3 Ways to Exercise Your Cat
It’s not unusual for pet sitters or cat sitters to encounter overweight cats. There are many health risks associated with obesity including diabetes, heart disease, skin problems, and arthritis. If you notice your cat gaining weight, here are some ways to encourage physical activity.
Toys make exercise fun! There are a lot of options to choose from. Toys with catnip can entice the most lazy of cats and ball toys can be batted around for your cat to chase after.
Toys are also a fun way for you to interact with your cat. Feather toys or laser pointers can be used for playing games with them and cats can even learn to fetch. Provide a variety of toys and aim to play with your cat for at least 10 – 15 minutes each day.
- Working for food
Making them work for their food is a great way to boost activity in your cat. Their bowl can be placed on a high surface to encourage jumping. Food and water dishes can be placed on multiple levels in the house, away from the area where your cat spends most of their time, so that they physically have to go upstairs to get food.
Feeding time can also be turned into a game. Make your cat follow you around the room several times to get them moving before you set down their dish. Or move their bowl as a mid-meal interruption so that they have to walk to finish eating. Another option is placing several bowls around the room and feeding smaller portions in each one.
- Get them outdoors
Fresh air is beneficial for your cat and they will love to explore. If you have a large garden and don’t live near any busy roads, it may be safe to let them outside to explore freely. A lazy cat may need persuasion so schedule regular outdoor times to put them outside and let them in after a certain time interval. Provide a safe haven in the garden where your cat can hide incase they get frightened.
If you live in an apartment or are not comfortable letting your cat outside unsupervised, consider a kitty harness and leash. Taking short regular walks with your cat is good exercise and a fun bonding activity.
Your cat may look cute with extra cuddly bits, but extra pounds aren’t so good for their health. Exercise is important – a healthy cat is a happy cat!