20 of the Most Energetic Cat Breeds

Many cats (and dogs) find themselves in animal shelters too frequently because their owners didn’t realize how much activity they would need. Although every individual animal is unique, certain cat breeds tend to have higher energy levels. And it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you make the decision to bring home a new feline friend. Here are 20 of the most energetic cat breeds.

1. Abyssinian

The Abyssinian is one of the oldest cat breeds, and this cat hasn’t slowed down at all over the years. “Smart, silly, and impressively athletic, he stays in constant motion — jumping, climbing, and exploring,” according to VetStreet. “In other words, this is no lap cat.” Give them plenty of toys — especially puzzle toys — to drain some of that mental and physical energy. These cats also do well walking on leashes, thanks to their curious and social nature.

2. Balinese

The Balinese has a bit of a murky history. The breed might simply be a Siamese with a genetic mutation for a long coat. Or it might be a mix of cat breeds. Regardless, this feline tends to be intelligent, demanding of attention and a ball of energy. “These cats also love to play, reveling in a good game of fetch, and back and forth ball play,” according to PetMD. “Having a home that is friendly for jumping and climbing is a practical consideration for the Balinese fancier.”

3. Bengal

bengal cat looking out windowCredit: andreaskrappweis/Getty Images

The exotic looks of the Bengal come from a cross between domestic cats and wild Asian leopard cats. And this cat breed still has quite a wild soul. “Don’t get a Bengal if what you’re looking for is a sweet, gentle lap cat or a living sculpture that requires little interaction,” VetStreet says. “The intelligent, curious Bengal is highly active.” Bengals love their people and take well to training challenges. But they also get bored easily and need lots to do to channel their energy.

4. Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is known for its unusual wavy coat, the result of a genetic mutation. And these also are busy felines who prefer lots of activity. “The Cornish Rex is a highly intelligent, highly active cat who loves to be involved in everything you’re doing: he will climb to the highest point in the house to survey his domain, steal food to fuel his antics, and play fetch — anything, really, that will bring him attention and applause,” according to VetStreet.

5. Devon Rex

Like the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex’s trademark wavy coat arose from a spontaneous genetic mutation. And like their Cornish cousins, they’re also very smart, playful and people-oriented cats. “Waggish and full of mischief, they are good at keeping themselves, and everyone else entertained, whether it is clowning and playing games for attention, climbing the curtains (you will want to use sturdy weight curtains with this breed around), or hanging around the dining table, begging for scraps,” PetMD says.

6. Egyptian Mau

Egyptian Mau catCredit: Mordolff/Getty Images

The Egyptian Mau has a naturally occurring spotted coat, a rarity among domestic cats. This gives the breed a more wild look, which goes along with its athletic nature. “The gentle Egyptian Mau is a feline track star,” according to VetStreet. “He has been clocked at 30 miles per hour and is possessed of what seem to be springs for legs, which catapult him to high places.”

7. Japanese bobtail

The Japanese bobtail is considered a symbol of good luck in Japan, and references to the breed date back at least a thousand years. With these cats, a bundle of energy comes in a small package. “It’s not unusual to find him splashing his paw in water, carrying toys around, or playing fetch,” VetStreet says. “He is highly curious and loves to explore his surroundings.”

8. Kurilian bobtail

The Kurilian bobtail is a natural cat breed that originated on Russia’s Sakhalin island and Kuril archipelago. These cats are intelligent, athletic and known to be excellent hunters. “This is a highly active cat, but that doesn’t mean he won’t sit still for a little petting,” VetStreet says. “He’s usually trusting and friendly, traits that may make him a good companion.”

9. Manx

The friendly Manx is most recognizable for its lack of tail. But that doesn’t hinder this cat’s athletic prowess. “He might lack a tail, but the Manx has a powerful rear end and is an excellent jumper, even without a natural counterweight to aid his balance,” according to VetStreet. “When you see him accelerate through the house and make sharp turns and quick stops, you’ll think he’s a mini sports car in the shape of a cat.” These cats need lots of mental and physical stimulation, but in return they make very fun companions.

10. Ocicat

two Ocicat kittensCredit: chairboy/Getty Images

The Ocicat might look exotic, but it’s actually a cross of Abyssinians, Siamese and American shorthairs. “Like the cats who came together to create him, the Ocicat is self-confident, talkative and highly active,” according to VetStreet. These cats prefer to be part of a busy family, and their friendliness and adaptability make them good feline travel buddies.

11. Oriental

The Oriental is a mix Siamese cats, along with several other cat breeds. And like their cat cousins, they’re busy felines who like to be involved in what their humans are doing. “He can learn to walk on leash, plays fetch with enthusiasm and is usually amenable to living with children, dogs and other cats,” VetStreet says. “In fact, he may even prefer it. The more action the better for this cat.”

12. Savannah

The Savannah also has a bit of a wild side, as this breed came about by crossing African servals with domestic cats. “This very active cat is curious, assertive, and an adventure-seeker,” according to PetMD. “It requires a lot of interaction and attention on a daily basis, either with its companion human(s) or other companion cats.” They aren’t usually lap cats, but they do bond closely with their humans and will let you know when they think you’re not giving them enough attention.

13. Siamese

The Siamese is an old, well-known feline who helped to form several other energetic cat breeds. These cats are intelligent and curious and require lots of activity. “To keep your Siamese entertained and out of trouble, provide him with puzzle toys that require him to think and move to release treats or kibble, use a clicker to teach him tricks, toss a small ball for him to fetch, train him to run an agility course (really!), place a bird feeder in your window for his viewing pleasure, or teach him to walk on a leash and take him for a stroll,” VetStreet says.

14. Siberian

two Siberian catsCredit: EnkiPhoto/Getty Images

The Siberian is an ancient cat breed native to Russia and comes with a thick double coat and athletic body to survive those frigid winters. “The Siberian is something of a madcap adventurer, climbing to great heights and leaping wide expanses as he makes his way through his home,” according to VetStreet. “This is the cat you will find finagling his way past a closed door or swinging from the chandelier in an attempt to get to the feather toy or laser pointer that you so carefully put out of reach.”

15. Singapura

The Singapura’s history is a bit of a mystery. It’s thought to have originated as a petite street cat in Singapore — a natural breed that hasn’t been crossed with any other cats. And though these cats are relatively small at 4 to 7 pounds, they’re still highly energetic. “He’s a powerhouse, leaping to high places — including your shoulder — and supervising everything that goes on in the home,” VetStreet says.

16. Somali

The Somali is essentially the longhaired version of the Abyssinian, likely mixed with a few other cat breeds. And like the Abyssinian, it’s clever and active — potentially a difficult combination to handle. “This lively cat may turn your life upside down,” according to PetMD. “Curious and playful, it has the dexterity to open cupboards, turn on the water faucet, explore the top shelves, and find the smallest spaces to explore.”

17. Tonkinese

The Tonkinese is a mix of the Siamese and Burmese cat breeds. And like the other Siamese offshoots, this cat has an energetic, social nature. “This breed is very active, but not hyperactive,” PetMD says. “It will run through the house, making its own little stampede of sound, and flip around like a circus monkey. … But, they can also sit contentedly, affectionately kissing and cuddling with their objects of devotion.”

18. Toyger

toyger cat breed next to a scratching postCredit: Nataliia Pyzhova/Getty Images

The Toyger’s wild appearance comes from crosses between Bengal cats and striped domestic shorthairs. And though this cat might look like a tiny tiger, it tends to have an easygoing (but active) personality. “He’s outgoing enough to walk on a leash, energetic enough to play fetch and other interactive games, and confident enough to get along with other cats and friendly dogs,” VetStreet says.

19. Turkish Angora

The Turkish Angora is a natural cat breed that originated long ago in the mountainous regions of Turkey. And this cat certainly knows how to make its presence known. “The Turkish Angora is a triple A cat: active, agile and assertive,” VetStreet says. “He is in charge from day one and will take an interest in everything you do, offering his assistance at every step of the way.” It’s a good cat breed for active people, as it enjoys interactive play.

20. Turkish Van

A cousin to the Turkish Angora, the larger Turkish Van also originated centuries ago in Turkey. And these busy felines are not for people who want quiet lap cats. “He loves to jump and climb, play with toys, retrieve and play chase,” according to VetStreet. “The highly acrobatic Van catches toys in mid-air, turns fantastic somersaults in pursuit of a fishing-pole toy, and runs so much that you might question where he gets his energy.” But hide your breakables if you have a Van because this cat also tends to be a bit clumsy in its active pursuits.

Main image credit: master1305/Getty Images

41 comments

Peter B
Peter B4 days ago

Thank you

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Olivia H
Olivia H5 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Melania P
Melania P6 days ago

Just, ADOPT, NEVER BUY A PET!

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ANA MARIJA R
ANA MARIJA R6 days ago

💕... Adopt, don't shop! Thank you.

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Kathy K
Kathy K7 days ago

Thanks.

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn7 days ago

Noted

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Tanya W
Tanya W7 days ago

Sigh.... Cats are so divine....bless their furry faces and paws ≤^._.^≥ ⟨^•~•^⟩

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Tanya W
Tanya W7 days ago

Thank you for sharing

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Angela K
Angela K7 days ago

Purrrrrrrrrrrrr :-)

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Pearl W
Pearl W8 days ago

Hi All - Purr-fetch article - Thanks Mary - More pics next time please - Meow - smiles

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