Does your cat exercise?
As a lifelong pet owner and caretaker, I’ve seen firsthand how most cats adore their chill-out time. From basking in the sun to curling up on our laps, cats are indeed the masters of relaxation. However, this sedentary lifestyle can lead to health problems like obesity, diabetes, and even depression.
That’s why cat exercises are so vital – they’re integral to the overall wellbeing of your furry companion.
There are numerous ways to encourage your cat to exercise and have a blast! From interactive play sessions to providing them with various engaging activities like climbing on cat trees, the options are endless when it comes to mentally and physically stimulating your cat. Now that you’ve taken a breather, let’s dive into the cat exercises I recommend!
Stimulate Your Feline Friend With Play Sessions
With over 14 years of experience caring for the feline companions of numerous pet owners, I’ve come to realize that cats love play sessions. And if you’re a cat owner, chances are you’ve developed a fondness for them too! From the anticipation in their wide eyes as they peek around corners, awaiting the throw of a ball, to the way they go absolutely wild for a laser pointer, playtime is an entertaining affair for all involved.
Encouraging interactive play with toys is a brilliant strategy to keep your cat active and prevent weight gain. However, it’s crucial to remember this next tip to ensure that your feline companion continues to find joy in their toys!
How to Ensure Endless Fun with Cat Toys!
A frequent oversight among cat owners is leaving their old cat toys out all day, which can lead to a bored cat and increase the risk of common cat illnesses. Instead, I recommend considering playtime as a special occasion by setting aside specific moments to engage with your beloved cat.
Experimenting with a variety of toys, such as wand toys, battery operated toys, or even laser pointers, will enable you to discover what peaks your cat’s interest. Once you discover their favorite toy, hide it from them! While this may seem harsh, restricting your furry friend’s access to their preferred toys exclusively during playtime amplifies the thrill for them.
Discover the benefits of incorporating interactive play sessions with your cat today! Not only will it stimulate your cat mentally, but it will also help them move and maintain a healthy weight.
Get Them Climbing
Cats are natural born climbers, and climbing exercises can enhance your cat’s strength and agility and are a great source for mental stimulation. Through my years as a pet care professional, I’ve found that investing in either a multi-story cat tree, multi-level scratching post, tunnel cat tree, or a climbing wall cat tree encourages climbing, even for older cats.
Top 4 Cat Trees
These cat trees often feature several levels of platforms or shelves, as well as cradles or beds at different heights. This not only provides cats with plenty of opportunities to jump and climb, but it also gives them places to hide and relax.
Tunnel Cat Tree:
These cat trees make use of long tunnels that stretch out from the base and hang in midair. This allows cats to explore different environments while still feeling secure and safe. Many tunnel cat trees also feature scratching posts, giving cats something to do while they’re exploring their new environment.
Multi-Level Scratching Post:
Multi-level scratching posts for cats offer cats a variety of places to climb, rest, and scratch. These posts typically feature multiple platforms at different heights so that cats can jump from one level to the other. They also often come with toys and other goodies to keep cats entertained while they explore their new environment.
Climbing wall cat trees are perfect for active cats who love to climb. They feature multiple levels of shelves that gradually get higher off the ground for versatile climbing opportunities. Some even come with an attached hammock so cats can take a break between climbs!
Alternatively, try creating your own climbing posts! Place treats or toys on different levels on your stairs or furniture as motivators, and ensure to supervise your cat during these sessions for their safety.
Keep Scratching, Keep Moving
Scratching exercises serve as more than mere pastimes for cats; they aid in toning their muscles and preventing destructive scratching behaviors. You can easily acquire scratching posts from your local pet store or get creative and craft your own using household items. Get ready to unleash your inner creativity and give your feline friends the satisfaction they need!
With scratch posts, feline companions can revel in a stimulating and enriching activity while safeguarding your furniture and cherished belongings.
Mealtime: Make it a Blast!
Food puzzles, also known as interactive feeders, offer a novel approach to merging playtime and mealtime for your cat. These ingenious contraptions tap into your cat’s innate hunting instincts, as they have to put in some effort to obtain their much-awaited meal.
Picture your cat pouncing, swatting, and strategizing their way to food-filled victory! From hiding treats in cat puzzle toys to intricate maze-like designed feeding matts, puzzle feeders contribute to weight control, enhance problem-solving abilities, and keep your kitty mentally stimulated.
Create Your Own Cat Tunnel!
Additionally, to keep your kitty entertained and active, consider crafting a captivating cat tunnel. Simply gather some boxes, paper bags and a feather toy to create your own textured tunnel masterpiece. These methods present excellent means to encourage your cat to get active.
For an additional means of delighting your fuzzy mate, consider adding catnip into the mix—our blog, What does catnip do for a cat?, provides helpful tips on how to make the most of this feline stimulant.
From Indoor Cat to Outdoor Explorer
You may find it surprising, but many cats love walks just like dogs and other animals do! While not all cats may be suitable for exercise outdoors, some may find joy in exploring an area with cat proof fencing or an indoor park.
Gradually introduce a walk into your cat’s exercise routine by trying to use their harness indoors and level up to leash training to see how they like it. If it keeps your kitty engaged, you’ve gained a new partner for your daily workout regime!
While it’s true that some indoor cats enjoy exploring the great outdoors, it’s important to seek advice from a veterinary medicine professional before attempting leash training with your kitty. Maintaining awareness of how your cats respond to new exercises ensures their well-being.
Keeping Older Cats Happy and Healthy
Making your older cat exercise can be challenging, but it’s important for their overall health and happiness. The key is to find cat workouts that are low-impact and enjoyable for your pet.
Start off slow by introducing your cat to some of the toys aforementioned in a play session. Cat accessories like cat trees and wand toys will allow your kitty to stretch and move around with you in a safe space.
Encourage Cat Exercise With Short Games
Additionally, try playing short games with your cat such as fetch or hide-and-seek; this will help them stay active and mentally stimulated. Don’t forget to provide scratching posts and other climbing opportunities so that they can keep their muscles strong and their joints limber.
With the right combination of activities, you can ensure your beloved feline stays healthy and happy into old age!
Exercise Your Cat Today!
There’s an abundance of ways to get enough exercise in your cat’s life, all of which can help them stay healthy and significantly enhance their overall wellbeing. From climbing, playing, and scratching, to exploring the outdoors, the possibilities to get your cat moving are endless.
As someone who’s given care and attention to thousands of pets, I can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating these exercises into your cat’s daily routine. Your beloved feline will lead a happier, healthier, and more active life, and believe me, they’ll thank you for it!
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