Last updated on April 3rd, 2019 at 07:07 am
Exercises for cats? Yes! Cats just like human beings require regular exercises to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
While it may be easy to get your dog up and about or even play a game of fetch, this is not the same when it comes to your feline friend.
Granted, felines are advantaged with high metabolism even if they lazy about- look at lions and tigers, but they still require some physical activity to stay active and remain in shape- you know evade obesity.
According to vets, cat exercises are essential to keep them healthy all through into old age. Although they can’t be fastened at the end of a leash and walked around the block unlike dogs, it’s possible to encourage this pet to exercise more.
Why should you exercise your cat?
Regular exercises for cats is good for maintaining:
- a healthy body weight.
- keep the muscles strong.
- and ensure general good health.
- create a bonding session for you and your feline.
However, depending on the cat’s weight, temperament, age, and interests, create a special area that caters to its work out needs: these can include trees, scratching posts, cat jungle gym among others.
When it comes to the amount of time required for exercise, most veterinarians recommend 10-15 minutes. For kittens and young ones, you can easily engage them in playful activities and in most circumstances, it takes the initiative to include you in their activities.
However, older or obese cats require a little more persuasion- since they lack endurance or interest in prolonged playtime sessions. Therefore, you can start with a few minutes then gradually increase the time.
How to exercise your cat
Plan a regular playtime
Schedule at least 10-15 minutes of play time with your feline friend daily. Ensuring consistency in the play time will tune your pet and make him come to expect the playtime or even initiate it sometimes.
In some cases, kittens are popular for their frisky and hyper nature which can persist at odd hours of the night, thus interfering with your sleep. So, if your kitten has a tendency to play at weird hours- basically time that doesn’t work for you, change her playtime by establishing a time that suits you.
Alternatively, you can initiate playtime with your cat an hour or more prior to your bedtime, to tire her out before you need to go to bed.
Urge the older and obese felines to get moving
While older or overweight cats, will most likely than not prefer not to move around, it’s in their best interest to indulge in some physical activity on a daily basis.
The physical activities can include tasks such as going up or down the stairs, playing with toys or even just walking around the house.
Alternatively, you can kill two birds with one stone by hiding your cat’s food (on different level surfaces, under the bed or at the top of its tree) as an incentive to make her search for the food while still exercising. This is especially an effective exercise for an overweight one.
However, when it comes to exercising overweight feline it’s very important to consult your vet to ensure that you do not strain or hurt her.
These pets are not necessarily fond of leashes, but It wouldn’t hurt to try and you may be surprised by the results.
Start with a harness and try to guide your cat indoors. Leave the harness on for a while longer before removing it and offer treats to reinforce this behavior.
Gradually progress until it is comfortable to stay outside for a significant amount of time. However, be keen to notice any signs of alarm or distress after several attempts of the same steps, if the alarm or distress continues then maybe a leash just isn’t for your furry friend. But if it remains confident with a leash then you can take him for short walks and gradually, increase the distance as needed.
Get it a playmate
Kittens can easily come up with ways to play alone for long periods of time, however, adults cats easily get bored and disinterested alone.
Therefore, if you are a pet owner who is constantly away from home, it’s probably a good idea to get your feline a playmate. However, consider a proper strategy to introduce new pets to prevent aggression and fighting.
Reinforce their natural hunting instincts
All cats are hunters by nature. Try to keep this instinct by providing yours with moving things to hunt and chase. Cat toys (such as ribbons, strings, feathers or remote-controlled mice) can provoke the hunting behavior.
Alternatively, you can use a laser pointer to get it moving around. Almost all of them will respond by attacking the red light.
Make or buy a cat tree
This tree is a good form of exercise because of the climbing and jumping. Alternatively, you can use cat perches that are directly attached to the walls and if placed strategically, your feline friend can jump from one to another to get around the house.
Get a cat exercise wheel
This exercise wheel is similar to those found in hamster cages but definitely larger. However, these are very expensive but offer very effective running exercise for indoor cats.
When used correctly, catnip is a good reinforcement to make it hyper and ready to exercise. Unfortunately, not all of them will respond to catnip and those that do, a few react aggressively.