My Cats Test out the 9 Best Cat Chew Toys on the Market
Together with my two cats, Sherlock and Smokey, I reviewed the nine best cat chew toys on the market. As you will see in the pictures and videos below, my cats enjoyed this little experiment. Read this guide on best chew toys for cats till the end, as you will also find useful information and the answers to some very important questions!
Our Top Three Picks
Petstages Night Time Catnip RollsCheck price »
Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow BananaCheck price »
Petstages Fresh Breath Mint StickCheck price »
If the concept of cat chew toys is foreign to you, even if you’re a cat owner, you’re not alone. Before ordering these toys for my two cats, Sherlock and Smokey, I didn’t quite understand why cats needed to chew toys anyway.
Now I know that some of the best cat chew toys contain catnip to lure kittens, and they also work to improve a cat’s dental health.
Below is a detailed review of 9 of the best cat chew toys I could find online. I chose toys that can fit any budget, and I didn’t spend more than $100 on all of them.
The toys I ordered also have a variety of reviews and ratings, while still being high-quality. I chose a diverse range of best cat chew toys because I didn’t want to be swayed one way or the other just by reading the reviews I saw online – I wanted my cats to test them out for themselves.
Before we get to it, keep in mind that all cats are different, and I’m just reporting on what my two boys thought of these toys. Your cat might feel different about them.
- Petstages Night Time Catnip Rolls
- Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana
- Petstages Fresh Breath Mint Stick
- Ruff ‘n’ Tumble Catnip Mice
- FATCAT Finimals Toy, Lionfish
- Refillable Catnip Fish
- PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser
- Petstages Dental Health Cat Chew Toys
- KONG Beaver Refillable Catnip Toy
9 Best Cat Chew Toys for a Happy, Healthy Cat
9. Kong Beaver Refillable Catnip Toy
- High-quality craftsmanship
- It being refillable is a great idea (you can buy catnip separately and fill it up)
- Catnip isn’t very potent
This Kong refillable beaver is a small, fluffy plush toy that comes with a vial of catnip packaged separately, so you have to fill the toy yourself.
The open/close mechanism is straightforward to use, and the catnip is in no danger of falling out while the cat plays with the toy. However, the toy was a bit of a fail for my cats. They didn’t seem that interested in it.
While the toy itself had every potential of being attractive to cats, the catnip didn’t seem to be working (and it won’t be the last time this happens in this review), which made me wonder if packaging it separately is the best way to go.
From what I’ve noticed, toys that claim to have catnip already in them are much more potent and attract kitties instantly, while toys that come with catnip separately don’t seem to get the job done as well.
Guessing I just got a bad batch or the catnip was a bit old and lost its potency, and that’s why my cats weren’t at all interested, I replaced it with some catnip I had at home, and the changes were visible.
Granted, there was something about this toy that didn’t scream “new favorite” for my cats. However, that could also have to do with its shape and texture.
8. Petstages Dental Health Cat Chew Toys
- The material is excellent for cleaning cats’ teeth
- The dangling ends get the cat’s attention
- They seem sturdy
- The toys were a bit different than pictured (smaller, more compact)
The Petstages chew toys are made of durable netting and come with colorful streamers. They promise to clean your cat’s teeth and massage their gums. Unfortunately, my cats were not that keen on testing this toy at first.
The catnip effect (the toy is supposed to contain catnip) was lost on them, and they didn’t seem to know what they were supposed to do with it. Push it around? Sure. Maybe nibble on the dangling ends a bit? Of course. Chew on it? I think not, thank you very much. They will always like the Christmas tree better. I assume yours will do as well, although I might be wrong.
I tried tempting them quite a few times, and the only time Smokey started chewing on it was when I was holding it in my hand. So I guess that means he’s an extremely spoiled cat who expects me to hold the toy for him while he chews on it.
Jokes aside, I persisted and tempted him with it a couple of times, until he figured out he can do it by himself as well, so I count this as a success.
As for Sherlock, he couldn’t care less, but this will be a recurring theme in this best cat chew toys’ review. All he wanted to do when I held the toy in front of him was headbutt it.
7. PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser
- Helps control weight
- Makes cats work for their treats
- Fits a variety of treats
- Takes some getting used to if your cat has never played with such a toy
Your typical treat-dispensing toy, this PetSafe ball helps improve digestion and encourage exercise. As I expected, this toy is going to take some getting used to.
I started by putting the treats in, which got the cats really excited and yowling because, of course, cat food, but then, when I placed it down and pushed it around, they didn’t seem to be that interested in it.
A few treats came out, and my youngest ate them instantly, but then he didn’t push the ball around to get more.
My oldest was watching from afar at this point, wondering what this is all about, but when I left the ball alone, he approached it and pushed it around a bit, before swiftly leaving again.
This tells me the toy has the potential of being very interesting to them (and also useful, especially for my youngest, since he has been getting a bit fat recently), but they need to get used to it first.
6. Refillable Catnip Fish
- The design attracts the cat’s attention
- The package comes with bonus products
- The material is excellent for chewing
- The catnip is not very potent
- It doesn’t come with a lot of extra catnip
- The zipper is a bit difficult to handle
These are three fish made of a plush fabric that you can put catnip into. I also got a pack of silver vines and two squeaky mice as a bonus, but from what I can see online, that’s not always the case.
The fish come with a small zipper that tends to get stuck sometimes, and that also makes it difficult to put the catnip in, but this is not a major inconvenience.
Again, the problem I had was with the catnip, just like it was with the refillable beave. Not even Smokey, who falls for catnip every time, showed that much of an interest. He did lick it and pushed it around a bit, but no more.
Considering how he behaved around the rest of the toys that had catnip already in them, as well as whenever I’ve given him catnip in the past, there was clearly something wrong with the catnip that came in this package.
So, I did the old switcheroo and replaced the catnip, which proved to be successful yet again.
The takeaway: catnip that comes in a separate package might lose its properties by the time the toy gets to you.
Bonus: Silver Vines & Squeaky Mice
One of the things that redeemed this toy for me was the extras that came with it: a pack of silver vines and two squeaky mice.
The silver vines were an instant favorite. Both cats LOVED IT, especially Sherlock, so I think I just found a catnip replacement for him since he’s not that into catnip, but he went crazy over these sticks. However, I recommend never taking your eyes off your cat while they play with these, to make sure they won’t choke on it or anything, since this is, after all, an actual stick.
Neither of my cats was that interested in the mice, but that’s to be expected. They have a lot of similar toys lying around the house. The squeaking did pique their interest a bit, but only when I was holding the toy in my hand and doing it myself.
5. FATCAT Finimals Toy, Lionfish
- Great to cuddle with
- The colors and the purple fuzz attract cats
- Misleading description
- Too large for cats
- There’s a squeaker in it, but it’s even difficult for me to press, let alone a cat
The thing about this toy is that it’s most likely just a dog toy. However, on the Amazon UK website, it was labeled as both a dog and a cat toy.
The moment I saw it (it’s much larger than I expected), I realized my cats might not be into it at all.
However, I was wrong. Smokey seemed excited about it, although it may very well be because it sat amongst catnip toys and might have picked up their scent.
Nonetheless, he kind of sleeps next to it or on it, so I will keep it around so he can use it as a pillow.
4. Ruff ‘n’ Tumble Catnip Mice
- Easy to capture a cat’s attention
- Gets the cat moving and encourages exercise
- The catnip effect is not very noticeable
I’m not sure how much catnip is in these Ruff ‘n’ Tumble mice (I’m guessing not that much), but they don’t have the effect catnip usually has on my cats (especially Smokey).
However, they are great as a toy to get their attention and encourage them to move around, as you can see in the video.
My cats LOVE dangle toys, so me holding this mouse and swinging it around, while also pretending to throw it so they can chase after it, really excited them.
As I’m writing this, Smokey is still chasing the mouse all around the house and playing with it, which says a lot. These fourth-best cat chew toys on this list are great fun.
3. Petstages Fresh Breath Mint Stick
Price Range: LowCheck price »
- Excellent texture for cat’s teeth
- The shape makes it easy to play with
- Didn’t notice any fresh breath effect on my cats
A small cat chew toy with sturdy netting and no extra fillers, this is a purchase I’m quite satisfied by.
Smokey seemed to really like this toy, probably because it had the same effect catnip has on him, so the packaging was right about that. Still, the effect wasn’t as strong as it usually is with catnip.
Just like the Petstages dental health cat chew toys, this needed some persuading from my part as well. After I held it in my hand for Smokey to test out a couple of times, he gathered the courage to do it by himself.
Of course, Sherlock just headbutted it as expected.
2. Yeowww! Catnip Toy, Yellow Banana
- Very potent catnip
- Fun shape and color
- It has no extra fillers, just catnip
- The cat punctured the material immediately
Smokey was immediately excited by this second-best cat chew toy, the Yeowww! Banana, perfect for bunny kicking and nuzzling.
Still, since this is supposed to be a chew toy, I’m afraid it won’t last that long. I’ve noticed puncture marks on it immediately, and he only chewed on it for about 1-2 minutes.
If he keeps playing with it, I give it a week before he destroys it. Still, I don’t allow my cats to play with catnip toys that often and for a long time, so I don’t particularly mind that.
The effect it has on Smokey is more than enough for me to be completely sold on it. Sherlock seemed to be more interested in the toy’s tag, which is quite large than in the actual toy, but that’s not a surprise for me.
He did show some signs of interest, however, which is more than I can say for most of the toys in this review, so this toy gets a thumbs up from me.
1. Petstages Night Time Catnip Rolls
Price Range: LowCheck price »
- Great shape for nibbling on
- Extremely entertaining for the cat
- Potent catnip
- The edges look a bit sharp, so keep an eye on your cat whenever they play with this to make sure they don’t get hurt
Both of my cats LOVED these catnip rolls. They had the same effect as the silver vines, so they just went crazy for them.
This is a product I would 10/10 buy again, not just because they’re silent, affordable, and one of the best cat chew toys out there, but also because they seem to be great fun for my boys.
It’s quite clear that the catnip is fresh, unlike that of other toys I’ve tested out, which I appreciate, and their shape makes them extremely easy to play with.
However, I’m curious how long the effect of the catnip will last now that the sticks are out of their packaging, so I’m going to report back with any changes.
Update: The toys did lose their catnip potency in a couple of weeks, but my cats are still interested in kicking them around the house, so they’ve not completely forgotten them.
Why Should You Buy Chew Toys for Your Cat?
It is clear to any animal lover that cats are not so huge fans of chew toys like dogs are. However, cat chew toys can play very important roles in the life of your furry friend:
- Chew toys keep cats stimulated, engaged, curious, and active;
- They can prevent your cat from chewing things she shouldn’t;
- If your cat does not like teeth brushing (and what cat does?), some chew toys come with teeth cleaning capabilities you should consider for your cat’s oral health and gum protection.
How Do You Choose the Best Chew Toys for Cats?
As you have seen from the cat chew toys reviews above, these toys are not created equal and not all cats will like them the same. So here are some features you should look for when you decide to buy your cat some chew toys.
- Feline-friendly features. Chew toys containing catnip are a plus. Just make sure the catnip is of good quality and keeps your cat friendly. Other cat-friendly features to look for are rattles, shape, size, and everything else you know can keep your cat entertained and happy.
- Durability. Some cats (mine included) can chew a toy to the brink of destruction in a few hours or a few weeks. Durability and resilience to wear and tear make the difference between high-quality chew toys and the rest of them, especially if some items come with a significant price tag. Strong stitching, hidden seams, and resilient materials are what you should look for in chew toys for cats. In fact, it applies to chew toys for dogs as well.
- Promotion of dental health. Some of the best cat chew toys promote teeth and gum health in a very entertaining manner. Look for those. If you raise a kitten, it is important to get her used to dental chew toys besides litter training, cleaning habits, and socialization. Early oral health, just like in humans and in dogs, spares you a lot of trouble in the future.
- Play options variety. As you can figure out, the best cat chew toy should offer your feline buddy as many playing options possible, from chasing it around to wrestling with it.
- Price/Value ratio. Read the reviews of other cat owners before you get a new chew toy for your cat. Some toys cost a lot of money and don’t impress cats much, others are true fountains of wonder with fair price tags and extended durability. Understand what your cat likes and shop accordingly. Pretty is not always enough for shopping criteria.
Other Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Chew Toys
Let’s see some quick answers to some frequently asked questions about cats, chewing habits, and chew toys!
1. Do cats have a natural urge to chew on things like dogs do?
Cats are not famous for their chewing urges like dogs are. However, you may find your cat in the situation of becoming interested in chewing things that she should not touch. Since cats are quite unique, some will chew on things, while others will not even chew on the specially-designed toys built for this purpose.
2. Are cat chew toys good for teething kittens?
In their teething period, some kittens tend to become bitey. Buy some teething toys for the cat to relieve some of the pain and discomfort of teething. At this stage in life, you should introduce dental chewing toys to your kitten as well, to promote early dental health.
3. Can cat chew toys replace teeth brushing in cats?
Just like dogs and humans, cats need dental health and teeth brushing. As you probably know, there are special dental toothpaste varieties designed for felines, just as there are dog toothpaste varieties out there. If you cannot by any means convince your cat to go through a teeth cleaning/brushing process, you should try a combination of dental chew toys, water additives for oral health, dietary changes, and some bones to chew.
Testing out these nine best cat chew toys with my two cats was extremely fun, and I got to learn more about what they enjoy and what they couldn’t care less about in the process. If you’ve also bought your cat one of these toys, and they reacted entirely different to it, let me know in the comments section down below.
Hi, I’m Andrea and I’m a writer, editor, geek, couch potato, and most importantly, animal lover. I have been proudly owned by my two cats, Sherlock and Smokey, for 2 years, and I am by no means ashamed to admit I am a crazy-cat-lady-to-be. How did my love for animals start, you ask?Read more »