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8 Best Toys for Cats with Anxiety — 2024 Reviews & Top Picks

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

cat playing rainbow sock

Having an anxious cat at home can be stressful for pet parents who want the best for their animals. Watching as your fur baby shows signs of worry or stress does not need to be upsetting, however. Thankfully, there are ways you can provide your cat with anxiety relief. Toys are an important part of a cat’s life. It provides them with stimulation, keeps their minds active, and yes, they can even help relieve anxiety.

Here’s a look at the best toys, along with reviews of each, that we feel can help your cat relieve their anxiety when it peaks. Each toy provides a different means of relief, so as always, choose the option you feel your cat would benefit from the most.hepper cat paw divider

A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher
  • Dedicated play haven
  • 3-position setup
  • Provides tactile satisfaction and comfort
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Hepper Whale Plush Toy Hepper Whale Plush Toy
  • Extra soft
  • Noise-free relief
  • Easy care and washing instructions
  • Third place
    Cat Amazing Interactive Toy Cat Amazing Interactive Toy
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Promotes activity and thinking skills
  • Petstages Purr Pillow Cat Toy Petstages Purr Pillow Cat Toy
  • Soft and cuddly
  • Makes a purring noise to soothe kittens
  • Van Ness Cat Scratcher with Catnip Van Ness Cat Scratcher with Catnip
  • Made from 100% recycled materials
  • Includes catnip
  • Can be used as a lounger
  • The 8 Best Toys for Cats with Anxiety

    1. Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher – Best Overall

    grey cat upside down on hepper hi-lo cat scratcher

    Lifestage:  All
    Toy Type:  Scratcher
    Material:  Plywood, cardboard

    Our Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher is our top pick for the best toy for cats with anxiety. While it might be more accurately described as a dedicated play haven than a traditional toy, its impact on anxious cats is truly remarkable. Crafted with precision and designed with style and functionality in mind, the solid birch plywood frame and non-toxic gloss finish ensure both durability and safety, setting the stage for a secure and engaging environment.

    What sets the Hi-Lo Scratcher apart as a lifeline for anxious cats is its innovative three-position design – high, low, and lower. This configuration offers a customizable space for cats to engage, explore, and alleviate anxiety through active play and scratching. Its dense B-flute cardboard surface provides both tactile satisfaction and a sense of comfort, making it a soothing sanctuary that resonates deeply with anxious felines. Though it is more expensive than a traditional toy, it is worth the investment for your kitty’s health and well-being. If you’re seeking a transformative solution to ease your cat’s anxiety, the Hi-Lo Scratcher steps beyond the boundaries of a traditional toy to offer a dedicated space for play, solace, and emotional well-being.

    All in all, we think this is the best cat toy for anxious

    Pros
    • Dedicated play haven for anxious cats
    • Provides tactile satisfaction and comfort
    • 3-position setup for consistent engagement
    • Modern and stylish design for any home
    Cons
    • More expensive than a traditional toy

    2.  Hepper Whale Plush Toy – Budget Buy

    Hepper Whale_Above03

    Lifestage:  All
    Toy Type:  Warming plush
    Material:  Polyester and synthetic fiber

    Our pick for the best budget toy for cats with anxiety is the Hepper Whale Plush Toy. This plushie is designed to give comfort and relief from anxiety while also catering to cats who are alarmed easily. This silent plush is created with the softest exterior and a fluffy cotton interior that provides comfort when your cat is struggling with anxiety or fearfulness. The low cost of this plush and the easy cleaning instructions make it an ideal choice for weary cats.

    If your cat is especially jumpy, it might take them some time to get comfortable with it but with a little persistence and reassurance, most cats grow to love it.  It’s another great must-have toy for cats with anxiety.

    Pros
    • Extra soft
    • Affordable
    • Noise-free relief for anxious cats
    • Easy care and washing instructions
    Cons
    • Some cats might need extra time to get used to it

    3. Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze and Puzzle Cat Toy

    Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze and Puzzle Toy

    Lifestage:  Adult
    Toy Type:  Puzzle and game
    Material:  Cardboard and paper

    Keeping your cat stimulated and using their thinking skills is a great way to calm them when things are stressful. That’s why our third choice is the Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze and Puzzle Cat Toy. By placing a favorite toy or treats inside, your cat can engage with this toy and stay occupied no matter the situation they are experiencing. We also like the fact this toy is made from 30% recycled cardboard and can be fully recycled when your cat is finished with it.

    The only downside we see with this calming cat toy is that every cat may not be a fan. If your kitty is not a fan of being challenged or prefers to hide away when they are feeling stressed, this toy may not be the right option for them. Make sure you understand your kitty’s needs before making this purchase.

    Pros
    • Made from recycled materials
    • Promotes activity and thinking skills
    Cons
    • Not intended for cats that aren’t fans of activity

    4. Petstages Purr Pillow Cat Toy

    Petstages Purr Pillow Cat Toy

    Lifestage:  All
    Toy Type:  Purring Plushy
    Material:  Polyester and synthetic fiber

    We feel the Petstages Purr Pillow Cat Toy is the perfect way to help anxious kittens feel better. This toy is designed for cats of all ages, but the soft plushy is ideal for smaller cats. Most kittens can lay on the material and cuddle to their heart’s content. Another great bonus is the activated purring noise that is emitted from the toy. Your kitten can enjoy 2 minutes of soft purrs to make it feel like it is back with momma and its litter mates when anxiety hits.

    The only downside to this toy is that many cats may love it but others may be a bit fearful of the sounds. You’ll also find that the fan that creates the purring noise is located inside the head of the plush. This makes the body flat and easy for your kitten to lay on but if your kitty wants to carry it around, it will need to wait until they are a bit bigger.

    Pros
    • Soft and cuddly
    • Makes a purring noise to soothe kittens
    Cons
    • The head is large making it difficult for kittens to carry
    • Noise may scare some kittens

    5. Van Ness Scratch and Relax Cat Scratcher with Catnip

    Van Ness Scratch and Relax Cat Scratcher with Catnip

    Lifestage:  All
    Toy Type:  Scratcher
    Material:  Cardboard and paper

    If your cat scratches when they are nervous or anxious, this Van Ness Scratch & Relax Scratcher with Catnip is a great toy for them. Made from 100% recycled cardboard, your kitty can relieve their tension by focusing on this scratcher when they need to calm themselves. When they aren’t in the mood to scratch, this toy can easily be used as a lounger to provide them with a comfortable and safe space when they need it. The addition of catnip can easily make this one of your cat’s favorite toys.

    The biggest downside to this scratcher is its durability. While it’s great that it is made from recycled materials if your cat gets nervous easily and feels the need to scratch, this scratcher may not last ages. Luckily, the price is affordable making it easy to grab another when needed.

    Pros
    • Made from 100% recycled materials
    • Includes catnip
    • Can also be used as a lounger
    Cons
    • Not durable for intense scratchers

    6. Petstages Purr Pillow Snoozing Sloth Calming Cat Toy

    Petstages Purr Pillow Snoozing Sloth Calming Cat Toy

    Lifestage:  All
    Toy Type:  Plush
    Material:  Polyester and synthetic fiber

    What could be more adorable than watching your anxious kitty cuddle with a snoozing sloth? Another cute toy for cats with anxiety is this cute plush from Petstages that can help your kitty calm themselves when things get too hectic. This toy is soft enough for your cat to cuddle without worries about being injured. The purring sounds also make it ideal for helping them deal with separation anxiety or other forms of stress they may experience. You’ll also be pleased with how easy it is for your cat to enjoy this toy and for you to wash it when you feel it needs a bit of freshening up.

    The only issue we found with the Petstages Sleeping Sloth is the purring. If your cat is sensitive to sound or gets startled easily the self-activated purring could be startling as it is a bit loud. Unfortunately, it can’t be lowered so keep this in mind if your cat is fearful of strange sounds.

    Pros
    • The toy can be machine-washed
    • Made from soft material
    • Features a self-activate purring system to offer soothing comfort
    Cons
    • Purring can be a bit loud for cats who are fearful of noise

    7. Frisco Butterfly Cat Track

    Frisco Butterfly Cat Tracks Toy

    Lifestage:  Adult
    Toy Type:  Rolling tower
    Material:  Plastic

    Every cat needs mental and physical stimulation. For cats who need a bit of grounding while they play, the Frisco Butterfly Cat Track is a great choice. This toy features colored balls on a track for your kitty to pat and watch roll. They can spend hours chasing the ball and avoid damaging the rest of your home. As a bonus, cute butterflies bounce happily on top of the toy giving your kitty something else to snatch their attention. An extra butterfly is even included for rambunctious cats that may play a little rougher.

    The only true issues we see with this cat toy are the butterflies, which Frisco sends an additional for when one is eventually pulled loose by your kitty and the stability of the tower. A cat that plays hard can easily knock the tower over or steal a butterfly leaving you with no option but to replace it.

    Pros
    • Balls stay inside track for cats to play
    • Multiple levels to keep cats engaged
    Cons
    • Butterflies are removed easily by cats
    • The tower can topple with heavy play

    8. Frisco Moppy Ball for Cats

    Frisco Moppy Ball

    Lifestage:  Adult
    Toy Type:  Soft ball
    Material:  Polyester and synthetic fiber

    The Frisco Moppy Ball is a great way to stimulate your cat while also providing them with a bit of comfort when they need it. The ball is made from soft materials which makes it great for carrying around, batting, or snuggling when your kitty needs it. The use of catnip helps grab your cat’s attention making this an ideal toy for cats who may not seem interested in playtime.

    As with any cat toy, supervision is required when playing with the moppy ball. The fiber used to make these balls is not indestructible. If your cat is rough on toys, it can easily bite or pull the material free of the ball. Keep this in mind if your kitty is the type that loves to play rough with its toys.

    Pros
    • The soft material is ideal for play or cuddling
    • The ball is sized for easy carrying
    • Features catnip to grab your kitty’s attention
    Cons
    • The ball’s nubs can be chewed or torn loose easily

    hepper single cat paw divider

     

    Buyer’s Guide — Finding the Best Toys for Cats with Anxiety

    Finding cat toys that help with anxiety is not an easy task. Cats need stimulation and exercise to be healthy, but those that are anxious or need a bit of calming from time to time aren’t always looking to exert tons of energy. This is why we included several types of toys in this review. All cats aren’t the same. Cuddling and soft sounds may work for one cat that suffers from anxiety while doing nothing for another. As a pet parent, you know your fur baby best and should always choose the toys you feel they would connect with most.

    In this buyer’s guide, we’ll take a look at a few of the criteria we had in mind when compiling our review. This will help you better understand why we felt these toys deserved to be on the list and whether they are the right choice for your anxious cat.

    Materials

    Before buying any toy for a pet, you should know what materials are used to make it. Our list is composed of cuddly toys, scratching toys, and even interactive toys to help calm your cat while keeping them stimulated. We listed the materials used to make each toy so you could have peace of mind when making your choice. Most cuddle toys are made from synthetic fibers and polyester. The scratcher we featured is made from recycled cardboard as is the interactive puzzle. The cat track we shared is made from plastic and should be safe for most kitties unless they prefer chewing to chasing balls. As with any pet toy, however, no matter how safe you feel it is, always supervise your cat while they play.

    Soothing vs Stimulation

    As we mentioned already, all cats aren’t the same. If your cat suffers from anxiety, it may prefer to cuddle or hear soothing sounds to help them calm down. Other cats require a bit of stimulation to keep their anxiety under control. This is why we chose to share toys that provide both the soothing a cat may need and the stimulation their minds require. If you aren’t sure which toy would work best to help with your cat’s anxiety, give each kind a try. You may find several avenues your cat prefers taking when its anxiety is at a peak.

    Cat playing toy
    Image by: Onishchenko Natalya, Shutterstock

    Lifestages

    Most toys on our list say they are intended for adult cats, yet when you read their descriptions on Chewy, you’ll see that they mention being safe for kittens. While they may be perfectly safe for cats of all ages, we felt it was best to provide you with the listings from the website. If you feel your kitten could easily play with other toys from the list without issues, feel free to choose the one you prefer. Again, all cats aren’t the same and you know better than anyone else what your cat or kitten would enjoy.

    Affordability

    None of the toys listed in this review are extremely overpriced. This is great for owners of cats with anxiety who are also on a budget. You can add one or several toys from this list to your cat’s toy box and feel like you’ve made a wise investment. Yes, there are toys out there that are more expensive, but that doesn’t mean they are always the best choice.

    hepper single cat paw divider

    In Conclusion

    This review of the best toys for cats with anxiety can help you choose the best items to allow your kitty a chance to play while helping keep them calm. Our best overall choice, the Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher allows your cat to soothe any sense of anxiety through play, lounging, and scratching. Our budget buy choice, the Hepper Whale Plush Toy is not only affordable but this toy uses quiet, soft materials to calm your kitty.

    If you need to calm your cat’s anxiety, either of these options would help the situation. If neither of those toys is ideal for you and your kitty, try another off this list and you’ll soon find the perfect way to let your cat play while keeping them calm at the same time.

    See also:


    Featured Image Credit; Fredricka Jackson, Shutterstock

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