The 5 best cat toys for your beloved pet

The 5 best cat toys for your beloved pet

Finding the best cat toy really comes down to what type of activities your cat gets excited about. As any cat owner knows, every cat has strong likes and dislikes – and they’re not afraid to let you know about them. This can make finding the right toy a little more difficult. Eventually, no matter how much time or thought you put into it, your cat may prefer the box that the new toy came in to the whole toy. So be sure to keep the receipt.

So how do you find the best cat toy to entertain your feline overlord? We turned to the experts: our cats. CNET happens to have a lot of cat lovers on our team, and we polled them to find out which toys their cats found absolutely fascinating. Here we present a list of winners. These toys have all been attacked, hit and chased by our favorite cats. From lasers to feather dancers to catnip toys and more, these are our cats’ favorite toys. And if you also have a dog, be sure to check out our list of the best dog toys.

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This cat toy stands prominently in the center of my living room and I can’t bear to move it because my cats love it so much.

The fact that they can push the ball down the lane from any position – prone, upside down and with the popular jumping attack – will keep them entertained for hours. My favorite part is the scratch section in the middle. My cats have a tree and numerous scratching posts throughout the house, but this toy is their favorite. The side dishes are really cheap, and you can get months out of the current one before it gives up. As a bonus, you can sprinkle catnip on the cardboard scratching post to give them a good time and encourage them to come back to scratch there and not your couch.

— Taylor Leamey, health and wellness writer

You’ll receive price alerts for Coastal Pet Turbo Scratcher

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Daniel Golson

So many scratching posts are just plain ugly. They’re usually bulky, carpeted, and generally don’t go well with other decorations. But Catit’s Vesper line of cat furniture is fantastic. Pieces have a modern wooden design with quality rope scratching posts, rug pads and hanging ball toys. They come in a variety of colors, sizes, and configurations, and my cats are absolutely obsessed with them. I am too, because the trees look great in my apartment. They’re also super durable, having endured years of abuse from my two cats with minimal wear and tear.

— Daniel Golson, Senior Editor for Social Media

You’ll receive price alerts for Cat Tree Vesper

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Emma Wolgast

GoCat Da Bird Teaser Wand is the only toy that can continuously entertain my 14 lb feline panther. This is the longest spring stick toy I’ve come across and the easy poll feature makes it look like a real bird is flying around.

It’s easy to play with because of the length (I can just sit on the couch and wave it around for hours) as well as super unobtrusive to store away since it’s a super light, thin wand. There are also a ton of different attachments you can get for the end of the toy, meaning you really only buy the wand once and then replace the toy as needed.

It’s one of the most basic toys I’ve come across, but truly one of the most efficient, and I recommend it to new and old cat parents alike.

— Emma Wolgast, paid social analyst

You’ll receive price alerts for GoCat Da Bird Rod and Feather Cat Toy

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Courtney Johnston

Remy is a unique boy – he had his eyes removed as a kitten to ward off infection. Finding him toys was a bit of a challenge as I figured they would have to make noise to get his attention. I didn’t have high hopes when my sister bought him this slightly ridiculous stuffed cucumber, but it was love at first bite. It’s filled with catnip and must have the good stuff because he refuses any catnip toy but this one.

He must always be nearby and will pounce if you try to take it. His favorite game is pretending to sleep and then attacking his sisters if they dare to touch it.

– Courtney Johnston, editor

You’ll receive price alerts for Whisker City Pickle Catnip Toy

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Elena Avis

This puzzle box is the best! On days when I go to the office, I put treats inside so my girls have something to do while I’m gone. It gives them mental stimulation when they reach the box, digging, chasing and pushing around, and they are rewarded with a treat when they pull one out. The box is super sturdy (both of my cats can stand on it at the same time) and has lasted for three years. There is also an even larger Mega version that you can purchase for $35.

— Elena Avis, Assistant Program Manager

You’ll receive price alerts for Cat Amazing Treat Maze and Puzzle Feeder

Frequently asked questions about the best cat toys

Do Cats Really Need Toys?

Cats spend a lot of their time sleeping and entertaining themselves, so it’s easy to assume that toys are a luxury, not a necessity. However, just like humans, cats need exercise and mental stimulation. A bored cat is an unhappy cat, and that can lead to undesirable behaviors like overvocalization, clawing, and biting. Toys give cats an outlet for their prey behavior and can provide comfort when they are feeling anxious or stressed.

What toys do cats like best?

Every cat has their own preferences and energy level, so you should try different types of toys to see what your cat enjoys. Indoor cats in particular need toys that stimulate them mentally and offer an outlet for scratching. Low-energy cats may prefer a soft toy filled with catnip, while high-energy cats like dancers and teasers that allow them to mimic catching prey.

Many cats are attracted to the smell of catnip and react to it, ranging from lazily tossing and mewing to going completely nuts. But fortunately, because catnip is an herb, it’s considered safe and non-addictive.

However, remember that it doesn’t take much for your kitty to relax. If cats ingest too much catnip, whether fresh or dried, they can experience digestive problems. If you’re concerned about this, it’s best to stick to catnip toys, which are durable and unlikely to break apart.

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