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Exercising with your cat

Exercising with your cat may require a little imagination however the health benefits for your feline friend are worth it.  

Why Should Your Cat Exercise?

Exercise is great for our mind and body and that is the same for our pets. Cat and activity are not normally two words that people expect to go together however despite this belief cats actually benefit greatly from physical activity.

The type of exercise you do with your cat will depend on his or her age, weight, personality and ‘interests’!  You may find that simply setting up a ‘play’ area with some toys and a scratching post is enough to encourage some play behaviour each day.  Some cats will prefer you to be involved with the fun and enjoy chasing a piece of string or even a game of fetch.  This one-on-one time also helps strengthen your bond with your cat.  

How Much Time Should Your Cat Exercise?

  • Just 10-15 minutes a few times each day is ideal, even once a day is beneficial
  • Younger cats will normally seek you out to play or they will find their own entertainment. They have lots of energy and will often want you to play all day.
  • For the older and overweight cat encouraging them to move is a little harder however even a small amount of play time will bring benefits.  They may only play for a few minutes initially, but this endurance will improve over time especially if you find an activity that they really enjoy.

Exercise ideas:

  • Cats are natural hunters so anything that stimulates them is a winner!  Small furry mice either wound up or motorised will tweak the attention of the most inactive kitty.
  • Movements with feathers or mock mice on the end of a stick will cause some excitement.
  • Wriggling ribbon or yarn across the ground in front of your cat’s feet just out of reach will entice some. Always ensure you pack this away after play to ensure your kitty doesn’t chew on it and swallow it later.
  • Lasers or torchlights are very popular as they resemble the movement of bugs which cats enjoy chasing.  Ensure the laser is low and not pointed high on the wall otherwise kitty may damage walls and furniture.  Never shine the light in your cat’s eyes as it will cause damage.
  • Cats love cardboard boxes to explore, crumpled paper to hit across the room and toilet roll holders to play with: all great and inexpensive toys!
  • A scratching post can entice your cat to climb, receive incidental exercise and fulfil their need to wear down their claws.  Hang some toys off the scratching post to add further excitement.   Setting up an obstacle course is also great so that they can jump from one point to another.

If you need any help or further information feel free to talk any of our team or book in for a complimentary Body Fitness Scan