stimulating cat toys for indoor cats, the flopping fish is all the rage. Motion-sensored and rechargeable, this one flops around like an actual fish out of water. Cats can pounce and wrestle it as they wish as it continues to move. Plush on the outside, this toy also comes with SilverVine and catnip to entice cats to play with it if the flopping alone isn't enough.

In case you're not familiar, SilverVine (also known as Actinidia polygama) is an alternative to catnip that produces euphoria in cats that lasts up to 30 minutes.

RELATED: 21 Best Plants That Are Safe for Cats, Plus Safety Tips From a Vet

Instead of "moving," we should probably say "zooming." This cat toy, which is roughly the size of a mouse, moves from point A to point B quickly like a matchbox car. Armed with an LED light, cats will also find it visually stimulating.

Cats can hunt this fast toy like their prey. Its wheels allow it to change direction and zip around your house. It's also durable enough to endure a side-swipe or pounce from your agile cat.

Your cat will love hugging and wrestling this stuffed banana that has catnip inside. It has the feel of a beanbag. Watch your feline hug and kick it for hours. They won't be able to put it down. Yeowww! also makes these feline-favorite catnip toys in other popular shapes, including a rainbow catnip toy, catnip stuffed balls, and catnip sardines.

Since kittens don't start reacting to catnip until they're older than 6 months), it's best to give this cat toy to adult cats.

Tease your cat for hours using a cat wand with a feather on the end. As you wave it around, the feather acts as cat's pretend prey. Get them to jump, run, and pounce. The object of the game is to catch the feather, so you may have to replace them or reattach if your cat grabs and successfully removes it — luckily, this pack comes with two wands, two extra strings, and nine feather refills.

Sometimes the simplest toys are the best ones. Cats are known to love playing with yarn. These woolen yarn balls — lightweight and vividly colored — will engage cats with solo play.

This pack comes with six. You can also interact with your kitty by grabbing the yarn strand that sticks out of three of these six balls, and pulling it for your cat to catch. The other three are perfect for tossing.

In the wild, some cats will hunt for real birds. This cardinal toy, which makes a quiet chirping sound, is almost like the real thing.

Cats can paw at it, wrestle it, pounce on it, and carry it around. You can also toss it for it to make the chirping sound. This realistic bird toy, which is also filled with 100% natural catnip, will awaken your cat's natural hunting instinct.

Cats love to play hide and seek. They'll run through these three tunnels, which pop up with ease, while you pretend to chase them. They can also peek out the center hole to see if their captor is near.

If you have a household of multiple cats, this toy will excite even more.

Kittens are still learning to groom, scratch, and play. This interactive tower will give the little ones plenty of options that will also aid in their development. And since you don't know what your new cat will gravitate towards, this is the best way to test the waters and see what stimulates them most.

It comes with a scratching post, several wooden balls in tracks, a springy tower, and dangling balls.

Flash and move this USB-chargeable laser pointer to get your cat to chase it. It has three different functions for a variety of interactive play. It'll appear as a red light, but you can also switch it to different shapes to pique your cat's interest.

A fake mouse hides under this tarp and spins around with the control of a button. Cats can run and pounce on it as it tracks its every move.

Select from four different speeds (slow, medium, fast and random). You can also set the timer in case you don't want to be an active participant in play. Recharge the ion battery, which can last up to 10 hours at a time.

This four-pack of crinkle toys might look like Christmas gift wrap scraps, but cats will love the sound they make when they play.

If you've ever caught your cat playing with wrappers or plastic, this is the toy for you!

You'll see your cats paw at this for hours. They'll love watching the balls spin around. They may even find it fun to get the balls off track entirely.

If your household has multiple cats, even better. They'll love interacting with this together and pushing the balls back and forth to each other like ping pong.

This cat toy puts the pretend prey right in the cat's paws. From there, they'll toss, carry, and hide the little mice which rattle with movement. The catnip inside will also entice cats who may lose interest from time to time.

Don't worry about losing them since this pack comes with several. And since you cat will be hiding these little guys all over the house, you'll be relieved by their vibrant colors so you know they're not the real deal.

Your cat will either treat these adorable plushes as prey or babies. Filled with soft cotton and catnip, your cat will probably carry these play kitties around, wrestle them, or take care of them.

Don't love the colors here? There are other color combinations available.

RELATED: The 60 Best Gifts for Cat Lovers

Joey Lusvardi, a certified cat behavior consultant who runs Class Act Cats based in Minneapolis, MN, says cat owners should look for the following when shopping for toys for their cat:

✔️ Hunting toys for cats: You want to find a toy that resembles something a cat would hunt: mice, birds, bugs, or other small creatures. Lusvardi also points out that as cats grow, they may develop a preference for cat toys that mimic certain types of prey. "Pay attention to what your cat likes to play with. For example, if your cat seems to really like toys with feathers, they’re probably into hunting birds. Focusing on toys that look like things your cat likes will make them more likely to enjoy the toy."

✔️ Interactive cat toys: Wand toys and toys owners can use to play with their cat are the best kinds of toys. You can move them in a way that looks like prey so your cat's hunting drive will draw them in.

✔️ Stimulating cat toys: Catnip-filled mice or spring toys can be great. They give your cat something to bat around and can keep them amused.

✔️ Cat puzzle toys: You can also consider puzzle feeders. They require a cat to think to get a food or treat reward so they’re more similar to how a cat would hunt or forage in nature.

Ysolt Usigan is a lifestyle writer and editor with 15+ years of experience working in digital media. She has created share-worthy content for publishers Shape, What To Expect, Cafe Mom, TODAY, CBS News, HuffPo, The Bump, Health, Ask Men, and Best Gifts. A working mom of two, her editorial expertise in parenting, shopping, and home are rooted in her everyday life.

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