Luring a pet dog to be active by taking a walk or playing with a ball is easy, and it’s also a common method of keeping them in good health. However, with cats, a lot of folks don’t know they should also get exercise to stay healthy.
Numerous veterinarians advise owners to provide their cat a workout so they stay healthy into old age. Cats will not do exercises as quickly as your dog may, but there’s several things you can do to assist your cat in staying active and being mobile.
Here are ten exercise tips for cats:
10. Pair off with an exercise partner
Because cats will not likely respond as well to a play request as a dog will, the manager and owner of Denver’s LittleBigCat.com, Jean Hofve, who is also a veterinarian, offers an easy fix to make sure your cats gets plenty of exercises. She says to get 2 cats, as two bonded cats will play, wrestle and chase each other. Even older cats love to play these games with each other. She says it is best to get both cats at the same time and if you like, you can get a third later on.
9. Get a cat tower
You can buy cat towers with lots of levels both in stores and online. There is a great method of ensuring a cat gets lots of play as well as places to climb and workout. A veterinarian named Susan Nelson, who is also an associate professor of clinical sciences at the Manhattan, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine says you can put treats all over the cat tower to encourage your cat to climb on them and play on them.
8. Have lots of toys all over
Since cats have a tendency to want to be alone a lot more than most dogs, it’s best to have numerous toys around the house to entice them to play. You don’t need to buy pricy toys, and can give them things from around the house like a ping pong ball or some pipe cleaners, etc. These will encourage your cat to get their needed exercise.
7. Build a hockey rink
You can also make a kind of hockey rink to provide fun for your cat. Just get a big cardboard box or even use your bathtub and put a ping pong ball or other ball inside of it. Then the cat will get excited as the ball bounces around in the box or tub and the cat will love to chase it. Plus it’s fun to watch them go nuts as they get lots of exercises.
6. Get pleasure from lasers
When it comes to fun with watching cats, your cat will be really speedy and fun to watch if you provide a laser pointer to give him some exercise. Cats love to chase these laser light toys, but be sure to also give them some kind of toy they can actually catch so they won’t get all fixated on the laser and get frustrated. And never shine the laser into their eyes, as it could blind them!
5. Get the cat a toy wand
Flexible cat toy wands are a great tool to use after playing with the laser light. These have a feather, a mouse or maybe a fish at the end of the sting on the wand. It’s an interactive toy you play with your cat with that looks like a fishing pole. You can make it fun and challenge by making the hanging toy travel all over the floor, wall, etc. The speed you move it helps them get exercise in different intensities.
4. Be smart when using catnip
Another great tool you can use to give your cat some exercise is catnip. But vets caution to only use it properly. Not all felines like it and some will even get mean and aggressive if you use too much. Plus, don’t ever provide them any catnip prior to going or doing something stressful like a vet visit. That will make your vet very happy!
3. Get the cat a special exercise wheel or treadmill device
Did you know they make exercise wheels and treadmills for cats? If you start your cat off as a kitten, you can teach them to use these exercise tools. You can use a toy to tempt them to use them. It works great if you start them off as a kitten. Be sure to monitor their play on these devices, though. Cats actually can run at speeds as fast as thirty mph, but start slower than that! Then you can work them up to faster speeds if they like it.
2. Get outside.
With appropriate training as well as the right gear, you can teach a cat to walk with a leash the same as you do with a dog. One veterinarian said that it’s a fantastic way for cats to get exercise if you teach them to like the harness and the leash. It’s best to use soft harnesses and go over a cat’s back instead of a collar. Be sure the harness fits them well and it won’t slip off, and start when they are kittens for the best results. You do this by putting on the harness and the leash and letting them drag it around, and after a while pick the leash up and try putting some pressure on it. It may take a few weeks for your cat to like walking with it, but some cats seem to get the hint and do it from the start.
1. Build an agility course
If you have a cat who is quite active and energetic, you can build an agility course! Usually, you may see a dog or even a horse doing these kinds of exercises, but some cats like them as well. This course will have things on it like tunnels or bars for them to leap over and more. It gives them both mental and physical stimulation. You can find these courses online or build your own.
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