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10 Best Electronic Cat Toys in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

a cat playing with toys

Cats have an innate instinct to hunt, and this instinct is apparent by their love of climbing, chasing, and playing. This hunting instinct needs stimulation, and with domestic cats, this is best done with interactive toys. Of course, life gets busy at times, and there are days where we cannot give our cats the interactive play that they need. This is where electronic toys can be a great help.

Obesity is one of the most common health issues in cats, and more than half the cats in the United States are reportedly obese. This can lead to a host of other health issues and a dramatically shortened lifespan, so exercise is a vital part of keeping your cat healthy and happy. Electronic toys can help give your cat plenty of mental and physical stimulation and appeal to their innate hunting instincts, so they are great additions to any cat-loving home.

With all the electronic toys available on the market today, it can be overwhelming to find the right one, but fear not! We put together this list of in-depth reviews to help you find the best electronic cat toy to suit your needs. Let’s dive in!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy
  • Feature iconAuto-shutoff
  • Feature iconHands-free operation
  • Feature iconAutomatic and manual modes
  • Best Value
    Second place
    SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic
  • Feature iconInexpensive
  • Feature iconErratic movement
  • Feature iconLight-up base
  • Third place
    PetFusion Ambush Interactive PetFusion Ambush Interactive
  • Feature iconEnticing LED lights
  • Feature iconPadded feet
  • Feature iconSpare wand included
  • SmartyKat Loco Laser Cat Toy SmartyKat Loco Laser Cat Toy
  • Feature iconInexpensive
  • Feature iconInteractive
  • Feature iconIdeal for kittens and adults
  • Frisco Interactive Electric Flopping Frisco Interactive Electric Flopping
  • Feature iconResponsive movement
  • Feature iconUSB rechargeable
  • Feature icon1-hour use of a single charge
  • 10 Best Electronic Cat Toys — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy — Best Overall

    Weight: 84 ounces
    Material: Plastic
    Batteries: 4xAA (not included)
    Features: Automatic laser

    The PetSafe˙Bolt Interactive laser is a lightweight, battery-powered toy that will keep your cat entertained for hours and is our top choice overall. All cat owners know how much cats love lasers, as the bright moving spot stimulates their hunting instincts. The toy has an automatic rotating mirror that beams the laser out in random directions. The laser has an automatic mode so your cat can play while you’re away, and you can switch it to manual mode for hours of fun with your cat. With one press of a button, the toy will stay on for 15 minutes and then automatically turn off to save battery power.

    The only issue we found with this toy is that it does not come with batteries, and the laser is rather dim in bright settings.

    Pros
    • Automatic rotating mirror with laser
    • Automatic and manual modes
    • Great for mental and physical stimulation
    • Auto-shutoff
    • Hands-free operation
    Cons
    • Laser is dim in bright settings
    • Batteries not included
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    2. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy — Best Value

    Weight: 8 ounces
    Material: Plastic, feather
    Batteries: 3 AA (not included)
    Features: Lights, two speeds

    The SmartyKat Hot Pursuit is a great way to stimulate your cat’s innate predatory instincts and is our favorite electronic cat toy for the money. The fast-moving wand will keep your kitty chasing for hours on end, providing them with essential exercise and mental stimulation. The enticing wand is concealed and moves erratically and irresistibly around the base, which lights up for added fun and stimulation. The toy has two different speeds, making it great for kittens and adults alike. The wands are interchangeable should your cat get too excited!

    Unfortunately, this toy has no auto-shutoff feature, which can quickly drain the batteries if left on. Also, it will break easily with big, excitable cats.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Stimulates your cat’s hunting instincts
    • Erratic movement
    • Light-up base
    • Two speed settings
    • Interchangeable wands
    Cons
    • No auto-shutoff
    • Easily broken by large cats
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    3. PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy — Premium Option

    Weight: 3 pounds
    Material: Plastic, feather
    Batteries: 4 x AA (included)
    Features: LED lights, randomly moving feather wand

    If you’re looking for a premium electronic cat toy for your feline, the PetFusion Ambush Interactive Toy is one of the best electronic cat toys on the market. This toy is designed to stimulate your cat’s innate predatory instincts with a fast-moving, colorful feather that pops out of six different holes in random order. This will keep your kitty guessing and chasing, and the colorful LED lights will entice your feline further. The toy has safe, padded feet to prevent sliding. The feather wand detaches easily once your cat wins the battle, and the unit comes with a spare should your cat destroy it. We also love that this toy has an automatic shut-off feature after 8 minutes to save battery life.

    As great as this toy is, it is rather expensive, especially if your cat decides that they don’t like it, which some customers have reported. It also has a loud operation noise, which could make some cats afraid of it.

    Pros
    • Enticing LED lights
    • Fast-moving, concealed feather
    • Random movements
    • Padded feet
    • Spare wand included
    • Auto-shutoff
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Loud operation
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    4. SmartyKat Loco Laser Cat Toy — Best for Kittens

    Weight: 32 ounces
    Material: Plastic
    Batteries: 3 x LR44 (included)
    Features: Laser

    Kittens are almost constantly playing, and these formative months are essential for them to learn about the world around them and hone their natural instincts. The SmartyKat Loco Laser Toy is a wonderful way for kittens to get mental and physical stimulation and is a great way for you to interact with your new kitten too. The mouse-shaped laser pointer is a simple concept: Shine the small dot on the floor or wall to replicate the movement of prey to get your kitten’s instincts activated and help improve their health and happiness. This toy is great for kittens but works perfectly for adult felines too.

    Unfortunately, the laser is fairly dim in daylight or under bright lights and uses up the three batteries quickly.

    Pros
    • Ideal for kittens and adults
    • Interactive
    • Laser pointer stimulates hunting instincts
    • Inexpensive
    Cons
    • Dim under bright light
    • Uses batteries quickly
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    5. Frisco Interactive Electric Flopping Fish Cat Toy with Catnip

    Weight: 2 ounces
    Material: Polyester
    Batteries: Rechargeable lithium-ion
    Features: Catnip, responsive movement

    Bring out your cat’s inner hunting instincts with the electric Flopping Fish Toy from Frisco. The toy wiggles and bounces just like a real fish, and it has a pouch to stash the irresistible included catnip to keep your feline coming back for more. The fish’s movement stops and starts depending on your cat’s interaction with it and is otherwise randomized to keep your cat enticed. The USB rechargeable lithium-ion battery will give your cat almost an hour of playtime on a single charge, which takes around an hour and a half.

    This toy’s movement may frighten sensitive cats because it is fairly loud, while others may simply not be interested. Also, many customers reported having charging issues with this toy, and the battery did not last as long as it should.

    Pros
    • Catnip pouch (included catnip)
    • Responsive movement
    • USB rechargeable
    • 1-hour use of a single charge
    Cons
    • Noisy
    • Poor battery life
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    6. SmartyKat Chitter Critter Squirrel Electronic Cat Toy

    Weight: 96 ounces
    Material: Polyester
    Batteries: Included
    Features: Enticing sounds, movement-activated

    Some cats are most stimulated by sound, and if your cat is one of these, the SmartyKat Chitter Critter Squirrel toy will keep them enticed for hours. Not only does the toy emit realistic squirrel sound effects, but it’s also made with multiple textures, like feathers, ribbons, and burlap. The lack of stuffing will make it last longer and feel more realistic. It’s great for your cat to play with solo or as an interactive toy for bonding. As the sound is stimulated by movement, your cat can play with it whenever they feel the urge.

    Like many toys with sounds, once the batteries begin to run low, the noise becomes rather strange, to say the least. Also, many customers report that the chittering sound is not that loud to begin with, and their cats barely noticed it.

    Pros
    • Realistic squirrel sounds
    • Sound is stimulated by movement
    • Multiple textures
    • No stuffing
    • Interactive
    Cons
    • Doesn’t work well on low batteries
    • Low volume
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    7. SmartyKat Chickadee Chirp Electronic Bird-Sound Cat Toy

    Weight: 48 ounces
    Material: Polyester, plastic
    Batteries: 2 LR41 (Included)
    Features: Touch activated

    The SmartyKat Chickadee Chirp is the ideal toy to stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts, with a touch-activated chirping bird sound that is irresistible to most felines. The toy mimics real bird sounds with every swat of your cat’s paw, keeping them entertained for hours. If this chirping is not enough, the toy is also stuffed with replaceable catnip to entice your cat even more. Your cat will play happily alone for hours with the touch-activated sounds, or you can use it for interactive play and bonding with your feline too.

    Disappointingly, the batteries in this toy are not replaceable, although it has an estimated lifespan of 10,000 activations. That said, many customers reported that the bird stopped chirping after only a few days or weeks.

    Pros
    • Touch-activated sounds
    • Realistic bird sounds
    • Stuffed with catnip
    • Perfect for solo or interactive play
    Cons
    • Batteries are not replaceable
    • Batteries are not long-lasting
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    8. Premier Pet Fox Den Cat Toy

    Weight: 15 pounds
    Material: Plastic, polyester
    Batteries: 3 x AA batteries
    Features: Manual and automatic modes

    Ideal for cats of all ages, the Premier Pet Fox Den cat toy has a motion-activated fox tail that your felines can swat at to their heart’s content! The toy has an on/off mode to use while you are around or an automatic shutoff feature where the tail swishes back and forth for 10 minutes every 2 hours, making it ideal for solo or interactive play. The swishing tail stimulates your cat’s prey drive, but it’s great for kittens to learn their hunting skills and for senior cats that cannot run, jump or pounce as much as they used to.

    The only issues that we found with this toy are the relatively high price and the tail easily being detached by large, excitable cats.

    Pros
    • Motion-activated
    • Manual and automatic modes
    • Stimulates prey drive
    • Perfect for cats of any age
    • Automatic shutoff
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Tail detaches easily
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    9. BurgeonNest Automated Cat Toy

    Weight: 44 ounces
    Material: Plastic, feather
    Batteries: Rechargeable
    Features: Three operating modes, LED, sounds

    The BurgeonNest Automated cat toy is an automated unit that will keep your cat entertained while you’re away from home. The unit has three operating modes: self-operating mode, interaction mode, and standby mode. There are also two speed modes depending on your cat’s age and a “squeaking” sound option. The unit comes with a rechargeable 2000 mAh battery that can last up to 7 days that is easily charged via USB. It also has a sturdy feather attachment with three different wands and a colorful LED light for further enticement.

    This toy is loud and moves erratically, which some cats may enjoy and others will be frightened off. Also, the slow speed is too slow to retain many cats’ interest, while the fast speed is too fast and potentially dangerous. The toy can get easily get stuck in corners or between furniture.

    Pros
    • Three operating modes and two speeds
    • Colorful LED
    • Optional sounds
    • Rechargeable battery
    • Three different wand attachments
    Cons
    • Loud
    • May frighten some cats
    • Inconsistent speed settings
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    10. PetSafe Dancing Dot — Interactive Cat Laser Toy

    Weight: 78 ounces
    Material: Plastic
    Batteries: 3 x AAA batteries (not included)
    Features: Automatic, random laser movement

    The PetSafe Dancing Dot takes the favorite toy of cats around the world — a laser — and automates it for an ideal interactive toy for your feline while you’re away. The unit has a certified class 1 laser that is perfectly pet safe, with two different modes for play while you’re at home or away. One-time mode switches the laser on for 15 minutes with an auto-shutoff, while all-day play turns the laser on for 15 minutes every 2 hours. The toy has a sturdy base for floor play and a convenient handle to hang it up on a higher surface and expand the fun.

    The laser on this unit moves fast and erratically, and it may cause some cats to lose interest because they can never get close enough. Also, the batteries do not last that long — 2 or 3 hours at most — and many customers reported that the all-day mode worked only sporadically at best.

    Pros
    • Automatic, random movement
    • Pet-safe laser
    • Auto-shutoff
    • Suitable for all ages
    Cons
    • Fast-moving laser
    • Poor battery life
    • Programmable mode is not reliable

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    Buyer’s Guide

    Electronic cat toys are ideal for mentally and physically stimulating your cat while you’re not home. Naturally, you want such toys to be both safe and interesting to your feline. Cats have a powerful innate prey drive that needs to be stimulated for them to remain healthy and happy. While electronic toys can certainly help that, you need to choose the right one for your feline, and it can be difficult to know what works. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s what to look for in an electronic cat toy.

    Safety

    The most important aspect of an electronic cat toy is safety. Cats can be rough during play, and since all electronic toys have batteries of some kind to run them, you’ll want to make sure they cannot rip open the toy and access these batteries. The toy should also not be made from any potentially harmful materials or have any obvious choking hazards.

    cat playing with ribbon
    Image Credit: Carsten Reisinger, Shutterstock

    Durability

    Your cat is strong, athletic, and powerful and is equipped with razor-sharp claws and teeth, so the toy that you choose will need to be as durable as possible. The toy should be able to take your cat’s weight and withstand claws and teeth for months or years to come.

    Features

    The toy that you choose should have features that your unique feline will enjoy. Fast-moving toys will not interest an older, more docile feline, for example, and slow, stationary toys will not be that interesting to kittens. Electronic toys can come with various features, like noises, lights, and movement, and it’s important to assess them carefully to make sure that your cat will like them. Catnip is irresistible to most cats, so toys with small pouches to stash catnip inside of might be winners!

    Battery life

    All electronic cat toys have a battery of some kind. The best varieties have rechargeable, built-in lithium batteries to save you money. With other electronic toys, regular batteries can still last a surprisingly long time, but if the toy has many moving parts, lights, and sounds, you can expect to replace the batteries fairly often.divider-catclaw1

    Conclusion

    Our top choice overall of an electronic cat toy for your feline friend is the PetSafe˙Bolt Interactive Laser. The toy has an automatic rotating mirror that beams a laser out in random directions, with an automatic mode and manual mode to keep them entertained while you’re away or for hours of interactive fun with your cat.

    The SmartyKat Hot Pursuit is our favorite electronic cat toy for the money, with an erratic, fast-moving wand that will keep your cat entertained for hours on end. It has two different speeds, making it great for cats of all ages, and there’s a spare wand should your cat get too excited!

    If you’re looking for a premium electronic cat toy for your feline, the PetFusion Ambush Interactive toy has a colorful feather that pops out of six different holes in random order. It also has colorful LED lights, a spare wand, non-slip feet, and an automatic shut-off feature to save battery life.

    There you have it: 10 great electronic toys to keep your cat mentally and physically stimulated even when you’re not at home. Hopefully, our reviews have helped you to get one step closer to finding the ideal electronic toy for your feline friend!

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    Featured Image Credit: winni-design, Shutterstock