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Best Christmas cat toys: From low cost to high tech

Grey tabby cat sitting by a christmas tree looking for christmas cat toys
(Image credit: Getty)

'Tis the season to spoil your pet! There's a whole range of Christmas cat toys out there to choose from, so we've scoured the web to find the most fun, stimulating, and exercise-inducing toys we can for your favorite furry friends. If you are wondering which cat toys are best for your cat, then we've got some inspiring ideas for you. 

Cats are notoriously choosy about what they want to play with, so it's usually best to have a couple in stock so you can hide them away and rotate them so boredom and disdain turns to curiosity and re-discovery. Of course, you don't need to splash the cash to entertain your cat, as our guide to DIY cat toys you can make at home proves, but cat toys are often so cheap, you won't need to break the bank to keep them distracted from attacking the baubles on the Christmas tree.

A great Christmas cat toy will capitalize on your cat's love of hunting, chasing, and pouncing. Whether it's a toy you want to use to play with them yourself, or one to keep them entertained while you are out of the house, we've gathered together a whole range of budget, festive, interactive, and automated cat toys to suit any budget. Go on, treat the feline in your life with our top picks. 

Festive-themed Christmas cat toys

Want your cat to have something under the tree so they can open a real Christmas-themed present at the same time as the rest of the family? Here's a couple of Christmas-themed cat toy gifts to get everyone, including your furry friend, in the Christmas mood....

Whaline 17pcs Christmas Cat Toys Stocking (opens in new tab)

What says Christmas more than a stocking stuffed with treats? Buy this 17-piece cat toy gift set and a cornucopia of Christmassy colored balls, mice, wool, feather wands, and catnip-filled playthings will await your furry friend on Christmas morning. It contains everything you need to keep them entertained throughout the holidays.

JPB Christmas Cat Toys Variety Pack 8 Pcs (opens in new tab)

Another slightly smaller multipack of seasonally themed toys here. It includes a Christmas tree, cat teaser wand, interactive toy, sisal mouse, crinkle balls ,catnip toy, and knitting wool ball. Fill your cat's Christmas stocking with these treats and your cat will be having  very entertaining Christmas day.

Budget Christmas cat toys

Not looking to spend a fortune on your Christmas cat toys? Here's a few suggestions for toys to treat your kitty with which won't break the bank...

Pet Fit For Life Multi Feather Teaser and Exerciser (opens in new tab)

Essentially a feather at the end of a mini-fishing rod, but we guarantee hours of teasing play with it. A soft handle for humans, and a well-attached feathery bundle of dangling delight for your cat, this is one toy you and your furry friend will never tire of. Especially great for kittens, as it lets them practice jumping, pouncing, and biting, and my word they look cute when they do so.

PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser (opens in new tab)

A budget cat toy that lets you combine mealtimes with exercise. Just pop some dry food or cat treats inside this dishwasher-safe ball, and watch your furry friend chase it around the room getting it to dispense food as it does so. You can change the opening size if you want to make getting at the food more challenging.

Fithood Cat Toys Pet Slow Feeder (opens in new tab)

We may already have a food dispenser in this section, but this looks so much fun that we couldn’t not include it. This offering from Fithood turns dinner time into a game – when your cats swipe at the wheel, the treats – or regular kibble, whatever you choose – come tumbling out. Plenty of fun, and will give your cats a mental workout too.

Laser Christmas cat toys

Lasers mean loads of fun for your furry friend, as cats love to pounce on flitting dots of light. Here are a couple of suggestions...

PetSafe Laser Tail Laser Cat Toy (opens in new tab)

Laser-themed cat toys are great, but they can all be a bit… stationary. Not so with this one: it trundles along the floor when activated, with a laser coming out of its ‘tale’, prompting your cat to follow along in its wake. Each session lasts for 10 minutes (just press the button to start it again once it turns off), and will provide hours of fun.

ANG Cat Catch LED Projecter (opens in new tab)

This pocketable cat LED projector will beam the shape of a fish or mouse wherever you point it. Great for playing with your cat while it chases around after it, you can choose to have a steady beam or a flashing light for a bit of variety. Simple, but very effective.

Catnip-filled Christmas cat toys

Nothing keeps a cat interested in a toy longer than catnip. The smell drives them crazy, and will keep them coming back for more... 

Petstages Catnip and Dental Health Cat Toys (opens in new tab)

Get a dual-action present this Christmas with a catnip-filled toy your furry friend will want to pounce on, which also cleans their teeth as they gnaw on it. The netting on these mice-shaped toys is designed to do the work of a toothbrush, and the catnip smell will keep them coming back for regular dental workouts.

YEOWWW! DuckyWorld 100% ORGANIC CATNIP Leaf & Flower Cat Toy BANANA (opens in new tab)

We like a bit of variety in our cat toys (as well as them to like them, obviously), and this banana-shaped catnip toy is very striking. Filled with 100% organically grown catnip, they’re very durable, but just in case your cat happens to have claws of steel, this order comes with three of them, meaning they can keep playing if one happens to get destroyed.

Automated Christmas cat toys

Want someone to play with your cat when you're not there? Buying your cat an automated cat toy this Christmas means there's something moving around to play with, even if you are visiting relatives during the holidays. Here are a couple of ideas...

Senneny Electric Moving Fish Cat Toy (opens in new tab)

What feline wouldn't want to play with a flapping fish? Cats love to grapple with life-size toys, and this one comes with a sachet of catnip for you to put inside it to help cautious cats get past that, do I play with this or is it going to attack me moment. Once they do get past that, pawing at it will cause the fish to move and make sounds to keep them interested.

PetSafe FroliCat Portable Cheese Automatic Cat Teaser (opens in new tab)

Cats won't be able to resist trying to catch the noses of these plastic mice as they randomly pop out of this fun cheese-shaped toy. With a 15-minute shut-off facility to preserve battery life and a play-while-you-are-away feature, this is a great one for ensuring your kitty has something to do when the house is empty.

YOFUN Smart Interactive Cat Toy (opens in new tab)

All cats love pushing a ball around, but how about one that moves by itself and changes direction randomly? With a flashing red light to attract their attention, this is one automatic cat toy your kitty will find hard to ignore, even with all that wrapping paper around to play with.

Interactive Christmas cat toys

If your plan is to get your kitty to get some exercise this Christmas period, then investing in an interactive cat toy is the way forward. Toys that react when they play with them are often a lot more engaging than static toys...

Upsky Cat Toy Roller Cat Toy (opens in new tab)

Six balls, three of which contain bells, that are pushable around smooth circular tracks, will be your furry friend's idea of Christmas heaven. A durable toy with a low center of gravity and non-slip base – this will hold up well to lots of clawing and pouncing! Perfect for your cat to play with when they are alone at home.

Catit Senses 2.0 Circuit (opens in new tab)

All the fun that comes with watching cats throw balls around the floor, without the hassle of having to retrieve them for them when they get lost. With the Catit Senses 2.0 Circuit, the balls are contained in the track, with the cat able to push them around in the little peek-a-boo apertures and then chase after them. It's configurable into 100 different layouts, so you can lay it around furniture to suit. This is one interactive toy that will never get old.

Tech Christmas cat toys

Really feel like raiding the kitty to spoil yours? Here are a couple of high tech Christmas cat toy ideas (not including the world's most expensive techie cat toy, which is, of course, the iPad):

SKYMEE Owl Robot: Movable Full HD Pet Camera with Treat Dispenser (opens in new tab)

Want a companion for your kitty to play hide and seek with when you are out of the house? Something that will tease your moggie with feathers and let them chase them round the kitchen, or an automated friend who can toss them treats, while giving you access to a moveable camera that lets you check up on and talk to your cat wherever you are? The SKYMEE Owl Robot does all of this and more, but it's so much fun that you may find yourself playing with it more than your furry friend does.

Petcube Play 2  (opens in new tab)

This is a laser cat toy with a difference; you can control it to entertain your cat with from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Okay, so the primary purpose of the Petcube 2 is to let you monitor your cat with its Wi-Fi-enabled pet cam, but if you want to use it to play with your cat from work instead of getting that spreadsheet done, this will let you do that too!

Other cat Christmas gift ideas

If you aren't sure that a toy is the right gift for you cat, there are some other ways to treat your fluffy friend. Why not get them a dedicated scratching post, a new comfy bed or a hammock to stretch out in:

Jamie Middleton is a freelance editor and writer who has been editing and creating content for magazines and websites for over 20 years. As well as writing about the pets he loves, he has helped create websites about tech and innovation like TechRadar.com, Innovate UK and TechSPARK, written programmes for music festivals, books on inventions and architecture, TV listings magazines, and edited publications about cars such as Lexus, Toyota and Jaguar. In his spare time he writes fiction books and poetry - or at least he does when he is permitted to by his cat Pirate, who enjoys the warmth of laptops too much to allow being creative to get in the way.