We all know that kittens love to play — in fact, it’s an integral part of their education. Making sure your kitten has plenty of opportunities for regular play sessions throughout the day will help them develop into a well-rounded and happy cat as they grow up.
It can be hard to know what the best toy for your kitten is, though. Some might love a catnip fish, while other kittens will head off for a nap instead! There’s such a wide range of kitten toys available to choose from, but don’t worry about feeling overwhelmed.
Our feline friends have helped us draw up this shortlist of the 10 best toys available on the market in 2020. Our reviews are designed to help you select the best toy for your kitten — from ball runs to kicker toys, we’ve tested them all.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Bergan Turboscratcher||
|Best Value||Hartz Just For Cats||
|Premium Choice||Ralthy Interactive||
|Easyology Amazing Roller||
|KONG Cat Kickeroo Catnip||
The 10 Best Kitten Toys — Reviews 2021
1. Bergan Turboscratcher Kitten Toy — Best Overall
We selected the Bergan Turboscratcher Kitten Toy as the best overall. Despite looking deceptively simple, this scratcher-and-ball combo can keep many cats occupied for hours. Chasing the ball around the outer channel provides them with plenty of opportunities for testing out their hunting skills!
Within the ball channel, there is a central scratcher pad made from rolled cardboard, ideal for your cat to sharpen their claws while avoiding your furniture. You can order replacement pads or make your own. This toy also includes a sachet of catnip that you can sprinkle on it. This is a great idea when the toy is still new, as it will encourage your cat to come over and investigate it. This bestselling toy combines all the features that make a winning toy, and we can almost guarantee that your cat will give it the seal of approval!
2. Hartz Just For Cats Kitten Toy — Best Value
Without a doubt, the best kitten toys for the money have to be the Hartz Just for Cats variety pack. If your cat loves to play with a range of different toys, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the range of these 13 different toys. From catnip-filled fish to soft pom-poms and hard balls, this pack is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a range of great value toys to keep your cat engaged and help stimulate those hunting instincts.
The only reason that this variety pack missed out on the top spot is that you’ll need to throw these toys for your kitty, whereas with our best overall choice, it’s much easier for them to entertain themselves. Apart from that, this pack is an absolute winner.
3. Ralthy P30 Interactive Kitten Toy — Premium Choice
If you’re on the hunt for a premium cat toy to keep your kitty entertained, then the Ralthy Interactive Kitten Toy will tick all the boxes and then some. Once switched on, this toy will move in irregular patterns across your floor — and is bound to catch your cat’s attention. As well as chasing the attached toy, the hubs on this toy light up to create patterns for your cat to chase!
A great feature of this toy is that it has a standby mode that switches on for 10 minutes and then off for 1.5 hours, on a cycle. This means you can leave this on when you got out and know that your cat will be entertained. While our cats love this toy, it does require charging every day. If you happen to go to work and forget to make sure that this isn’t charged up, we bet your cat will be disappointed when you get home.
4. Easyology Amazing Roller Kitten Toy
The Easyology Amazing Roller fun ball tower is perfect for multiple cats — the three layers mean that there’s plenty of space for them all to attempt to catch these colorful balls. The super-sturdy plastic is designed to resist even the roughest play from the strongest cats. The balls are specifically designed to roll quietly, meaning your cat can play with this without creating too much noise.
You won’t have to worry about tripping over toys or retrieving balls from under the couch either. Because the balls within this toy are safely kept within the runners, you can rest easy knowing this toy is always ready to play with. The balls are designed to mimic the erratic movement of your cat’s natural prey, meaning they’ll be kept entertained for hours.
5. KONG Cat Kickeroo Catnip Toy
If your cat loves to capture their toys and give them a good old bunny kick, the KONG Cat Kickeroo Catnip Toy will likely become a firm favorite. As well as being designed specifically to encourage your cat to spend time bunny-kicking and wrestling, this toy is stuffed full of premium catnip from North America.
The catnip is sure to entice your cat to play with this toy — we’ve seen cats who even love to snuggle up next to this toy when they take their naps! One downside, though, is that you can’t replace the catnip because there’s no opening, so once the effect has worn off, that’s it.
6. Zenes Rotating Kitten Toys
If your kitten loves to watch birds and butterflies out of the window, then they’ll love this rotating toy from Zenes. The battery-operated base is designed to make the butterfly on top flutter in an unpredictable pattern, guaranteed to catch the attention of even the most laidback kitten!
Some energetic kittens and fully-grown cats can sometimes play a little too rough for this toy, knocking it over or chewing the wire that the butterfly is attached to. But if your kitten is gentle, this is a great option.
7. SmartyKat Interactive Kitten Toys
If you’re looking for a fun and simple toy to encourage interactive play with your kitten, the SmartyKat Interactive Kitten Toy is a great choice. This soft and fluffy mouse bounces on the end of an elastic string, the end of which is attached to your hand using a chunky plastic ring.
This design means you don’t have to worry about your kitten biting your hands, and you can still have all the fun of encouraging them to play. Unfortunately, the string is a little too short, meaning if you do have a particularly energetic kitten, your fingers might still end up in the danger zone!
8. Pakoo Interactive Kitten Toy Ball
If you’re looking for an interactive toy that you can leave for your kitten when you’re away from home, the Pakoo Interactive Kitten Toy Ball is a good choice. This ball can provide up to 4 hours of fun playtime for your kitty. The 360-degree self-rotating ball means that your kitten will never quite know where it’s going to end up.
This ball also has a timer function, which switches the power off automatically every 40 minutes. This means your cat can have a rest before playing again. The built-in LED light will catch your kitten’s attention when the ball switches on.
9. Pawaboo Interactive Motion Kitten Toy
The Pawaboo Interactive Motion Kitten Toy is a small ball that will move automatically around your floor, providing exciting entertainment for your kitten. The ball also has an LED light for your cat to chase, which will keep them interested and engaged.
The motion of the ball is designed to be erratic, so your kitten won’t know where it’s going to go next. The timer function is a nice feature that switches the ball off after 40 minutes of playing. Chasing this ball will help your kitten to get plenty of exercise, which is always a plus.
10. PAWISE Collapsible Tunnel Kitten Toy
If your kitten loves hiding and pouncing, then they’re going to have great fun with the PAWISE Collapsible Tunnel Kitten Toy. This three-way tunnel provides plenty of spaces for your kitten to hide in. It also has a peephole in the central section that your kitten can jump out of to give you and your other cats a surprise.
While this toy is great fun for your kitten, they may rip the nylon sides. The tunnel structure is made from a thin wire, so you want to take care to make sure this doesn’t become exposed if this tunnel does get ripped or damaged.
If you’ve just become the proud owner of a new kitten, you’ll know that they’re going to need toys to play with! There are so many to choose from, it can be hard to know where to even begin.
You can rest assured that your kitten will love any of the 10 toys that we’ve reviewed above. But if you want more information, let’s look at exactly what makes a good kitten toy.
Why do kittens need toys?
Kittens and all cats are designed to play and hunt. While it might look like your cute kitty is just running off extra steam, the playing that we see in our kittens is actually them practicing for later in their life.
Your little kitten has no idea that they aren’t a fierce tiger who has to hunt for their dinner, so when your kitten is playing, they’re putting into practice all those skills they need for hunting.
When you see your kitten stalking their toys before running, pouncing, and bunny-kicking them, they’re developing all the skills that will help them grow into a well-developed and confident cat as they start to mature.
What makes a good kitten toy?
You want to look for toys that have been designed specifically for kittens. While some other toys may look similar from the outside, don’t be tempted to substitute kitten’s toys for something that isn’t designed for them. Small solid balls, for instance, can be a choking hazard. Any hard balls designed for kittens and cats should have a hollow, ventilated design for this reason.
On that point, make sure that certain types of toys are stored out of reach from your kitten when they’re not in use. Anything with feathers, string, or ribbon should be put away once you’ve finished playing; otherwise, they can pose a choking hazard.
What sort of kitten toys can I buy?
It’s a good idea to provide your kitten with a range of toys that will help them develop all their skills.
- Toys that encourage jumping and leaping: wands and toys attached to a string
- Toys that encourage running: balls, electronic toys, and laser pointers
- Toys that encourage catching and “killing”: soft mice and kicker toys
- Toys that encourage coordination: ball runs, puzzles, and treat balls
By providing your kitten with a variety of toys, you’re giving them the best chance to become a well-rounded and happy kitty as they grow up.
Interactive or independent?
Something else that you want to think about when selecting toys for your kitten is whether you want to prioritize interactive toys or independent toys. Of course, we recommend having a selection of both, but it’s good to know the difference!
Interactive toys require a degree of hands-on use from you and your family. Toys like wands with a feather attached, catnip mice, and kicker toys all fall within this category. Using these toys is a wonderful way to spend quality time with your kitty, as well as enjoy watching how they’re developing as they grow up. But of course, we all lead busy lives and don’t always have time to dedicate hours of playing with our kitties.
That’s why there are independent toys.
These are the sort of toys that your kitten can use to entertain themselves. The ball runs, electronic toys with timers and balls all fall into this category. These are toys that you can leave out for your kitten to play with while you’re at work.
A note on catnip toys
Catnip toys are great for kittens, and they usually love playing with them. Catnip is safe for cats, though you might not notice much of a reaction in kittens under 6 months old. Some grown cats won’t react to catnip at all, while others love it! The effects of catnip will wear off after 15 minutes or so, and if your cat plays with their toys all the time, they’ll start to develop resistance. Catnip toys are great to keep in the drawer and allow your cat to play with once or twice a week before you put them away again. Otherwise, you’ll find that after a while, your cat treats it no differently than any other toy.
- In addition to catnip, learn about other smells your kitty can’t resist!
After reviewing 10 of the best kitten toys available on the market in 2020, we’ve decided that the best one overall is the Bergan Turboscratcher Kitten Toy. Your cat is sure to love the combination of hypnotizing ball, super scratchy central pad, and tasty catnip. This kitten toy is durable, well-made, and loved by thousands of cats the world over.
The award for best value kitten toy was awarded to the Hartz Just for Cats variety pack. This offers incredible value for money, with a combination of 13 toys designed to catch your kitten’s attention. This pack is a great way to experiment with a range of different toys — from catnip fish to wavy wands and balls — to find out which ones your kitten loves the best.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you navigate your way through the massive range of kitten toys out there to choose from. Have fun playing with your kitten!
- Related Read: 20 Creative DIY Cat Toys (with Pictures)
Featured image credit: Hartz Just For Cats Kitty Frenzy Cat Toy with Catnip, Chewy
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Kitten Toys — Reviews 2021
- 1. Bergan Turboscratcher Kitten Toy — Best Overall
- 2. Hartz Just For Cats Kitten Toy — Best Value
- 3. Ralthy P30 Interactive Kitten Toy — Premium Choice
- 4. Easyology Amazing Roller Kitten Toy
- 5. KONG Cat Kickeroo Catnip Toy
- 6. Zenes Rotating Kitten Toys
- 7. SmartyKat Interactive Kitten Toys
- 8. Pakoo Interactive Kitten Toy Ball
- 9. Pawaboo Interactive Motion Kitten Toy
- 10. PAWISE Collapsible Tunnel Kitten Toy
- Buyer’s Guide