Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Looking to have your cat engage in an activity that isn’t napping, grooming, or watching the birds from a window perch? Turn to interactive cat toys, which will help get your fluffster moving. Playing with these toys is more than just fun for your cat—it’s a way to put their innate hunting abilities to work. Plus, it’ll help them use up energy on a cat-appropriate item (rather than batting around the cord to your headphones). Spending time using these toys with your cats is also an excellent way to build your bond.
Here are a variety of interactive toys that will delight and confound your cat, leading to hours of play.
Best Treat-Dispensing Toy: PetSafe Funkitty Egg-Cersizer Treat Dispenser Cat Toy
Keep cats occupied with this treat-dispensing globe. Here’s how it works: You’ll place treats (or dry food) in the toy, and it will dispense them through holes as the toy moves. Since it’s egg-shaped, the toy will roll easily, encouraging cats to bat at it and chase it around.
Thanks to the settings, you can make it easy for your cat to snag a treat, and then ramp up the difficulty. Making it more challenging will help keep your cat engaged in playing.
This toy is particularly good for cats who could use some exercise. And clean-up is easy: the device unscrews and can be washed in the dishwasher’s top rack. That’s a feature that reviewers especially appreciate since sometimes treat-dispensers can be challenging to clean. Overall, reviewers report that their cats love playing with this toy and love that you can adjust the holes to accommodate the size of the treat or dry food.
Best Activity Center: Snuggly Cat Ripple Rug
The Ripple Rug is a highly adaptable toy for your cat—you can arrange it in a near-endless variety of configurations, making the experience fresh for your cat each time. For cats that love to burrow, scratch, hide, or pounce, this toy will be endlessly satisfying. A non-slip bottom will prevent the toy from migrating from one end of your apartment to another. Bonus: while they’re scratching the toy, they won’t be destroying your furniture.
Wondering how to play together? Throw balls or small toys in the holes on the rug—or hide treats inside, or slip a wand toy in the hole. Cats can play with you, or independently, and you may also find them taking a snooze on top (or burrowed in between folds). Reviewers report that their cats don’t ever seem to get tired of this rug, engaging with it for hours and hours. Unlike other toys, this one never seems to get old for cats.
Best Wand Toy: Cat Dancer Products Interactive Cat Toy
For a toy that can deliver so many hours upon hours of fun for your cat, the Cat Dancer has a humble appearance. It’s a wire with a piece of a small bit of cardboard on one end, and a larger amount on the other.
To your cat, this toy is like a blockbuster movie. Just a simple dangle of the wire makes the cardboard move in unpredictable—and to your cat, fascinating—directions. Too busy to hold the toy? You can wedge it in a chair and it’ll move to-and-fro on its own as moving air hits.
If you’re looking for a toy that will encourage your cat to get moving, this one is ideal. Reviewers report that no other toy can get their cats to jump, run, and exert themselves to the point of panting.
Best Mouse: Pet Zone Play-N-Squeak MouseHunter Cat Toy with Catnip
Few things are more classic than a cat playing with a mouse. This fuzzy, catnip-filled mouse makes a mouse-like electronic squeak to encourage your cat to get hunting.
Even your tame indoor cat has a need to hunt—it’s truly instinctive behavior. This mouse will satisfy those needs in your cat, and if you’re lucky, the playtime will last up to hours. According to customers, this mouse is durable and the squeak is cute (not gross) and deeply appealing to their cats. Some reviewers even enthuse that this toy is one of their cat’s favorites.
Best Balls: YOFUN Smart Interactive Cat Toy
Forget simple fuzzy or rubber balls. These balls take play to the next level: push the button, and the ball will begin to rotate while also emitting an eye-catching red light.
For cats, the unpredictable motion is irresistible. The ball will work on nearly all surfaces aside from thick, plush carpet. When the ball hits a wall, furniture, or other obstacles, it’ll change directions.
This toy comes with a USB cable for charging, so you don’t need to replace the batteries. It’ll shut off after 40 minutes of rolling, though you can always push the button for more play if your cat seems disappointed! Reviewers appreciate that this toy is durable, and also that they don’t need to constantly purchase new batteries. Several note that their cats play with it for hours on end.
Best for Multiple Cats: Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy
It’s not always to get cats to play together. They can be particular, to say the least. This relatively small-sized play center (it’s less than a foot in height and diameter) has several entertainment areas, making it easy for multiple cats to engage with the toy simultaneously.
Cats can make the balls move on the tiers, as well as batting at the butterfly floating around the top level of the toy. The bottom of this toy has traction so that it won’t slide even if your cat gets very excited while playing. Reviewers report that their cats love this toy. In particular, it’s a great fit for very active, high energy cats and kittens. Several reviewers note that the Frisco Cat Tracks toy kept their cat busy at play for multiple hours.
Best Laser: FroliCat BOLT Laser Pet Toy
Playing with lasers is fun for your cats, and as a pet parent, can be hilarious and entertaining. For cats, chasing lasers is an instinctual behavior, satisfying that predatory urge that’s innate in all cats (yes, even your tame fluffster).
Hit the on button, and this battery-powered laser pointer will emit random, captivating patterns for your cat for 15 minutes. This can be helpful if your cat needs a lot of playtime, and you don’t always have the energy to click-and-point the laser. On the other hand, if you want to be involved in the play, this toy has a manual mode option, along with an adjustable mirror so you can direct the laser.
Reviewers report that it provides hours of fun, and their cats get excited as soon as their hand approaches the toy to turn it on.