Best Catnip Toys Reviewed & Rated for Fun
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Whatever else we use for criteria on this list, this one stands as the most important of all. If your cat despises playing with the toy, then they aren’t going to want to play with the toy, are they? There are a lot of different factors that can play into this, but chief among them is that the toy in question must be designed in such a way as to encourage the cat to either chase or pounce. Cats play and hunt essentially the same way, by chasing the object of their desire, pouncing on, and then wrestling with it until they feel it has been submitted. What makes it playtime or lunchtime is the factor of whether or not the object in question is in danger of being eaten. This is why a common household object they love playing with is a fully stocked keychain. It’s jittery and playing with it makes them make full use of their legs. When judging any kind of toy, whether it be for human or animal, fun is always the top priority.
If you know nothing about cats, know this. No matter how domesticated they become, they are, at heart, predatory animals. And they have the tools for the job. Even normal housecats have claws like razor blades and teeth like slightly wetter razor blades. So, if you’re going to give them a toy to play with, it had best be built in preparation for that kind of interaction. Durability for a cat toy is a tricky tightrope to walk. After all, they need to be durable, but not too hard. Cats like their toys to be soft, after all, so while it should withstand the onslaught of fangs and claws, it shouldn’t be too invincible. Otherwise, the cat could end up hurting itself. This is usually achieved by making the cat toy out of thicker and denser fabrics, that while still soft, can take a scratch or two from a playful pussycat.
You will, on average, never ever have to worry about a catnip toy costing you a lot. They are generally incredibly cheap, costing well below the double digits price range. Even the really good ones, like the ones on this list, will rarely cost you any more than a candy bar at the grocery store. However, it is still a product, and thus the price can climb. This usually happens when the toy is larger, made of sturdier stuff, or has more features. However, again, you will never have to worry about being overcharged for a catnip toy. Not even when you got your sights set on a very high-quality one. Which is definitely a good thing, considering that you will inevitably have to replace it when the catnip runs out.
10 Best Catnip Toys
1. KONG Naturals Incline Scratcher
When it comes to high-quality catnip toys, KONG has pretty much everyone else beat. Though not necessarily because what they make is the best, despite this item’s placement, but rather that no one makes high-quality material nearly as consistently as he or she does. And nowhere else is this more exemplified than with the KONG Naturals Incline Scratcher.
Of course, when you have a scratching post like this, the part the cat is meant to scratch on can only last so long. Which is why this scratcher has reversible scratch pads. Now when one runs out, you can replace it by simply turning it around. Meaning more playtime for your kitty for longer periods of time.
Ergonomics is a part of the design that permeates pretty much all aspects of any product in which design is a priority (so, most of them). And it’s no different for cat scratchers, after all, the cat shouldn’t have to struggle to stay atop of it. Which is why this incline is just angled enough for the cat to stay on comfortably, while still giving them the room required to scratch to their heart’s content.
Cost and Value
The great thing about pet toys, cat toys, in particular, is that they rarely cost all that much. This one, in particular, is incredibly affordable.
Coming in second place is the Yeowww! Banana Catnip Toy. Yeowww makes some of the best simple novelty cat toys, and in this case, catnip toys. But we wanted to focus on the banana, because, well, we like bananas. Not much else besides. So there. Now then, onto the qualifications.
Tough with teeth
This was the price of entry for pretty much the entire list, the first box that every entry had to tick to be so much as considered. But still, some can do it better than others, and for a cloth felt banana just barely bigger than your middle finger, this one holds up shockingly well against the ravages of kitty teeth and claws. Which any cat owner can attest, is no easy feat.
Not something you see every day, is it? But indeed, from sewing to crafting, every step of the process of making these toys is handled by normal human hands. And in this day and age, that really is something that deserves commendation.
Cost and Value
One other reason we chose this was that these toys come in the shapes of different fruit, and thus in different sizes and prices. And out of all of them, this one is by far the cheapest of the lot.
3. HARTZ Kitty Frenzy
Finishing up our top three segment, we have the HARTZ Kitty Frenzy Toy. This toy is exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a 12 pack of toy mice that look just real enough to make your cat want to hunt them down like the adorable apex predator they are. And the catnip that they’re stuffed full of probably serves an extra bit of incentive.
Lightweight and fun to play with
We can talk about specs and benefits all day long, but the question must always be whether or not it’s actually fun for your cat when they play with this toy. And the answer to this one is a resounding yes. This pack of toy mice is lightweight and fluffy, making them easy to pick up and bat around. But they’re also durable enough to be able to take what your cat can dish out.
Perfect for predatory play
Cats are stalker animals, that’s why they take so much joy in hunting small skittish animals like birds or mice. And for that purpose, these toys are an excellent choice for your furry little killing machine. Place them all throughout the house and just watch as your cat hunts them all down one by one, getting plenty of exercise in the process.
Cost and Value
These are likely the cheapest products on this list so far, and very likely of the entire list in general. Don’t be shocked if you find this toy for under $5 in most retailers.
4. KONG Beaver
In the #4 spot, we have yet another entry from KONG, the KONG Beaver Catnip Toy. At first glance, you may think this to be just your run of the mill cat toy, just shaped like a beaver this time around. You may even be confused because, upon looking inside, you’d find not a bit of catnip. However, that is one of this toy’s many secrets.
In this toy is a special compartment, in which you are meant to pour in catnip. Now don’t worry, there is plenty of catnip already included with the toy in a little plastic bottle. Catnip has a tendency to go away quickly, especially when the actual cat is involved. So, it’s smart to have a toy that can have its supply refilled.
We mentioned it in the previous section, but we feel that the compartment in which you put the catnip deserves mentioning on its own. Because it goes in its own special little pouch, you don’t have to worry about the cat getting to it too quickly or tearing through the toy because it has to be too thin to play with to compensate.
Cost and Value
While not quite as cheap as the previous entry, it’s still a very affordable toy, that your cat will simply adore.
5. KONG Kickaroo
In the #5 slot, we have yet another KONG product, with the Kickaroo. If there is one type of cat toy that soars above the rest, it’s the kickable tail toys like this one here. They’re one of the most adaptable and versatile toys made for cats. As we will now demonstrate.
Great when active and when sleepy
Even when your cat is hopped up on catnip and bouncing off the walls, there are still going to be times when they quiet down and need a quick nap. Luckily, this toy is so soft and snuggly, that your cat will want to have it around whether they’re running around, or just napping on the couch. Making it one of the most versatile toys on this list.
The size of this toy was no accident, but a meticulously measured design choice for this toy. This toy is specifically sized in a way that promotes realistic wrestling and hind paw kicking from your cat. After all, it’s hard to train a cat the way you train other animals. The best way to do it is to make it think it was their idea.
Cost and Value
For a cat toy, this one is very evenly priced. Not as cheap as the previous two entries, but even the pricier cat toys like this one are nothing of note when it comes to price.
For #6, we’re looking at the SmartyKat Cat Toys. Once more, we have a set of ten adorable little felt mice for your cat to play with, with a dash of catnip added in for good measure. But what do these have to offer that the last set of these toys we looked at don’t? Well, let’s take a look and find out.
Pure potent catnip
One problem with a lot of catnip is that a lot of it is made with or in the dangerous vicinity or toxic chemicals and other such materials, that in too much abundance, can end up hurting your cat if they have too much exposure to it. Which is why SmartyKat made sure to make their catnip with nothing but the purest, most potent catnip they could make.
The problem with the previous entry of mice is that they were so vibrantly colored that some smarter cats wouldn’t play with them because they knew what a mouse looked like. Luckily, these mice do not have that problem, being properly colored, complete with little dots for the eyes.
Cost and Value
Though this pack of mice has the same exact number of mice toys as the previous one, that doesn’t stop it from being much more expensive. Not too expensive, mind, but pricey enough to be notable. This most likely has to do with the larger size of the mice and the more realistic details.
7. Easyology Interactive Pizza
At #7 is the Easyology Cat Toys Interactive Pizza. This is exactly what the name implies, it is a big felt pizza cushion with topping shaped pillows, with a box to match. All well and good, but you probably want to know what this toy actually has to offer, huh? Well, read on, and we’ll show you.
Included pizza box
If you’ve been on the internet for more than approximately 4.006 seconds, then you have been made aware of a universal truth: cat LOVE boxes. Playing with them, sitting in them, sleeping in them, cat is connoisseurs of all box-kind. Which is why this pizza comes with a box that the cat is sure to love, arguably more than even the pizza that comes in it.
If we haven’t made this clear already, let’s set the record straight; cat claws are sharp and deadly things that will make quick work of most of what you throw at it. However, this toy can more than take the heat, being made of highly durable fabrics that will hold up against your kitty’s claws.
Cost and Value
This is one of the pricier entries on this list, but don’t let that trick you into thinking it isn’t still very affordable, because it very much is.
8. SmartyKat Fish Friends
Kicking off our final three entries, we have the SmartyKat Fish Friends cat toys. Every cat is a hunter at heart, and if you’ve ever seen a catfish, you know that even the most domesticated breeds of feline know how to catch their own fish practically by instinct. That’s just one of the many reasons that SmartyKat chose to model their brand new cat toy after fish. Let’s look at the other reasons.
Realistic fish design
When it comes to felt cat toys, you can only make something so realistic before you lose the ability. But for what they are, these three fish toys look just enough like the real thing to entice any cat. And the catnip doesn’t hurt either. For good measure, the toys make a realistic crunch sound when bitten into.
One of the easiest cat toys to get your hands on out there are, well, feathers and keys and other dangly objects lying around the house. Cats are naturally drawn to things that flutter or skitter about, so dangling a feather, like the one attached to these toys, is a good way to get them jumping around.
Cost and Value
We’re back to the super low prices with this toy, which is thankfully very cheap for what it’s offering you.
9. KONG Cat Cozie Kickeroo
For our second to final entry, we have our last KONG offering with the KONG Cat Cozie Kickeroo. Like before, this kickeroo is perfect for your cat when you want something for them to play with as well as something to snuggle up with when the mellow sets in. So, let’s see if it has anything else to its name.
Like before, this kickeroo is the perfect size for a cat to play with. While nowhere near as meticulous in its sizing, this plush is large enough for realistic playtime. Which is definitely a good thing for a growing cat whose reflexes you want to keep nice and sharp.
It wouldn’t be much of a cuddle toy if it wasn’t very cuddly, now would it? Which is why this kickeroo comes made from an incredibly cuddle felt fabric that will keep your cat nice and warm when they snuggle up to it.
Cost and Value
While not quite as cheap as the last KONG kickeroo we looked at, the margin of difference here is so slight that it’s barely even worth mentioning.