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11 Best Toys for Active Cats in 2024 – Reviews and Top Picks

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat playing with owner

11 Best Toys for Active Cats in 2024 – Reviews and Top Picks

cat playing with owner_Dora Zett, Shutterstock When some of us think of pet cats, we picture an overweight feline lounging in the sun for hours on end, waking just in time for regular meals. That may be the case for many, but what if you have a cat who seems determined to live life in perpetual motion? Is your cat so energetic you regularly check their food bag to see if rocket fuel is the main ingredient?

If you find yourself awake at all hours while your tireless feline wreaks havoc on your house, maybe it’s time to invest in some toys to help your cat burn off energy. To help you decide which of the countless cat toy options are the best for active cats like yours, we’ve collected reviews of what we think are the top choices. Here are our picks of the best toys for active cats this year.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker Toy Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker Toy
  • Contains catnip
  • Large in size
  • Ideal for rough play
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Hepper Furball Toy Set Hepper Furball Toy Set
  • Affordable
  • Great for fetch or self play
  • Multisensory
  • Third place
    Potoroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy Potoroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy
  • Durable
  • Excellent for self-guided play
  • Catnip for extra appeal
  • Best for Kittens
    Bergan Star Turbo Cat Scratcher Bergan Star Turbo Cat Scratcher
  • Satisfies scratching and play needs
  • Sturdy
  • Motion-activated
  • Serenelife Auto Cat Laser Toy Serenelife Auto Cat Laser Toy
  • Portable, can be used on any surface
  • Can entertain multiple cats of all ages
  • Automatic shutoff
  • The 11 Best Toys For Active Cats

    1. Hepper Plush Mouse Kicker Toy – Best Overall

    Hepper Mouse kicker

    Materials: Soft, multitextured fabric, premium cotton, catnip
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: All life stages

    Our choice of the best overall toy for active cats is Hepper’s Plush Mouse Kicker Toy. Most cats seem to find this toy irresistible. You might enjoy playing with your cat, but if you’re dealing with a truly hyper feline, chances are you’ll get tired before they do! With this catnip kicker toy, your cat can entertain themselves for hours, batting, chasing, and kicking without worrying about it coming apart. It features durable stitching and bite/scratch-proof fabric. If thought this toy couldn’t get any better, think again! It also comes with a hidden bell for cats who enjoy additional sensory stimulation. While the scent of catnip may fade, many other attractive features keep this toy at the top of your cats play list.

    At Catster, 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!

    Pros
    • Durable
    • Excellent for self-guided play
    • Catnip for extra appeal
    • Large
    • Great for all lifestages
    Cons
    • Catnip scent may fade

    2. Hepper Furball Toy Set – Budget Buy

    Hepper Furball Toy Set

    Materials: Faux fur, premoim cotton
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: All life stages

    Our budget buy pick is Hepper’s Furball Toy Set – it’s a simple yet versatile set of plush balls. Bells and long prey-like fur may get their attention, but once they get these balls rolling, they can chase, pounce, and bat them around for hours on end. If you want to get in on the fun, start tossing them for your cat and maybe they’ll even learn how to bring them back!

    They are an affordable option so purchasing replacements if and when you need to is an absolute breeze!

    At Catster, 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!

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Encourages natural hunting behaviors
    • Multisensory
    • Great for fetch or self guided play
    • Set of 2
    Cons
    • Only one color option

    3. Potoroma Electric Flopping Fish

    Potoroma Electric Flopping Fish

    Materials: Plush
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: All life stages

    Another good choice is this —admittedly a little bit strange—interactive fish toy. While you might find it odd to have what looks like a real fish flopping around your house, most cats seem to find this toy irresistible. You might enjoy playing with your cat, but if you’re dealing with a truly hyper feline, chances are you’ll get tired before they do! With this interactive toy, your cat can entertain themselves for hours, batting, chasing, and kicking the automatically flopping fish. Sturdy enough to withstand the abuse of active kitties of all ages, this fish is battery-powered but fully rechargeable. Some more timid cats may be scared by the size and motion of this toy.

    Pros
    • Durable
    • Excellent for self-guided play
    • Catnip for extra appeal
    Cons
    • Must be recharged
    • May scare timid cats

    4. Bergan Star Chaser Turbo Scratcher – Best for Kittens

    Bergan Star Chaser Turbo Scratcher

    Materials: Plastic, cardboard
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: All life stages, ideal for kittens

    For the hyper young cat in your life, consider the Bergan Turbo Scratcher, a combination toy that both keeps your kitten entertained and saves your furniture from destruction. The motion-activated ball spins around and around and brings your cat along for the ride. Hyped-up cats often get the sudden urge to scratch, and they won’t have to go far to satisfy that need with this toy. Both the scratchpad and the ball are replaceable too, which is a good thing because one complaint about this toy is that the ball jumps the track fairly easily. If your cat or kitten is a catnip fiend, this toy needs to be covered as well!

    Pros
    • Satisfies scratching and play needs
    • Sturdy
    • Motion-activated
    Cons
    • The ball pops loose fairly easily

    5. Serenelife Automatic Cat Laser

    Serenelife-Automatic-Cat-Laser

    Materials: Polypropylene
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: All life stages

    An upgrade on the standard laser pointer toy, this automatic laser does the work for you, allowing you to relax while your hyper cat chases that pesky red dot. This toy can be placed anywhere and moved around, making any room of your house into a kitty playground. Four different play modes and an unpredictable rotating pattern keep your cat engaged and active. It is battery-operated and not rechargeable. The automatic shutoff after 30 minutes helps prolong battery life. Some cats may figure out the preset patterns more quickly than others and lose interest. Reportedly, the lasers may not last as long as you might expect, especially with heavy use.

    Pros
    • Portable, can be used on any surface
    • Can entertain multiple cats of all ages
    • Automatic shutoff
    Cons
    • Not rechargeable
    • Some cats lose interest quickly

    6. Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel

    Frisco Foldable Crinkle Play Tunnel

    Materials: Polyester
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: Adult cats, multi-cat households

    If your household has not one but multiple active cats, this play tunnel is ideal for wearing everyone out at the same time. Chasing, hiding, and pouncing (hopefully not on you) are all activities your cats can enjoy with this tunnel. The crinkly noise of the tunnel may not be your favorite, but it seems to encourage even more active play from cats. Once your cats wear themselves out, this tunnel can serve as a cozy nap spot, too. This toy takes up a decent amount of space, although it folds up easily for storage. The crinkles might scare some cats, especially kittens.

    Pros
    • Great for multiple cats
    • Folds for easy storage
    • Doubles as a cozy nap spot
    Cons
    • It crinkles

    7. YoFun Smart Self-rotating Ball

    YoFun Smart Self-rotating Ball

    Materials: Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: All life stages

    All you have to do is press a button to turn on the YoFun Smart Ball, and the toy takes it from there, luring your cat with unpredictable motions into a wild game of chase. This ball is designed to automatically avoid obstacles, like furniture and tight corners. It’s battery-powered but rechargeable and turns itself off after 15 minutes to help conserve battery life. This toy works best on non-carpeted floors, which may limit its use if you have a lot of carpet in your house. Not all cats are interested in this toy, and it may intimidate or scare others. Those who do enjoy it can expect about 4 hours of play before you’ll need to plug it in for them.

    Pros
    • Fully automated once turned on
    • Long battery life
    • Auto shut-off function
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work on carpet
    • May scare some cats

    8. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit

    SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Motion Cat Toy

    Materials: Plastic
    Good for self-guided play: Yes
    Best for: All life stages

    This battery-powered toy won’t lead your cat on a chase through the house, but it stimulates hunting behavior and provides an outlet for energy nonetheless. The hidden wand moves unpredictably, tempting your cat to catch it if they can! The toy comes with two different speeds, which is nice because many similar automated toys move too fast for some cats. The batteries aren’t rechargeable, and if your cat plays with it every day, you’ll go through quite a few. The other issue with this toy is durability as it won’t stand up well to more aggressive play. It’s a little bit expensive to be replacing those often, too.

    Pros
    • Appeals to most cats
    • Good for all ages
    • Comes with different speeds
    Cons
    • Not very sturdy

    9. Kong Active Feather Teaser

    Kong Active Feather Teaser

    Materials: Polyester
    Good for self-guided play: No
    Best for: All life stages

    You’ll need to do your part to help wear out your active cat with the Kong Active Feather Teaser, but think of it as a way to bond with a pet who usually won’t slow down long enough. Feather teasers are not a complicated toy, but their appeal to all ages and sizes of cats is undeniable. You can have your cat chasing, jumping, pouncing, and burning off all their energy. Even toddlers can enjoy kitty playtime with this toy, a bonus to both cat and child parents. Durability can be an issue with this toy. You’ll also need to supervise your cat during play to ensure they don’t chew up the string or ingest parts of the toy as it wears out.

    Pros
    • Great for all ages, cats and human
    • Inexpensive
    • Not a complicated toy
    Cons
    • Durability can be an issue
    • The string may be chewed and swallowed

    10. PetSafe FunKitty Egg-cersizer

    PetSafe FunKitty Egg-cersizer

    Materials: Plastic
    Good for self-guided play: Yes (once you add the treats)
    Best for: All life stages

    For the active cat who also needs to shed a pound or two, try the Kitty Egg-cersizer. Load your cat’s daily kibble into this ball and make them work for their dinner. This toy is also ideal for cats who can’t slow down enough to eat without it coming right back up the wrong way. The Egg-cersizer forces them to eat slower but still lets them burn off energy by batting it around. The advantage of this treat ball compared to some others is it works for all ages of cats and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. The size of the holes is adjustable, but reportedly, even the smallest hole sometimes dispenses its contents too quickly, depending on how large the treats or kibble are.

    Pros
    • Dual-purpose toy
    • Easy to clean
    • Dishwasher safe
    Cons
    • Treats fall out too fast sometimes

    11. Kong Laser Cat Toy

    KONG Laser Cat Toy

    Materials: Polyester
    Good for self-guided play: No
    Best for: All life stages

    Lasers are one of the most popular cat toys for a reason. A minimum effort from you provides your hyper cat with a fantastic workout, easily repeated day after day. There are endless affordable laser toys on the market, but we like this one because the shape is comfortable to hold, and the battery is replaceable. Never shine the laser in your cat’s eyes, or anyone else’s either. Some cats may get frustrated over not being able to “catch” the sneaky red dot, so you may need to limit the time you use the laser toy with them. Reportedly the battery compartment can be tricky to open.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Simple but effective exercise toy
    • Easy to hold
    Cons
    • Battery hard to replace
    • Some cats get frustrated and stop playing with it

    divider 2 cats

    Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Toys for Active Cats

    As you prepare to shop for toys that will give your hyper cat something to do besides run wildly through the house and harass all the inhabitants, here are a few things to keep in mind. Not every toy will tickle the fancy of every cat, and you may need to offer your cat multiple options before you figure out what works best for both of you.

    Tortoiseshell Maine Coon cute cat playing with his snack puzzle toy
    Image Credit: Maximilian100, Shutterstock

    Safety of the Toy

    Of course, you always want your cat’s toys to be safe, but it’s even more of a concern when you’re buying for an active cat. These cats are likely to put more wear and tear on toys simply because they use them much more frequently. Many hyper cats are also rough-and-tumble players and could test the durability of some toys. You should supervise your cat when playing with most toys and check the play items frequently to ensure they aren’t wearing out and breaking down.

    Age of Your Cat

    Most kittens are naturally more active than adult cats, and you’re likely to need plenty of toys for them as they work off their youthful exuberance. However, not every toy we reviewed works well for tiny kittens. Consider both the size and weight of a toy before picking it for your kitten. Automatic toys are less work for you but might scare an impressionable baby cat.

    Number of Cats in the House

    If you have more than one active cat in the house, you’ll want toys that entertain them all while also minimizing any squabbles over favorites. For cats who don’t play well together, you might need to buy multiple versions of the same toy to avoid fights. Housemates who enjoy playing with each other will appreciate something like a play tunnel to enhance their games.

    Image Credit by: Fuu J, Unsplash

    Cost of the Toy

    Few things are as frustrating to cat owners as spending money on a flashy, well-reviewed cat toy only to find their cat ignores the toy itself in favor of hours spent playing with the box it came in! If your active cat is also picky about their toys, think hard about how much you’re willing to spend on a toy that might end up gathering dust on a shelf.

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    Conclusion

    As our best overall cat toy for active cats, the Hepper’s Plush Mouse Kicker Toy is a durable, enticing, unique plaything to keep your cat entertained for hours. Our budget buy choice is  Hepper’s Furball Toy Set – they are simple but appeal to all ages and play styles, allowing your cat to use their natural hunting instincts as they burn off energy. With a dizzying assortment of cat toys available to choose from, hopefully, these picks and reviews will help you make a more informed choice as you try to keep your hyper cat entertained.


    Featured Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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