How to exercise your cat?

Contents

10 Cat Exercises Your Pet Will Enjoy

Enticing your dog to get active with a walk around the block or a game of fetch is a no-brainer and a fairly common pet health practice. But when it comes to cats, many people don’t realize the value of exercise.

Many veterinarians recommend cat workouts to keep cats healthy well into their old age. And though a cat won’t exercise as readily as a dog will, there are a few strategies that will help you keep your cat active and mobile.

Try these 10 cat exercise tips:

  1. Pair up exercise partners. Since a cat won’t respond to your requests to play as easily as a dog might, Jean Hofve, DVM, author and manager of LittleBigCat.com in Denver, has a simple solution to ensure that felines get their needed cat exercise: Start with two cats. “A pair of cats who get along well will get plenty of exercise through their own wrestling and chasing games. I’ve known older cats who still wrestle like kittens,” says Dr. Hofve, adding that it’s easier to get two cats at the same time than to introduce a second cat later on.
  2. Try a cat tower. The multi-tiered “cat towers” sold online and in pet stores are another good way to ensure that your cat will have plenty of places to play and areas to climb for a good workout. Susan Nelson, DVM, an associate professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Manhattan, Kansas, suggests placing small treats in different parts of the tower to encourage climbing and playing.
  3. Keep plenty of toys around. Because cats tend to keep to themselves much more than dogs, the best strategy for cat workouts is to give them plenty of options in the form of toys. And these don’t have to be expensive toys from the pet store either. Dr. Nelson says you can use everyday household objects as toys to encourage cats to exercise. Think pingpong balls or balled-up pipe cleaners.
  4. Create a hockey rink. To make things even more interactive and fun, Nelson recommends putting a ball in a large cardboard box or the bathtub to create an instant “hockey rink” for your cat. As the ball goes flying off the walls (and the cat goes flying after it), you’ll get some laughs and your cat will get some much-needed exercise.
  5. Have fun with lasers. Speaking of laughs, few things will entertain you more — or have your cat moving faster — than a laser pointer on the end of a pen or leveling tool. “Laser toys are often good entertainment, but follow it up with a real toy the cat can catch to avoid fixation and frustration over never being able to catch the light beam,” says Hofve. “Be sure to never shine the beam directly into the cat’s eyes.”
  6. Give your cat a wand. This is a great cat exercise and a good follow-up to the laser, Hofve says. Get one of the flexible wand-style toys with a feather, mouse, or other diversion on the far end. “Interactive play with a wand or fishing-pole-type toy is fabulous exercise, usually quite funny, and extremely satisfying for the big hunter in your little cat,” Hofve says. “You can make it more challenging by running the toy up and over the sofa or up and down stairs to increase the exercise intensity.”
  7. Use catnip wisely. Catnip is a useful tool for getting your cat to exercise, but Hofve says it’s best to use it only in the proper situations. “Remember that not all cats respond to catnip, and of those that do, a few will become aggressive from catnip,” she says. “Also, never give catnip before a stressful event, such as a trip to the vet. Your vet will thank you!”
  8. Get your cat on a treadmill or wheel, with supervision. Believe it or not, you can actually teach your cat to run on a treadmill for exercise, Hofve says. “It’s best to start when they are young, have lots of energy to burn, and are easy to entice with a toy,” she says. “Also, you should always supervise the cat while it’s on the treadmill.” Cats can run up to 30 miles per hour, but start slow and work up because you do not know what your cat’s speed is, Hofve says.
  9. Go outside. With proper training and the right equipment, you can entice your cat to walk with a leash and a harness outside, just like dogs do. “Leash-walking is great if you can get your cat to tolerate the harness and lead,” says Hofve, who favors a type of harness that is more like a soft garment for the upper part of the cat’s back, with straps built in. “Make sure the harness fits properly and can’t be wriggled out of. Young cats are easier to train, but in all cases it takes patience and perseverance.” First let them get used to the harness, then attach the leash and let them drag it, and then pick up the leash and put a little bit of pressure on it. It could take a week or two to get them really comfortable, although Hofve says they may take to it immediately.
  10. Create an agility course. If your cat is extremely energetic and agile, try some cat agility exercises, Hofve suggests. You might be more familiar with these challenges for dogs or horses, but cats can also enjoy this mix of speed and challenge. These programs include a number of obstacles, such as bars to jump over or tunnels to pass through, which push your cat both physically and mentally, Hofve says. She recommends researching cat agility courses online.

Exercise for your cats

Let them exhibit their natural behaviour

One of the best ways of keeping cats active is to allow them to do what they love best – expressing their hunting instincts and other intrinsic behaviours.

  • Play with them using toys that they can chase and pounce on, such as feathers on a stick or other popular toys designed for cats. The movement of these toys mimics the movements of your cat’s natural prey, so they’ll love pouncing on them and trying to catch them.
  • Choose a scratching post that meets all their needs. It should be tall enough that they can stretch fully, and sturdy enough that they can put their weight against it. In the wild cats enjoy maintaining their claws by scratching; a purpose-built post is a great way to let them express this behaviour, as well as get some gentle exercise.
  • Give them somewhere to hide. This could be a ‘cat igloo’ from the pet shop, or somewhere else that’s safe, enclosed and easily accessible.
  • Additionally, find an elevated space that they can also enjoy, such as on an easily accessible, wide windowsill. Make sure the space is safe and they can’t come to any harm. Many cats enjoy watching the world go by from up high, as it gives them a vantage point that would be helpful to them in the wild.

The best way to help keep your indoor cat active is to encourage playtime and provide them with a naturally stimulating environment. Remember, indoor cat exercise is an important part of their healthy lifestyle – and a fun one, too! For more information and advice check out our full Cat Mag section.

How to Exercise and Play with a Cat

Do you worry that your indoor cat is not getting enough exercise? While it is true that cats have the evolutionary advantage of a high metabolism that works even as they lounge around (see lions in the wild), they do still need some physical activity to keep them from a sedentary life of sloth and eventual obesity.

Unlike dogs, cats cannot be hitched to the end of a leash and taken for a stroll around the neighborhood — well, some can, but they need to be trained from kitten-hood. It may take a little imagination, along with some trial and error, but you can find ways to encourage your cat to be more active. Playing with your cat can be a great form of encouragement. All it takes is a few creative ideas to keep your cat entertained and active!

Why Should Your Cat Exercise?

Activity is good for our pets. Activities help maintain a healthy body weight and keep the muscles toned and strong, and keep the mind alert and active as well. Exercise is also fun and can offer us opportunities to bond with our pets. There are many ways to get your cat more involved in play, and they don’t take much time, money, or effort on your part.

Depending on your cat’s age, weight, temperament, and interests, you may be able to set up an area where your cat can romp around and climb. Cat trees and scratching posts are ideal for this kind of activity. If you are handy with tools, you can build your own cat jungle gym, or you can find one at your local pet supply store or online. If your cat is reluctant, you may need to get more involved in the festivities.

How Much Time Should Your Cat Exercise?

You should try to spend about 10-15 minutes a few times each day engaging your cat in some form of activity. Young cats and kittens will usually take the initiative in engaging you in play, or they will find their own entertainment. Young cats tend to be easily amused and will probably want to continue to play long after you have tired of the game.

Older and overweight cats are a little tougher to engage. They usually don’t have the endurance or interest in extended playtime, but will still benefit from short activities throughout the day. If you have one of the latter, begin with a few minutes at a time, a few times a day. Once you have found something that engages your cat’s interest, try different versions of that activity, gradually increasing the time you spend playing.

How to Play with a Cat: Tips for Creative Activity

Activities that stimulate a cat’s natural hunting instincts are often the best bet. Small motorized remote controlled and battery powered furry mice are great for getting a cat’s attention. Even the economical non-motorized mice are appealing; you will just have to do all the mock mouse movements using a string that is attached to the mouse. Along the same line, feather toys are good bird replicas, and are often attached to the end of a stick or string so that you can mimic the movements of a wounded bird, one of a cat’s favorite objects for stalking (your cat should never have access to feather toys without supervision, however, as they can be very dangerous if swallowed). And everyone knows how much kittens love a simple length of yarn. A piece of thick ribbon, shoelace or yarn can be wiggled across the floor or beneath a closed door (with you on one side of the door and the cat on the other) just out of the cat’s reach.

A lot of cats will grow out of this fascination with string as they age, but not all of them do. It wouldn’t hurt to try with your older cat. Just remember to put the string and ribbons away after the games. Many an emergency intestinal blockage could have been avoided if the string had not been left out for the cat to swallow.

Another favorite is the beam of light. If you already have a smallish flashlight, you can try to get your cat to chase it around. Laser pointers are even better, since the small beam of light appears to be a little bug, and cats love to chase bugs. Stay low with the light, or you may have your cat trying to climb the shelves to catch it and end up with broken knick-knacks on the floor. Also, be sure to avoid flashing the beam directly into your cat’s eyes.

Keep the fun novel for your cat by trying stuff you already have around the house. Empty boxes with holes cut into them make great “caves” and scratching toys, and crumpled paper, especially the tissue type that makes lots of noise, is great for batting around. Paper bags are fun for crawling into, too, but avoid the plastic bags; you don’t want to risk an accidental suffocation. Also: plastic rings, empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls, stuffed animals, etc. Just be careful none of the household “toys” can become choking hazards.

Scratching posts and cat trees entice cats to climb, which uses their muscles and naturally wears down the points of their claws. If you have the space, set up a cat obstacle course in your home so that your cat can jump from place to place to get to the next perch. There are pre-made shelving systems that you can find online, or you can build a system of your own, with shelves that go from the floor to the ceiling in a step pattern. Some people will add a wrap-around ceiling-high shelf so their cats can climb and jump all the way up to find a good spot where they can watch over their kitty kingdom. If you have a yard, you can build or buy an outdoor enclosure that allows your cat the advantage of being outside without the dangers of traffic and other animals.

Finally, if your cat really needs to lose some weight, there are exercise wheels — like the wheels made for hamsters — made just for cats. Exercise wheels do not take up much space, and they allow cats to run and run to their heart’s content.

With some imagination and a commitment to spend at least a combined hour each day on your cat’s activity, you will find that both you and your cat are enjoying a healthier and more joyful life.

5 ways to get your cat to exercise.

Routine play time with your cat can keep him healthy and fit.

With most cats sleeping up to 15 hours a day, exercising becomes vitally important to ensure they don’t reach an unhealthy weight. Unfortunately, more than half of our cats in the US are overweight or obese according to a 2017 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Since most cats live indoors, they lack the natural ability to burn off excess fat by chasing bugs, mice, and other prey that outdoor cats encounter on a daily basis. For that reason, pet parents must find ways for our furry friends to exercise their natural instinct indoors and burn excess fat at the same time. As an added benefit, play also strengthens the bond between you and your kitty.

You can step up your cat’s physical activity with toys, tactics and, tried-and-true methods. Shoot for about 20 minutes of physical activity a day, which can be broken up into increments. Here are five tips to get your cat off its bum for a good healthy workout:

Offer unlikely play things – Ever notice how a toddler becomes more interested in exploring an empty box than with the toy that came inside the container? Your cat friend is not unlike a toddler. Cut out a hole or two in a box and watch your feline explore. They love to hide, climb into, and roll around in empty confined spaces. Stuff in a hidden treat, a fuzzy cat toy, or wads of tissue paper and you have fashioned the ideal play place for your kitty.
Use a large box with the top open to create a “hockey rink.” Ping pong balls are lightweight and easy for your cat to bat around. Put the two together in the “hockey rink,” and enjoy a rink-side view of the action while your cat gets a great workout.
If you can find a rabbit’s foot keychain, you’ve struck gold. Not only are cats drawn to the furry foot, but they also love the shiny metal and clanging sound it makes when it skitters across the floor once it’s slung.
Lasers are another unlikely play thing that stimulates cats. For them, the small beam of light mimics a bug creeping across the floor or up the wall. Your little guy will spend several minutes chasing around that beam of light, just be sure to not point the light directly into your cat’s eyes.

Use tools that motivate – The vet experts at WebMD.com recommend using resources that encourage your cat to climb, stretch, and run, all behaviors that keep felines fit in the wild. Look for cat trees or cat condos that feature scratching posts and hanging ropes that encourage climbing and stretching. You can also place small treats in the higher landings to motivate your cat to scale in the search for his reward.
Similar to the wheels made for hamsters, cat wheels or treadmills are designed to help your cat lose some weight. Cat wheels are portable, take up little space and encourage running. Supervise kitty while she’s using the wheel.

Buy toys that mimic “prey play” – Rolan Tripp, an affiliate professor of applied animal behavior at Colorado State University and founder of animalbehavior.net, told WebMD the way to get cats to move is “to let them use their hunting talents.” Invest in toys that stimulate a cat’s predatory behavior, Tripp said. Wands with feathers or a toy mouse on the other end are fun for cats and allow you to mimic the movements of a bird or mouse. Remember a cat’s attention span. After about five minutes, he will lose interest and be ready for a new game.

Introduce play partners – If your cat is alone, you might consider play dates with other cat parents to encourage interaction. If you are weighing whether or not to adopt another cat to get your established cat to exercise more, a highly energetic kitten is a better option than an adult cat and easier to introduce into the family. Ideally, starting with two cats is always the best scenario.

Create an agility course – Capitalize on your cat’s friskiness and curiosity. Build an agility course with obstacles like tunnels, boxes with holes, cat towers, hoops to jump through, and other hurdles. Bear in mind, it will take several attempts and some poking around before your cat figures it out. But it will certainly provide you with entertainment while you watch her master the course.
Getting your cat to exercise might be a bit of a challenge, but with some creativity and patience on your part, you will discover play time with your kitty to be both rewarding and healthier for you and your finicky feline. 🐈

For some cats, exercise is not much of an issue at all. My mom’s cat for instance, who is so obsessed with playtime if you even remotely near look like you’re going to take out a toy to play, he’ll come out of one of his favourite hiding spots running, and would happy stay by your side for a few hours of intensive exercise. Don’t play with him yourself? He’ll dart around the house sprinting to get some of his energy out. Hell, he’ll even go so far as to take his own toy balls and springs out of a basket and play by himself to his heart’s content!

Not my cat – my cat’s the lazy kind. He’s the type of cat who prefers naps over a feather wand any day of the week. While my mom’s cat, Walker, always gave us trouble in the hydration department, my cat, Avery, has always given us trouble with his lack of exercise.

Petlinks Jeepers Creepers Catnip Rat Toy – Amazon / Chewy

Don’t get me wrong – Avery’s not an overweight cat, nor has he ever been (except that one time we tried open feeding with him; boy was that a failed experiment). But whether or not your cat is overweight isn’t important: cats should get enough exercise regardless of whether they’ve packed on extra pounds. Which is why I always do my best to make sure I don’t drop the ball with monitoring how much time Avery’s spent exercising at home.

In fact, I’d venture to say that extra exercise is barely going to help cats lose weight at all. If your mission is just to get your kitty to lose some, the best way you can help him/her do that is by controlling how much food he or she eats. Luckily, even if you feed your cat multiple times a day and you love giving away snacks to your cat whenever he or she wants, it’s still easy to get your cat on a diet that works. Just do what I do, use this trick to prevent overfeeding. It’s quick, easy, you can keep using whatever cat food you’re already using, and you can dole out food as often as you’d like without having your purrfect cat gain a single extra pound.

Still think your cat needs more exercise, regardless of whether his/her weight is good or bad? You’re in the right place! Let’s take a look at all the things you can do to get your cat to exercise more.

Interpet Pet Love Kat Tikkler Feather Wand Cat Toy – Amazon / eBay

Ways You Can Help Your Cat Get More Exercise

I’ve split up this section into two: active & passive ways for you to help your cat to get more exercise. Active ways are ones that involve you physically doing something (like playing with your cat) to help, and passive ways are of course things you can do and have that will hopefully encourage kitty to get more exercise on his or her own. I’d recommend using a combination of these for the best results getting a lazy kitty to get that “time at the gym” in.

Active Ways to Get Your Cat to Exercise

1. Make sure you don’t forget daily playtime!

You should be having an active playtime session with your cat at least once a day, for I’d say around 15 minutes. If you’re not actively trying to have playtime with your cat at least that one time a day, you’re doing your pet a huge disservice! Cats need to get their hunting game on, it’s part of their biology, and if you don’t help them out releasing that energy during an active playtime with them, this lack of play can lead to behavioural and health issues later, even if they’re not quite showing up now.

Give your cat what he/she needs – make sure playtime happens on the daily.

2. Playtime not happening easily? Try different cat toys until you find ones your cat really likes!

Finding a toy that your cat really loves is incredibly important if you have a lazy kitty. Some cats are great when it comes to playtime by default, like my mother’s cat, but others, like my own, are really picky about what they do and do not like to play with. If you haven’t quite found the right cat toy, don’t fret! There are plenty of cheap ones on the market you can try so you don’t break the bank figuring out the type of cat toy your pet really loves. Check out this article for some suggestions.

Looking for as many interactive and exercise-encouraging cat toys as possible? Check out my article specifically on cat exercise toys.

3. Playtime still not happening easily? Try different techniques to see if your cat engages better under the perfect circumstance.

As I spoke about in my review of the toy, Avery is actually more likely to play if I start off his playtime by getting him to attack his Jeepers Creepers Catnip Toy Rat. Does it work every time? Definitely not, but it works often enough for me to use this technique quite often.

If your cat is difficult to engage in playtime, try out a mix and match of different circumstances to see if the perfect conditions will make him or her engage in activity close to every single time. Having a hard time determining what to try out? Try these techniques to help your cat engage in playtime more. Some of my favourites from that list: have a spot specifically for playtime, try to have play time at the same time every day, get a bunch of toys similar to the ones your cat already likes, and try playing bird videos in the background so kitty can get some auditory stimulation while he/she is playing.

4. Have your cat do a workout before mealtimes.

It’s incredibly easy to get a cat do a workout session if your cat is at all motivated by food. All you have to do is use this technique: and all you need to do it is kibble!

Having a workout regimen for your cat where he/she does not get a meal until a workout session has been completed is the perfect way to make sure your cat is getting enough exercise without constantly keeping tabs on your cat’s exercise for the day. Exercise routines don’t replace playtime of course, since workouts do not engage a cat’s prey drive, but it’s a huge help for specifically getting exercise and physical activity levels to be better.

Spot Ethical Pet Colourful Plastic Cat Spring Toys – Amazon / Chewy

Passive Ways to Get Your Cat to Exercise

5. Make nooks for your cat in high places.

The best exercise is exercise you don’t realize you’re doing!

Cats love high spots, they love little nooks and crannies, they love cat beds, they love napping! So take that passion and turn it into a little bit of a workout – place cat nooks in high places your cat has to jump to get to!

Not sure how to make this work in your own home? You don’t have to go out and buy any cat furniture, simply move around the furniture you’ve got so that it’s easy for your cat to jump from one piece to another (say from a sofa, to the sofa’s back, to a dresser), then put a little cat nook or cat bed, or even a fleece or sweater kitty likes to sleep in, at the highest spot.

Your cat will love this and will not even notice the exercise aspect. Cats love a good spot, and are often quite content to jump from place to place throughout the day just to get from one of their favourite napping spots to another. Which is why I mention making more nooks and crannies as one of the many ways to keep an indoor cat entertained. Cats can keep themselves busy moving between interesting nap spots for hours!

6. Buy a nice cat tree.

There’s a reason so many people go out of their way to buy these big, bulky objects that are not always the most appealing to look at: cats love them! They love playing on them, climbing them to hang out on, they love scratching them; there’s not much about cat trees that cats don’t love!

Why they’re good for passive exercise, where you personally don’t have to lift a finger, is pretty obvious if you ask me!

No space? Live in a small apartment? You can always grab a narrow, thin cat tree instead of a wide one! Have a cat tree already, but need a few more in places your cat spends time in infrequently? Try small cat trees you can move around from room to room.

7. Find toys your cat is willing to play with by him/herself.

This can be a tricky one if your cat is lazy like mine (and if you’re reading this article, there’s a high chance that that’s true), but it’s possible to find something, I do believe. Need ideas on where to start? Try looking through these toys cats can play with on their own.

So far, I’ve only ever found two things in my cat’s life that he’ll play with by himself, one which he now refuses to play with at all. These cat springs (which he sadly no longer plays with and I find dreadfully upsetting, since I loved them so much; read my review of them here if you’re interested), and DIY aluminum foil balls that have been squished into “pancakes”. Yep, my Avery’s an odd one.

Let me know in the comments down below if you have a lazy cat, yet have managed to find something, anything at all that your cat will play with by him/herself. I’ve heard hair elastics do the trick for some cats; not mine, unfortunately! 🙁

8. Make a cat shelf wall.

I know this isn’t something everybody can do, especially if you rent or won’t be staying in your present home for too long, but if you at all can put up a wall full of cat shelves, I’d recommend you do it, as cats that are lazy are still likely to want to use a crazy-cool home feature like this.

As an alternative, you can instead try putting up a cat climber. These take up little to no space and you definitely don’t need to put so many holes in the wall! You can even drill them into furniture, like a wardrobe, instead of drilling them into a wall, if holes in walls are a big issue. Easy to put up; easy to remove and take with you to a new home as well!

9. Try grabbing a cat wheel for your cat!

Ah, the cat wheel! I feel like every cat owner has watched hours upon hours of cats running in cat wheels and thought, “Damn, I’d love to have one of those!” Nope? Just me? Well either way, I’d say if you had one of these in your own home and your cat liked to use it, you’d be pretty much set for life about the whole cat-not-getting-enough-exercise thing.

The downside is of course that cat wheels are very expensive, and if you grab one and your cat doesn’t like using it, well that’s a huge lot of $$$ wasted – especially if there isn’t another cat in your life you can “donate” your unloved cat things to (like I do with Walker and Beau, my mother’s and brother’s cats, when Avery doesn’t take to a cat toy).

It’s certainly not a necessity, but trying out a cat wheel to see if Avery likes it is definitely a huge wishlist item for me.

Petlinks Jeepers Creepers Catnip Rat Toy – Amazon / eBay

Your Advice: How To Get Cats to Exercise More?

Now it’s time for me to turn the tables over to you. What can you think of to get cats who are not getting enough exercise to exercise more?

Have you ever been in this situation yourself with one or more of your cats? How did you resolve the situation, or is it a constant struggle?

Do you have any ideas for cat toys a kitty just might play with on his or her own?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below!

Q: Do I Need To Worry About My Cat Getting Exercise?

A: Yes. Indoor cats (which is what we’re exclusively talking about here) will not, despite a common myth, find a way to get enough exercise on their own by chasing shadows and attacking shoelaces.

Cats, as we know, sleep a lot — around 14 hours a day — and in an indoor environment with no prey, people, or other cats around, they have a tendency to become sedentary, much like ourselves. Now, inactivity is natural for cats; in the wild, their behavior includes lots of downtime. But the domestic cat is fed by its owner, taking away that healthful and instinctive hunting activity. So do you need to, in part, assume the role of personal trainer? “Absolutely,” says Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, former president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the owner of two west coast veterinary clinics focused on cats.

Without it, two big problems can arise, according to Colleran: Obesity and boredom.

A short list of potential effects of feline obesity, from a 2006 article in the Journal of Nutrition: Orthopedic disease, diabetes mellitus, abnormalities in circulating lipid profiles, cardiorespiratory disease, urinary disorders, reproductive disorders, neoplasia (mammary tumors, transitional cell carcinoma), dermatological diseases, and anesthetic complications.Then there’s arthritis. Says the Cornell Feline Health Center: “Older cats frequently become less agile as arthritis develops and muscles begin to atrophy.” They recommend “regular moderate play” to stave off arthritis.

Bored cats, meanwhile, “act out other behaviors that are considered inappropriate, like chewing on things, or scratching on inappropriate surfaces,” says Colleran. “Sometimes they just plain sleep all the time, and that’s no life to have.”

So how do you make sure your cat gets enough exercise? Different breeds, and even different cats, have different needs. Some breeds, like the Savannah and Cornish Rex, are naturally energetic, while others, like the Scottish Fold and Persian, are less inclined to exercise. Young cats and kittens have much more energy to burn off, so need more playtime than older cats. So when do you know if your cat has had enough exercise? “When they quit!” says Colleran. How much time that will take, of course, will vary; Jackson Galaxy, cat behaviorist and host of “My Cat From Hell,” recommends at least 15 minutes of intense playtime per day.

There’s also a right and a wrong way to play. Cat behaviorist and author Pam Johnson-Bennett writes that “Cats are sprinters and they don’t hunt by chasing to exhaustion. Because of their smaller lungs, they rely on their stealth to inch closer and closer to their prey. Once they’re within ambush distance, they execute a well-timed pounce.”

“Having your cat racing around until his sides are heaving,” she writes, “isn’t beneficial physically or mentally for him.”

The key is to stimulate your cat’s natural hunting instinct. Toys that simulate real-life animals are often best, like a few feathers on the end of a stick, or the very cheap, and ever-popular Cat Dancer. Heather O’Steen, of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, also recommends toys that involve food. “Food puzzles and food balls are also a great way to stimulate your cat and provide a more natural eating behavior,” she writes. These are often ball-shaped hollow toys with a small hole, into which you put dry food. When the cat knocks the ball around, small amounts of food falls out of the hole, bit by bit. That encourages the cat to “hunt” for its food–and exercise while it does.

Having another cat around may also help — if the two cats get along. (Says Colleran: “Two siblings from the same litter can keep each other amused while people are away at work.”) But getting a companion cat is not an easy solution — and will backfire quickly if the two cats don’t get along. As we know, cats, notorious loners that they are, can be extremely picky about the company they keep.

An estimated 57% of U.S. cats are overweight or obese, according to a 2008 study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

So WebMD asked Rolan Tripp, DVM, for advice on how to get fat cats back in shape. Tripp is an affiliate professor of applied animal behavior at Colorado State University veterinary school and the University of Wisconsin veterinary school, and founder of animalbehavior.net.

Q: Why are so many of our cats fat?

A: Because they’re over fed and under exercised. There’s no magic here. The pet food companies make their foods the tastiest they can make it. And then there’s the misconception that when a cat isn’t eating it’s somehow sick. That’s not always the case.

Q: My cat has the run of the house, isn’t that enough exercise?

A: No. Could you get all the exercise you need just walking around your house? An indoor cat needs planned exercise. The best exercise is object play – playing with your cat with toys. That’s the answer to exercise problems, obesity, and how to get a well-adjusted cat. If your cat doesn’t get enough exercise, it comes out in bad ways.

Q: If I get another cat, will they get more exercise?

A: If it’s a kitten. Kittens are the high-energy ones. If it’s another adult cat, you have to be very careful. Bringing another adult cat into the house has very few positives for the established cat. What you need to do when you bring home another cat is buy a bunch of new resources – new toys, new food, new beds, new treats. So the association for your old cat is that this new cat comes in with a bounty, a dowry.

Q: What are some games I can play with my cat to get him moving?

A: Cats are predators, and the way to get them to play is to let them use their hunting talents. Buy toys and then use them to mimic the actions of the animals a cat would normally hunt – a mouse, bird, lizard, rabbit or bug. Take a laser pointer and skitter it across the floor like a bug. Get a wand toy that looks like a bird and pretend to land and take off. But don’t just flap it around. No bird acts like that. Try to think about what a bird really does and then reenact that with the toy. It’s all pretend play, but try to make it as real as possible for your cat.

You’re not the only one who needs to work out. Exercise is important to your cat’s overall health. Movement, especially the kind that uses her hunting skills, can keep her weight down and help her work off extra energy. Playtime is crucial for her mental well-being, too — it can help stop depression and boredom, which can lead to bigger health and behavior issues.

With a little help from you, your kitty can stay healthy and active — and have a little more fun, too.

Aim to play with your cat for around 10 to 15 minutes at a time. If she doesn’t enjoy it, she’ll let you know. When she gets bored, put the toys away and offer some praise and a few treats.

Introduce some new toys. You probably already know that cats are fond of feathers and strings. But you can watch her while she plays to find out what kinds of objects she likes best. Try out a toy shaped like a bird, then one that looks like a mouse, and another that resembles a bug. The plaything she likes most can help you figure out what kind to buy in the future.

Be prepared for the kill. Cats are especially satisfied when they can get their teeth and claws solidly into their playthings. Let them do it, and be ready to offer replacement toys and feathers when old ones get worn out.

Add some new levels to your games. Get a multi-story cat tree and put it near an open floor space where your cat can run, then jump onto it.

Get your cat a piñata. Cats love to bat things that hang overhead. Food inside will offer even more motivation. To make a piñata, use a plastic container, like an old yogurt or sour cream cup with a lid. Cut a small hole in the bottom of it. Put a treat or two inside and hang it up with a string where your cat can reach it. If she hits it the right way, the treats will fall out.

Although cats can become easily amused by just about anything that triggers their curiosities, there are specific toys that are guaranteed to stimulate your kitty in no time. Cats that stay exclusively indoors will need more exercise than those that travel outdoors, so it’s good to incorporate playtime on a regular basis with your indoor cat. Playtime can be super fun for them and enjoyable for you as a bonding experience the two of you can share together.

The SmartyKat Loco!Laser

This interactive cat toy will definitely have your cat scurrying across the house in a frenzy. The SmartyKat Loco!Laser toy is a #1 Amazon Best Seller for cat laser toys, and for just under $5 your cat can be entertained for hours on end. Many users have reported that their cats go crazy over this toy, which comes with an extra set of batteries and a variety of three cute mouse shapes to choose from.

Cat Toy Interactive Wand by Pet Fit For Life

This cat wand comes with two different feather options and is sure to have your cat or kitten going bananas. Pet Fit For Life guarantees that all of their products are non-toxic and perfectly safe for your cat, along with proven durability for long-lasting use. With the flexible wand cats can “catch” the feather and you won’t have to worry about it popping back and hitting owner in the face.

SmartyKat Feather Wheel Cat Toy

This is one of those “As Seen on TV” things that actually works! According to purchasers, cats go crazy for this toy that incorporates exercise with constant entertainment. Most cats will be naturally drawn to the erratic motions created by the toy, and fascinated with all the spins and whirls.

Bergen Turbo Scratcher Toy

Not only can your cats enjoy this toy, but they can get their cat scratching on with the circular pad in the center. The Bergen Scratcher Toy comes in an assortment of colors, and replaceable pads are sold for the scratch pad if needed. This toy is so adored among cat owners, it’s listed as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon in the cat mice and animal toy department.

Catit Design Senses Play Circuit

The track for this toy offers a peek-a-boo style play for cats and kittens which will trigger their curiosities and keep them constantly entertained. This toy is reported to be both durable and appeals to both younger and older cats. Well worth the price of roughly $10 on Amazon.

Cat Dancer Cat Charmer Toy

Charm your cat with this entrancing toy that is sure to capture their undivided attention. The cat charmer toy is sold as one, or you can buy multi packs at a discounted price with the more you purchase. This toy is an Amazon #1 Best Seller in cat toys, with countless positive reviews raving over their cat’s love of this toy.

OurPets 100% Catnip Snake Toy

Ah, of course there was going to be a catnip-filled toy on this list! While most cats go cuckoo for catnip, there are some that are known to not go as crazy for the stuff. With the toy’s fun shape and pure catnip ingredients, this one is a winner with many cat owners.

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, we all know how much our furry friends love to play. Interactive cat toys are a great way of providing a fun way for you and your cat to play together. More than that though, they also provide your cat with mental and physical stimulation, allowing them to use those innate hunting instincts.

We reviewed dozens of interactive cat toys to identify the best of the best. We looked at features such as whether toys contained catnip, if they were battery operated or manual, as well as if they provided an opportunity for your cat to ‘hunt’ for part of their diet. (If you’re looking for more ways to keep your favorite feline’s healthy diet in check, we’ve also reviewed the Best Automatic Cat Feeders and the Best Organic Cat Foods.)

Top PickBergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

A winning combination of scratch pad, ball track and catnip make this toy a great choice

$10.49 USD

The Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy stood out as a clear winner thanks to its combination of durable scratch pad (we all know how cats love to test their claws!), entertaining ball track, and irresistible catnip.

In This Article

The 5 Top-Rated Interactive Cat Toys

Editor’s Picks Brand Rating
Best Overall Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy 4.5
Runner Up Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy 4.5
Best Budget Buy Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy 4.7
Best Electronic Cat Toy Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Backyard Cat Toy 4.3
Best Laser Cat Toy Friends Forever Laser Cat Toy 4.3

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

Top PickBergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

A winning combination of scratch pad, ball track and catnip make this toy a great choice

$10.49 USD

The Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy provides your cat with hours of fun in a simple design. The textured scratch pad within the center is surrounded by a plastic track containing a small ball. The scratch pad provides the perfect place for your cat to exercise their claws without damaging your furniture.

By chasing the ball around the track, your cat gets great exercise while also utilizing their hunting instincts. This is especially good for indoor cats. With Bergan Turbo Scratcher comes with a bag of catnip, which can be sprinkled onto the central scratch pad. As we know, many cats go wild for catnip so this is a great addition.

With a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and over 7,000 reviews, you can be confident that the Bergan Turbo Scratcher is a great interactive cat toy which many cats just can’t get enough of.

Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy Key Features:

  • Replaceable central scratch pad
  • Removable ball to prevent over stimulation
  • Catnip included
  • Available in two colors

Our Runner Up Pick: Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

Runner Up PickPetstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

The expert design of this cat track means your cat will love this toy

$23.99 USD

Our Runner Up Pick goes to the Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy. This track toy combines three levels of circular tracks, each with its own brightly colored ball. This expert design is specifically intended to stimulate your cat’s instincts and encourages them to play.

The balls within this track are fixed in place thanks to the closed tracks, meaning no more hunting for lost cat toys under your furniture. This toy is perfect for encouraging your cat to play independently, but it also provides options for you to play with your cat by pushing the balls around the tracks. It’s also great for multiple cats to enjoy playing together.

While the center of this toy is open, there is a safety bar across the top track, to prevent over enthusiastic cats getting their heads stuck. The Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy has over 3,000 reviews on Amazon, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy Key Features:

  • 3 levels of fun
  • Provides mental and physical stimulation
  • Closed top and non-slip base
  • Brightly colored balls to attract cat’s attention

Best Budget Pick: Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy

Best Budget Cat Toy PickCat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy

This great value toy is deceptively simple but proves irresistible to cats

$2.99 USD

The Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy manufacturers suggest that it’s been home-tested by over 8 million cats. That’s an incredible number, so while this toy looks deceptively simple, it’s obviously doing something right!

This interactive cat toy is made in the USA out of spring steel wire and tubes of rolled cardboard. The combined effect of this creates an irresistible moving lure which most cats can’t help but play with. By varying the amount of energy you use twitching the wire, it’s easy to appeal to the majority of cats.

With over 3,000 reviews on Amazon, many including hilarious video clips of people’s cats playing with the Cat Dancer, this interactive cat toy comes in at such an affordable price that it’s a great addition to any cat’s toy box.

The Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy Key Features:

  • Recommended by vets for its safe design
  • 30 inches of spring steel piano wire provides plenty of length for play
  • Rolled cardboard provides a tempting lure
  • Made in the USA

Best Electronic Cat Toy: Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Backyard Cat Toy

Best Electronic Cat Toy Pick Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Backyard Cat Toy

This fun little toy combines both catnip and realistic sounds to stimulate your cat physically and mentally

$3.39 USD

The Our Pets Play-N-Squeak Backyard Cat Toy combines a cute and fluffy bird exterior with catnip and electronic sounds to grab your cat’s attention. If you want to protect your local wildlife but still allow your cat to use their natural hunting instincts, this little bird could be just what you need.

This toy includes an electronic sound module which makes a realistic chirping sound when your cat plays with it. This, combined with the catnip scent and feathers, make it irresistible to cats. This type of play helps to relieve boredom, anxiety, and stress, all of which can affect cats but particularly those kept indoors without the ability to play outside.

This electronic cat toy has over 900 reviews on Amazon, the majority of these are overwhelmingly positive. This, combined with a very reasonable price, means this Play-N-Squeak Backyard cat toy toy is a great choice.

Friends Forever Play-N-Squeak Backyard Cat Toy Key Features:

  • Tactile feel
  • Enticing catnip scent
  • Realistic RealMouse sound
  • Helps to fulfill cat’s natural instincts

Best Laser Cat Toy: Friends Forever Cat Laser Toy

Best Laser Cat Toy Pick Friends Forever Interactive Laser Toy

This unique looking laser toy is guaranteed to keep your cat entertained and exercised

$29.99 USD

The Friends Forever Cat Laser Toy is packed full of features that mean your cat will be kept entertained and exercised through healthy play. The eye-catching diamond shaped pointer on the top of the toy is designed to attract your cat to play by rotating to cast the laser in a range of unpredictable directions.

This laser toy also has three different settings to allow you to adjust the level of challenge for your cat. Start off on the slow setting as your cat learns the ropes, work your way up to the fast setting, and then challenge them with the random setting. A great feature of this laser toy is that it has an automatic timer which shuts off after 15 minutes. This stops your cat from becoming overstimulated or overtired from playing for too long.

With a 12 month, no questions asked guarantee, this made in the USA laser toy has received great reviews on Amazon for its great design, automatic timer, and the fact it provides hands-free laser entertainment for your cat.

Friends Forever Cat Laser Toy Key Features:

  • Unique diamond shaped pointer creates random patterns and movements
  • Battery operated means no cable trip hazards
  • Made in the USA. 100% satisfaction or your money back
  • 15 minute shut-off to prevent over stimulation

Who Should Buy an Interactive Cat Toy

Any cat owner should definitely consider buying an interactive cat toy. Toys which allow your cat to chase or hunt pretend ‘prey’ will help them use all their senses, allowing them to feel satisfied and happy. Playing with your cat is also a great way of getting to know them better. Watching and helping them use their intelligence to solve puzzles or catch toys is a fabulous way to spend time with your furry friend.

Indoor cats will particularly benefit from interactive cats toys. Depending on the sort you choose, these will help your cat satisfy their natural instincts for hunting, foraging, scratching and playing. Interactive cat toys which dispense your cat’s food in small doses are a great option for keeping your cat active rather than eating too much food from a stationary bowl.

Top Pick Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

A winning combination of scratch pad, ball track and catnip make this toy a great choice

$10.49 USD

Important Features to Consider

When you’re selecting an interactive cat toy, there’s a few important features to consider to make sure you’re choosing the best toy which is suited to your individual cat.

  • Battery operated or manual. If you work away from home during the week, or have an indoor cat that requires a lot of stimulation, then a battery operated interactive toy is a great choice. Many have an automatic on-off timer, so will come on as your cat initiates play and then turn off after a set period of time. Manual toys are great if you want to sit and play with your cat, for instance by encouraging them to play with a fabric wand or chase a ball.
  • Containing catnip or catnip free. If your cat is particularly sensitive to catnip, then you may want to avoid toys that contain this herb, as your cat may become over-stimulated and a little too playfully aggressive as a result. The other side of the coin is that if catnip encourages your otherwise lazy indoor cat to get up and run around, then using a catnip toy can be a great way to ensure they get enough exercise.
  • Feeder toys. Interactive toys which encourage your cat to naturally ‘hunt’ for their food are a great way to both increase the amount of exercise your cat gets as well as allowing them to play as they eat. This mimics the natural behavior of cats in the wild, which will prevent your cat feeling bored. Another benefit is that feeding this way helps control your cats weight by making sure they get enough exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an interactive cat toy?

Interactive cat toys allow you to do just that – interact with your cat through play. There are a range of great benefits that these sort of toys bring. This includes encouraging your cat’s natural instincts for hunting, but in a safe environment. This is particularly important for indoor cats. Interactive toys aim to stimulate all your cats senses – touch, hearing, taste, sight and smell.

Another great benefit of some interactive toys is that they allow your cat to ‘hunt’ for their food, which can be released slowly as your cat plays with their toy. This is a very natural and satisfying way for your cat to eat. For cats who need a controlled diet, this is a great benefit. Last but not least, interactive toys allow you to bond with your cat while you watch them use their intelligence to problem solve.

Why do cats like laser pointers so much?

Laser pointers appeal to cats because their erratic movements can fool them into thinking its a form of real prey. Cats have a strong hunting instinct and chasing a moving target like a laser pointer can be a very satisfying game for them!

Are laser pointers really safe for cats?

There’s a couple of different points to cover here. Firstly, looking directly at laser beams can damage both your eyes, and those of your cats. So be careful to choose a toy that is within the safe range of 1 to 5 milliwats. Never point the laser directly in your cats face.

Secondly, because your cat will never really ‘catch’ the laser pointer, they never get the satisfaction of a successful hunt. Some cats won’t mind this and will continue to be entertained for hours. Others will become frustrated and decide that the game is no longer fun. We recommend ending your laser pointer play sessions by allowing your cat to ‘catch’ a toy mouse or ball, allowing your cat to feel the satisfaction of catching their prey.

Are toys with catnip safe for cats?

Catnip affects different cats in different ways. Some don’t appear to be affected by it at all, while others can end up anywhere along a scale from practically sedated to seriously hyperactive. Whatever reaction your cat has, once the effect wears off it takes approximately two hours before they will respond to catnip once more.

Catnip is veterinary approved, so there’s no need to worry about using this treat. If your cat has a strong reaction to it though, you might want to limit playtime with catnip toys to prevent them becoming overstimulated.

Other Interactive Cat Toys We Reviewed

Top Pick Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

A winning combination of scratch pad, ball track and catnip make this toy a great choice

$10.49 USD

We looked at 20 other interactive toys for cats. While they didn’t make our 5 best interactive toys for cats list, they’re the best of the rest and each of them is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

  • Electronic Cat Toys
  • Laser Cat Toys
  • Feeder Cat Toys
  • Manual Cat Toys

Electronic Cat Toys

Hexbug Mouse Cat Toy

The Hexbug mouse toy is perfect if your cat loves to pounce and chase. With realistic and random movements, your cat will have hours of fun with this mouse.

Key Features:

  • Able to navigate around furniture
  • Can flip back onto its feet when overturned
  • Suitable for hard floors only

Cost: $12

Hexbug Nano Robotic Cat Toy

The futuristic cat toy, with its furry tail, is sure to captivate any cat. Using vibration technology, the Hexbug Nano toy will scurry around hard surfaces in your home. Colors are selected at random.

Key Features:

  • Soft and furry tail attracts your cat’s attention
  • Can find its way out of corners and around furniture
  • Batteries included

Cost: $8

SmartyKat Feather Whirl Cat Toy

Feather based toys are almost always guaranteed to catch most cat’s attention. Combine this with the erratic spinning of this electronic toy and your cat is bound to be fascinated by the SmartyKat Feather Whirl toy.

Key Features:

  • Unpredictable motion designed to maintain interest
  • Quiet motor which won’t scare cats
  • Replacement feather wands available

Cost: $10

SmartyKat Hot Pursuit Cat Toy

This circular toy is designed to entice your cat into thinking there is some sort of prey hiding under the fabric cover. This is achieved through a combination of a moving wand and lights.

Key Features:

  • Two speeds settings to suit different cats
  • Durable fabric and plush toy wand
  • Replacement wands available

Cost: $34

PetSafe Pounce Cat Toy

This electronic toy is designed to stimulate your cat’s natural instincts. The PetSafe Pounce helps to keep cats active by encouraging them to chase the moving mouse around a circular path.

Key Features:

  • Four adjustable speed settings
  • Automatic timer turns this toy off after 10 minutes
  • Durable design

Cost: $28

Laser Cat Toys

Innozon Laser Pointer Chaser 2 Pack

This interactive laser pointer chaser toy by Innozen is the perfect way to play with your cat. Keep them busy and entertained by shining this laser around the house for your cat to chase.

Key Features:

  • 2 in 1 function. Works as a laser pointer and flashlight
  • Safe for your cat to play with
  • 12 month guarantee

Cost: $8

PetDroid Boltz Hanging Automatic Interactive Laser Cat Toy

If your cat knocks over laser toys left on the ground, then a hanging toy is the perfect solution. The PetDroid Boltz is designed to be wall-mounted and will move randomly over your floors and walls.

Key Features:

  • Automatically switches off after 5 minutes to prevent overstimulation
  • Requires 3 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Can be hung on the wall, or attached using the suction cup

Cost: $23

PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy

The PetSafe Bolt laser toy uses random movements to maintain your cat’s attention. With both a manual and automatic mode, you can choose to play with your cat or leave the PetSafe Bolt to keep them entertained.

Key Features:

  • Automatic cutoff after 15 minutes
  • Mirror adjust button can be used to control direction of laser
  • One year warranty

Cost: $18

Playdot! Cat Laser Toy

If you’re looking for a laser cat toy with loads of play options, then the Playdot! is the one for you. Four modes mean your cat will never get bored of playing with this toy.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight and stylish design
  • Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)
  • 3 self play modes and 1 handheld manual mode

Cost: $20

Runfish Laser Cat Toy 2 Pack

The Runfish laser cat toy 2 pack offers great value for money. If you’re looking for a handheld laser so you can play with your cat these are definitely worth a look.

Key Features:

  • Stylish and cute design, with paw buttons used to control settings
  • Requires 2 AAA batteries (not included)
  • Small size means you can carry them into the garden or other rooms easily

Cost: $10

Feeder Cat Toys

Cat Amazing Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder

This simple yet effective maze encourages your cat to sniff out hidden food or chase balls and catnip toys around the maze. Perfect as a slow feeder to use as part of a meal management plan.

Key Features:

  • Three difficulty levels
  • Encourages natural play
  • Recommended by veterinarians

Cost: $16

Doc & Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder

This pack of 5 interactive feeders are designed to appeal to your cat’s hunting instinct. They provide a natural, bowl-free way to feed your cat.

Key Features:

  • Helps to alleviate anxiety
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Suitable for all kibble sizes

Cost: $34

KONG Cat Wobbler Treat Dispensing Toy

The KONG Cat Wobbler comes with a catnip stuffed tail which encourages your cat to play. Designed to slowly dispense food or treats, to help manage your cat’s weight, or fight boredom.

Key Features:

  • Slows rapid eating
  • Durable and easy to use
  • Translucent top lets cats see food inside

Cost: $13

PetSafe FUNKitty Egg Cersizer Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser

The shape of this interactive toy and food dispenser is designed to wobble unpredictably, making it irresistible to your cat. The FUNKitty Egg Cersizer helps to combine small meals with exercise, a natural way to feed your cat.

Key Features:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Adjustable opening sizes to suit all types of kibble
  • Helps with portion control

Cost: $6

PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser

Designed to help you control the amount of food your cat receives, but in a way that encourages both play and exercise. Adjustable openings mean you can increase the level of skill required.

Key Features:

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Available in a range of colors
  • Suitable for all types of kibble

Cost: $6

Manual Cat Toys

Cat Dancer Rainbow Cat Charmer

This colorful cat charmer from Cat Dancer is a cheap and cheerful way to make playtime with your cat more fun and interactive. The rainbow ribbon is designed to catch your cat’s attention and encourage them to play.

Key Features:

  • Nontoxic and colorfast material
  • Made in the USA
  • Four feet long

Cost: $4

Catit Design Senses Play Circuit

This track with peek-a-boo sections allows your cat to chase and swat the included balls. There are many layout options as well as the possibility to include additional circuits for even more fun.

Key Features:

  • Includes specially designed balls which catch your cat’s attention
  • Uses sight, sound and touch to engage your cat
  • Easy to put together

Cost: $8

Pioneer Pet SmartCat Peek-a-Prize Toy Box

This simple looking wooden box is designed to keep your cat entertained and mentally stimulated. Hiding toys inside the box helps to encourage your cat’s natural hunting instincts.

Key Features:

  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Includes two ball toys
  • Works with catnip and a range of appropriately sized toys

Cost: $23

Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel

This collapsible tunnel is designed to provide three zones for your cat to play in, as well as openings designed to allow you to interact with your cat. This collapsible tunnel by Prosper Pet is a great option if you need a fold-able toy for easy storage.

Key Features:

  • Durable construction with ultra-strong and tear-resistant material
  • Collapsible and portable
  • Available in a wide range of colors

Cost: $17

SnugglyCat The Ripple Rug Play Mat

If you’re looking for a large interactive toy with plenty of play possibilities, the Ripple Rug play mat by SnugglyCat could be just what you need. This multi-function activity center provides a range of places for your cat to hide, play and nap.

Key Features:

  • Double mat allows endless combinations of shapes
  • Hiding food and treats inside stimulates your cat
  • Perfect for multiple cats

Cost: $40

More Pet Product Reviews:

The Best Robotic Vacuum for Pet Hair
The Best Cat Bowls
The Best Dog First Aid Kits
The Best Spiked Dog Collars
The Best Automatic Dog Feeders
The Best Dog Crate Furniture
The Best Dog Steps And Stairs
The Best Cat Harness
The Best Unique Gifts For Cat Lovers
The Best Gifts For Dog Lovers

10 Best Cat Toys That Are Guaranteed Keep Your Kitties Entertained

Combat your cat’s boredom with these 10 cat toys!

When you’re a cat, there’s nothing better than a great cat toy. Cat toys today come in many different styles and design senses, and that’s why we’ve taken the time to find the 10 best cat toys on Amazon for you.

These toys are sure to be a playtime hit among your cats. Check them out!

1. Go Cat Teaser Cat Catcher Wand Cat Toy

You just can’t beat this toy. The little mouse on the end is attached with a metal swivel, and it flops over the floor with a very lifelike motion.

I can personally attest to the fact that my cats absolutely adore this wand toy. Just be sure to put it away when it’s not in use; cats may manage to get themselves tangled up in the wire.

2. SmartyKat Skitter Critters Catnip Toy

Is there anything better than catnip mice? Most cats would tell you no. Your cat will love to use those hunting instincts during playtime!

This mice trio is perfect for any cat, and the fill is made 100% from recycled plastic so you can feel good about your purchase!

3. Fashion’s Talk Cat Toys Variety Pack

Want to cover all your bases when it comes to cat toys? Then this toy assortment is perfect for you.

There are feathers, catnip, jingle balls, and more. What cat could possibly resist these toys?

4. KONG Naturals Incline Scratcher Cat Toy

Now here’s a cool toy with a very practical purpose. If your cat has been scratching up the furniture, this scratch pad could help decrease that behavior.

We like the fact that this toy is inclined, and it comes with catnip to help capture your cat’s attention.

5. PETFAVORITES Original Mylar Crinkle Balls

Does your cat love crinkly paper? Then he’ll likely go nuts for these crinkle toys.

They’re the perfect size for batting and they make an irresistible noise when you play with them.

6. Curious Cat Cube, Cat House / Cat Condo

This cat condo is a nice way to give your cat his very own space where he can sleep, lounge, and play. Best of all, it collapses when not in use to save you space.

7. Cat Dancer 101 Interactive Cat Toy

The Cat Dancer may seem simple, but trust me, it totally captivates a cat’s attention.

The wire gives the toy lots of spring and the cardboard pieces at the end are simply irresistible for cats.

8. SnugglyCat the Ripple Rug

The Ripple Rug is tons of fun for cats.

It’s super versatile- you can rearrange it into endless configurations so your cat always has something new to play with.

9. PetSafe FUNKitty Egg Cersizer Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser

Does your cat gulp his food, or eat all of his cat food at once?

This pet toy encourages your cat to play with his food the way he would do in the wild, making feeding time fun and exciting for your cat.

10. One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel

Does your indoor cat need more exercise than he’s currently getting? This exercise wheel could do the trick. Cats need the training to learn to use the wheel, but once they understand what it’s for, energetic cats have a new exercise opportunity.

Laser pointers or laser toys can be a dangerous toy for any dog or cat that is OCD or obsesses over things. I wouldn’t recommend it. Stick to interactive toys, a mouse cat toy, catnip cat toy, ball toys, a scratching post, cat tree, cat scratchers, organic catnip or anything designed by Jackson Galaxy! Cat owners may try teaser toys or plush toys too.

Cat tunnels are another “agility” type toy that felines love. We’ll do a post on cat beds as that is a list that deserves its own article. Some of the electronic cat toys now available are also worth looking at! There is nothing more fun than watching your cat play with mice cat toys!

Pet parents, for more pet supplies and interactive play, check out Chewy, Petco, and Amazon!

Will your cat be receiving any of these best cat toys? Tell us in the comments below!

This post was originally published on May 10, 2019.

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The Best Exercises & Activities for Dogs and Cats

We tend to emphasize nutrition, and rightly so because it truly is the foundation of good health. However, one of the other great cornerstones of vibrant health and long life is exercise. Moderate, regular exercise will help keep your pet at a healthy weight and keep the joints flexible. It also provides mental stimulation, which is important for all pets, but especially those who spend most of their time indoors.

“The first step with any dog is to make sure you have the right collar or harness.”

Exercise for Dogs

Big dogs make great hiking companions, especially here in rugged Colorado, where we’ve joked for years about the Labrador Retriever being the “state dog.” Most medium-sized and large dogs seem able to handle all kinds of weather. But it’s easy to let a smaller dog become a couch potato, going out only to answer the call of nature and hurrying right back in. They’re not built for long treks, and they can disappear completely in a foot or two of snow!

The first step with any dog is to make sure you have the right collar or harness. Studies have shown that excessive pressure from a neck collar can damage a dog’s trachea (windpipe), so a walking harness may be a better choice for dogs that pull. Small dogs do exceptionally well with supportive harnesses.

Of course, a good leash that’s sturdy and easy to handle is always a good investment!

Don’t forget to prepare for walking in the dark. The Ruff Wear Beacon Safety Light is designed to increase your dog’s visibility to cars to increase the safety of night time walks.

If it’s icy outside, or if your dog has furry paws that snow can pack into, consider canine footwear to protect those tender toes. Pawz Biodegradable Natural Dog Boots are an easy choice for everyday outings.

When you can’t get out for a walk, there are many fun, interactive toys that will keep your dog entertained and moving, like the West Paw Design Zogoflex Jive, the Babble Ball Interactive Toy, and IncrediBubbles.

Exercise for Cats

Cats need exercise too, and while it’s possible to train a cat to walk with a cat harness and leash, at-home interactive play is the best way to keep your cat’s mind and body engaged and resilient. A 15-minutes session once or twice a day is ideal.

To help your cat get the most from these interactive toys, the key is to “BE the prey.” Use your imagination, and have fun! If you’re a mouse, run, jump and hide; if you’re a bird, flutter and dive. Always let your cat catch the prey in the end, and follow up with a high-protein treat such as canned food. This not only exercises your cat’s physical side, but also satisfies the mental/emotional “hunter” part—an important consideration in multi-cat homes to prevent aggressive behavior. It’s also a terrific way to help chubby kitties lose weight, as well as to prevent boredom and the unwanted behaviors that sometimes go with it!

Importance of YOU in Playtime

When you start an exercise program for your pet, use the same common-sense precautions you would with any other new activity. Don’t go hog wild all at once; your pet can get sore muscles and even cause damage to joints, because they don’t know when to stop and will usually keep going as long as you can. Build up your pet’s endurance gradually, and watch for signs that he’s had enough – wanting to lie or sit down, or showing any degree of labored breathing.

You’ll notice that all of these suggestions have one thing in common – you! Sure, you can leave toys out for your pets to play with, but their greatest joy is to play with you, so please make room for that quality time with your best buddy.

Creative Exercises for Your Dog

With seasons changing most of us will be moving away from extreme temperatures. This is a great time to get out and exercise your dog. Here are some creative ways to play!

1. Work out with your dog

Exercising doesn’t have to be boring. This routine, presented by Dr. Sophia Yin, can benefit you both.

2. Horse toys, not just for horses!

You’re not likely to find horse toys at your average supermarket or pet store, but don’t disregard them. Aja’s favorite toy once belonged to a much longer animal, watch her play below!

3. Have some fun inside!

Laser pointers aren’t just fun for cats, dogs love them too – as you can see in the video below. And have you noticed how excited your dog is to see you? Take a look at the video below and you’ll see just how much fun hide and seek can be for both you and your fur baby!

4. Dog parks!

Dog parks are great for dogs who don’t have much room to run at home. Watch Harley and Tori exercise at the dog park and give some very important tips to consider before doing so!

5. Agility Training

Agility training is great for dogs! This type of training will allow your dog to indulge his natural instincts.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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