How To Keep Your Cat in Great Shape
13 March, 2013

Cats are wonderful companions, pets and friends. They give us so much joy, love to nap, eat, nap and eat.  And, of course, they all have their quirks.  However, unlike dogs, most of us don’t take our cats on walks.  And, as a cat gets older, we need to make sure they get enough exercise so they can live for a very long time.

Outdoor cats do more running around than indoor cats; however, even outdoor cats can become fat and happy.  As in humans, exercise or at least some physical activity for your cat is essential for your cat’s well being.   Not only does exercise burn calories, improve muscle tone, and reduce a cat’s appetite, but daily physical activity will also help protect your cat from becoming overweight or obese, extending her lifespan and improving her quality of life.

Some cats are inherently active and don’t need much convincing to play or run around.  I know that my Sammy runs laps around the house when he is hyper.  However if you have a sedentary cat, it might take a little more effort on your part.

Below are some suggestions to get your cat moving and/or on a regular exercise regimen.

1.  Cats love bags.  If you leave out a paper bag and/or a box, your cats will most likely be inspired to play hide and seek in them or rip them apart.  I have yet to meet a cat who doesn’t like boxes or bags.

2.  Throw a mouse around and play fetch.  Cats do love to fetch items whether it is a fake mouse or even a bottle top.  You can toss it around and play a round of catch with it.  Or have your kitty chase toys, balls, sticks with feathers, or laser toys.   Cats love chasing light.   And, always reward and praise your cat after he or she fetches the mouse or toy.

3.  Catnip! Some cats love catnip and if you put a little on a scratcher, they will not only scratch that but will also invariably run around the room after.  Of course, you don’t want to do this daily, but it is good for a lazy cat to get them started.

4.  Buy a cat tree or kitty condo and put catnip on it.  Many cats love climbing on their own.  However, a little catnip might be a good way to get them interested and started.  It might just be the trick to become their new exercise equipment.  We can call it a kitty climber!

5.  Adopt a second cat. If you have one cat and he is lethargic, you might consider adopting another cat. This is not only great for your older cat as it will give him a playmate to run around with, but you are also saving another cat’s life!

6.  Teach your pet some new tricks.  You can train your cat to run around, jump on his cat tree or even just jump up when your clap your hands.  If your cat performs his new trick, then give him a low calorie treat.  He will most likely do it again.

Time for a Visit to the Vet

If your cat doesn’t respond to any of the above, it might be time to visit your vet.  Your kitty might be ill or have an injury that you might not be aware of or noticed causing him to be lethargic.

Just remember, the more physical activity a cat gets, the better it is for your kitty’s overall health.  

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