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10 Best Toys for Cats Home Alone in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Cat,Playing,With,A,Toy,Mouse,On,A,Cat,Scratch

No one likes leaving their pets home alone. As pet parents, we worry that they will miss us or get bored while we are gone. We even worry about our independent cats and wonder if they’ll have enough to keep themselves occupied when we are out.

Toys are one solution to the problem, but which toys are great for cats to play with independently? We’ve put together reviews of our top 10 cat toys that will keep your kitty entertained while you are out. Now you can read through our picks and choose the best cat toys for your needs. This way, you can be confident your cat has plenty to do when you have to leave them home alone!

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy
  • Small footprint
  • Sturdy
  • Great value
  • Best Value
    Second place
    SPOT Ethical Products Colorful Springs Cat Toy SPOT Ethical Products Colorful Springs Cat Toy
  • Durable
  • Pack of 10
  • Easy for cats to carry around
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat
  • Durable
  • Promotes activity
  • Multiple uses in one
  • Feline Ruff 12 Feline Ruff 12" Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy
  • Multiple ways to play
  • Comes with a ball to bat
  • Large tunnel diameter
  • Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center
  • Multiple obstacles
  • Keeps your cat busy
  • Built-in reward system
  • The 10 Best Toys for Cats Home Alone – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy – Best Overall

    Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy

    • Features: balls, butterfly, rollers
    • Size: 10” diameter for the base
    • Ease of Use: Simple

    This simple but fun toy is our best overall toy for cats who are home alone. It gives your cat multiple levels of entertainment with three layers, each with a ball to roll around. There is also a butterfly on a wire at the top of the toy that your cat will love to bat around. The tower has non-skid pads on the bottom to prevent sliding while your cat plays. This toy is a great value buy as well. The only potential downside is the butterfly may get damaged with heavy play. The good news is it comes with an extra, replacement butterfly.

    Pros
    • Multiple ways to play
    • Small footprint
    • Sturdy
    • No potentially harmful small parts
    • Great value
    Cons
    • The butterfly can get beat up quickly

    This is also one of our top picks for 10 Best Toys for Exercising Your Cat in 2021!


    2. SPOT Ethical Products Colorful Springs Cat Toy – Best Value

    Ethical Pet Spot Colorful Springs

    • Features: Easy to use
    • Size: 1” diameter, 4” length
    • Ease of Use: Easy

    We think these little springs are the best toy for cats home alone for the money! You get 10 springs in the pack and they will keep your cat entertained for hours! Cats can roll, chase, and bat at these toys. They also can be tossed in the air and will bounce when they hit the floor. They are also small enough that cats can carry them around in their mouths for fetch and play. The only downside to these is that they can roll under furniture which can be frustrating to your kitty if you aren’t around to retrieve it for them. However, since they come in a pack of 10, there will always be a backup toy available!

    Pros
    • Easy for cats to carry around
    • Roll and bounce for hours of entertainment
    • Comes in a pack of 10
    • Durable
    Cons
    • Can roll under furniture

    3. SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat – Premium Choice

    SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Cat

    • Features: Scratch mat, hiding, sleeping, playing
    • Size: 47” width x 25” length
    • Ease of Use: Easy to medium

    This playmat is a fun choice to encourage your cat’s natural instinctive behaviors. They can climb, pounce, hide, and scratch, all with one toy! This mat has two pieces. You can use the Velcro touch points on the top mat to create a cozy cave or another area for your cat. The holes in the top mat allow them to dart in and out. When they get tired, the cozy carpet lining the bottom mat makes a great place for your cat to take a quick nap. This is a bit more pricey than some of the other choices on our list, but we think you will like the multiple-play options it offers.

    Pros
    • Multiple uses in one
    • Durable material
    • Promotes activity
    • Large slits so bigger cats can fit as well
    Cons
    • A little pricey

    4. Feline Ruff 12″ Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel Cat Toy

    Feline Ruff Premium 3-Way Collapsible Tunnel

    • Features: Ball, tunnel, crinkle noise
    • Size: 12” diameter tunnel, 55” x 35” when the tunnel is opened
    • Ease of Use: Easy

    For the pet parent who wants a multiple-use toy without having to spend quite so much money, this tunnel is a great option! It is wide enough for bigger kitties to fit in and has a large hole on the top for your cat to pop its head through. It also comes with a jingle bell ball on a string attached to one of the ends. This tunnel also makes a nice nap spot or hiding spot. The crinkle sound is fun for most cats as well, although if your cat startles easily they might not enjoy it. The biggest drawback is the size—this tunnel will take up quite a bit of space. However, it can be compressed into a small disk and put away when not in use.

    Pros
    • Multiple ways to play
    • Large tunnel diameter for bigger cats
    • Cats love the crinkle sound the tunnel makes
    • Comes with a ball to bat at
    Cons
    • Takes up a lot of space
    • Some cats might be frightened by the noise

    5. Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center

    Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center

    • Features: Multi-use for treat hiding
    • Size: 16” length x 12” width x 3” height
    • Ease of Use: Medium

    If you have a food-motivated cat (and really, which cats aren’t food-motivated?), then this puzzle toy might be a great choice for you. There are five different obstacles you can use to challenge your cat, each with the potential for a treat reward. Unlike some other puzzle toys, this one is difficult enough to keep your cat engaged for a long time without being impossible. The main downsides are it is a little expensive and it requires you to place the treats in the toy before the cat can play.

    Pros
    • Multiple obstacles to challenge your cat
    • Keeps your cat busy
    • Has a built-in reward system to keep your cat interested
    Cons
    • A little expensive
    • Requires that you place treats before they can play

    6. YOFUN Smart Interactive Cat Toy

    YOFUN Smart Interactive Cat Toy

    • Features: Rolls, changes direction, lights up
    • Size: 2” diameter ball
    • Ease of Use: Medium

    This chargeable ball can spin, roll, and change directions. Your cat will love to pounce on it and chase it around your house. It also lights up which will attract your cat’s attention and keep them interested in chasing it. The ball will also work on multiple types of floor surfaces, including carpet, so your cat can play anywhere. The charge will last for up to 4 hours and the ball comes with a USB charger. The need to recharge the ball and the fact that it can roll under furniture are the two biggest drawbacks. Otherwise, this is a fun toy that will keep your cat busy.

    Pros
    • Long-lasting battery charge
    • Great for cats to chase
    • Lights up to get the cat’s attention
    Cons
    • Must be charged after 4 hours of use
    • Can roll under furniture

    7. SmartyKat Feather Whirl Electronic Motion Cat Toy

    SmartyKat Feather Whirl

    • Features: Wobbles, spins, feather to chase
    • Size: 3” diameter, 9” wand
    • Ease of Use: Easy

    This ball and feather combo toy is a nice option for the curious kitty. Your cat can chase the ball as it spins and then bats at the feather that waves on top of the ball. It’s a fun toy at a good price and will keep your cat entertained. There are a few downsides. This toy does require two AA batteries which are not included. If the feather becomes worn, you can purchase a replacement wand and feather attachment.

    Pros
    • Fun for cats to chase
    • Feather wand for batting
    • Can purchase replacement wands
    Cons
    • Requires batteries
    • Feathers can be destroyed by play

    Related Read: 10 Best Interactive and Electronic Cat Toys in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks


    8. Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

    Petstages Tower of Tracks

    • Features: Multiple layers and balls
    • Size: 10” diameter, 5” height
    • Ease of Use: Easy

    This tower toy is another good value. It has three levels and will keep your cat, or cats, busy while you are at work. They can push the balls and chase them around the tower layers. It also has non-skid pads on the bottom to prevent the toy from sliding on the floor while your cat plays. This toy does not include a wand toy at the top for extra engagement like our top pick, but it is still a good value toy.

    Pros
    • 3 levels and balls for play
    • Multiple cats can play at the same time
    • Non-skid pads
    Cons
    • Cats might not like the sound of the balls
    • Does not have a feather or other wand toy at the top

    9. TRIXIE Miguel 25.5-in Plush Fold & Store Cat Tree

    TRIXIE Miguel 25.5-in Plush Fold & Store Cat Tree

    • Features: Multi-use, good for scratching
    • Size: 5” length x 13.8” width x 25.6” height
    • Ease of Use: Easy

    This is a great option if you want to spend a little more money on your cat’s entertainment. This cat tree has a sisal scratchpad, hammock, tent area, and two balls for playing. It will keep your cat busy and provide them with a cozy place to nap when they are finished playing. It does take up a bit more space than the other options on our list but is a nice multi-use piece.

    Pros
    • Multiple ways to play
    • Good for scratching
    • Can be used for playtime and napping
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Takes up a lot of space

    10. KONG Kickeroo Giraffe Pattern Cat Toy

    KONG Kickeroo Giraffe Pattern

    • Features: Catnip, large size
    • Size: 13” length x 4” width x 2” height
    • Ease of Use: Easy

    This large, catnip-filled toy is a great choice for the cat who loves catnip and wants a larger toy to cuddle. It is big enough for your cat to grasp it and kick at it as well. They will like the soft, fuzzy tail, although it can wear out over time. The catnip also fades after a while, but overall, this is a good value pick.

    Pros
    • Including enticing catnip
    • Inexpensive
    • Fun for cats to bat around, chew, cuddle, and chase
    Cons
    • Catnip fades over time
    • Can get lost under furniture
    • The tail can wear out

    Related Read: 12 Best Chew Toys For Cats – Reviews & Top Picks

    hepper cat paw divider

    Buyer’s Guide

    Now that you have read our top picks, let’s review some important things to consider when finding the right toys for your cat.

    Features of Good Interactive Cat Toys

    Good interactive cat toys have several features that make them a great choice for your needs. These include:
    • They keep your cat moving!
    • There is mental stimulation involved in playing with them.
    • They encourage natural cat behaviors (scratching, kicking, hunting, stalking, problem-solving).
    • There are no small parts or choking hazards that can be dangerous for your cat.
    • Your cat can play with them without your help.

    Things to Consider Before Buying

    silver chinchilla Scottish fold playing toy
    Image Credit: schlyx, Shutterstock
    To make sure you are getting the best toy for your needs, you should consider the following:
    • How much space will the toy take up?
    • Does it make an odd noise my cat will be frightened by?
    • Can the toy get stuck under furniture?
    • Is the toy going to last or will I need to replace it right away?

    Taking the time to ask yourself these questions will help ensure that you get the best toy for your needs and your cat’s needs. After all, you want your cat to be happy and entertained when you are not home with them.

    Related Read: 10 Best Cat Toys in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

    Conclusion

    Now that you’ve read our reviews, you should feel confident that you can choose the right cat toy for your cat to use when you are away. For the best overall toy for cats that are home alone, the Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy is a great option that provides multiple ways to play at a low price. For another great value, you can’t go wrong with the SPOT Ethical Products Ethical Wide Colorful Springs Cat Toy.


    Featured Image Credit: socreative media, Shutterstock