How to Exercise Your Overweight Cat!
24 August, 2017

We all know how important it is to include exercise in our daily routine.  In fact, when trying to lose weight, diet is not enough.  You have to get moving to expend the calories and shed the pounds.  And the same can be said for our cats.  But, how can you exercise your overweight cat when they don’t love moving?

Just like dogs, cats need daily interactive play and exercise. The good news is that it’s normal for cats to be active in short bursts. If you can work exercising your cat for a few minutes a day – morning and night, they will be more agile and hopefully lose some weight.

As always, first make sure to take your cat to the vet to rule out any medical condition.

Cats are more active at night and a great time to engage them in play

Cats are nocturnal in nature and is when they have the most energy.  Try to have your night time workout as a standard.  It is when they are most likely to engage and join you in your work out!

Use their prey instinct to get them moving.

Cats are natural hunters, so use their instincts to motivate them. Cats love to pursue moving objects, so intrigue them with electronic mice that make a squeaking noise as they move, balls that light up or flash in motion, and catnip-scented toys that crinkle when your cat pounces on them. A simple, inexpensive option is a Ping Pong ball tossed down the hall.   Even little mice and a game of fetch!

Other feline favorites are wand- and fishing-pole-type toys that dangle feather or fabric lures. It’s amazing how easy it is to get a cat to do spins and flips as he tracks the lure.

Try hiding the food or making your cat work for it

Let your cat do some real hunting for his meals (this works mostly if you are feeding your kitty dry food). Take his daily allotment of food and divide it into four or more portions. Then hide them in different places around the house. They can be upstairs, downstairs, on the top ledge of the cat tree, on top of the washing machine. Your cat gets activity, a brain workout and a meal, all in one.

Cats love boxes and bags – have them around for your cat to jump in and out

The easiest cat toy in the world, however, is a brown paper bag. No cat worthy of the name can resist crawling into one and fighting it to the death. Leave a few lying around the house for him to play in.

Create vertical spaces for your cat to jump on

Cats tend to feel safe when they can retreat to elevated spaces. Adding a tall, sturdy cat post to a commonly used area of the home is an effective way to add fun, safe vertical spaces for cats.  Put some catnip on the top to entice your cat to jump!

If your cat is alone all day, make sure toys and treats (in high places) are left out

Although one of the most difficult things to do is encourage activity when your cat is alone for long periods of time, you can do a few things to help.   Leave toys out that your kitty likes to play with or bar around.  Get another cat! Two cats are more active than one.  And, as mentioned above, leave food in high places or where your cat needs to work for it.

If you start to incorporate fun, engaging activities for your overweight kitty, he or she should partake and hopefully start to lose some weight.

If you want to know if your cat is overweight, you might like this article: Overweight Cat

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