The 11 Best Kitten Toys That Tap Into Their Instincts To Explore & Play

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Kittens need to play, and making sure they have a variety of toys is a great way for them to explore and beat boredom. The best kitten toys harness your pet’s natural instincts to chase, jump, scratch, and chew. Allowing your kitten to tap into these instincts in a safe way can help them grow into a happy, well-rounded cat — not to mention one who knows how to play with toys instead of human hands and feet. Since there is a wide selection of kitten toys available, it’s important to figure out your kitten’s idea of fun before you get shopping.

Choosing a kitten toy might take some trial and error, but thinking about your pet’s motivations is a good starting point. While some kittens are content to swat at a ball or hunt after a toy that looks or moves like prey, others might prefer something they can sink their claws or teeth into. Toys that squeak or crinkle, or those that light up or reflect light, can help catch their attention. Alternatively, toys with treats or catnip can entice food-motivated felines to play.

As you shop, you should also consider how much dedicated playtime you can provide your kitten. Some toys can keep your kitten busy all on their own, while others require you to maneuver them — either way, be sure to supervise your cat while they play to prevent accidents. Additionally, look for toys that are made without small parts which your kitten might choke on or ingest. Also opt for toys that can withstand long bouts of rough play without falling apart, or ones that are budget-friendly enough to easily swap out when they start to show signs of wear and tear.

Get ready for some epic kitten chases and dive rolls — here are some of the best cat toys you can get your little one on Amazon.


A Fan-Favorite Fabric Wand

Many wand-style toys like to lure kittens into play with feathers, tiny bells, and other objects that aren’t always safe for them or can quickly break off. With an overall 4.8-star rating after more than 15,000 reviews, this colorful cat charmer toy is designed to be simple and safe for cats of all ages. The wand features about 4 feet of rainbow-colored, colorfast fabric to paw at, pounce on, and chase. To start the fun, wave the wand around and the fabric will “dance,” which is bound to send your active kitty dancing, too.

One reviewer wrote: “Our four month old kitten loves this safe and durable wand (no feathers or other choking hazards). Fun for hours at a great price! I highly recommend for any active kitten or cat.”


A Set Of Jumpy Cat Springs

These multicolored cat springs look modest, but you might be surprised at the amount of fun they can provide your kitten. Spring them into action by pressing the ends between your thumb and index finger, then release them — but they’ll move plenty when your kitten swats at them, too. Each is hand cut to prevent sharp edges, and a pack includes 12 springs in blue, green, pink, and yellow.

One reviewer wrote: “My 4 month old kitten will play with one spring until he's too tired to play. I've never seen a kitten play with a toy so consistently or so long!”


A Circular Track With Balls That Won’t Get Lost

Your kitten might love chasing after balls, but playtime can be cut short if they often end up lost after a few minutes. Enter: this three-tier cat track toy. The bright orange track features three different tiers, each with a multicolored patterned ball. While the balls roll whenever pawed, they won’t escape the track. The track also ensures your kitten plays safely: It has a safety bar across the top opening to prevent your kitten from trying to crawl into the center. One added perk of this toy? It requires practically zero effort on your part.

If three tiers isn’t enough for your kitten and you have a few more bucks in your budget, you can opt for a four-tier cat track for even more levels of fun.

One reviewer wrote: “My 3 kittens love this thing and what's really great is that the balls will never get lost. The fact that it’s 3 tried is great, can have all 3 play at once or 1 try and catch all 3 balls. Keeps them entertained for hours.”


A Stuffed Mouse That Squeaks

This stuffed mouse toy looks like the real thing — and it makes squeaky noises to match. One reviewer with a five-month-old kitten wrote that of all the interactive toys they had “by far, the mouse is her fave.” The mouse toy is covered in faux fur, and while it contains an electronic component, it’s located inside the toy, and out of your kitten’s immediate reach. All in all, it’s a natural fit for kittens who love to hunt.

One reviewer wrote: “My 5 cats LOVE this mouse [...] Very popular! It gets passed around daily. Still chirping, and in 1 piece. Tough little guy-I will buy another when this one finally dies.”


A Value Pack Of Crinkly Balls

Crafted out of a material that crackles, this pack of crinkle balls will keep kittens with a penchant for chasing shiny, crinkly things entertained. Each ball is 1.5 inches in diameter and constructed from mylar, a type of strong polyester film. Plus, they come in a pack of 12 for just a few bucks. If you want to stock up, opt for the 24-pack instead.

One reviewer wrote: “All my foster cats and kittens have loved these. Bright colors, good sounds, and fun for them to bat and hunt.”


A Pack Of Curved Scratchers

If you have a kitten who needs a place to scratch (a place that’s not your furniture), this two-pack of cat scratchers is an easy solution. The scratchers are made out of cardboard and have a curved shape that can be used either as a lounger or bridge, depending on your kitten’s preference. The scratchers also come with catnip, which you can sprinkle into the perforations of the cardboard surface to entice them to explore and scratch. Reviewers have noted that these are relatively small scratchers, making them a better fit for kittens than full-grown cats.

One reviewer wrote: “We adopted an 11 week old kitten and he is a huge fan of these. He likes it more in the bridge position than the couch position and gets some good scratches in on it throughout the day. He also likes to just sleep on it, which is totally fine too. For price and the fact there are two (one for upstairs and one for downstairs), we would highly recommend.”


A Moving Fish With A Catnip Pouch

This interactive cat toy offers something many kittens can’t resist: movement. The toy looks like an actual fish, and its tail flips and flops when the fish is pawed at or kicked. “Great toy!” raved one reviewer. “I love that it can lie here inert for hours until the cat paws it then springs to life.”

If your feline needs an incentive to play with the toy, it also comes fitted with a pouch you can stuff the included catnip into. The toy is made of kitten-safe plush, while the electronic components are tucked inside and secured with a hook-and-loop closure. When it comes time to charge the toy, you just have to plug it into a power source using the included USB cable. There’s a light that will indicate when the toy is fully charged by going from red to green.

One reviewer wrote: “Our 8 week old kitten loves it. The flip-flopping action [activates] her hunting instincts and she fights with it helping to shed off some of that boundless kitten energy. It charges quickly in a couple hours and lasts all day. We bought another that way she’s always got one charged. We just leave it on the floor and she attacks it randomly throughout the day or when one of us gives it a little tap to get her attention.”


A Collapsible Tunnel With A Dangling Ball

For kittens who like to play hide and seek, this collapsible cat tunnel is sure to please. It’s made out of tear-resistant polyester, and the spring frame is fitted with protective tips to keep it from piercing through the polyester. The tunnel has two entry points, plus a hole cut in the middle of the tunnel, through which you can hang a wand or throw a toy. A reviewer raved, “I love that I can collapse it easily and put it away when needed.”

The tunnel also features a red ball hanging above one of the entryways for your feline to play with — but some reviewers have noted that their cats were able to rip the ball off. With that in mind, make sure to keep a close eye on your kitten when playing in this tunnel; alternatively, you can simply cut the string to remove the ball like one shopper did. The tunnel comes in this streamlined version, as well as more complex versions with three openings instead of two.

One reviewer wrote: “My 3 month old kitten LOVES this! If you can't find her you know she is in the tunnel. This was the best buy I made for my little kitty.”


A Dental Toy That’s Designed For Chewing

If your kitten likes to use their teeth, give them something they can chew on, like this plush chew toy. It’s shaped like a pretzel and covered in a mesh material that helps keep your kitty’s chompers and gums clean and healthy. One reviewer reported, “My 3-month-old kitten just started teething and we were worried that he was going to chew cords and/or our couch. We got this pretzel in the mail yesterday and he [has] been chewing and playing with it nonstop (when he's not sleeping).” The toy is also stuffed with catnip to encourage them to gnaw on the toy and not the items in your home.

One reviewer wrote: “Best teething toy invented for kittens/cats! [...] Right out of the package my kitten knew what it was for began to chew. Seems indestructible (only had it a short time). I ordered two more!”


A Hands-Free Laser Pointer With A Timer

This hands-free interactive laser toy emits a beam of bright red light that moves around the room to keep your kitten entertained. According to reviewers, this toy is ideal for cats of all ages with plenty of energy to burn. You can choose from three settings: slow, fast, and random — and when in the random mode, the machine will automatically shut off after 15 minutes. One shopper described, “My kitty never tires of this toy and the auto shut off is perfect for bed time.” To get it up and running, you’ll just need to snag three AA batteries separately.

One reviewer wrote: “This was the best toy purchase I have made for my 8 month old kitten ever! It keeps her entertained for the whole 15 minutes that it's running, and I love that it turns off itself, because she's already tuckered out by then!”


A Puzzle Toy You Can Fill With Kibble

If food is your kitten’s main motivator, this puzzle feeder toy is a great option. It features five removable cups in two different sizes, which you can insert into the base and fill with kibble, treats, or even small toys for your kitten to fish out. It is made of BPA-free plastic and comes with a wide rubber base to keep it in place.

One reviewer wrote: “Kittens love it! [...] The right amount of challenge for them to get the treats at the bottom of the cups. They enjoy it!”