Cats get bored and lonely when left at home alone for extended hours. If you are worried about your feline buddy suffering separation anxiety, consider investing in robot cat toys. These pre-programmed or programmable automated toys operate independently to provide companionship and mental stimulation even in your absence.
Robot cat toys are all the rage, and new products are coming out each day. How do you find something that is truly engaging?
We analyzed numerous products on the market and handpicked the best ten toys you can buy. We aimed to find brands that truly excel at keeping cats engaged by igniting their natural instinct to stalk and hunt.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy||
|Best Value||PetFusion Ambush Electronic Cat Toy||
|Premium Choice||PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy||
|Best for Kittens||Petchain Interactive Cat Toy||
|Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy||
The 10 Best Robot Cat Toys
1. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy — Best Overall
|Power Source:||3 AAA Batteries|
|Type:||Concealed Motion Toy|
Our best overall robot is the SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy. While it has a simple design, it’s a functional piece that mimics the movements of hiding prey. One of its best features is the four-speed settings that allow you to make the necessary speed adjustments based on your cat’s preferences.
This electronic toy features a base with a control button and a mechanical arm. It also has two interchangeable wands that rotate in unpredictable directions to provide an extra level of excitement. A tiny bit of the wand is left out of the cover to tease your fur baby and entice it to hunt.
The SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy encourages vigorous play as your cat desperately attempts to catch the prey. To ensure the maximum longevity of the toy and keep the fabric cover in pristine condition, make sure your feline buddy maintains well-manicured nails. Also, don’t let it play with the toy daily lest it becomes disinterested.
- Simple and functional
- Four-speed settings
- Designed to encourage vigorous play
- Long nails can damage the fabric cover
- Not ideal for daily use
2. PetFusion Ambush Electronic Cat Toy — Best Value
|Power Source:||4 AA Batteries|
|Type:||Motion Toy With Light|
Have you ever wished for a robot cat toy to keep your feline buddy in good company during your absence? Well, you just found it! The PetFusion Ambush Electronic Cat Toy is a smart interactive robot with six holes and a colorful feather that randomly pops out.
All the unsystematic action will keep your cat transfixed and distracted when you’re inevitably away from home.
Your fur baby will be on its toes for hours, waiting for the right time to pounce on the prey and capture it. The moving target and colored LED lighting set the perfect mood for your cat to battle its enemy to death! You’ll also appreciate the auto-shutoff feature that lets the toy rest after every eight minutes of play.
The PetFusion Ambush Electronic Cat Toy is perfect for any setting, including small apartments. It is a stationary toy with anti-slip feet that ensures your cat’s plaything remains put. While it’s a great purchase that offers good value for the money, it produces an odd clicking noise that can deter your cat for a minute. Fortunately, most felines quickly get used to the noise.
- Stationary and ideal for small apartments
- Auto shutoff feature to prevent overstimulation
- Offers good value for the money
- Produces an odd clicking noise
3. PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy — Premium Choice
|Power Source:||4 AA Batteries|
Most cats go bananas over laser toys. We picked the PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy as our premium choice for its ability to take laser games to the next level. With three unique speed settings, you can keep your fur baby mesmerized for hours while switching between random, fast, and slow speeds.
The PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy can be used as a manual laser pointer or a free-standing automatic toy. In either position, the laser light rotates and spins in unpredictable patterns to make your cat go crazy pouncing on the red ray.
The electronic toy has an automatic timer that conveniently switches the laser off after every 15 minutes. This saves the battery and prevents overstimulation.
When on autopilot mode, this electronic toy moves the laser in exciting random patterns to keep play sessions interesting for your fur baby. Unfortunately, you cannot adjust the speed settings when on autopilot. Senior and even some adult cats may find the movements too fast for their liking.
- Stationary or manually operated toy
- Three adjustable speed settings (on manual mode)
- Switches off after 15 minutes on autopilot
- Laser moves too fast on autopilot mode
4. Petchain Interactive Cat Toy — Best for Kittens
|Power Source:||Built-in rechargeable batteries|
|Type:||Cat Mouse Toy|
Another robot cat toy that had to be on our list is the Petchain Interactive Cat Toy. It is kitten-friendly and is designed to stir their natural desire to hunt. The erratic movements of the realistic-looking rat will give your kitty an adrenaline dose and get it pouncing in delight. Most cats find the colorful feather on the toy’s tail irresistible!
This interactive cat toy encourages solo play sessions when you are busy or away at work. It auto-starts when touched and goes into sleep mode when not engaged for more than five minutes. You are assured that your kitty will enjoy loads of mental and physical stimulation even in your absence. But the toy must charge for 90 minutes to provide a reasonable two hours of consistent run time.
The Petchain Interactive Cat Toy is tiny, with equally small wheels fitted underneath the mouse. While the wheels run smoothly on tiles and low-pile carpets, they could get stuck on carpets with longer fibers. Use small tweezers to remove any stuck fibers that can hinder smooth movements.
- Interesting erratic motions
- Auto sleep mode after five minutes of inactivity
- Smooth movements on tiled floors
- Only two hours run time when fully charged
- Not for use on long-pile carpets
5. Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy
Are you looking for an affordable yet cheerful toy to give your fur baby hours of enjoyment? The Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy is an excellent option. It’s a bug toy with a feather tail bound to enchant your kitty with its wiggling and realistic motion. The toy is propelled by vibration technology and can swiftly move around objects and corners, although it only works on hard floors.
An aspect that makes the Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy stand out is its uncanny sense of balance. If your kitty pounces on the “prey” and flips it over on its back, it will make an energy-packed attempt to escape from its captor. It can flip over to get back on its feet and run again to keep your feline buddy mentally stimulated.
Although cats have different personalities, most love the toy and can play with it daily. Quality batteries are included in the package to give your feline buddy hours of enjoyment straight out of the box. We only wish it could work on carpeted floors.
- Cheerful with realistic bug movements
- Batteries included
- Only works on hard floors
6. BENTOPAL Automatic Interactive Cat Toys
|Power Source:||Built-In Rechargeable Battery|
|Type:||Automatic Motion Toy|
Here is one of the best options if you want a robot cat toy to make your fur baby exercise during your absence. The BENTOPAL Automatic Interactive Cat Toys has the right features to keep your cat chasing and pouncing on “prey” for hours. Add catnip on the feather tail to give your feline a sudden burst of energy to keep things more exciting.
This toy features large wheels that quickly move on different surfaces, including high-pile carpets. It also has a built-in G-sensor that allows smooth navigation around corners and helps the toy change direction when it approaches an obstacle.
The erratic running patterns and colorful feather wand provide irresistible avian amusement as the toy turns, rotates, and swivels.
There are two-speed modes that give you better control over how fast this robot toy dashes around. Another nice feature is the automatic mode that turns the toy off for 90 minutes after every 10 minutes of play. Generally, this well-made toy offers excellent value for the money. It even features a 620 MAH USB rechargeable battery. Unfortunately, it’s not the safest option for kittens.
- Can encourage your cat to exercise
- Two-speed settings
- Large wheels move on all surfaces
- Not ideal for kittens
7. PetSafe Dancing Dot Laser Toy
|Power Source:||3 AAA batteries|
If your cat is prone to separation anxiety whenever you leave it home alone, here’s a robotic toy you must try. The PetSafe Dancing Dot Laser Toy can keep your feline buddy active and distracted for hours. It is an interactive and automatic toy that uses three AAA batteries to ensure hours of uninterrupted fun.
Cats love laser toys, and this one works consistently without human intervention. It generates unpredictable movements and patterns to trigger your furball’s natural instinct to stalk, chase and pounce on its “prey”. You can choose between two play modes, depending on how long you intend to be away. The “one-time play” option runs the robotic toy for 15 minutes before going off.
The “play all day” option works best when your fur baby spends extended hours alone. It allows you to set the laser toy to turn on for 15 minutes every two hours. This prevents the risk of over-stimulation that could make your feline buddy lose interest in the game. While it’s not a deal breaker, this robot toy may be loud enough to freak out your cat. Fortunately, most furballs quickly adapt to the sound.
- Provides interactive play sessions
- Generates unpredictable movements
- Two pre-programmable play modes
- Can be too loud for your cat’s liking
|Power Source:||Built-in rechargeable batteries|
Migipaws Smart Teaser Toy for Indoor Cats is a simple, yet functional robotic teaser toy designed to divert your cat’s nervous energy. It’s an interactive toy with multi-colored feathers that randomly pop out of the box. There are seven holes at the top and sides of the box, making it hard for your feline to predict where a feather will pop out.
The design and function of this smart toy make it an excellent option for all cats, including the lazy or picky variety. Your cat will not resist the delight of pouncing on its “prey.” Remember to use your camera to capture the action at home as your kitty showcases its primal hunting instincts. However, play sessions last for five minutes at a time, which most pet parents think is too short.
The Migipaws Smart Teaser Toy has an in-built rechargeable battery. It only takes two hours to charge it fully and enjoy a runtime of up to four hours. You’ll also appreciate that all materials used in the making of this toy are cat-friendly. The three replacement feathers included in the package are a pleasant surprise.
- Powerful in-built rechargeable battery
- Made from cat-friendly materials
- Excellent choice for lazy cats
- Short five-minute play sessions
9. PetDroid Interactive Cat Toys
|Power Source:||Direct Power or Batteries|
|Type:||Touch Activated Duck|
The PetDroid Interactive Cat Toys is an excellent option for curious furballs with boundless energy. This smart duck quacks, flaps, and flutters like a real duck when touched and will keep even a particularly clingy cat busy for hours.
The PetDroid Interactive Cat Toys is designed with pure engineering wizardry to encourage solo play. Depending on your fur baby’s temperament, you can switch between three modes to get gentle, active, or normal-speed wing flaps. You’ll also appreciate the soft washable plush designed to withstand feline assault. The toy won’t sustain damage if your cat captures and bites its “prey.”
It’s great that this electronic toy can use batteries or USB charging. Unfortunately, it does not have an internal rechargeable battery, meaning you must leave it tethered to the wall. You’ll have to invest in batteries, especially when you want to move the duck toy around.
- Excellent toy for clingy cats
- Designed to encourage solo play
- Features soft washable plush
- No internal rechargeable battery
10. AUKL Interactive Cat Toys Ball
|Power Source:||In-Built Rechargeable Battery|
|Type:||Smart Toy Ball|
The AUKL Interactive Cat Toys Ball can help your cat cope with being alone at home for extended periods.
This tiny ball with a plush cover rolls smoothly on all surfaces. It shakes and moves in random directions to mimic the movements of prey and stimulate your cat’s natural hunting instinct. The colorful LED light and in-built realistic squeaking bird sounds will grasp your feline’s interest immediately.
There’s a powerful in-built battery that charges fully in about two hours to give you up to four hours of continuous playtime. After every five minutes of play, the ball goes into sleep mode and only wakes up when touched. We also liked that you could switch between three-speed modes. While this toy has an intuitive design, we wish it came with clear and detailed instructions.
- Moves smoothly on different surfaces
- Rolls, shakes, and makes bird sounds
- Powerful in-built battery
- Instructions not included in the package
Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Robot Cat Toy
Robot cat toys are among the most popular categories of toys for cats this year. With their demand on the rise, more brands are popping up in the field of robotics to bring a whole array of products to the shelves. From bots with simple designs to those with intricate moving mechanics, you are bound to be spoilt for choice.
So, how do you choose from parades of options to find a toy ideal for your feline friend?
Here is a complete checklist to help you in your search.
Design & Function
The design and functions of a robot cat toy will dictate the level of enjoyment offered. While some cats can play with just about any plaything, others tend to be picky because of their personalities, age, or health concerns. For instance, kittens are curious, active, and naughty. They will likely enjoy fast-paced automated toys that will make them work hard to catch their “prey”.
Older cats, perhaps those with joint pains, will enjoy toys with slower movements. Experimenting with different options to find one your kitty likes is perfectly okay.
When considering the functions of a robot cat toy, you must note the benefits your cat will enjoy. For example, will the toy get your fur baby moving and exercising? Does the toy have chewing components that enhance your cat’s oral health? Is the toy designed for solo play, or do you need to operate it remotely? Ensure that your toy of choice offers maximum benefits based on its design and functions.
Robot cat toys come with different power options. Some have USB charging slots, while others feature a compartment for non-rechargeable batteries. Make sure the toy you choose offers an option that suits your preferences and offers reasonable convenience.
Robots you can charge using a USB cord are an enticing option for most pet parents. They save you from repeatedly spending money on new batteries.
However, note that they often have limited run time before they require to be plugged into power. Typically, these robot toys have a two to four-hour runtime.
Another critical aspect to consider is the safety of a robot toy for cats. You need assurance that your cat will be safe even if you leave it unsupervised to play with its toy.
Before purchasing any robot toy, make sure it is made of cat-friendly materials. Keep off toys that can pose potential dangers and probably force you to take an impromptu trip to your vet. For instance, we disqualified robot toys with small parts that can break off and pose a choking hazard.
With every pet parent desperate to purchase an automated toy for their pet, robot cat toys are flying off shelves. This has also made steep prices unusually palatable for pet parents that want to ensure their cats are entertained, engaged, and distracted during regular work hours.
The most expensive toy is not necessarily the best option to purchase. Cats are hard to predict, and selecting a machine that matches your feline’s personality is safer. The idea is to ensure your cat will be interested in it.
How Much Human Interaction Do Cats Need?
Robot cat toys can provide hours of entertainment to keep your fur baby mentally stimulated and physically active while you are away. Still, cats have emotional needs, and your furball counts on you for more than just food and shelter. You are its source of safety and security!
Most cats, even with apparent aloofness, need some degree of social interaction. Your cat’s social preferences depend mainly on its typical rearing conditions and genetics. Even cats that won’t come when you call and seem highly independent can find it stressful to be home alone for extended hours.
Generally, your fur baby needs at least 20 minutes of one-on-one attention with you daily. You should be prepared to offer this much even if you invest in the best robot cat toys. While the right toy can enrich your life and protect your cat from feeling bored and lonely during your absence, it cannot replace you.
Are Robot Toys With Laser Pointers Safe for My Cat?
Robot toys with a laser pointer can deliver hours of fun for your fur baby. They feature an automatic rotating mirror that lets out a red laser beam that lands on the floor or the wall. Generally, laser pointer robot toys are safe as long as the light doesn’t fall on your furball’s eyes. Most cats remain interested in the toy, provided it’s not used daily.
Why Is My Cat Suddenly Disinterested in Its Robot Cat Toy?
It is common for cats to find their favorite toys boring after repeated use. Change things up occasionally to ensure your furball remains interested in its toy. Investing in a collection of toys and rotating them consistently to give your cat a new kind of stimulation daily is always a good idea. Also, keep the toys out of reach after play sessions.
Do Cats Get Lonely When Left Alone?
Even cats that often seem aloof desire social interaction with their human caregiver. While robot cat toys are great and can keep your fur baby distracted for hours, your pet still needs your attention to remain happy and healthy. Generally, cats get lonely and bored if left alone for more than 8 hours with or without interactive toys. They could let out their frustration by engaging in destructive behavior.
Loneliness and boredom can encourage destructive behavior in cats. If your cat is starching furniture and knocking over stuff in your kitchen, it’s probably looking for a means to release the frustration of separation anxiety. A robot cat toy can keep your fur baby mentally stimulated and physically active to kill boredom when you’re at work or away.
If you are looking for a piece of technology that can enrich your pet’s life, consider our Premium Pick. The PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy is designed to take laser games to the next level. Our Best Overall product, the SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy, will ensure you are always greeted by a bubbly feline when you get home. If you are on a budget, consider our Best Value option, the PetFusion Ambush Electronic Cat Toy.
Featured Image Credit: Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski, Shutterstock
- A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
- The 10 Best Robot Cat Toys
- 1. SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Motion Cat Toy — Best Overall
- 2. PetFusion Ambush Electronic Cat Toy — Best Value
- 3. PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy — Premium Choice
- 4. Petchain Interactive Cat Toy — Best for Kittens
- 5. Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy
- 6. BENTOPAL Automatic Interactive Cat Toys
- 7. PetSafe Dancing Dot Laser Toy
- 8. Migipaws Smart Teaser Toy for Indoor Cats
- 9. PetDroid Interactive Cat Toys
- 10. AUKL Interactive Cat Toys Ball
- Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Robot Cat Toy
- How Much Human Interaction Do Cats Need?