The 11 Best Kitten Toys That Will Keep Your Frisky Feline Busy
Kittens love to play. Whether climbing, running, or pouncing, your kitten's play isn't just fun to watch, it's also an important phase of their development. "Beyond exercise, play provides the means for cognitive and emotional development," says Ragen McGowan, Ph.D., senior pet behavior scientist at Purina.
With kittens in particular, play helps train them for the unexpected. "When playing, kittens put themselves in purposefully vulnerable situations to learn about their own strength and social interactions and practice later life skills," McGowan says. That play also engages their natural instincts, keeps them happy, and builds strong, positive bonds with their owners.
How to Choose the Best Kitten Toys
With so many toys on the market, is there something you should look for when buying one for your kitten? Start by choosing ones that are safe, namely those that can't be splintered, torn apart, or swallowed. Know, too, that cats are attracted to high-contrast color combinations, like a toy with black and white designs. They also love toys that move unusually or erratically (think oblong or wobbly shapes) when batted around. "Unpredictability in movement of toys is very stimulating for kittens," McGowan says.
Some good examples of kitten toys include:
- Cloth or hard rubber mouse
- Celluloid ball that rattles
- Toys with a wand attached to a dangly element
- Puzzle feeders
- Fish toys
While variety is key, so, too, is swapping out toys versus having all of them available all of the time. "This helps keep playtime exciting," McGowan says.
The 11 Best Kitten Toys Your Cat Will Love
Whisker City Ball Tracker and Cat Scratcher Toy
This toy will come in handy if you want to curb your kitten from scratching your furniture. The refillable center has a scratcher that gives kitten claws something to dig into. When your kitten's not scratching, he or she can chase the ball around the track—over and over again.
Shop now: Whisker City Ball Tracker & Cat Scratcher Toy, $20; petsmart.com
Frisco Moppy Ball Cat Toy
Available in blue or pink, this ball will entertain your kitty for hours. It's light enough that your kitten can toss it and chase it around the house. And when your kitty feels like taking a break, the soft material provides the perfect pillow.
Shop now: Frisco Moppy Ball Cat Toy, $3; chewy.com
Mad Cat Taco Cat Toy
These small toys are great for kittens to chase and pounce on to burn off excess energy, and they're so inexpensive that you could buy several to place in different rooms. The toy also contains catnip and silverline, an all-natural catnip, to get your kitten even more interested in batting it around.
Shop now: Mad Cat Taco Cat Toy, $2; petsmart.com
Hauspanther Bamboleos Wine Cork Catnip Chaser Cat Toy
This toy contains wine corks that make it bounce, giving your kitten something to chase after. The corks are encased in a soft, yarn-like casing that will make it appealing for your kitten to carry around. Bonus? Organic catnip will really get your kitten excited to play.
Shop now: Hauspanther Bamboleos Wine Cork Catnip Chaser Cat Toy, $12; chewy.com
Wand Tassels the Mouse Cat Toy
Ignite your kitten's hunting instinct with this engaging toy. The dangling mouse on the end, which has been infused with catnip, will no doubt inspire chases, especially if you're holding the wand. Move it around the floor and watch your kitten spring into action and pounce on it.
Shop now: Wand Tassels The Mouse Cat Toy, $4; target.com
SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy
These mice-shaped catnip toys are the perfect size for your kitten to bat around, and with 10 in a pack, you won't have to worry about one getting lost. The catnip is produced with no chemicals or pesticides, and the inside is made from recycled plastic to suit the eco-minded cat parents.
Shop now: SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy; $6, target.com
Linneman Scratching Post
Every kitten needs a scratching post, especially if you want to keep your feline friend from clawing curtains and furniture. This freestanding post is covered in sisal rope and stands 31 inches high. Best part? It comes with a replaceable dangling pom toy and spring toy to keep your kitty entertained.
Shop now: Linneman Scratching Post, $36; wayfair.com
PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy
Kittens love toys that move, and this one qualifies as the toy features colorful feathers that pop out randomly through one of six holes. The unpredictable, fast-moving nature of the feathers will appeal to your kitty's natural hunting instinct, and the bright moving light offers additional opportunity for movement. Anti-slip feet on the toy means it will stay in place.
Shop now: PetFusion Ambush Interactive Electronic Cat Toy, $23; chewy.com
Frisco Sparkle Fish Cat Toy With Catnip
Kittens agree: Feathers are fun. Not only will these feathers entice your kitty to play, the toy is the perfect size for batting around the house. And like other toys, this one is infused with catnip to up the excitement.
Shop now: Frisco Sparkle Fish Cat Toy with Catnip, $5; chewy.com
Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze and Puzzle Feeder
Hide treats, toys, and food in this game and puzzle box, and your kitten will have to figure out how to navigate it. The feeder allows for three levels of play, starting with beginner and progressing to advanced, and will engage your kitten's instincts to seek and hunt.
Shop now: Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder, $17; amazon.com
Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree Cat Feeder
Make your kitty work for treats and food with this easy-to-clean feeder. Call it modern foraging for kitties because your kitty will have to paw through the openings of the tree to hunt for food. Food lands at the bottom of the tree in a spill-free dish.
Shop now: Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree Cat Feeder, $20; chewy.com