All cats get the zoomies. "The zoomies" is when your cat decides to run back and forth like crazy jumping all over and meowing. Your cat will get this way when they don't get enough exercise in their day to day life.
It is ingrained in cats to stalk, hunt & pounce. When they don't exercise they can get cranky and do things like meow all night long! Exercise is especially important for indoor cats.
Given this, it is important for you to ensure your cat gets plenty of healthy exercise! To help you I've compiled a list of cat toys for indoor cats and added details on why it is important to play with your cat.
The Best Cat Toys for Indoor Cats
Hexbug Nano Nitro Cat Toy 5 Pack
I absolutely love these toys, they are one of my go to toys for my cats and I would recommend them to almost anyone so long as they have a floor that is tile or wood. These toys are one of the best interactive cat toys that is automated and your cats truly cannot easily predict how they will move. They provide an awesome play experience by:
The only item I’d note is to keep a general eye on your cat while they’re playing with these. They can easily get under places like the stove and can be a pain to get out. Just remember they’re only useful on a hardwood or tile floor. See my full video review below or check out my full written review here.
The Traditional Laser Pointer
Laser pointers are truly one of the most reliable go to cat toys on the market. While there are a bunch of unique cat toys out there, laser pointers are a great traditional fallback. Both my resident cats and every cat I have ever fostered have absolutely loved to chase around a laser pointer. Laser pointers carry a bunch of benefits with them as cat toys as well:
The only thing I’d note with a laser pointer is to ensure you finish your play session with something your cat can get a hold of physically. This gives your cat a chance to actually feel success in their hunt and will improve their satisfaction. You could finish with a wand or any stuffed toy or ball.
Bergen Turbo Scratcher
The ball is locked into a track so your cat can bat it with her paws or push it with her nose and if she feels the need to scratch she has a scratching pad right there! Talk about convenient, what else could a cat need?
Catit Design Senses Play Circuit
This toy is particularly awesome for kittens, but adult cats love it too. Once of the greatest benefits here is that the toy is totally hands off once you set it up for the first time and there’s really not reason you can’t just leave it out all the time (unless your cats like to play while you sleep).
Petlinks Mystery Motion
If you’ve kept up with my site you know that I absolutely love the Petlinks Mystery Motion cat toy. The Mystery Motion is mostly focused on spinning a set of feathers around under a mat to entice your cat to pounce on it.
Sounds straight forward, but wow is it engaging! The primary reason I love it is because it is so easy to setup and my cats totally love it too. The key features on this toy include:
The only real improvement I wish this toy had was an automated timer so I could flip it on when I leave for work and it would stay on for 15-20 minutes. Check out my full written review or watch the video here:
Colorful Plastic Springs 20 Pack
One of the easiest and most simple toys I’ve ever seen, it is a pretty straight forward plastic spring. The true fun in this toy comes from the fact that your cat will start batting it around a little bit and then can’t stop chasing it all over the place. I never would have thought cats would love them so much!
Cat Dancer Charmer Wand
Everyone knows that cats love wand toys, but this is basically the Cadillac of wand toys and it shows. Cats go crazy for this particular wand based on the color combination and the awesome material that lets it flex the way it does. A few things worth noting here:
You can also read my comprehensive review of the Rainbow Cat Charmer here which is a similar wand toy from the same company. They are both excellent products!
Fashion Talk’s 20 Cat Toy Variety Pack
Honestly, at this price, how could you go wrong getting 20 different assorted cat toys? You’ve got all sorts of balls and stuffed toys in here, any cat would go completely nuts over this combination!
I wish I got this many toys in a single pack as a kid for a couple of bucks, I would have been ecstatic. Key features worth noting:
Friends Forever Interactive Laser Toy
Looking for an even lazier way to entertain your cats than sitting in a recliner with traditional laser pointer like I do? You’ve found it, and it is amazing. This is one of the best cat toys for lonely cats because it can entertain them while you’re not around!
Every once in a while we get these at the Cat Shelter I volunteer at from kind souls who want to provide for our kitty cats as they wait for families to come adopt them. The cats go absolutely bonkers for this thing because:
Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy
The Tower of Tracks is a multistage track and ball type toy for cats. The balls are locked into the tracks on each level and the cat can bat them around, but they will not fall out of the tracks and end up rolling under the couch or something.
An improvement on previous models, this one also contains a bar over the hole in the top to ensure your cat won’t stick their head into it and end up in a very large cone of shame and in very unfortunate cases actually resulted in cats getting injured. A few features worth noting:
Petsafe Slimcat Interactive Toy and Dispenser
This particular item is a combination of a toy and a feeder. If you’ve got a cat that is either a bit of a vacuum or a cat that simply eats too much without moving then this is the toy for you.
The Slimcat Interactive is a puzzle feeder at its most base description, it basically fills with food and the cat has to bat it around to get the food to fall out. It’s a great way to encourage exercise while slowing down food intake. A few things worth noting:
Hexbug Mouse Cat Toy
Hexbug is a really cool company in my opinion, they’ve come up with a bunch of automated cat toys that basically let your cat get a great workout without requiring a human to be 100% involved.
That’s an awesome perk at the end of a long day, especially since otherwise your cat can keep you up all darn night playing on their own or meowing to get you to play! Similar to the Nitro bugs I noted above, the Hexbug Mouse is specifically designed to mimic an actual hunt for your cat:
SmartyCat Chickadee Chirp Cat Toy
If you have a cat that is super interested when birds chirp outside the window then you’ve found a great toy right here. The SmartyCat Chickadee mimics real bird sounds and is activated whenever your cat (or you) give it a little whack or a bounce. Once it is set off your cat will go bonkers and keep batting it around. A few things worth noting:
Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat
While my cats love to scratch my rug, I never thought I’d end up buying a rug that was purposely made to be scratched up and used as a cat toy. This is probably one of the most entertaining cat toys on the market due to its simple but mass appeal!
The Ripple Rug is exactly that though, a special toy in the shape of a rug with all sorts of design features to keep your cat(s) interested:
Trixi Pet Five in One Game Board
The Trixi Pet Five in One Game Board is pretty unique in its design in the marketplace. This is definitely one of the most mentally stimulating cat toys out there.
It is a heavily food and treat driven toy so if you’ve got an overweight cat it can be a good way to make your cat work for their food. The board, no surprise given the name, has 5 different ways to engage your cat:
All in all a great way to make a cat work for their food or treats, any cat that needs some exercise will love this activity board! This little video shows it in action:
Creaker Collapsible Pet Toy 3-Way Tunnel
Not only does this collapsible tunnel allow for a great vantage point to hide and watch from, it also gives cats a place to explore. A few features worth noting:
Smarty Cat Fish Flop Cat Toys
Smarty Cat Fish Flops are a fun and simple little toy. They are fish shaped cloth toys (maybe burlap?) that have crinkle paper inside them as well as a dose of catnip to get your cat interested the first time.
The only real drag about these toys is that you can’t refill them with catnip, but that problem is easily solved by catnip spray. Just give them a quick spray and they are good as new!
Bascolor Retractable Feather Teaser Wand w/ 7 Feathers
If your cat is a fan of feather wands, or wands in general, this is a great option. Most wand toys only come with the single end included that has a couple of feathers, not only does it get beat up or destroyed quickly, but they rarely sell the ends on their own.
You’d be forced instead to go buy a whole new wand toy, how wasteful is that? So check out the rest of the features:
Cat Amazing Treat Maze and Puzzle Feeder
It has three built in difficulty levels for different levels of curiosity and it will keep your cat well entertained for long periods of time! Just drop a few treats or a catnip covered toy inside and let them go to town!
The Natural Pet Company Cat Toys Collection
Whether you’ve got a tiny kitten or an elderly cat, toys provide a fun way to get your fur ball exercising and engaging with you. It is always a riot to watch them chase after their favorite toy, pounce on it, then settle down for a quick grooming session before zonking out for a few hours!
The Natural Pet Company wants your cat to do exactly this and they make this awesome collection of toys to enable exactly that.
Why Should You Play With Your Cat?
Playing with your cat has a host of benefits worth considering, but here's a quick rundown of the major ones:
- Bonding Time: The more you play with your cat the more your cat will come to associate your presence with good things. This means your cat will come to adore you and want to spend more time with you.
- Natural Instincts: Cats naturally want to hunt, stalk and pounce. Giving them a chance to play and do these things is great for exercising their natural instincts. Doing this at a time of day that you choose is far better than your cat deciding to do it at 3 AM while you're trying to sleep!
- Health Related: Just like us humans, exercising decreases overall stress and gives your cat a chance to focus on something. Not only is this great for producing endorphins (yes, cats have them too!) but it also helps them keep their weight down. A healthy weight helps deter health problems in general.
If you're not sure of the best way to play with your cat you can check out this article for a few great ways to play with your feline friend!
What Else Should I Consider?
Age: Definitely take into the account the age of your cat. Cat toys for indoor cats or cats in general are often age agnostic, but some of them are definitely more appropriate for kittens or adults than others. You should also take age into account when deciding how often and for how long to play with your cat. No surprise, but the older your cat gets the less likely they are to spend time playing.
Variety: Remember that cats will get bored of the same toy if you use it over and over constantly, this is true for pretty much any toy. Having a variety of toys and rotating them in and out really helps maintain interest since cats are finicky little beasts! Definitely remember to hide some toys from time to time and keep them guessing.
What About a Feline Friend?
One other item definitely worth considering outside the realm of toys is whether or not you should consider adopting a feline friend for your existing cat. Now obviously if you already know your cat is a one and only then do your best to focus on ensuring he or she gets lots of fun play sessions.
On the other hand if you're open to another feline shelters are bursting at the seams with cats that need a happy home and many cats love having a friend to play with. Not only will it encourage them to get exercise and keep them fit, but they'll also be less likely to cause mischief around the house when you're not around because they can play and wrestle together.
There are a few things you should definitely keep in mind when considering an adoption:
- Ensure any cat you consider is spayed or neutered! The last thing the world needs is more kittens. No matter how darn cut they are!
- Make sure you adopt an age appropriate cat. A kitten isn't a great idea for your 14 year old cat!
- Demeanor is important to consider as well. If your 1 year old cat is super lazy and likes to sleep then adopting a wildly energetic 1 year old cat as a friend might not be the best idea.
- Be sure to discuss options with the shelter you visit as most shelters have in depth information on cats through their foster programs.
Wrapping It Up On The Cat Toys For Indoor Cats
The market is loaded with an immeasurable number of cat toys these days. It seems like every time I look online or walk into Petco I find some new contraption. Keep in mind that cats often get just as much entertainment out of cheap simple toys as they do out of expensive ones.
Don't be afraid to experiment and see what works for your cat! That's where some of the combo or large packages of toys can really come in handy.
If you have any toys you love that I totally missed then please please leave a comment below or send me an email at Craig@StuffCatsWant.com so I can update this article.
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