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How to Get Your Cat to Exercise

How to Get Your Cat to Exercise!

Regular exercise is essential to help keep your cat fit and healthy, and is critical to preventing your kitty from gaining excessive weight. If your cat has a body condition score of 6-7, introducing more activity into her day is going to be an essential part of getting her back to a healthy weight.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats

Outdoor cats tend to be more active than their indoor siblings, which will typically mean that they will require more energy (calories) each day than an indoor cat. Your outdoor cat will roam throughout the day and night and you really will never know what she gets up to, but it’s likely that she’s doing lots of climbing, jumping and exploring as she takes part in her favourite natural pastime – hunting!

Indoor cats by comparison typically move less, groom, sleep and eat more, making them more prone to excessive weight gain. Because of this it’s really important to encourage regular physical activity that will stimulate those natural hunting instincts.

10-15 interactive play sessions each day are recommended, with a typical session of cat play or ‘hunting’ lasting just 2-3 minutes at a time. It is also recommended that you put away your cats toys between play sessions to keep her interested in them.

Outdoor-Cat-preparing-to-pounce

Nurturing Your Cat’s Natural Instincts

Your cat will spend a large portion of her day sleeping, eating and grooming herself, but she also has a number of natural instincts which will need to be encouraged and supported to help prevent her from gaining excess weight. These natural instincts are:

  • Hunting
  • Playing
  • Hiding
  • Observing
  • Exploring
  • Scratching

So, how can you get your cat moving a little more?

Cat Toys

There are loads of different toys available for your cat. For interactive play with your cat, a ‘fishing rod’ is recommended. These toys allow you to trail ‘prey’ for your cat across the floor, replicating the movements of something she would naturally hunt. Enjoy the fun as your cat pounces! Other toys like electronic toys, wind-ups, balls, tunnels and plush toys can provide variety and fun for your kitty.

To keep your cat interested in her toys, it’s recommended that you take them away between play sessions.

Cat Furniture & Scratchers

Using cat shelving, ropes, trees and climbers will help encourage indoor activity by allowing different level living as much as possible. Anything that encourages regular climbing activity will help to improve your cat’s overall fitness.

Scratching posts will allow your cat to express her natural scratching behaviour and do some basic exercise. These should be available to y our cat at all times (or you risk her making her own – on the leg of your new table!)

Food Bowls & Litter Trays

Place food bowls, water bowls and cat toilets away (and out of sight) from each other will not only encourage your cat to move between feeds, but it strongly encouraged to help increase you cat’s water in-take and reduce stress.

Got a Question? If you have a question about find the right toy for cat, speak with one of our Pet Care Advisors in-store today.

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