If your massive cat toy collection doesn’t include at least one interactive wand toy, it is far from complete. Interactive wand toys are the best types of cat toys out there. Not only are these toys the most appealing to your cat’s natural predatory instincts, but they also help strengthen the bond between you and your cat. Wand toys require more human engagement than balls, plush toys, or even laser pointers. And the more engaged you are when playing with your cat, the more rewarding playtime is for both of you.
Qualities of a Good Wand Toy
Interactive Wand Toys come in all shapes and sizes. Some have feather danglers and some have furry critter attachments. And since cats can have preferences for the types of prey they like to hunt, it’s a good idea to find an interactive wand toy that mimics the particular critter’s behavior. Domestic cats are also prone to boredom, so we recommend keeping a variety of interactive wand toys in rotation.
Even the best-made interactive wand toy isn’t going to last forever. And if it does, you and your kitty probably aren’t getting very much use out of it. With that being said, some interactive wand toys are going to hold up better than others. The best interactive wand toys are designed to mimic the movements and appearance of prey, they’re made of quality materials that’ll withstand abuse, and they don’t pose any risk of injury to your cat during supervised play.
Interactive wand toys should always be kept in a secure place when not being used. For starters, if the toy is supposed to resemble prey, it shouldn’t just be lying around on your living room floor. Your cats will get bored of it quickly. Wand toys can also be more dangerous because your cat might actually try to eat them. This might sound crazy, but it is extremely common.
Let’s start with the wand. The ideal wand is going to be different for each type of toy. For example, if the toy is supposed to mimic the behavior of a bird and it has a lightweight feather teaser attached to a string, the optimal wand will be longer than 30” and have some flexibility. If the toy is supposed to resemble a snake or mouse, you can get away with a much shorter, sturdier wand. We’ve seen all kinds of wooden wands, plastic wands, and fiberglass wands. But as we said, the best types of wands depend more on the application than the actual material.
Most interactive wand toys come with a toy or dangler attached to the end. We recommend avoiding anything that has lots of small pieces that could easily come loose. The toy should be lightweight and shouldn’t have any sharp edges that could be harmful to your cat. Having replaceable toy danglers is an excellent idea in theory, but unless the attaching mechanism is designed well, it can be a bigger safety hazard. Small metal clasps can easily be swallowed by cats.
String / Wire / Cord
The best interactive wand toys look realistic. But more importantly, they move realistically. This is where the piece of material joining the wand to the toy comes into play. Nylon string is lightweight and great for feather danglers. Wire is ideal for flies or bug danglers because it allows the toys to move erratically. Wide, flat fabric is great for imitating snakes. And elastic or spring-like string is perfect for heavier mice or critter attachments.
Best Interactive Wand Toys
We’ve tested countless interactive wand toys and we’ve come up with the best toys for each type of prey: Snakes, Birds, Rodents, and Bugs
Snakes: The Best Interactive Wand Toy for cats that prefer to hunt snakes is The Cat Charmer by Cat Dancer Products. This top-rated cat toy is very easy to use and a favorite amongst all types of cats.
Birds: Da Bird by GoCat is one of the most recognizable cat toys on the market. It’s reputation for being the best feather toy for cats is well-justified.
Rodents: PURRfect Cat Toys has 2 of the best rodent type cat toys on the market. The Leather Bouncer Toy and The Go-Fur-It Cat Toy both feature unique springy designs that’ll have your kitties bouncing off the walls.
Bugs: While their toys are a bit pricier than others, the Neko Flies – Kragonfly is by far the best bug toy out there. This interactive wand toy looks and moves like a bug.