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8 Best Electronic and Remote Control Cat Toys of 2022

cat looking at toy
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Remote control cat toys and electronic cat toys can be a fun way to provide your cat with an exciting, vigorous play session. But there are definitely some duds out there. Choose the right toy and you and your cat can look forward to some hilarious play sessions as they chase that tiny mouse around the house. Choose the wrong one—and you may find it doesn’t charge up correctly, or pieces break off as soon as your cat catches it.     

In addition to helping your cat stay physically active and mentally stimulated, these electronic toys can also offer benefits to pet parents. “We often forget that one in four people in the US has some form of disability,” says Dr. Erin Downes, owner of Paoli Vetcare. “If a remote control toy makes it easier or more fun to play with your cat, that will benefit both of you and your relationship!”  

Our Top Picks 

We’ve rounded up some of the best remote controlled and electronic cat toys for you to choose from. 

How We Chose Our Top Cat Remote Control Cat Toys

In addition to our own personal experience as cat pet parents to four crazy felines, we considered specific criteria when deciding which electronic cat toys to feature. We ranked our choices based on the following factors:

Durability. We picked toys that can stand up to your cat’s pouncing and won’t break when you get them out of the box. 

Price. While remote control toys and electronic toys are usually more expensive than regular cat toys, we still looked for options that offer pet parents the best value. Toys on our list with higher price points are here because we truly think they are worth the money.

Safety. We consulted with a veterinarian to choose toys that are safe for cats and kittens.  

Reviews. Finally, we looked at other customer reviews for each toy, and only selected those with high average ratings.  

8 Best Electronic and Remote Control Cat Toys 

Let’s take a look at the electronic toys for cats. From remote controlled mice, to flopping fish and automatic cat laser toys, you’re bound to see something your cat’s going to find irresistible!   

Best Overall Remote Control Cat Toy

Our Pick: SlowTon Remote Control Cat Toy

cat toy

This cute remote control mouse will catch your cat’s attention thanks to its fast movements, light up eyes, and feather tail. It’s easy to operate thanks to the mini remote control. This is the perfect choice for interactive play sessions with your cat — as you can control the speed and direction to suit your cat’s preferred play style. The front wheels are designed to rotate to prevent this mouse from flipping over and the chunky wheels give good traction on hard floors and short-pile carpets. This toy does need quite a few batteries, as the remote control needs two AA batteries while the mouse needs three AA batteries. But once you’ve seen your cat playing with this, you’ll likely decide the batteries are well worth it.     

Pros

  • Good value for money 
  • Sturdy design 
  • Easy to operate
  • Great for interactive play 

Cons

  • Some cats may chew the feathers
  • Best suited for hard floors 
  • Requires lots of batteries

Best Remote Control Laser Cat Toy

Our Pick: Rechargeable Motion Activated Cat Laser Toy

If you’re looking for a remote controlled cat toy that can keep your cat entertained while you’re out of the house, this laser is a great option. Place the unit on a shelf or table and the motion-activated sensor will switch the laser on as your cat walks past. You can choose from a range of modes, including two speeds and an adjustable range. Laser toys shouldn’t be the only form of playtime for your cat, as felines can become frustrated when they don’t actually ‘catch’ anything. That’s why we like the fact that this laser cat toy only activates once every hour.  

Pros

  • Automatically turns off after five minutes play 
  • Silent operation 
  • Rechargeable
  • Only activates once per hour to prevent over-playing

Cons

  • Some cats may not learn how to activate the laser 
  • Laser isn’t easy to see in brightly lit or sunny rooms 

Best Remote Control Mouse Cat Toy

Our Pick: HEXBUG Remote Control Mouse Cat Toy 

cat toy

You and your cat can enjoy hours of fun with this remote control mouse toy for cats. This fluffy little mouse comes with a remote control so you can move the mouse forwards, plus left and right. This toy is also programmed to find a way around most obstacles, and if your cat flips it over it should right itself before moving off again. The rubber tail is designed to wriggle as the mouse moves, catching your cat’s eyes and making this toy even more irresistible.

Pros

  • Rubber tail moves to catch your cat’s attention
  • Perfect for interactive play 
  • Easy to use remote 

Cons

  • Only works on hard surfaces 
  • Makes a noise that some may find irritating
  • Needs a lot of batteries  
  • Quite expensive 

Best Bird Electronic Cat Toy

Our Pick: SmartyKat Chickadee Chirp Electronic Bird Toy

cat toy

If your cat loves staring out of the window and chittering at the birds in your garden, then give them their own to play with — minus the ruffled feathers! This cute and fluffy bird toy is available in a range of designs that mimic the sounds of real birds. The sound can be heard when your cat swats at the toy, although you’ll need to activate it first by pulling out the plastic tab.   

Pros

  • Choose from six designs
  • Filled with organic catnip
  • Suitable for solo and interactive play sessions 
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Some cats may chew the feathers of certain designs 
  • Smaller cats or kittens may not be able to activate the sound feature 
  • Batteries can’t be replaced or charged

Best Snake Remote Control Cat Toy

Our Pick: AmazinglyCat Remote Control Snake Cat Toy 

snake cat toy

 The slithering motion of this remote control toy for cats is bound to catch the attention of curious cats. Pet parents can have great fun controlling this snake using the egg-shaped remote control with three controls: left, forward, and right. The snake can be charged using the enclosed USB charger, with one charge of 60 minutes giving around 30 minutes of play. The remote only works when it’s in line of sight of the snake, so you’ll have to stay pretty close to make sure it works. This toy is best kept for supervised play sessions as some cats may chew the plastic. 

Pros

  • Easy to use remote 
  • Good value for money 
  • Plastic toy is easy to clean
  • 1 hour of charging gets you 30 minutes of playtime

Cons

  • Won’t work on thick carpet
  • Some cats may try to chew the plastic
  • Must be operated using remote control
  • Batteries in remote run out quickly

Best Fish Electronic Cat Toy 

Our Pick: Potaroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy

fish cat toy

Cats adore kicker fish toys that mimic the erratic movement of their natural prey — and this flopping fish is designed to be irresistible to most cats. The in-built motion sensor activates this toy as your cat walks past, meaning it’s a great choice for your cat to play with while they’re home alone. As this automatic cat toy is charged using a USB cable there’s no need to change batteries, simply unzip the belly and plug into the included USB charger. As an added bonus, this fish also contains a small pouch of catnip that can be replaced as needed.     

Pros

  • Available in four designs 
  • Easy to recharge with USB cable 
  • Made with soft and durable cat-safe fabric 
  • Washable cover 

Cons 

  • Some cats may rip the fabric 
  • Some reviewers report charging issues 

Best Remote Control Cat Toy With a Camera

Our Pick: Petcube Play 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera with Laser Toy

cat toy

If you’re away from home for much of the day, you might be worried your cat either isn’t getting enough exercise, or that they’re bored with no one to play with. This remote control cat toy includes a camera so you can check in on your cat at any time by using the associated app on your phone. You can even activate a laser toy which you can either control manually or set to autoplay mode. There’s also motion and sound-activated alerts so you know when your cat’s awake from their nap and ready to play.   

Pros

  • Includes two-way audio
  • Quick setup
  • 4x zoom feature 
  • Built-in Alexa assistant 

Cons 

  • Expensive 
  • Requires Wi-Fi coverage 

Best Budget Electronic Cat Toy

Our Pick: Whisker City Laser Pointer Cat Toy

cat toy

This battery powered laser toy comes pre-loaded with three batteries for hours of fun. Activate the laser by pressing and holding the button, then move the laser point back and forth to trigger your cat’s predatory instincts and get them moving! In addition to the regular red dot created by most laser pointers, this toy includes two fun tips that transform the laser into a bug or butterfly shape. This laser also includes three spare batteries.   

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Encourages your cat to move  

Cons

  • Laser toys can lead to your cat becoming frustrated. Throw in a plush toy when your cat catches the laser so your cat feels accomplished. 
  • Doesn’t show up well in bright rooms 
  • Children shouldn’t use laser toys while unsupervised

Benefits of Electronic and Remote Cat Toys 

Interested to find out more about how interactive cat toys can benefit your fluffy friend? Automatic cat toys can help encourage your cat to stay active, help engage their natural prey drive, and offer a great chance for a fun bonding experience.    

“Cats, especially indoor cats, do get bored being home alone all day. Boredom can lead to abnormal behaviors, shuts over-grooming, over-eating, and depression,” says Dr. Downes. “Interactive toys can improve mental and physical health by relieving boredom and encouraging exercise.”

Electronic Cat Toy Buyer’s Guide 

Cat pouncing on mouse toy

There’s no shortage of remote control and electronic cat toys out there for you to choose from, but sometimes all that choice can feel overwhelming. Here’s what to think about before you buy. 

Safety

This should always be your number one consideration. “No toy is 100% safe. The main problems we see are from ingesting a part of a toy like string, feathers, or small parts that break off,” says Dr. Downes. “Always read the reviews and buy quality toys. Supervising your cat’s playtime will prevent problems that may land you in a veterinary emergency hospital.”

Type of Toy

Some remote control toys allow you to control the direction and speed of the toy with a remote, for truly interactive play sessions. Other automatic toys for cats are automatically triggered by your cat’s movement, or can be turned on via an app while you’re away from home. Decide which sort will suit your cat best before you buy – or treat them to a variety and see which they like best! 

Size

Some remote control cat toys are pretty bulky, and that can intimidate kittens, or make a cautious cat run for cover. Consider introducing your cat to a smaller remote control toy first so they become familiar with them, before moving onto larger toys. 

Wheel Type

Most remote control cat toys have wheels so they can move around your floors. Smaller wheels generally only work best on hard floors, while other, more chunky wheels, will work on carpet too. If your whole house is carpeted, consider a laser toy instead, so you know it won’t get stuck! 

Noise Level 

Play time with your cat can be fun, but consider how much noise a toy will make before you buy. “Some of the remote control toys are loud enough to annoy you or other members of your family, so I recommend reading the reviews if you are sensitive to noise,” says Dr. Downes. Some cats will also be alarmed by the noise that certain toys make.  

Electronic Cat Toys: Tips for Success

Cat with electronic fish toy

Using interactive cat toys for play sessions can be a lot of fun. However, if you haven’t used these kinds of toys with your cat before, they might create unwanted stress. Follow our tips for success to create fun and rewarding sessions that keep your cat coming back for more.   

Use laser toys sparingly. One thing to bear in mind with laser toys is that they can cause frustration or even eye damage if used incorrectly, says Dr. Downes. “Decrease frustration by interspersing some playtime with a 3D toy and take care not to shine the laser into your cat’s eye,” she says. “A safer — and inexpensive — alternative to laser toys is a regular flashlight with a small, focused beam or a penlight.”

Use them to combat loneliness and boredom. Interactive toys can be a great way to provide your cat with something to do while you’re out of the house. “Pet parents do not always need to be there for their cats to benefit from remote control toys,” says Dr. Downes. Motion activated toys will keep your cat occupied, while remote control laser cat toys with an integrated camera are a great way for you to check in on your cat. 

Keep toys age appropriate. Remote control toys are suitable for all ages of cat, but if you have a kitten Dr. Downes says to remember that they “tend to prefer interactive toys they can actually pounce on and bite.” So choose a durable toy decided for slightly rougher play, and regularly check it for any signs of wear and tear.  

Limit play sessions. Your cat will usually let you know when they’ve had enough playing, and if they need a break they’ll likely walk away. Some toys have timers on them, so play sessions are limited to a set amount of time and you don’t need to worry about your cat over-exerting themselves. Always make sure plenty of fresh water is available so they can rehydrate after all that exercise! Don’t force electronic toys on your cat. Not all cats are interested in remote control toys—so don’t worry if your cat doesn’t seem interested. They may need a little time to become confident around these kinds of toys, as they make erratic movements and can be noisy. If your cat doesn’t seem interested, move on and try again another day. You can even sprinkle some catnip on the toy to encourage them. If they still don’t show any interest, it might just be that they prefer other types of cat toys.

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