Best Cat Toys for Exercise

You may think that cats like to be kept to themselves due to their independent personalities. However, exercise is vital to keep your kitty healthy. Just like big cats in the wild, the domestic cat needs to work out its natural instincts.

Okay, so your domestic cat isn’t going to start hunting you, don’t worry! But, your pet is a feline and the activities of pouncing and stalking are second nature to them. Think about that next time you get your laser pen out!

Older and overweight cats also need to be exercised. Just like humans, daily exercise is highly recommended. For overweight cats, there is a range of toys and techniques you can use to restrict portion sizes and make your cat really work for their dinner.  

Best Cat Toys for Exercise

Even older cats can be enticed by some of our toy selections below.

It is a great idea to get to know your cat’s personality and what they enjoy playing with.

Our suggestions will complement your cat’s daily routine perfectly!

In a hurry? Here’s our top pick:

This circuit is a great choice to keep your cat entertained whilst exercising. This product features multiple layout possibilities that will challenge your feline friend. The Catit brand also sells other tracks for you to purchase to make your circuit longer. 

The peek-a-boo design will keep your cat engaged in the activity whilst also improving their natural hunting instincts. The small gaps in the circuit will also encourage your cat to pounce at the ball which is a good way to exercise your pet.

This toy doesn’t need any batteries to get going so it makes it even more simple to set up and get your cat started with the circuit. Your cat will be able to pick and choose when they want to play with this toy and not rely on you to turn it on and off which is a huge advantage.

Top 5 Best Cat Toys for Exercise

OUR TOP PICK

As mentioned above, this is our top pick when looking to buy a cat toy for exercise.

The best thing about this toy is that it excites all of the senses. Your pet will use sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch whilst playing with this toy. Isn’t that what we want? 

The brightly patterned balls are cleverly designed to attract your cat’s attention. Catit also provides numerous attachments for this track which include light-up balls, a comfort zone, and many more options! 

We particularly love the comfort zone which has a built-in cooling system. It’s easy to activate it by just refrigerating to cool down the temperature. We all know how easily our cat’s attention spans can be diverted so this comfort zone is a fantastic way to keep your cat engaged with the toy.

Pros

  • Intelligently designed to excite all five senses.
  • Peek-a-boo feature encourages your cat to use their natural instincts
  • Multiple ways to set up the circuit

Cons

  • Not suitable for older cats

EDITORS CHOICE

This toy is a solid choice for anyone with an overweight or sometimes greedy cat.

The product comes with five different sized tubes which are long enough for your pet to really earn his or her feed. Promoting slower eating also means that there is less risk of your cat throwing up shortly afterward.

Catit has designed this product to be extremely easy to put together. It comes with a rubber base to keep the toy upright, the main tray which quickly slides onto the base and then the five tubes to hide food and treats in. 

Not only does this slow down your cat’s feed but it also encourages your kitty to use it’s natural pawing action. If a cat did this to their usual food bowl then you may come home to a mess.

As the tubes vary in length, it is a mess-free way that your cat can paw at their food as the fallen food usually just drops straight back into the tray.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Great for portion control
  • BPA free material

Cons

  • Not suitable for larger paws

BEST VALUE

This toy is perfect if you also have a cat tree on your wishlist. This cat tree combines comfort with entertainment effortlessly. There are numerous tiers to this tree that your cat can challenge itself to climb up onto.  

The cat tree is quite sturdy and has been produced with CARB-certified natural particle boards which keep the structure balanced at all times. For extra support and safety Feandrea supply wall attachments so you can put your mind at ease. 

The poles which connect the different tiers to the cat tree are coated in sisal rope which is a great way to promote exercise. As well as that, this rope entices the cat to scratch its nails which is beneficial for our feline friends. 

There are many different activities that your cat can do within this cat tree. This isn’t just for climbing and sleeping! Your cat can also keep occupied with the several different hanging balls which they will love to paw at!

Pros

  • Combines comfort and playtime. 
  • Cats are able to get high up to watch over the house.
  • Scratch poles and hanging balls to keep your cat engaged.

Cons

  • Only comes in a grey/white color scheme.

RUNNER UP

To any moms or dads reading this, doesn’t this look familiar? Now, this activity center is made with your furry friends in mind, not your babies! This toy is designed to keep cats active when you may be out and about. 

The activity center has a comfy and soft mat at the bottom where your cat can lay and look up at the tempting toys. The toy comes with hanging toy balls and mice which your cat will love to paw at. Again, this toy is a great way to help promote your cat’s natural hunting instincts. 

The activity center is easy to pack up and store away. All you have to do is fold up the mat and place it into the zippered storage bag. A good option if you are going on a trip and your cat is staying at a friend’s house while you’re away!

Pros

  • Fun design.
  • Variety of dangling toys.
  • Doesn’t require assembly.

Cons

  • Felt material not long-lasting.

RUNNER UP

This is the only toy in our selection which requires you to also join in the fun and games!

We like this toy as it improves the bond between you and your pet whilst also keeping the cat busy. This is a great toy to use in the evening when you want to wear out your cat before it is bedtime. 

The snake actually features a built-in bell that your cat will love. The key to getting a cat to play is to involve more than one of the senses. The colors of the snake mixed with the bell will truly excite your cat! 

This is a great option if you have an overweight cat as you can control the motion. Your cat may not be able to move as fast as it once could due to the extra bit of timber they’re carrying so small movements may be best for them!

If you have a kitten or an energetic cat, you can also fling the snake faster and higher to encourage your cat to use it’s hunting instincts.

Cats love to jump up high and catch their prey so this suitable for any cats’ personality!

Pros

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Brightly colored.
  • Built-in bell.

Cons

  • The only toy we recommend which needs your involvement.

Best Cat Toys for Exercise Buying Guide

As a cat owner, you probably know that cats love to strut about their independence.

However, they are domestic pets and as an owner, you do have a responsibility to ensure that your cat is exercising and living a healthy lifestyle.

It can be difficult to do this due to the nature of cats which is why toys are a great addition to promote exercise. 

Daily Exercise

Even though you may notice that your cat sleeps for most of the day, they do still need to exercise.

Cats enjoy short sessions of exercise instead of hours on end.

The recommended amount is two playtime sessions a day lasting fifteen to twenty minutes. This amount should keep your cat active and help keep them at a healthy weight. 

What Type of Exercise Does a Cat Enjoy?

When we talk about exercise for cats, we’re not saying you need to walk your cat daily. That is unless your domestic cat enjoys that type of a routine! We mean exercise in a way that helps them use their natural feline instincts which may not be used otherwise. 

So what are these natural instincts we hear you ask? There are a few common activities that cats should carry out daily to keep them fit and healthy. Let’s start out with pawing at or hitting objects. Many cats enjoy flinging balls across the room and watching how far away they can go. An easier way to promote this activity is to get a toy that has a dangling ball or toy attached to it. That way you’re not picking up constantly after your kitty!

Cats also enjoy climbing. By just looking at cats outside, you can tell that they can be seriously skilled at climbing. Especially over walls to the next-door neighbors garden!

Climbing forces your cat to use its strength to pull itself up onto different levels of the ground. Many cats actually enjoy climbing up high so they can have a perfectly situated lookout spot. A cat tree is a good recommendation for any cats who are big fans of climbing.

Scratching is an additional way that cats can exercise. It may not seem like a good exercise routine for you but it’s pretty beneficial to your furry friend! Scratching not only keeps a cat’s nails healthy but it also defines the muscles in their shoulders and back. Who would have thought it!

To really hone in on that hunting instinct, cats will chase and jump anything that catches their eye. Like we mentioned previously, laser pens easily grab a cat’s attention!

Pointing a laser pen around the room encourages your cat to follow the light and hunt it down. We must warn you to only point your laser pen at places in your home you are happy for your cat to pounce on though. We may have made that mistake before!

Older or Overweight Cats

Kittens and younger cats are more than happy to play with you and the toys we have recommended in this article. However, some older or more overweight cats may lose interest more quickly than others.

This doesn’t mean that your cat doesn’t like this toy you’ve bought. You just need to show them just how great it is! 

You can use treats such as controlled amounts of food to entice their interest at first. If that still doesn’t work, do not fear! There is one more quick tip we have hidden up our sleeves. 

Catnip is one of your cat’s favorite treats. Catnip can attract a cat to a certain object so it is perfect to get your older or overweight cats exploring their toys. The effect that catnip has is incredible.

Cats can actually become quite hyperactive after rolling around in it or just simply smelling it. But don’t worry, catnip is not harmful to your fur babies. Catnip is actually a plant for those of you who didn’t know and is part of the mint family. 

Cats actually know when they’ve had enough catnip and are very controlled. The effects of catnip usually last for around 10-15 minutes which is spot on for what we need to encourage our cats to do each day.

Your cat will even become interested in catnip again after a few hours so don’t be afraid to use it again if your cat is not playing ball. Quite literally!