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The 10 Best Kicker Toys For Cats

Kicker toys are among the greatest cat toys because they stimulate your cat's natural predatory instincts to capture, hold, and kick their prey.

Stephanie Mantilla, animal trainer, zookeeper, and author of How To Clicker Train Your Cat, says that kittens use grabbing and kicking as a kind of play, but same behaviors have a function in adult cats. "By engaging in these play activities, cats hone the survival abilities they will need as adults."

Cats protect themselves by grabbing and kicking, which is exactly how they attack prey. By exercising these skills, the cat's chances of survival would increase. Even though it may not be required for your domestic cat to employ these talents, he retains these instincts. This is an excellent method for your cat to expend surplus energy and receive mental stimulation."

During a three-week period at Whatcom Humane Society in Bellingham, Washington, and at home with two middle-aged cats, we evaluated several kicker toys with a range of cats, including kittens and geriatrics. Each was evaluated based on its durability, safety, amusement, design, and overall worth.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled the best kicker toys for cats now available, as determined by comprehensive testing.

Reviews

Ultimate Jackson Galaxy Bunny Kicker

What We Like

  • Spring-action reaction
  • Organic catnip
  • Durable canvas
  • Quality at a reasonable cost
  • Simple, lightweight, and secure structure

What We Don’t Like

  • Catnip cannot be refilled and can only be spot-cleaned
  • Product of China

At 13.5 inches, the Petmate Jackson Galaxy Ultimate Bunny Kicker is one of the longest kickers we examined. It is composed of a brilliant green canvas that is robust and sturdy, exhibiting few signs of wear after several vigorous play sessions.

The design is distinct from the other kickers we’ve examined. A bent spring rod is sewed into the toy’s length so that when a cat kicks it, the rod will bend backward and then return to its original position.

This imitation of natural prey seems to be well-liked by felines. Despite the fact that cats appeared to slobber heavily while biting and playing, the canvas dried fast without any discernible stains.

We also saw that one cat played so vigorously that it lost two layers of claws while scratching the durable denim. The layers of a cat’s claw resemble those of an onion.

As the claw grows, the upper covering is regularly lost, revealing a stronger, sharper claw beneath. This catalyst facilitated this natural and healthy process.

The only disadvantage is that catnip cannot be replenished. Additionally, some crinkling would have been welcome.

 

Multipet Katz Kickerz Cat Toy with Catnip

What We Like

  • Excellent size and length
  • Polyester fabric that is durable and can be spot cleaned

What We Don’t Like

  • You cannot choose the print; you get what you get.
  • Feathers deteriorate rapidly

As you will learn in the section under “What to Look For,” price is not a reliable predictor of whether your cat will enjoy the toy or how long it will survive. Each cat kicker ranged in price from about $3 to over $25.

Several of the finest were also among the most reasonably priced. Thus, it is feasible to acquire a decent, lasting toy for less than $10.

This is one of the longest available kickers, which makes it ideal for bigger cats. This toy had the loudest crinkle out of the twenty-one we tested.

Although this first frightened the more timid cats, they were able to overcome their fear and were eventually encouraged by the noise’s response.

The Multipet Katz Kuddlerz is fairly fluffy, thus cats enjoyed grasping and clinging to it for lengthy lengths of time when playing with it.

Although they adore the feathers on either end, after only a handful of usage, the feathers were nearly damaged (they are securely attached and did not come off during play).

The Katz Kuddlerz are available in a variety of animal skin designs, including zebra, giraffe, and cheetah; however, there is no option to specify a preference when buying online.

 

Electric Potaroma Floating Fish

What We Like

  • Realistic flop
  • Durable, realistic-appearing, plush fish body
  • Affordable and safe
  • Refillable catnip

What We Don’t Like

  • Mild hammering and mechanical noise initially frightens some shy cats.

This flapping fish kept cats coming back for more and activated their instincts to pin it down to stop it from flapping.

The Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish is a great option for older and more selective cats who will not play with just any toy. This kicker came in second place for Best Overall for a variety of reasons.

The Potaroma Flopping Fish has a rechargeable electrical device within a bag with a zipper. When the switch is activated, the fish flips like a real fish.

Because they couldn’t resist grasping and pinning the interactive flopping tail, cats returned to this toy frequently and played for longer periods. Some cats played with it intermittently for almost forty minutes before needing a nap.

Cats returned to chew the tail and face, as well as rub and mark the catnip in the accessible zippered pocket, even after taking rests.

Even senior cats who were uninterested in other toys liked playing with this realistic-looking fish. They needed just to “stop the flip.”

The toy exhibited no indications of wear despite several instances of rough use. Although the internal electronics looked to be of low quality, they recharged rapidly and functioned dependably.

The outside is composed of a plush material that is both soft and robust, protecting your cats while they nibble and wrestle with the fish. If necessary, the electronics and catnip may be removed so that the fish can be hand-washed.

Although cats adore the flapping fish, it is quite annoying, so you will likely tire of it before your cat does.

 

Cat Kickeroo Kong Toy

What We Like

  • Adorable animal designs
  • First-class North American catnip

What We Don’t Like

  • Ears and other body parts were not firmly connected.

Although your cat is unlikely to notice, we couldn’t resist the Kong Kickeroo’s adorable animal design. Each Kickeroo is filled with genuine catnip and crinkles upon touch.

Our favorite is the kangaroo toy, which features a joey pouch for additional catnip and a fluffy red tail. Some Kickeroos have little extras, such as the seasonal witch.

We like the soft, yet durable polyester fabric, which exhibited practically no wear after play. The Kong Kickeroo is an ideal size, since it is long enough for cats to kick and claw yet light enough for some to carry.

While we were less than satisfied with the workmanship of the ears, tails, and other elements, the toy performed admirably for the duration of our testing.

 

Twin Critters Kittilush Organic Silvervine Refillable Plush Toys

What We Like

  • Natural, without additions or preservatives
  • Numerous amusing novelty designs

What We Don’t Like

  • The refilling pouch’s zipper is not particularly robust.

A zipper pocket on the toy enables you to remove old catnip and replace it with new catnip, therefore reviving your cat’s interest in the toy.

This also allows the catnip to be removed for hand or machine washing, if necessary. Because cats might lose interest in the toy, toys without pockets tend to have a shorter lifespan.

Instead of catnip, our favorite cat toys with zipped pouches are the Twin Critters Refillable Plush Organic Silvervine Toys, which contain powdered silver vine.

Silver vine is a kind of kiwifruit that has a similar effect on cats as catnip and is frequently effective with cats that do not respond to catnip.

Due to the fact that not all cats react strongly to catnip, the inclusion of silverine fruit guarantees that your cat will go wild for this toy.

With the zipped bag on each Twin Critters Refillable Toy, you may switch back to catnip at any time.

These toys are available in a variety of forms, including fish, cigars, and branded coffee cups, but our favorite is the “Kittilush” series, which consists of wine, liquor, and beer bottles with kicker caps.

The vice-based designs make for terrific images and are an excellent present for the humorous cat lover in your life.

The zipper is robust and expertly put in. After removing the catnip and silverine, the polyester-blend fabric is durable and may be cleaned by hand or machine if necessary.

 

Cat toy SPOT Hug’n Kick Gone Fishing

What We Like

  • A satisfying crunch
  • Among the most resilient materials

What We Don’t Like

  • The catnip is sewed in and cannot be replaced.
  • You have no control over the style you acquire; you get what you get.
  • Product of China

There are a lot of realistic cat kickers that are likewise formed and printed to resemble a fish. However, it is unclear if your cat will be more interested in a fish-shaped cat toy.

We loved this fish since it had a nice crinkle when grasped and its polyester fabric was fairly durable and well-stitched. Despite having a felt fin that was less durable than the other fabric, it withstood play and biting.

Cats instantly responded to the catnip and enjoyed rolling on it and establishing territory. They particularly loved nibbling on the tail fins that appeared lifelike. The lightweight nature of this toy was also appreciated by cats.

 

Jackson Galaxy Hunting Instincts Cat Toy Kicker

What We Like

  • Satisfying rip noise
  • Durable canvas and dense felt
  • Organic catnip

What We Don’t Like

  • Felt the midsection deteriorates more rapidly than canvas

This dumbbell-shaped toy is constructed from durable orange canvas with a thick felt center.

This one-of-a-kind design is ideal for cats who enjoy kicking, as it contains a slight tearing sound that provides cats a gratifying sensation while they kick and stimulates their predatory instincts. The organic catnip keeps them returning for prolonged play.

The highest quality overall Cats like the chunky ends and ripping reaction of the Petmate Jackson Galaxy Ultimate Bunny Kicker, which was longer and slightly more durable due to its absence of a softer felt core.

 

Original Kitty Kick Stix Catnip Kicker Toy

What We Like

  • Rainbow hues
  • Excellent length
  • USA-bred catnip cultivated organically

What We Don’t Like

  • Therefore, the catnip is not refillable or washable.
  • Contains a bell that does not jingle.

Despite the fact that this kicker appears inexpensive at first sight because it is only a long cloth tube, it is worth the $11+ price tag. It is 15 inches in length, contains organic catnip, and has strong double-stitched seams.

Since 2012, Kitty Kick Stix has been a family-owned business and is one of the few that manufactures and ships products in the United States.

You may select among nine rainbow-colored, colorful designs, or prefer to be shocked by selecting the “mystery” option. The fabric is adorable and double-layered for durability.

They come in a pack of two, allowing you to place one in each room or keep the second one for later.

Cats enjoyed its length and played with it for longer durations than with other toys. The majority of cats returned to it numerous times to claw and bite it.

It exhibited no indications of wear after each usage, despite getting rather wet from mouthing and cat hair adhering nicely to the robust, yet soft cotton-blend fabric.

For kittens and smaller cats, the same product is offered in 6- and 11-inch lengths.

You may pick the shelter or rescue to which Kitty Kick Stix will contribute a portion of each transaction when you purchase directly from them, allowing you to feel good about your purchase.

Conclusion

This inexpensive, durable canvas toy stimulates your cat’s natural hunting instincts with a pleasant spring action. This is why the Petmate Jackson Galaxy Ultimate Bunny Kicker got BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.orgbest kicker toys for cats award.

The interactive flipping tail of the Potaroma Electric Flopping Fish is irresistible to pinning, biting, and kicking for cats of all ages and preferences. The periodic flip will entice them to return for extended periods of vigorous activity and cerebral stimulation.

What To Look for in Kicker Toys for Cats?

Consider that playful behavior differs from cat to cat. Some cats, particularly older cats, may show little interest in cat kickers or cat toys in general, regardless of the item. Therefore, first observe your cat’s behavior.

Do they typically run around and play with non-cat-toys? Or is this person a couch potato? If your cat is often lively, it may be worthwhile to get cat kickers. However, you may need to test a few different types before finding one that works best for your cat.

Kittens and cats under the age of three appeared to consistently enjoy cat kicker toys, however the tastes and playfulness of adult cats varied greatly.

In general, we discovered that while ignoring the majority of kickers, older cats could not resist the interactive flip of a moving fish kicker.

Design and Size

To qualify as a high-quality kicker for adult cats, the length should be at least 12 inches and greater than 6 inches for kittens younger than one year.

Mantilla told The Spruce Pets, “For kicker toys, you’ll want one that is not too heavy and is long and thin.” “Consider the size of your cat’s body. They should be able to grip the toy with their front paws and kick it with their hind legs.

The average length of a kicking toy is seven inches, and it may include a tail connected to one end. Occasionally, the toy will resemble an animal, such as a fish.”

Several of the kickers are also sewed with a material that generates a pleasing crinkling sound. The degree of wrinkling varies considerably.

Some timid cats first dislike the crinkle, but if the toy is enjoyable, they will become used to it. However, braver cats are encouraged by the noise.

Although your cat is not very concerned with aesthetics, there is a wide spectrum of attractiveness. Even the prettiest kickers were unattractive to cats if they were too short or their catnip wasn’t strongly perfumed.

Many are woven with catnip or a catnip-silverine combination. Those without zipped pockets are neither refillable nor washable; hence, they have a limited lifespan and may wind up in a landfill within a few months.

Cats appeared to like biting and chewing protrusions such as fluffy tails, felt ears, and other protrusions.

Durability and Security

Durability and safety go hand in hand, as elements of a toy that are not sturdy can be eaten or ripped off and consumed. Before purchasing or providing a kicking toy to your pet, you should check it thoroughly.

Ensure that the seams are intact so that your cat does not consume the filling. Ensure that any additional components, like as felt ears or fluffy tails, are properly connected by stitching or a non-toxic adhesive.

As the toy deteriorates, these bits might become free and be ingested. To guarantee the safety of your pet, remove the parts if there are indications that they are loose or remove the toy from circulation.

The overall longevity of a product is frequently dependent on the materials and skill used. “The cloth should be tightly woven to prevent your cat’s claws from getting stuck,” explains Mantilla. “Thereafter, it depends on what your cat prefers.

If kids enjoy plush toys, select a fake fur fabric. If they enjoy catnip, you can typically locate toys containing catnip. Just make sure that the entire item is safe for your cat.

Some cats may attempt to eat the toy if it is made of genuine fur, or they may suffocate on the little decorations that are connected.

Some kicks are constructed from durable canvas or denim. Felt is a typical fabric that resists vigorous play less effectively than others. Synthetic and ‘furry’ textiles tend to lose fibers and can conceal gaps that allow polyester filling to escape and be consumed.

There appears to be no correlation between price and quality, workmanship, or safety. In other words, some inexpensive toys can be resilient, secure, and well-made.

Therefore, do not use price as a measure of quality. Instead, thoroughly scrutinize the toy’s seams and materials and choose ones that are constructed with care.

Enjoyment and Profit

No matter how much a toy costs, it is worthless if your cat won’t play with it. A toy’s price did not appear to link with its amusement value. Some of the modestly priced toys were the most durable and intriguing, although many cats ignored the most costly toys.

In our tests, the most popular cat toys had a mixture of silverine and catnip, as well as interactive components like as pockets, tails, and moving elements.

FAQs

Is it acceptable for cats to play unsupervised with kicker toys?

“Unless your cat has already engaged in risky play, kicker toys are often a tube of cloth that has been sewed shut and are quite safe,” explains Mantilla.

“However, if your cat tries to eat the filler or has done something else with toys that causes you concern, it’s usually advisable to monitor them with their kicker toy, particularly during its initial use.

Some cats are gentle players, and the toy will remain in pristine condition for years, while others destroy toys in a matter of days. Once the toy becomes worn, it must be replaced.”

Are motorized cat kickers safe?

“Before allowing your cat to play with motorized kicking toys, observe how cats engage with them,” recommends Mantilla. “When utilizing a motorized kicking toy, the electronic components must be entirely encased in fabric so that your cat cannot pinch itself.

Over time, your cat’s kicking might rip or wear out the cloth covering the motor, so if this occurs, you should dispose of the toy. Some felines are far more aggressive players than others.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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