8 Entertaining Cat Toys To Keep Them Busy — Because Cats Don’t Have Jobs

by Shayna Murphy

Most pet parents tend to think of their cats as solitary creatures who spend most of their time snoozing or stretched out in a sunbeam, but the truth is, cats thrive on activity and need it to stay happy. With the best cat toys, you can keep your favorite feline busy, but most importantly, you can make sure they feel stimulated, especially when you aren't at home.

Whether you're interested in cat trees or battery-operated laser pointers, toys for cats can really vary and are priced to fit virtually any budget. Because cats are imaginative and intelligent by nature, even simple toys like a crinkly mouse can get them up and moving in incredible ways. And while it's important to find toys that encourage bonding between you and your cat like a cat wand, for example it's essential for your pet to also have toys that they can use on their own.

Eager to offer your cat fun ways to play solo when they're home alone? Consider this round-up of the best cat toys as the perfect way to kickstart your search. Filled with some of the most popular and well-reviewed options on Amazon, this list has plenty of toys that are sure to make your cat feel paw-sitively amazing.


The Best Cat Tree For Homes With Multiple Felines

While this massive cat tree might seem like overkill if you're short on space or only have one cat, it's a terrific investment if you've got multiple pets and space is no concern whatsoever. Cat trees provide felines with a place to exercise, explore, and satisfy their innate curiosity, and with this one, you'll have room enough for multiple cats to soak up the benefits since it comes with plenty of tiers, a basket, a private hideaway house, and scratching posts. It also comes wrapped in fake vines, which really helps to complete that tree-like feel, and you can choose from six different setups that differ slightly in terms of aesthetics. One reviewer wrote: "Great cat tree. It was easy to put together and is very sturdy. I have a [12-pound] cat that loves to sit at the very top. I have another [7-pound] cat that chases her around it."


The Best Multi-Functional Cat Scratcher You'll Ever Find

Scratchers like this one from YOUTHINK are a necessity if you've got a cat and don't want your furniture to end up tattered and torn as a result. But what makes this collapsible cat scratcher a little more special than your average option is that it's actually multi-functional. In addition to working as a standard cardboard scratching pad, it also functions as a lounge bed and comes with a ball toy, so it simultaneously offers a place to play and nap, too. You can shape this scratcher into different configurations, so your cat never knows what to expect, and it's super-easy to collapse and take with you on-the-go, so if you're traveling with your pet, this toy is in many ways the perfect accessory. Since most cats (or mine, at least) love snuggling up in boxes, it manages to really satisfy that urge while also being a tool for play.


The Most Affordable Roller Ball Toy (Which Works Especially Well For Older Cats)

Give cats the physical and mental workout they crave with this roller toy, which is shaped like a tower and comes with multi-level tracks and colorful balls, so it's sure to trigger your pet's playful side. Since this toy is so affordable (even compared to other roller toys), it really offers plenty of bang for your buck as a cat owner. But one of the real perks to having this is that it can be a lot of fun for older cats to enjoy, too. Aging cats can be less spry than their youthful counterparts, and chasing after wands or ping pong balls can make their muscles tense up and start to really ache. This toy, however, is completely stationary, but still gives older felines a chance to amuse themselves, especially once you're gone.


The Best Cat Nip Toy For Frisky Felines

There's no beating a classic, and when it comes to cat toys, catnip-filled ones are a staple for a reason. Cats of all ages go absolutely nuts for them, especially these fish-shaped toys from Kong, which come with super-potent North American catnip. Made with renewable resources and natural feathers, these fish can trigger a cat's innate hunting and stalking instincts to go into overdrive, but in ways that are really hilarious to see. They also crinkle upon contact, which can make cats feel even more curious when playing with them. Even the most timid kitty cat is sure to venture out of their hiding spot to experience the rush and buzz that comes from being near the powerful catnip included here, but don't worry: This catnip only lasts for a short while and is completely safe to use with pets.


The Wackiest Activity Mat That More Than 1,000 Reviewers Absolutely Love

At first glance, this activity mat probably seems weird AF. After all, it just looks like a sheet of fabric with some holes cut into it not exactly the most creative invention in the world, right? Wrong. While The Ripple Rug may not seem like much at first, there's way more to it than meets the eye. For starters, it has a near-perfect rating on Amazon (4.5-stars, to be exact), and more than 1,000 reviewers rave that it's one of the best toys they've ever purchased for their fur babies, period. Made from hypoallergenic and recycled materials, this carpet stimulates a cat's imagination unlike anything else because it's perfect for hiding, scratching, snuggling, tunneling, or even just a little privacy. It has a thermal base, so pets stay comfy in it, and you can mold and flex this rug to meet any shape, so the opportunities for play are endless. The carpet fibers are also durable enough so that cats love to scratch them, sparing your real furniture in the process.


The Best Chewing Toy For Cats That Like To Nibble

While a chewing problem is usually something that's more commonly associated with dogs, in reality, cats can be nibblers, too. This is especially true if you've just adopted a kitten, since their adult teeth still need to come in and the process can be painful for them. This chewing wheel is a great buy because not only is it really cheap, but it comes with spokes that actually massage your pet's teeth and gums. Using this, your pet has a way to alleviate some of that discomfort from teething, which is huge. It's also made from durable rubber that's safe for pets, so this is definitely built to last. "Absolutely the best cat toy I have ever purchased," raved one reviewer. "My young cat absolutely loves this toy. He has many toys but this one in particular he goes crazy for. He picks it up on his own and throws it in the air and chases after it."


The Most Innovative Toy For Nurturing Your Cat's Natural Pawing Instincts

It may be weird to think about, but cats are natural predators and happiest when they get to hunt or stalk something. Being stuck indoors can make the average house cat feel bored and depressed, but with this unique toy from Catit Senses 2.0, you can change all that. Designed as a slow feeding solution, this toy features multiple tubes where you can add your pet's favorite kibble and treats. What's so great about it is that it stimulates your pet's natural pawing instincts, so they have to dig for their favorite treat. It's also a good investment if your pet is a binge-eater or gobbles up food too quickly, because it forces them to go at a slower pace and actually work toward getting their food.


The Best Battery-Operated Toy For Cats With Lots Of Energy

If your cat's always bouncing off the walls, you want a toy that'll help nurture that instinct but also ensures it's not channeled in destructive ways. Enter this laser pointer toy from PetSafe, which appeals to a cat's native hunting instincts but also provides a great outlet for all that extra energy. It features two modes, automatic and manual, so you can control the action when you're at home or you can set it to go off on its own when you're gone. During the automatic mode, this toy generates random patters that'll keep your cat really on their paws. One of the best advantages to this toy is that it automatically shuts off after 15 minutes to prevent cats from getting over-stimulated (or bored). Battery-powered and ultra durable, it's a must-have for cat parents who want their pets to make the most of their solo time.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.