Best Cat Toys for Exercising Your Cat 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy-FIWe often think of dogs as needing a lot of exercise, but it is also true that cats need a work out just as much. Keeping your feline energized, stimulated, and at a healthy weight is important for their overall well-being.

Now, most cats are not going to run with you on a leash, play fetch outside, or go for a swim…at least none in our feline circles. Instead, the best way to keep your pet moving is by providing toys they want to play with.

If you find the right toy, getting your pet to play with it will be easy. It’s finding the right toy that is difficult. Even if you narrow it down to a specific type of toy, there will most likely be hundreds of options to choose from.

To help keep your tabby moving, we have found ten of the best toys for exercising. We will review each out and share details like its use, durability, material make-up, and much more. We will also share tips on keeping your furball interested in their preferred sport.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

ModelPriceTypeEditor's Rating
Petstages Tower of Tracks
Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy
Best Overall

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Trackball4.90/5
Catit Treat Ball
Catit Treat Ball Cat Toy
Best Value

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Treat Dispenser4.80/5
Catit Design Senses Circuit Super Roller
Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy
Premium Choice

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Trackball4.60/5
SmartyKat Electronic Concealed Motion
SmartyKat Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy

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Electronic4.40/5
Outward Hound Tail Teaser
Outward Hound Tail Teaser Pet Toy

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Teaser4.20/5

The 10 Best Cat Toys for Exercising Your Cat – Reviews 2020

1. Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy – Best Overall

Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy

Our first pick is the Petstages Tower Of Tracks Cat Toy. This is a top-like toy that has three levels of tunnels where a golf ball spins and rolls around. The colored balls will catch your puss’s attention and allow them to bat the ball around inside. In fact, one of the great features of this toy is they won’t lose the balls under the couch or anywhere else.

The Petstages encourages extended play, plus it’s durable and safe. It has non-skid pads on the bottom, as well, so the toy will not slide all over the place. This feline fun can be used by a single cat or with multiple pets. Not only that, but it’s easy to clean, and your cat can play independently with it when you are not available for entertainment. Overall, this is our favorite cat toy to keep your furball fit.

Pros
  • Durable and safe
  • Encourages longer play
  • Single or multi-cat play
  • Three levels
  • Keeps balls from getting lost
  • Non-skid pads
Cons
  • Extras fit felines

2. Catit Treat Ball Cat Toy – Best Value

Catit Treat Ball Cat Toy

Keeping your cat fit should not break the bank. If you are looking for something affordable, the Catit Treat Ball Cat Toy is a great alternative to our first pick. This option comes in either blue or pink, and the clear ball allows you to put treats inside. Your tabby will go wild batting the sphere around in hunt of the tasty snack inside.

This is a safe toy that can help reduce feline obesity. It’s refillable and can be used as a regular ball, as well. One thing to note, however, is the toy does not come apart, which makes cleaning more difficult. On the other hand, this is a great option for entertaining your puss when you are not at home. What’s more, it can be played with by more than one tabby at a time.

This toy is fun and will keep your cat’s attention with the brightly colored center. It is not too easy to get the treats out, yet it is not too hard, either. Overall, this is the best cat toy for exercising your cat for the money.

Pros
  • Use with treats or without
  • Multi-cat or single-use
  • Reduces feline obesity
  • Durable and safe
  • Refillable
Cons
  • Harder to clean

3. Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy – Premium Choice

Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy

If your cat enjoys the hunt, and you have a little extra coin to spend, the Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy is a good option to check out. This is a set of “circuits” where a ball rolls around keeping your pet’s attention and keen on the hunt. It comes in either the small play size, medium speed option, or the large super roller. The bigger the unit, the more circuits it comes with.

Not only will the Catit Design Senses stimulate your pet’s instincts to hunt, but it also engages their hearing and touch. There are “peek-a-boo” holes throughout the circuits where your feline can bat the ball. You can also set-up the track in different designs to keep them interested.

This toy is safe, easy to set up, and easy to clean. It is also durable and will take a lot of rough tumbling from one or more cats. There are no batteries or outlets needed, either. The ball initially moves by a slight decline and then is pushed along by your cat’s paws. As mentioned, the only drawback to this toy is it’s more costly than our top two picks.

Pros
  • Durable and safe
  • Customizable and expandable
  • Stimulates sight, touch, and sound
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to set-up
Cons
  • More expensive

4. SmartyKat Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy

SmartyKat Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy

The SmartyKat Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy is an option that will drive your feline wild with delight. This is a spinning arm with a tail that your pet can chase, hunt, and pounce. It comes with two different tails, and you can customize the motion. There are two speeds and it moves in a varied and unpredictable way.

The SmartyKat can be used by one or two felines at a time. Even better, you can set it up to engage your pet while you are not at home. One of the downsides, however, is the two AA batteries only give you about an hour of playtime. Typically, it is recommended that your cat gets about 15 to 20 minutes of play per day with a toy, so you would get three to four uses before you have to change the batteries.

Something else to note about this toy is the overall construction. Although it is durable, the tails will only take so much abuse before they unravel. Unfortunately, you cannot buy replacement wands. That being said, many pet-parents have found that attaching their own toys or even feathers works just as well once the originals have perished. Just make sure that you attach them securely with nothing that could harm your tabby.

Besides those few drawbacks, your cat will enjoy this toy. It is quiet, easy to keep clean, plus safe for your feline. It has been tested for child safety standards, so you will also not have to worry about little ones getting a hold of it.

Pros
  • Safe
  • Customizable speeds and varied movement
  • Two-tail options
  • Quiet
  • Single or multi-cat
Cons
  • Batteries don’t last long
  • Replacement tails are not available

5. Outward Hound Tail Teaser Pet Toy

Outward Hound Tail Teaser Pet Toy

The Outward Hound Tail Teaser Pet Toy is a standard tail on a stick that has been a favorite feline pass time for decades. This type of toy allows your pet to jump, race, pounce, tug, and hunt. It will keep their attention for longer periods, as well.

This option can be used indoors or outdoors. It comes with two different faux fur tails that squeak and rattle to cause extra excitement. Unfortunately, the tails do not last long and overly aggressive cats will go through them quickly. We also wanted to point out that this is a game better suited for a single tabby if you have two cats where one is more aggressive than the other.

Besides that, this is a safe toy for your furballs, and there is no snapback. The durable nylon string won’t break, yet it provides a flexible pull and bounce. The only other consideration is this toy will need your hand, so independent play is not possible. Although you can cleverly attach it to a table or other surface, cats tend to get bored quickly when playing this way.

Pros
  • Safe with no snapback
  • Two faux fur tails
  • Various play activities
  • Indoor/outdoor
Cons
  • Tails don’t last long
  • Not for multi-cat play
  • Not for independent play

6. KONG Laser Teaser Cat Toy

KONG Laser Teaser Cat Toy

The KONG Laser Teaser Cat Toy is a similar tail on a stick as our option above, however, this one has a laser attached to the bottom. There is a small character toy that your cat will love to chase, pounce, and tug, plus there are multiple characters to choose from (sold separately). It is durable and comes with the necessary batteries included.

Something to consider with this option is though felines love to chase the laser pointer, it’s hard to control on the end of the stick. Not only that but because the light mechanism is heavier, it can snap back and cause injury. On the other hand, this is a great toy for multiple cats, although they cannot play independently with it.

The KONG will keep your tabby running, and it can be used inside or outside. Just make sure you are giving your furball some praise as laser lights do not provide a reward after the chase. Other than that, the stick portion and nylon rope are strong, plus the laser will not hurt your feline’s eyes.

Pros
  • Safe
  • Multi-cat play
  • Batteries included
  • Various game activities
Cons
  • Can snap back
  • No reward with laser light
  • Not for independent play
  • Hard to control

7. Jackson Galaxy Cat Crawl Tunnel Cat Toy

Jackson Galaxy Cat Crawl Tunnel Cat Toy

If your feline likes a tunnel toy, the Jackson Galaxy Cat Crawl Tunnel Cat Toy is a good option. This is a 35-inch collapsible tube that your pet can run through, hide in, and even take a nap in. It can be used by multiple cats or single pets, plus it’s a great toy for keeping your tabby fit when they are home alone.

The Jackson Galaxy is made of nylon mesh. Unfortunately, this material is easy to snag and rip if your feline is rambunctious. It is also made with metal wiring that can pop out and injure your pet, so careful inspection is advised. That being said, you can easily travel with this option, and it comes in several colors.

Something else to note is your cat can become bored with this option. As there is nothing to chase, pounce, or pull, they may not be inclined to keep running through it. That being said, timid tabbies enjoy the tunnel for privacy, but it defeats the purpose of the exercise.

Pros
  • Bolds down
  • Multi-cat
  • Comes in several colors
Cons
  • Cats will become bored
  • Rips easily
  • Wire mesh can rip through

8. Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy

Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy

Another tunnel option is the Frisco Peek-a-Boo Cat Chute Cat Toy. This is a three-ended tube with a top hole that your feline can pop in and out of, or even jump right through. They can use this option to play hide and seek, chase, or use it as a place for them to relax away from noise and other stimulation.

As mentioned with the toy above, however, your pets can become bored with this option quickly. In fact, if they get used to using it as a hiding spot or sleeping space, they may not use it as a toy at all. The overall construction is also not durable. The nylon is thin and will catch on their nails.

The Frisco tunnel is not recommended for multiple cat use if you have a timid animal as they get cornered in the multiple tubes. You should also note there are small pieces that can cause a choking hazard. Beyond that, it is hard to fold down.

Pros
  • Three tunnels
  • Top hole
  • Hide and seek play
Cons
  • Not durable
  • Cats will get bored
  • Not for multi-cat
  • Choking hazards

9. Cat Amazing Best Cat Toy

Cat Amazing Best Cat Toy

Our number nine pick is the Cat Amazing Best Cat Toy. This is a treat maze and puzzle where you can hide snacks in the different holes so your pet can find and fish them out. There are three different levels from easy, medium, and hard. Unfortunately, it seems that most cats either find it too easy or too hard to use.

This toy is made of 30% recycled cardboard, and it has metal-free graphics. That being said, as it is essentially a cardboard box, it is difficult to clean. It is also not durable and will be destroyed with one wrong step. The Cat Amazing toy is designed for single-cat use, but they often become bored with the toy. What’s more, the treats often fall out, and it does not provide a challenge.

Pros
  • Made with recycled material
  • No metal in graphics
Cons
  • Hard to clean
  • Not durable
  • Treats fall out
  • Cats become bored quickly
  • Not for multiple cats

10. Pet Zone Snag-able Crazy Hair Mouse Cat Toy

Pet Zone Snag-able Crazy Hair Mouse Cat Toy

Our final toy is the Pet Zone Snag-able Crazy Hair Mouse Cat Toy. As the name suggests, this is a faux-mouse plaything that is made with fake curly hair for your cat to chase, bat, and pounce. It can also be used by more than one pet at a time. The coat on this toy is designed to groom your pet’s claws, yet it does not do a credible job. In actuality, their nails get caught on the toy quite often.

This is a toy that gets dirty quickly and is hard to clean. Felines become bored with it quickly, and the mouse-sound is loud and annoying-even to your cat. It is also not durable. More concerning than that, though, is your pet can ingest the fur. It can get caught in their throat and cause hairballs. Overall, this is our least favorite option for a cat toy to keep your feline fit.

Pros
  • Multiple cats
  • Various play games
Cons
  • Not durable
  • Gets dirty quickly
  • Hard to clean
  • Can choke on fur
  • Annoying sound
  • Cats get bored

Buyer’s Guide

Keeping Your Cat Fit

It is not uncommon for cats to become overweight and obese especially among indoor felines. When they are left to laze about all day in a warm spot, that can quickly pack on the pounds. It is even more likely if they are being fed rich diets with plenty of treats in between.

To keep your furball healthy with the best life expectancy, it’s important to exercise your pet as best you can. Though most felines are not going to walk on a leash, there are ways to get them up and moving. One of the best ways is with an interesting toy. Take a look at these features that will help:

  • Stimulation: One of the most important aspects of getting your feline moving is stimulating their senses. Cats are natural hunters, and they use their sight and hearing to locate prey. Toys that will catch their attention are key.
  • Multi-play: Another mark of a good toy are the ones that can be played with in different ways. For example, felines like to stalk, pounce, tug, wrestle, and even chew on their various playthings.
  • Diversity: Something else to consider are toys that make erratic movements or can be set up in different ways to keep their attention. Cats can become bored just like us. Keeping it interesting will hold their attention.
  • Alone or Assisted Toys: It is important to play with your tabby. It will create a bond between the two of you, plus you are better able to create life-like patterns or movements. That being said, a toy they can play with when you are not around is helpful.
  • Rewards: Gratification after a long hunt is important to your pet. Typically, catching their prey is reward enough, so it’s important to have a treat or snack if using a laser pointer or other type of toy they can’t physically get their paws on.
  • Safety: Finally, everything you provide your cat must be safe. Not only for their well-being but if your cat is frightened, they probably won’t play with the toy again.

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Conclusion

Keeping your tabby on their toys is important for their health and well-being. Providing them with some fun toys will keep them moving and entertained. That being said, picking out the best option can be difficult. In our opinion, the Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy is the best toy available. It will keep them on their feet and engage their senses.

If you need something that will be lighter on your purse, the Catit Treat Ball Cat Toy is a good pick. Not only will your pet appreciate the tasty reward, but they will have fun bating this ball around. If neither is right for your feline, we hope the above reviews have helped you find the right one.


Featured Image: Chewy