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12 Best Kitten Toys of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

2 Grey Striped Kittens Playing on a Blanket with Toy
Image Credit: Pixabay
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

2 Grey Striped Kittens Playing on a Blanket with Toy

We all know that kittens love to play — in fact, it’s an integral part of their education. Making sure your kitten has plenty of opportunities for regular play sessions throughout the day will help them develop into a well-rounded and happy cat as they grow up.

It can be hard to know what the best toy for your kitten is, though. Some might love a catnip fish, while other kittens will head off for a nap instead! There’s such a wide range of kitten toys available to choose from, but don’t worry about feeling overwhelmed.

Our feline friends have helped us draw up this shortlist of the best toys available on the market this year. Our reviews are designed to help you select the best toy for your kitten — from ball runs to kicker toys, we’ve tested them all.

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A Quick Comparison of the Winners in 2023

Best Overall
Hepper Catnip Stick Toy Hepper Catnip Stick Toy
  • 100% organic catnip
  • Bite proof and durable
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Hartz Just For Cats Hartz Just For Cats
  • Great for multi-cat households
  • Some contain catnip
  • Includes 13 toys
  • Third place
    Ralthy Interactive Toy Ralthy Interactive Toy
  • Suitable for all floor surfaces
  • Large capacity battery
  • Comes with spare toys
  • Easyology Amazing Roller Easyology Amazing Roller
  • Non-slip base
  • Closed top
  • Suitable for multiple cats
  • Bergan Turboscratcher Bergan Turboscratcher
  • Inexpensive
  • Includes catnip
  • Durable
  • The 12 Best Kitten Toys

    1. Hepper Catnip Stick Toy — Best Overall

    Hepper Blue Catnip Stick Toy - Domestic Shorthair Tortoiseshell Cat

    Hepper Catnip Stick Toy is the best overall kitten toy. Each catnip stick contains 100% organic catnip, with no fillers, inside a 6-inch double-bagged play toy. It’s the perfect size to activate a kitten’s natural hunting instincts, and it’s durable enough to last several months, even with continuous biting, kicking, and scratching. Each toy is made in the United States, and it’s available in several colors, so you can get something that matches your interior.

    The only downside is that some cats don’t react to catnip and aren’t as likely to play with the toy as a result.

    At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    • 100% organic catnip
    • Bite proof and durable
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Several colors available
    • Catnip does not affect some cats

    2. Hartz Just For Cats Kitten Toy — Budget Buy

    Hartz Just For Cats

    Without a doubt, the best budget buy choice for kitten toys has to be the Hartz Just for Cats variety pack. If your cat loves to play with a range of different toys, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the range of these 13 different toys. From catnip-filled fish to soft pom-poms and hard balls, this pack is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a range of great value toys to keep your cat engaged and help stimulate those hunting instincts.

    The only reason that this variety pack missed out on the top spot is that you’ll need to throw these toys for your kitty, whereas with our best overall choice, it’s much easier for them to entertain themselves. Apart from that, this pack is an absolute winner in the best toys for kittens department.

    • Includes 13 toys
    • Great for multi-cat households
    • Some contain catnip
    • Small balls easy to lose
    • Some cats won’t use on their own

    3. Ralthy P30 Interactive Kitten Toy


    Our third choice, Ralthy Interactive Kitten Toy, will tick all the boxes and then some. Once switched on, this toy will move in irregular patterns across your floor — and is bound to catch your cat’s attention. As well as chasing the attached toy, the hubs on this toy light up to create patterns for your cat to chase!

    A great feature of this toy is that it has a standby mode that switches on for 10 minutes and then off for 1.5 hours, on a cycle. This means you can leave this on when you got out and know that your cat will be entertained. While our cats love this toy, it does require charging every day. If you happen to go to work and forget to make sure that this isn’t charged up, we bet your cat will be disappointed when you get home.

    • Suitable for all floor surfaces
    • Large capacity battery
    • Comes with spare toys
    • Expensive
    • Needs charging daily

    4. Easyology Amazing Roller Kitten Toy

    Easyology Amazing Roller Cat

    The Easyology Amazing Roller fun ball tower is perfect for multiple cats — the three layers mean that there’s plenty of space for them all to attempt to catch these colorful balls. The super-sturdy plastic is designed to resist even the roughest play from the strongest cats. The balls are specifically designed to roll quietly, meaning your cat can play with this without creating too much noise.

    You won’t have to worry about tripping over toys or retrieving balls from under the couch either. Because the balls within this toy are safely kept within the runners, you can rest easy knowing this toy is always ready to play with. The balls are designed to mimic the erratic movement of your cat’s natural prey, meaning they’ll be kept entertained for hours.

    • Non-slip base
    • Closed top
    • Suitable for multiple cats
    • Some cats can tip over
    • Expensive for what it is

    5. Bergan Turboscratcher Kitten Toy

    bergan turbo scratcher cat toy

    We selected the Bergan Turboscratcher Kitten Toy as one of the best kitten toys available. Despite looking deceptively simple, this scratcher-and-ball combo can keep many cats occupied for hours. Chasing the ball around the outer channel provides them with plenty of opportunities for testing out their hunting skills!

    Within the ball channel, there is a central scratcher pad made from rolled cardboard, ideal for your cat to sharpen their claws while avoiding your furniture. You can order replacement pads or make your own. This toy also includes a sachet of catnip that you can sprinkle on it. This is a great idea when the toy is still new, as it will encourage your cat to come over and investigate it. This bestselling toy combines all the features that make a winning toy, and we can almost guarantee that your cat will give it the seal of approval!

    • Inexpensive
    • Includes catnip
    • Durable
    • Replaceable scratchpad
    • Some cats can remove the ball
    • Slides on hard floors
    • Pad needs replacing

    6. Hepper Boa Snake Kitten Toy

    Hepper boa snake toy

    Cats have a natural instinct to react to snakes, so giving your kitten the playfully designed Hepper Boa Snake makes a lot of sense! This cleverly-designed handmade cat toy is infused with catnip that will entice your kitten to roll on the ground, paw at the toy, sprint around it, chew it, and go bonkers as many cats do with this natural herb.

    The Boa Snake is made of strong, simple materials like linen, cotton, and polyester and there’s no care or construction required. Simply toss the toy down for your kitten and watch the fun begin! We love the simplicity of the Boa Snake that’s designed for encouraging cats of all ages to enjoy some safe and playful fun!

    Because it has catnip inside, it’s not recommended to wash the Boa Snake so you can expect it to get a bit dirty, especially if your kitten plays with it outside. Despite this, we still like the Boa Snake because it’s well-made and designed to keep your kitten entertained for hours on end!

    At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    • Handmade using simple materials
    • No construction required
    • Catnip-infused
    • Durable and long-lasting
    • Can get dirty (not recommended to wash)

    7. KONG Cat Kickeroo Catnip Toy

    KONG Cat Cozie Kickeroo

    If your cat loves to capture their toys and give them a good old bunny kick, the KONG Cat Kickeroo Catnip Toy will likely become a firm favorite. As well as being designed specifically to encourage your cat to spend time bunny-kicking and wrestling, this toy is stuffed full of premium catnip from North America.

    The catnip is sure to entice your cat to play with this toy — we’ve seen cats who even love to snuggle up next to this toy when they take their naps! One downside, though, is that you can’t replace the catnip because there’s no opening, so once the effect has worn off, that’s it.

    • Well-made
    • Quiet
    • Choose from three designs
    • Can’t replace catnip
    • Too large for small kittens

    8. Zenes Rotating Kitten Toys

    Zenes Cat Toys

    If your kitten loves to watch birds and butterflies out of the window, then they’ll love this rotating toy from Zenes. The battery-operated base is designed to make the butterfly on top flutter in an unpredictable pattern, guaranteed to catch the attention of even the most laidback kitten!

    Some energetic kittens and fully-grown cats can sometimes play a little too rough for this toy, knocking it over or chewing the wire that the butterfly is attached to. But if your kitten is gentle, this is a great option.

    • Includes replacement butterfly
    • Non-slip base
    • Some cats will destroy the butterfly
    • Can be tipped over
    • Wire stalk can get bent

    9. SmartyKat Interactive Kitten Toys

    SmartyKat Bouncy Mouse Interactive

    If you’re looking for a fun and simple toy to encourage interactive play with your kitten, the SmartyKat Interactive Kitten Toy is a great choice. This soft and fluffy mouse bounces on the end of an elastic string, the end of which is attached to your hand using a chunky plastic ring.

    This design means you don’t have to worry about your kitten biting your hands, and you can still have all the fun of encouraging them to play. Unfortunately, the string is a little too short, meaning if you do have a particularly energetic kitten, your fingers might still end up in the danger zone!

    • Made from recycled materials
    • Keeps hands safe
    • The string is short
    • String not that elastic

    10. Pakoo Interactive Kitten Toy Ball

    Pakoo Interactive Cat

    If you’re looking for an interactive toy that you can leave for your kitten when you’re away from home, the Pakoo Interactive Kitten Toy Ball is a good choice. This ball can provide up to 4 hours of fun playtime for your kitty. The 360-degree self-rotating ball means that your kitten will never quite know where it’s going to end up.

    This ball also has a timer function, which switches the power off automatically every 40 minutes. This means your cat can have a rest before playing again. The built-in LED light will catch your kitten’s attention when the ball switches on.

    • Charges in two hours
    • Works on all floor surfaces
    • Each charge only lasts four hours

    11. Pawaboo Interactive Motion Kitten Toy

    Pawaboo Cat Toy with Running Mouse

    The Pawaboo Interactive Motion Kitten Toy is a small ball that will move automatically around your floor, providing exciting entertainment for your kitten. The ball also has an LED light for your cat to chase, which will keep them interested and engaged.

    The motion of the ball is designed to be erratic, so your kitten won’t know where it’s going to go next. The timer function is a nice feature that switches the ball off after 40 minutes of playing. Chasing this ball will help your kitten to get plenty of exercise, which is always a plus.

    • Timer function
    • Needs recharging regularly
    • Doesn’t work on thick carpet
    • Takes a long time to charge

    12. PAWISE Collapsible Tunnel Kitten Toy

    PAWISE Cat Toys Cat Tunnel

    If your kitten loves hiding and pouncing, then they’re going to have great fun with the PAWISE Collapsible Tunnel Kitten Toy. This three-way tunnel provides plenty of spaces for your kitten to hide in. It also has a peephole in the central section that your kitten can jump out of to give you and your other cats a surprise.

    While this toy is great fun for your kitten, they may rip the nylon sides. The tunnel structure is made from a thin wire, so you want to take care to make sure this doesn’t become exposed if this tunnel does get ripped or damaged.

    • Easy to store
    • Can get ripped
    • Not the best quality
    • Wire inside
    • Small

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    Buyer’s Guide: Select The Best Kitten Toy

    If you’ve just become the proud owner of a new kitten, you’ll know that they’re going to need toys to play with! There are so many kitten toys to choose from, it can be hard to know where to even begin.

    You can rest assured that your kitten will love any of the 10 toys that we’ve reviewed above. But if you want more information, let’s look at exactly what makes a good kitten toy, and the best toys for kittens.

    Why do kittens need toys?

    Kittens and all cats are designed to play and hunt. While it might look like your cute kitty is just running off extra steam, the playing that we see in our kittens is actually them practicing for later in their life.

    Your little kitten has no idea that they aren’t a fierce tiger who has to hunt for their dinner, so when your kitten is playing, they’re putting into practice all those skills they need for hunting.

    When you see your kitten stalking their toys before running, pouncing, and bunny-kicking them, they’re developing all the skills that will help them grow into a well-developed and confident cat as they start to mature.

    What makes a good kitten toy?

    You want to look for toys that have been designed specifically for kittens. While some other toys may look similar from the outside, don’t be tempted to substitute kitten’s toys for something that isn’t designed for them. Small solid balls, for instance, can be a choking hazard. Any hard balls designed for kittens and cats should have a hollow, ventilated design for this reason.

    On that point, make sure that certain types of toys are stored out of reach from your kitten when they’re not in use. Anything with feathers, string, or ribbon should be put away once you’ve finished playing; otherwise, they can pose a choking hazard.

    What sort of kitten toys can I buy?

    It’s a good idea to provide your kitten with a range of toys that will help them develop all their skills.

    • Toys that encourage jumping and leaping: wands and toys attached to a string
    • Toys that encourage running: balls, electronic toys, and laser pointers
    • Toys that encourage catching and “killing”: soft mice and kicker toys
    • Toys that encourage coordination: ball runs, puzzles, and treat balls

    By providing your kitten with a variety of toys, you’re giving them the best chance to become a well-rounded and happy kitty as they grow up.

    Interactive or independent?

    Something else that you want to think about when selecting toys for your kitten is whether you want to prioritize interactive toys or independent toys. Of course, we recommend having a selection of both, but it’s good to know the difference!

    Interactive toys require a degree of hands-on use from you and your family. Toys like wands with a feather attached, catnip mice, and kicker toys all fall within this category. Using these toys is a wonderful way to spend quality time with your kitty, as well as enjoy watching how they’re developing as they grow up. But of course, we all lead busy lives and don’t always have time to dedicate hours of playing with our kitties.

    That’s why there are independent toys.

    These are the sort of toys that your kitten can use to entertain themselves. The ball runs, electronic toys with timers and balls all fall into this category. These are toys that you can leave out for your kitten to play with while you’re at work.

    Alternatively, if you want to surprise your cat with something cool, check out the Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher. It's not just a scratcher; it's a piece of modern furniture that your cat can play on. It's got a curvy design that's perfect for stretching and moving, and it's built tough with strong birch plywood and thick B-flute cardboard. You can adjust it to three different heights, which keeps cats entertained. Plus, it won't break the bank! Our cats love it, and we do too.

    Tony and Cheetah playing on Hepper Hi Lo Cat Scratcher

    At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest, so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    A note on catnip toys

    Catnip toys are great for kittens, and they usually love playing with them. Catnip is safe for cats, though you might not notice much of a reaction in kittens under 6 months old. Some grown cats won’t react to catnip at all, while others love it! The effects of catnip will wear off after 15 minutes or so, and if your cat plays with their toys all the time, they’ll start to develop resistance. Catnip toys are great to keep in the drawer and allow your cat to play with once or twice a week before you put them away again. Otherwise, you’ll find that after a while, your cat treats it no differently than any other toy.

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    After reviewing the best kitten toys available on the market, we’ve decided that the best one overall is the Hepper Catnip Stick Toy. Let your cat unleash their menace on this soft all-natural beast. This kitten toy is durable, well-made, and loved by thousands of cats the world over.

    The award for budget friendly kitten toy was awarded to the Hartz Just for Cats variety pack. This offers a combination of 13 toys designed to catch your kitten’s attention. This pack is a great way to experiment with a range of different toys — from catnip fish to wavy wands and balls — to find out which ones your kitten loves the best.

    Hopefully, we’ve helped you navigate your way through the massive range of cat toys for kittens out there to choose from. Have fun playing with your kitten!

    Featured image credit: Pixabay

    About the Author

    Christian Adams
    Christian Adams
    Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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