The 10 Best Toys for Cats Who Are Home Alone
Just like us, cats don't want to be left home alone all day with nothing to do. But, no matter how much we want to be stay-at-home pet parents, we can't spend every waking moment by their side. So when Kitty's the only one at home, she needs the best cat toys to play alone.
"Feral cats spend up to 80 percent of their waking hours hunting for food," says cat behavior expert Laura Cassiday, MS, CCBC, ABCCT. "Our domestic indoor cats have no need for this lifestyle, but it doesn't mean that the instinct still isn't there. Cats that are able to perform these natural hunting, stalking, and killing behaviors have fewer behavior problems and are generally happier."
Cassiday recommends keeping things fresh and rotating out your cat's toys every week or so. This will keep your kitty engaged with something new instead of the same toys every day (which can get so boring). Here are some toys that cats can play with by themselves to add to your rotation.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Potaroma Flopping Fish ($13)
- Best Budget: Frisco Colorful Springs ($5)
- Best Splurge: One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel ($440)
- Best for Kittens: Petstages Tower of Tracks ($15)
- Best Interactive: OurPets Pounce House ($22)
- Best for Promoting Exercise: Kitty City 3-Way Tunnel ($20)
- Best Motorized: SmartyKat Loco Motion Electric Cat Toy ($17)
- Best Multi-Purpose: SnuggleCat Ripple Rug ($44)
- Best Puzzle: Petstages Buggin' Out Puzzle ($20)
- Best for Scratching: Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Toy ($15)
Best Overall: Potaroma Flopping Fish
Best Budget: Frisco Colorful Springs
Best Splurge: One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel
Best for Kittens: Petstages Tower of Tracks
Best Interactive: OurPets Pounce House
Best for Promoting Exercise: Kitty City 3-Way Tunnel
Best Motorized: SmartyKat Loco Motion Electric Cat Toy
Best Multi-Purpose: SnuggleCat Ripple Rug
Best Puzzle: Petstages Buggin' Out Puzzle
Best for Scratching: Frisco Scratch & Roll Scratcher Toy
What To Look For
When choosing the best toys for a cat who's alone at home, the rule is simple: the more interactive, the better.
"'Dead,' non-moving toys are the least entertaining for cats," Cassiday says. "Battery-operated toys can be good for cats when you're not home, especially those that have an automatic shut-off."
But even if your living room floor is covered in automatic cat toys, don't expect your cat to keep herself busy 24/7. It's important to give her plenty of playtime when you get home.
"Solo toys are great, but they just are not a substitution for interactive play with you," Cassiday says. "After all, a toy mouse laying on the floor is dead. It's not fun to hunt unless it's moving … I recommend trying to play with your cat for at least 10 minutes twice a day."