Obesity and health problems in cats are on the rise. The former can result in cats suffering from respiratory and blood circulation problems, among other things. Keeping an eye on your cat’s daily food intake isn’t enough. Cat parents need to familiarize themselves with the many benefits of cat exercises to keep them Fit.
Cat exercises can help your cat burn the extra calories and ingest their food properly. If you see cat health signs due to obesity, you can weigh its food. Since cats are small animals, even the tiniest bit of extra food can make them prone to health problems.
Are you struggling with determining the portion size of meals for your cats? You can try and hide tiny amounts of food around your house. When your cat searches for food around the house, it will burn the extra calories. Make sure to hide the food items in hard-to-reach places. For instance, windowsills and stairs can serve as great hiding spaces.
When it comes to cat exercises, putting a leash on your feline friend and taking it out isn’t as easy as it sounds. However, a lot of cat parents have found a solution to the aforementioned problem. Read on to know more!
The Best 11 Cat Exercises to Keep Your Cat Fit
1. Get a Cat Exercises Wheel
Cat exercises wheels are one of the best ways to get your cat active for healthy lifestyle. These wheels are very similar to hamster wheels. When your cat gets the hang of it, it will keep running on the wheel until it is completely tired.
While many cats warm up to the exercise wheel quickly, others may take some time. It might be because the cats are scared of the wheel or they are too lazy. If your cat is avoiding the toy, you can lure it by placing some food on the wheel. The idea of giving them treats counteracts the whole purpose of the wheel but it can give them the much-needed push. Once your cat falls in love with the exercise wheel, you can put an end to giving them treats.
Please make sure to keep an eye on your cat when it is running on the wheel to prevent it from incurring any injuries.
2. The “Bird on a Stick” Method
In case you can’t find a toy bird, any other type of fluffy toys from your local pet shop will work just fine. You can even stick some feathers on the top of the stick.
The idea behind this innovative method is to get your cat to chase the stick until it tires out completely. If your cat is panting, let it calm down before you restart the activity. Repeat the process until your cat has exhausted itself completely.
Cats love this game and it is a great way of losing the extra weight. People also call it the fishing pole toy. Some people tend to attach mice at the top of the stick or catnip even. Fishing poles are great for cat parents who lack the time or energy to run around the house with their feline friends. Instead of running around, they can just cast off the long fishing pole from a seated position and let their cats do the rest.
This game is perfect because cats are predatory in nature. Any game that boosts their instinct to chase and hunt will be a hit with them.
3. Clicker Training
Most people attribute clicker training to dogs. However, cats love it just as much as dogs and can even learn some impressive tricks. For instance, you can teach your cat to do obstacle courses or ride a skateboard using a clicker.
4. Bring Home Some New Toys
From catnip-stuffed mouse to wands with dangling feathers, there are plenty of options at your disposal. Make sure to search online or check out your local pet store.
You can also get puzzle toys for cats. For instance, the food puzzles not only prevent cats from eating too much but also can turn mealtime into an exercise regime.
Cat scratching towers are popular cat toys that you can find online. A good cat tree reaches from floor to ceiling and includes several materials for scratching as well as climbing. If you have the budget to get a cat tree, then do it.
4. Bird Feeders and Aquariums
Did you know that an interesting and enriching environment can serve as a great exercise environment for your cats? Cats love to watch fish and birds in their natural habitat.
Bird feeders and aquariums will mentally stimulate your cats and naturally lead them to exercise.
5. The Classic Laser Pointers
Laser pointers are another way of getting your cat to come out of its lazy routine. Cats tend to chase the light with all their might, shedding some extra calories in the process. However, this game can be frustrating for your cats since they don’t catch anything in the end. Also, pointing lasers directly at your cat’s eyes can be dangerous.
If your cat is fond of laser pointers, then you can use them to get your cat to exercise. However, please take precautionary measures to protect your cat. This game also allows you to engage your cats in physical activities without you having to move around too much.
Certain laser pointers are designed to cater to the needs of cats. These pointers tend to shine shapes of mice and birds instead of red lights to entice cats to be more active.
6. Cat Highway
A cat highway isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Generally, it is a collection of high surfaces that cats can jump over. Our feline friends are natural climbers which is why they will have a lot of fun taking part in this activity. You can even find multi-tiered cat towers online or in your local pet store.
You can encourage your cats to use the cat highway by placing window box bird feeders upon window sills. However, please make sure to check your cat’s weight before you start with this cat exercises. If your cat is obese, the cat highway might do more harm than good. In such a scenario, please get your cat to shed a few pounds first.
7. Take Your Cat Out on a Walk
Cats are well-known for having many quirks. In fact, cat parents have a hard time trying to get their pets to participate in activities. However, getting your cat to take a walk is easier than you think it is.
Did you know leads are available in pet stores for cats? Trial and error can help you find the perfect lead for your cat. You can also try to get your cat to walk around the living room first. It can help them get accustomed to walking as an cat exercises.
Cats are small animals. Hence, walks need not be longer than usual. Incorporating walking in your cat’s daily lifestyle can help them shed off the extra pounds easily.
8. Create an Agility Course for Your Cats
Agility courses for dogs and horses are very common. Did you know that our feline friends love participating in agility courses designed specially for them?
These programs for cats include challenges in the form of bars, obstacles, tunnels, and so on. To reach their goal, cats will have to pass through or jump over these obstacles. These obstacles will make your cat shed some much-needed weight and will also stimulate them mentally. You can research cat agility courses online.
9. Pair Up Cat Exercises Partners
In contrast to dogs, cats are less willing to play around. You can cure your cat’s disinterest by introducing another feline playmate. Cats who get along fine will get a lot of exercise together. For instance, they might engage in wrestling or chasing games. It will also give you some much-needed respite from trying to get your cats to play around.
We have already established that cats are great chasers. Meanwhile, bubbles are both fun to chase and pop. Did you know there are many catnip-induced bubbles out there? These are just like soap bubbles but they have catnip oil.
11. Makeshift Hockey Rink
You can create a makeshift hockey rink for your cat in just a few steps. All you need is a large cardboard box. In case you don’t have a box, your bathtub will also work. First, you will have to place a ball in the box. Watching your cat chase after the ball will also boost your own mood.
12. Get Creative with Your Exercise Tactics
If you can’t find the time to go to a pet store and get the necessary items, don’t worry! You can find a bunch of things at your own house that can work wonders. Let’s say, you have a dressing gown cord at your disposal. You can use it to get your cat to move around.
String is always a hit with cats. If you have a ball of yarn lying around, you can get your cats to engage with it. However, make sure that your cat doesn’t chew on it or swallow it.
You can also release some ping pong balls or any type of bouncy balls into your bathtub. Your cat will hilariously try to pounce on these balls. It won’t be easy for our feline friends to capture the balls and they will use a lot of energy in the process. These balls will definitely keep your cats entertained for long and cat parents need not work much either!
Cats and Exercise: Important Points to Remember
- As compared to humans and several other pet animals, cats have a shorter attention span. Generally, cats are unwilling to play for too long. Cat parents can incorporate these games and activities into their daily routine for five minutes here and there.
- Don’t rush your cats into playing all of the previously mentioned games. Our pet cats are small creatures and can incur injuries easily. Also, forcing them to play these games will only make them more disinterested. Be patient with your cats. Patience is especially important if your cat suffers from health problems due to obesity. Too many exercises can hurt their joints instead of making them lose weight. In case your cat is overweight, make them lose a few pounds before you start with an exercise regime.
- While catnip can help you lure your cats to follow an exercise routine, you should use it wisely. Cats who respond positively to catnip might become aggressive from the catnip. Experts recommend against giving catnip prior to any stressful activity.
- Cats are nocturnal animals. As a result, most cats will be willing to play once the sun has set. If you nudge your cat to play during the day, it might feign annoyance or disinterest. Therefore, getting your cats to play during the night is a much more rewarding process.
- Please make sure to not use your hands as something for your feline friends to play around with. While they will actively play with your hands and not hurt you, they will also start thinking of your hand as a plaything and might try to paw at it from time to time. They can even end up using their teeth and hurting you in the process. Also, they might do the same thing to the hands of unsuspecting guests at your place. Please ensure necessary precautions while playing around with your cat.
Dog owners have it much easier than cat parents. After all, dogs are more likely to play fetch or go for a walk in the park. Due to the inherent disinterest in cats, their owners tend to give up easily. However, cat owners must realize the importance of exercise.
As per veterinarians and other experts, workouts can keep your cats healthy well into their old age. It might take some time before you and your cat get accustomed to the exercise regime. Please remember that your cat’s health is of utmost importance. Thus, getting your cat hooked to an exercise routine will make your cat healthier and more active. Also, your precious cat will be by your side for a longer time.