The 8 Best Cat Toys of 2019

Your pet doesn't have to be bored while you're away

Kitten playing with feather toy
Benjamin Torode / Getty Images
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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Trixie Cat Toy at Bed Bath & Beyond

"It’s tailor-made to keep cats entertained for hours."

Best Budget: Easyology Pets Amazing Cat Roller at Amazon

"Practically a steal for all that you’re getting."

Best Food Motivator: PetSafe FUNKitty Egg Cersizer at Amazon

"If your cat eats their food too quickly then this toy is perfect."

Best Scratcher: YOUTHINK Collapsible Cardboard Scratcher at Amazon

"An absolute essential if you’re worried about your furniture staying intact."

Best Splurge: munchiecat Sushi at Amazon

"So adorable that it’s definitely worth the splurge."

Best for Cats That Like to Hunt: Pioneer Pet SmartCat Peek-A-Prize at Chewy

"Designed to satisfy your cat’s hunting instincts—no birds required."

Best Catnip: SmartyKat Skitter Critters at Amazon

"These playful mice will have your cat going wild."

Best Interactive: Cat Dancer Cat Charmer Toy at Chewy

"One of the most durable and interactive toys on the market."

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Trixie Cat Toy

    Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

    The Trixie Cat Toy is a toy with pedigree. Developed by author Helena Dbalý, who literally wrote the book on feline play, it’s tailor-made to keep cats entertained for hours. Just stick a few pieces of kibble inside, and watch your kitty swat, paw, and strategize their way to a tasty treat. It’s a great bet for food-driven cats who need to slow their roll, and its multi-tiered peg-and-tunnel design can be reconfigured to keep things interesting. It’s this multifaceted design (along with its attractive price) that makes it our pick for best overall cat toy to occupy lonely cats.

    Owners mention that it’s well-constructed and surprisingly heavy, keeping cats from dragging it around when they play. Others add that it’s been indispensable when it comes to keeping their feline friends from gulping down their food too quickly.

  • 02 of 08

    Best Budget: Easyology Pets Amazing Cat Roller Toy

    This Easyology toy is practically a steal for all that you’re getting. Watch as your cats bat around the colorful balls that fill this three-level tower, eagerly following their movement. The smart design also means that it can be enjoyed by multiple cats at once, making it an especially good deal for multi-cat homes.

    Owners say that the balls can be easily popped in and out of the tracks and that it’s a joy to watch cats bop away with abandon. Some do add that the construction is fairly lightweight and moves around a bit during play, but it also includes non-skid pads to ensure it doesn’t topple.

  • 03 of 08

    Best Food Motivator: PetSafe FUNKitty Egg Cersizer Interactive Toy

    If your cat’s the kind of pet that eats their food way too quickly—to the point that they’re uncomfortable or choking—then this toy from PetSafe is perfect for them. It’s pretty straightforward: Fill the plastic egg with some kibble, and your cat will move it around as it tries to get food out of one of its tiny holes. It’s a great tool for slowing down rapid eaters and can even provide a little exercise for overweight kitties.

    Owners praise the simple-but-effective design and appreciate that the size of the holes is adjustable—adding an extra challenge when Fluffy gets wise to the idea. If your cat needs to work a little bit for its food (and enjoy every minute of it), the PetSafe Egg Cersizer is a sure bet for your home.

  • 04 of 08

    Best Scratcher: YOUTHINK Collapsible Cardboard Scratcher Toy

    Ah, the scratcher—a perpetual mainstay in the world of cat toys, and an absolute essential if you’re worried about your furniture staying intact. This scratcher from YOUTHINK takes a step beyond the standard approach. In addition to functioning as a simple scratcher, its ringed design means that it doubles as a fancy lounger for your kitty. Meanwhile, a ball toy (included) serves to make things even more entertaining while you’re away.

    The collapsible honeycomb paper lets owners customize the shape for multiple modes of play, and ensure it breaks down for easy storage. Owners say the material is stronger than expected, with minimal debris—although, some add, their cats like sleeping on it just as much as they enjoy using it!

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Splurge: munchiecat Sushi Cat Toys

    Perhaps a bit more than you want to spend, the Sushi Cat doesn’t come cheap. But it’s so adorable that we think it’s definitely worth the splurge. There’s just something about the combination of cats and sushi that’s meant to be—and don’t worry, we’re talking about a plush toy, not actual seafood. The set comes in a mock-bento box, and features eight pieces of lovingly detailed, hand-sewn “sushi.” It’s so cute that it even looks great as a piece of decor (at least when your cat’s not cuddling away).

    Each piece of sushi is filled with either catnip or tiny bells to guarantee your cat stays entertained; owners say that the latter isn’t too loud or distracting and that the overall set is attractive and well-made.

  • 06 of 08

    Best for Cats That Like to Hunt: Pioneer Pet SmartCat Peek-A-Prize Toy Box

    Courtesy of Walmart.

    Every cat owner knows that their pet has a natural desire to hunt. Who hasn’t watched as Mittens stares out the window, mesmerized by the birds outside? This toy from Pioneer Pet is designed to satisfy your cat’s hunting instincts—no birds required. Just hide a few of their favorite treats in the toy’s array of paw-sized holes, and your cats will spend hours digging around and trying to get them out.

    The toy comes with two balls for immediate use, although some owners like hiding food in the box for extra motivation. Owners say it’s safe and splinter-free, although some don’t recommend it for kittens, who could get their heads caught in one of the holes. Overall, this Pioneer Pet is a great choice for owners of curious, inquisitive cats who love a good challenge.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Catnip: SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy

    Courtesy of Target

    What cat doesn't love catnip? If you haven't let your feline friend play with this treat in a while—now is the time to stock up on these playful mice that will have your cat going wild. Packaged in a set of three these plush mice are filled with catnip which will have your cat pouncing to attack in no time. While these are great to give them while you are out of the home you might want to watch your cat go wild when you are around to enjoy their activity. 

    Reviewers have commented that even cats that only play with toys for a few minutes will get hours of entertainment out of these. All in all a smart purchase at an extremely affordable price. 

  • 08 of 08

    Best Interactive: Cat Dancer Cat Charmer Toy


    Courtesy of Chewy 

    Cat Dancer’s Cat Charmer Toy is one of the most durable and interactive toys on the market. Designed to provide aerobic exercise for your feline friend, the Cat Charmer is made from unbreakable polycarbonate and is so resilient that it can hold up to 30 pounds without breaking! The wand is attached to four feet of fabric and you can choose from three different designs: rainbow, Christmas, and multicolor. Even if your cat is an aggressive chewer, the cat charmer’s fabric is so strong that it won’t be ripped off and swallowed. 

    Customers voiced their approval of the wand’s strong cloth as well as its affordable price and simple design. Many customers also noted that this is a great interactive toy that helps promote exercise. All of these features combined make this a top-notch toy that even the pickiest cats will love. 

    Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best interactive cat toys can help you find what you're looking for.

What to Look for in a Cat Toy

Benefits Most toys are designed primarily for entertainment, but many that have additional benefits for your kitty. For instance, some toys have built-in scratchers to help cats maintain their claws; others have chewing components to encourage oral health. Consider these types of wellness benefits as you shop.

Solo play Are you looking for a toy that will keep your cats entertained when they’re home alone or something that you have to facilitate? Consider whether solo play is a priority, as this will dictate what type of toy you should buy.

Engagement You know your cat better than anyone, so be sure to think about whether a particular toy is something they’ll use repeatedly. Cats can be finicky, and they often play with a toy once—then never again. If you’re not sure whether they’ll like a toy, it’s best to opt for something you know they’ll play with.