Cats may be known for their midday snoozing and love for lounging, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need exercise. Even the most relaxed of kitties needs an opportunity to stretch her legs and burn some calories.
Why is exercise important?
Cats that don’t get enough activity are at an increased risk for becoming overweight or obese, which is a serious problem for felines in the United States. An estimated 25-40% of cats weigh in at the overweight to obese range. Those extra pounds are linked to several serious health issues in cats including diabetes, arthritis, breathing problems, liver disease, urinary tract disease, and ligament damage.
How do you get an indoor cat to exercise?
Every cat is different, so it’s important to figure out which kind of activity works best for your feline companion. Below are a few options for getting your cat moving:
- Go for a walk: Getting a harness on your cat and heading out for a stroll might seem like an impossible task, but some felines actually enjoy the experience. It’s typically much easier to get a kitten used to walks than it is an adult cat. Opt for short walks at first and use treats as a reward.
- Invest in a cat tree or scratching post: These items encourage movement and lend themselves to a cat’s natural desire to climb, scratch, and investigate. Plus, a scratching post will help protect your furniture.
- Opt for interactive toys: You can encourage activity by purchasing a few interactive cat toys. Laser pointers and feather wands are both great ways to get your cat moving. Playing together will also help you bond with your kitty.