Most cats jump and dart around in a dizzying array of motions that keep humans busy just watching them. While dog owners often grab their leashes and take their dogs out for much-needed walks, this ritual isn’t necessary for cats, or even feasible; since cats are independent and usually don’t like to be walked. The question of exercise may not arise for most cats until they get older and become less active. This is when obesity sets in; as cats age, they tend to become less active, eat more calories and put on extra pounds. In addition to portion control, regular feeding times and a low-fat cat food, it is important to encourage your cat to exercise to help keep his or her weight at a healthy level.
While a leash may be out of the question for some cats, there are a number of pet owners who have been successful at coaxing their cat to take a walk with them. Kittens are more manageable than adult cats, and might be able to be trained for regular walks. Try incentives, such as cat treats, but don’t force the cat along if he or she seems reluctant about being led on a leash. If taking your cat for a walk doesn’t seem feasible, there are other forms of exercise he or she might enjoy.
The good thing about having a cat is that they never seem to outgrow their toys. Even a twelve year old cat can act like a sprightly kitten again if given a feather at the end of a rod to play with, or a plastic ball with bells inside. Play with your cat every day to encourage the feline in your life to be more active. When you join a gym or decide to begin a jogging routine, you may decide to find a partner who can remind you and keep you inspired. Cats don’t think in terms of fitness, but an additional cat can keep your first pet more active and encourage frequent play.
A cat tower is loads of fun for cats; it provides many hiding places for two cats to play hide and seek together. The towers also have surfaces that allow cats to scratch at will, and they can serve as scratching posts. This helps to keep your cat from using its claws on your sofa. Cats often get excited by laser beams. So, turn the lights off and prepare yourself for some real entertainment as you watch him chase the laser beam across a room. A battery operated mouse is another fun toy for a cat, although your kitty might not realize it is a toy and may even wonder why it doesn’t taste very good. If you own a treadmill, your cat may be able to use it at a very low speed, with supervision. Whatever you choose, be creative when finding fitness activities to help your cat keep their weight down and to enjoy optimum health.