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11 Best Cat Toys for Bored Cats – 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Cat with mouse toy

Cats are full of mischief most of the time, but a bored cat can do some real damage around the house like scratch incessantly at furniture or curtains. If your cat seems bored and is walking around the house looking for something to do, toys are a great way to mentally and physically stimulate your cat to help cut through the boredom he feels. Cats enjoy chasing, stalking, and scratching at toys that allow them to act out their natural instincts.

Finding the best cat toys for bored cats can be challenging but we’re here to help! We’ve put together the following reviews of the best cat toys for bored cats that should help you pick a toy to keep your kitty busy and out of mischief.

hepper cat paw divider

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Catnip Stick Toy Hepper Catnip Stick Toy
  • 100% organic catnip
  • Designed to withstand bites and pounces
  • Available in several attractive pastel colors
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Hepper Mice Set Toy in Hessian Hepper Mice Set Toy in Hessian
  • Lightweight
  • Set of 2
  • Infused with catnip
  • Third place
    Potaroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy Potaroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy
  • Durable and washable
  • USB rechargeable
  • Stand-by mode to save battery
  • Frisco Feather Bird Cat Teaser Frisco Feather Bird Cat Teaser
  • Low cost
  • Catnip inside bird toy
  • Easy to use
  • Umosis Automatic Interactive Cat Laser Toy Umosis Automatic Interactive Cat Laser Toy
  • Automatic
  • Mains or battery operation
  • Three modes
  • The 11 Best Cat Toys for Bored Cats

    1. Hepper Catnip Stick Toy – Best Overall

    Hepper Blue Catnip Stick Toy - Domestic Shorthair Tortoiseshell Cat

    Check Price on Hepper
    Type Catnip
    Size 6” x 1”
    Material Organic catnip

    Hepper’s Catnip Stick Toy is our pick for the best overall cat toys for bored cats. They come in 1st place thanks to their ingenious design, sturdy construction, and high-quality ingredients. The long, thin design triggers even the most laid-back cats to spring into action and provides kitties with a fun way to enjoy a bit of “hunting.”

    These toys are just right for batting, chasing, and biting. Just like humans, kitties prefer activities they enjoy, like stalking and pouncing, so play-driven exercise provides a fun way for cats to get a serious workout.

    Hepper’s Catnip Stix come in several soft pastel shades and contain 100% organic catnip encased in two tough layers to allow cats to safely bite, pounce, and get wild without the product breaking or leaking. They’re made by hand in the United States, but they are not refillable.

    All in all, we think this is the best cat toy for bored cats since almost all will find the catnip and kickable shape irresistible.

    Pros
    • 100% organic catnip
    • Designed to withstand bites and pounces
    • Available in several attractive pastel colors
    Cons
    • Not refillable

    2. Hepper Mice Set Toy in Hessian – Budget Buy

    Mouse Set Hessian_Listing_00

    Type Interactive
    Size 10”L x 8.25”W x 6.25”H
    Material Plastic

    The Hepper Mice Set Toy in Hessian is a great option that fits every cat owner’s budget. This affordable toy has everything cats love including an enticing mouse shape, a comfortable small size for batting, carrying, and pouncing, and a catnip-infused interior for extra play motivation.

    This lightweight toy is made of hessian and premium cotton and includes two different-sized mice toys. If your cat loves to chase, this toy should be just what you need to keep them occupied for hours.

    Another great thing about this toy is that it can be used by more than one cat at a time. Since you have two in the set, you can offer one to two cats and allow them to play together or independently.

    This type of play will keep a bored cat occupied! Overall, we love how affordable this cat toy set is, and feel confident your cat will love it!

    Pros
    • Lightweight
    • Two in the set
    • Can be used by more than one cat
    • Great for chasing, pounding, carrying
    Cons
    • Catnip scent may fade with time

    3. Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish Cat Toy

    Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish

    Type Battery-driven, rechargeable
    Size 11.89”L x 4.88”W x 1.5”H
    Material Durable plush

    The Electric Flopping Fish looks and acts just like a real fish, and it is a toy cats tend to love!  It lays perfectly still until your cat approaches and touches it to activate the built-in motion sensor. The toy then kicks into gear, flopping and wriggling around like a fish out of water to keep your kitty on his paws and engaged in real-time. This boredom-busting cat toy is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

    This cat toy is made of a durable and washable plush material. It features a smart standby mode to save battery power when your cat stops playing with it. It comes with a USB charging cable and a pouch of catnip that you can use as a cat treat.

    One thing we don’t like about this realistic-looking fish cat toy is that the battery is not replaceable. That means once the cat toy dies, it’s game over—unless of course, you’re electronically-gifted and able to switch the built-in battery. We also didn’t care for the noise the toy makes when first turned on that sounds like a remote-control car but not as intense.

    The Flopping Fish may entertain you and your friends almost as much as it does your cat. It looks and acts like a real fish and it’s a fun toy to watch your cat interact with. If you get this toy, be sure to give your cat some of the included catnip to make his play more fun for you to watch!

    Pros
    • Durable and washable
    • USB rechargeable
    • Stand-by mode to save battery
    Cons
    • Non-replaceable battery
    • The toy makes a mechanical noise when turned on

    4. Frisco Bird With Feathers Cat Teaser Toy

    Frisco Bird Teaser with Feathers Cat Toy_Chewy

    Type Interactive
    Size 19.69”L x 4.53”W x 1.18”H
    Material Polyester and plastic

    The Frisco Bird Teaser with Feathers is the perfect way to bond with a young kitten. When you wave this simple toy in front of your cat, the colorful feathers, dangling string, crinkly sound, and included catnip will entice your cat to jump into action. This toy triggers a cat’s natural hunting instinct and it’s a great way to build a strong bond between you and your kitten.

    The little polyester bird hanging from the end of the 22-inch-long string is filled with catnip to entice your cat to play. The wand is made of sturdy plastic to ensure it will last. This cat toy consisting of a wand, strings, a toy bird, and feathers is prone to breaking especially if your cat plays rough. However, if your cat does break this toy, it won’t hurt much cost-wise as this toy is one of the cheapest in our list of reviews.

    Overall, this classic cat toy made of polyester and plastic is perfect for getting bored or lazy cats up on their feet. It’s a toy that will trigger your cat’s hunting instinct so be prepared for lots of stalking, hunting, leaping, and other fun cat action!

    Pros
    • Low cost
    • Catnip inside bird toy to entice your cat to play
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Prone to breakage

    5. Umosis Automatic Interactive Cat Laser Toy

    Type Laser
    Size 3” L x 3” W x 7.5” H
    Material Plastic

    Cats love lasers! If you have a bored cat, this automatic laser toy is sure to get them interested. The toy has automatic on and off and will automatically shut off for 1.5 hours for every 15 minutes of on time to entertain your cat while you’re busy or out. The toy has five circling ranges and can be run via a USB power supply or used with four AA batteries. It also has three modes (fast, slow, handheld), and a quiet motor that won’t frighten your cat. 

    We recommend using this toy connected to power, as it uses up batteries quickly. Also, you’ll need to get your cat used to the laser or they may not notice on their own. 

    Pros
    • Automatic play
    • Mains or battery-operated
    • Three different modes
    Cons
    • Batteries run out quickly
    • May take some getting used to

    6. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Motion Cat Toy

    SmartyKat Hot Pursuit cat toy_Chewy

    Type Battery-operated electronic motion toy
    Size 22.51”L x 22.51”W x 2.99”H
    Material Durable fabric and plastic

    This toy consists of a battery-operated base and a fabric skirt that’s designed to be placed on the floor. When the toy is switched on, a concealed cat toy that’s attached to a wand moves around under the skirt and pops out now and then to excite your cat and entice him to play.

    The SmartyKat Hot Pursuit is designed to encourage a bored cat to exercise and play. This is a good option if you’re away all day and want to keep your cat occupied and out of trouble. You can simply turn the toy on and turn it off once you’re home.

    The Hot Pursuit cat toy is powered by a pair of AA batteries which are included. A downside of this toy is that you must use a screwdriver to replace the batteries located inside the saucer-like disc that operates the cat toy under the fabric skirt. But at least you can change the battery.

    So, how do cats like this toy? They love it! Most cats will spend hours on end watching the movements of the skirt and the toy underneath move about and pop out. This toy is one of the most popular in our cat toy reviews and one that’s very affordable.

    This toy can entertain a single cat or a few! If you have more than one cat, this is a good toy to get as there’s plenty of room around the toy for several felines to join in on the fun!

    Pros
    • Can be left on when you’re not at home
    • Cats enjoy watching the skirt move and waiting to pounce on the toy
    • Your cat can play with this toy alone or with other cat friends
    Cons
    • Makes a humming noise when turned on
    • The skirt part of the toy is flimsy
    • Requires a screwdriver to replace the AA batteries

    7. Frisco Peek-a-Boo Chute Tri-Tunnel Cat Toy

    Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy

    Type Play tunnel
    Size 18”L x 9.5”W x 9.5”H
    Material Polyester

    This pop-up cat play tri-tunnel by Frisco offers a bored cat lots of fun exploring and darting about. This cat toy which consists of three tunnels held together by Velcro is sure to spark your cat’s interest as cats love to explore closed spaces. It’s an easy toy to use as you simply pop it open and fold it down flat when you need to store it away. Cats love napping in this toy as much as they love running and playing in it, so maybe it’s best to leave it open.

    This tri-tunnel toy is made of polyester which stands up well to cat claws and teeth. However, the polyester can be torn if your cat is a rough player. This tunnel toy is lightweight and small. It’s appropriate for kittens and regular-sized cats but not for big fat cats as they may find it hard to move around inside the tunnels.

    It’s a great toy for a single cat or a pair of cats to use. You can add to the fun by tossing a ball or a small cat toy into the tunnel for your cat to chase and retrieve. A nice thing about this toy is that it’s simple. There are no batteries to replace and nothing to plug in and charge. Just pop it open, toss it on the floor, and watch your kitty have loads of fun!

    Pros
    • No batteries or charging to do
    • Easy to set up
    • Three tunnels for triple the fun
    Cons
    • Small
    • Polyester is prone to tearing
    • Not appropriate for large cats

    8. Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

    Petstages Tower of Tracks

    Type Interactive
    Size 10”L x 5.5”W x 10”H
    Material Polypropylene

    We included this colorful Petstages cat toy in our list of reviews because it offers a bored cat lots of spinning and rotating ball action. When you have this toy on the floor, your cat won’t lose another of his balls under the couch because the included colorful balls stay put in the stacked toy.

    This is a durable toy made of polypropylene that offers three levels of play with each level having its one circular track and ball. There are non-skin pads on the bottom of the toy to keep it in place while your cat bats at and chases the balls. But even with the pads, this toy can be easily flipped over on one side wherein the balls can be inaccessible to spin. This would cause most cats to lose interest in the toy. And if you’re not home to set the toy upright again, your cat will be bored once again.

    As the balls move around the tracks, they make a rattling sound that could scare some cats. Otherwise, we like this interactive cat toy that’s simple in nature. This is a good option for anyone with more than one cat as there’s plenty of play area around the Petstages Tower of Tracks.

    Pros
    • Simple design with no batteries
    • Can be used by more than one cat
    • Durable
    Cons
    • Easily tips over
    • Cat may lose interest in the toy

    9. PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy

    Petfusion Ambush Interactive Cat Toy

    Type Interactive electronic
    Size 6.8”L x 6.8”W x 2.8”H
    Material Plastic

    Your cat’s inner hunter will emerge when you place the Ambush cat toy down in front of him. This toy will make your cat feel like a big bad hunter as it’s designed to bring out a cat’s natural hunting instinct.  A brightly colored feather will randomly pop out from one of the toy’s six holes, using LED color lighting to entice your cat even more.

    This compact and durable round cat toy is a bit heavy as it weighs 1.3 pounds. It has anti-slip feet to help keep it in place on hard smooth surfaces. It comes with one replacement feather which you’ll probably need sooner than you may think. That’s why we think the manufacturer should have included several replacement feathers as they’re a key part of this battery-operated cat toy. This toy comes with the required four AA batteries, and it features an eight-minute shut-off feature to save battery life.

    Overall, the PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy is a great option that’s appropriate for a single cat or a pair of felines to keep them occupied. This toy poses a challenge to a cat as he waits and watches for the colorful feather to emerge from one of the holes.

    Pros
    • Compact and durable
    • LED Lighting to entice your cat to play
    • Power shut-off feature
    Cons
    • Only one replacement feather included
    • Somewhat heavy

    10. SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy

    Skitter Critters Cat Toy

    Type Interactive
    Size 4.0”L x 0.98”W x 0.64”H
    Material Lightweight plush

    The Skitter Critters Cat Toy by SmartyKat is a set of three catnip-filled plush mice. These simple little toys will provide your cat with vigorous activity while keeping him entertained. Of course, the catnip will certainly help attract your cat to the play mice and make him act nuts which is hilarious to watch. This is the cheapest toy on our list of reviews and the toy with the simplest design.

    When you toss a Skitter Critter down on the floor you can expect your cat to take notice! He’ll likely stalk the toy for a few minutes before making his move which may consist of a few big pounces on the floor. These little toys will keep your bored cat busy and provide you with a good way to bond with your cat by tossing the toy around for your cat to retrieve.

    These small plush cat toys don’t last forever so expect to replace them now and then as your cat slowly destroys them with his teeth and claws. Your cat may manage to lose a few of these cat toys around the house as they are small and easily lost.

    Pros
    • Very affordable
    • Simple to use
    • No batteries or chargers to deal with
    Cons
    • Not extremely durable
    • Can get lost easily

    11. Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy

    Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy

    Type Battery-operated robotic
    Size 6.0”L x 0.5”W x 0.5”H
    Material Plastic and rubber

    The final product on our list of the 10 best cat toys for bored cats is the very affordable Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy. If you’re a budget-conscious cat owner, you’ll appreciate the fact that this cat toy costs less than a premium cup of Joe at your local coffee shop. The playfully energetic Hexbug will keep your cat busy with its lifelike movements and actions.

    Your cat may believe that the Hexbug Nano is a real insect that is scurrying about on the floor. This cute little toy can navigate around items on the floor and corners. It can even flip itself over when it’s on its back in an attempt to get away from your cat. This toy moves via vibration and with the help of a button cell battery that’s included.

    The Hexbug Nano comes in your choice of fun colors. As this little toy is scurrying about, you can expect it to pick up stray hairs and dust bunnies along the way, which can cause it to shut down. While this is not the most durable cat toy on the market, it is very cheap to replace if your cat damages it.

    The Hexbug Bano is rather noisy as it buzzes around the floor. Plus, since it’s only half an inch tall, it’s prone to getting stuck under furniture. The battery will have to be replaced every week or so if you manage to keep this toy running for long periods of time. The only battery that comes with the toy is the one installed inside it, so you’ll have to stock up on the required batteries.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Simple operation
    Cons
    • No extra batteries included
    • Makes a lot of buzzing noise
    • Tends to get stuck under furniture

    Buyer’s Guide

    If you’re looking for toys for bored cats, these toys are generally not much different than regular toys you’d purchase for your feline. However, you may be specifically looking for toys you can play with interactively with your cat or toys that your cat can play with on their own. Here are some points to consider when choosing a toy for your bored cat:

    Activity Levels. Do you have a kitten, an active adult, or a quiet senior? This is an important question to consider, as some toys are far more suited to active cats, while others may be ideal for more laid-back felines. Puzzle toys, for example, are great for all ages, but suited more toward laid-back felines.

    Safety: Of course, the safety of your cat is vital, and you’ll want the toy you choose to be made from safe materials. Try to avoid toys with sharp edges or loose pieces that can be swallowed. If you have any doubts, make sure to supervise your cat while playing.

    Reviews: It’s always a good idea to read reviews online before making a purchase. Reviews can help you decipher the quality of a toy, how long it will last, and how interested the cat is in playing with the toy.

    orange cat playing with laser pointer
    Image Credit: cottonbro, Pexels

    Types of Cat Toys

    There are a bunch of types of cat toys you can choose from, and for extra-bored cats, you may want to try a few different options.

    Wand Toys

    Wand toys simulate your cat’s natural prey drive by mimicking the movements of their natural prey. You can choose from wands with feathers, worms, or crawlers, and these can be simple handheld wands that you can play with alongside your cat or even automated electronic wand toys.

    Balls

    Many cats love balls, whether chasing or simply batting. You can choose from regular, simple balls, balls with bells inside, or even motorized balls or simply a ball of crumpled paper.

    Woman playing with a cat
    Image Credit: CandyRetriever, Shutterstock

    Lasers

    Cats love lasers, and there are tons of cat toys that feature lasers to choose from. These can be a simple laser pointer to fully automated electronic toys with different settings.

    Climbing Toys

    While these are not often viewed as “toys,” cat trees and perches often come equipped with hanging balls, feathers, or scratching posts and can be an instant hit for bored cats.

    Catnip Toys

    Toys stuffed with catnip can be irresistible to many cats and come in many forms. However, it’s important to note that some cats do not react to catnip at all.

    hepper cat paw divider

    Final Thoughts

    As you can see, there are all types of cat toys for bored cats ranging from very simple toys to robotic toys that move on their own. If you can’t decide what toy is best for your bored cat, we highly recommend the Hepper Catnip Stick Toy and the Hepper Mice Set Toy in Hessian.

    Take as much time as you need reading through these cat toy reviews because they all have lots to offer bored cats. Regardless of which toy you pick, you can bet your cat is going to love it as we can recommend all these toys without hesitation!

    See also:


    Featured Image Credit: Max Lavrovich,Shutterstock

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