The Best Interactive Cat Toys

A cute cat preparing to pounce on its prey.
alekso94/Shutterstock

Cats are natural predators, and they need to experience the challenges of hunting every day. If you’re ready to give your cat its instinct-fulfilling playtime, all you need is a few interactive toys.

What’s Wrong With Non-Interactive Toys?

There’s nothing wrong with “non-interactive” toys. If your cat manages to get a ton of exercise from stuffed mice and plastic balls, that’s fine.

The thing is, interactive toys are built to trigger your cat’s predatory senses. They make weird noises, they hide behind obstacles, and they can break free from death at a moment’s notice. Interactive toys feel like prey to your cat, and they’ll drive him absolutely bonkers.

Here’s what you can expect from any of these interactive toys:

  • Your Cat Will Pant: The best play sessions will end with your cat panting like a dog. We’re not joking. It’s hilarious to see in person, and your cat loves it too.
  • You’ll Be Best Friends: Cats aren’t stupid. When you’re involved with their playtime, they understand that you’re giving them the ability to have fun. It’s like playing games with a kid; your cat will like you more for it.
  • Kitty Won’t Get Into Trouble: You can’t deny an animal its natural instinct. It will always find an outlet somewhere. If you don’t play with your cat, it may choose to unroll your toilet paper for fun. Or it may pee on your bed for attention.

Interactive cat toys are great for exercising and building a relationship with your cat. So, let’s get right into it. Here are the best interactive toys for your best feline friend.

The Budget Pick: Cat Dancer 101

The Cat Dancer wire toy.
Cat Dancer

The Cat Dancer is just a wire and some cardboard. You wiggle it around, hide it behind obstacles, and run it along surfaces (cats love it on top of furniture). It’s super cheap, super simple, and your cat will go crazy for it.

Yes, this sounds silly. But in our experience, every cat loves the Cat Dancer. Even if it sounds like something your cat wouldn’t like, it’s worth trying out for under $5.

The Budget Pick

Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy

The Cat Dancer is a simple, cheap, and wonderful cat toy. It allows you to exercise and bond with your cat, and it costs less than a bottle of soda.

The Premium Pick: Petronics Mousr

The Petronics Mousr remote control mouse toy.
Petronics

The Petronics Mousr is an interesting little toy. It looks like an RC car because, well, that’s basically what it is. You can manually control it from your phone and laugh as your cat goes into an absolute frenzy. Or, you can set it to one of several automatic play modes, which are updated continuously by the Petronics developers.

As you’d expect, the Mousr works on all floor surfaces, including carpet. It has an interchangeable tail, it can correct itself when its upside down, and it can play dead (or struggle) when it’s caught. The Mousr is also relatively easy to take apart and clean in case it gets tangled up in some hair or yarn.

The Premium Pick

Petronics Mousr Interactive Robotic cat Toy | Plays Automatically or by Smartphone Control | Voted Best cat Toy 2018

The Mousr is an RC mouse that can be controlled manually or set to automatic play settings. It's a great toy for those days when you can't set aside playtime for your cat.

The Must-Have Toy: Da Bird

The Da Bird feather string toy.
GoCat

Like the Cat Dancer, Da Bird is a super simple toy that cats can’t get enough of. It’s just a rod, a string, and a plastic bird. As you wave the bird in the air, it twirls and makes a flapping or fluttering sound. That’s all there is to it, and cats go crazy for it.

Cats can ruin Da Bird after just a few weeks of play, but hey, that’s a sign that your cat is having fun. Plus, “bird refills” are so cheap that the price of buying a bird refill every few months is mostly negligible.

The Must-Have Toy

Go Cat Da Bird Pull 2 Piece Pull Apart Rod & Bird, Handmade in The USA (1 Bird)

Da Bird is a cheap, simple toy that imitates the sound of a bird flying around your home. It's an absolute must-have toy, and your cat will go crazy for it.

For Sheet-Scratchers: Petlinks Motion Mat

The Petlinks electronic motion mat. It's a mat with a motor underneath. The motor rotates a feather.
Petlinks

If your cat likes to pounce on your bedsheets every time you move your feet, you should consider grabbing the Petlinks Motion Mat. This interactive toy is just a plastic mat and a motorized feather. The motor causes the feathers to spin around the inside of the mat like a trapped bird, and cats simply can’t resist it.

Just as a disclaimer, the motors on spinning toys can burn out if your cat is a bit too grabby. If yours is the type to hold onto things and never let them go, you may want to consider a different interactive toy. (That said, this toy isn’t too expensive. It may be worth your cash even if your cat is dangerously grabby).

For Sheet-Scratchers

Petlinks Electronic Motion Cat Toys

Does your cat like to pounce on the bed every time you move your feet? The Petlinks Motion Mat hides a motorized feather under a plastic mat, and it's sure to drive your cat wild.

For Foodie Cats: Cat Amazing Treat Maze

The Cat Amazing treat maze.
Cat Amazing

Whether your cat is a lazy foodie or a hair-brained genius, it’s sure to love the Cat Amazing Treat Maze. This interactive toy is exactly what it looks like—a cardboard treat maze. But it comes with a twist; there are three “levels” of puzzle-solving difficulty. Throw a treat into one of the treat maze’s levels, and watch as your cat puts its mind to work.

Along with being a great interactive toy, this treat maze can serve as an excellent weight-loss supplement for tubby cats. Essentially, you can use the Amazing Treat Maze as a supplemental food bowl. Put a small portion of food in the regular bowl, and get your cat to work for the extra food that it wants.

For Foodie Cats

Cat Amazing - Best Cat Toy Ever! Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder for Cats

The Cat Amazing Treat Maze is a fantastic interactive toy for foodie cats. Consider it a two-in-one operation: your cat gets the food that it wants, and it gets to solve a puzzle along the way.

For Busy Cat Owners: Petcube Smart Camera

The Petcube smart camera.
Petcube

Ever wonder what your cat’s doing when you’re at work? Well, they’re probably just sitting around. If you want to take advantage of that open time (and tucker your cat out before you get home), consider grabbing the Petcube Smart Camera.

The Petcube Smart Camera has more features than you’d expect. At a basic level, it’s a Wi-Fi-connected camera that lets you watch, record, and talk to your pets. But it also has a built-in laser (that’s safe for pets), so you can remotely play with your cat while you’re at work. Or you can set the laser to its automatic option when you’re too busy to play.

For Busy Cat Owners

Petcube [2017 Item] Play Smart Pet Camera with Interactive Laser Toy. Remote Dog/Cat Monitoring with HD 1080p Video, Two-Way Audio, Night Vision, Sound/Motion Alerts. App-Enabled Pet and Home Safety

The Petcube is a Wi-Fi-connected camera that allows you to watch remotely, record, and talk to your pets. It also has a built-in laser that you can control manually, or set to an automatic play setting.

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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