12 Ways to Keep Your Cat in Shape

Follow these helpful tips to get your feline to exercise and stay healthy.

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- Posted on Dec 24, 2018

Swatting a wand toy, Maui stays fi t while having fun.

Has your cat put on a few pounds? Obesity can lead to restlessness and destructive behavior, as well as health concerns such as diabetes and arthritis. If it’s time to help your kitty lose weight, here are some suggestions to get her excited about exercise.

1. Cat Tree

Your cat may already have a multi-tiered tree or tower. If she only naps on it, add some toys, dangles and surprises on the different levels. Or spice things up with a ramp or a teeter-totter. Then park the whole thing where she will use it frequently—by a window, in her favorite room or in the living room near the rest of the family.

2. Laser Pointer

Does your cat likes chasing a laser? Boost the exercise benefits by moving through the house. Point the light on the walls as you dash down the hall, up the stairs and into different rooms. When you’re done, switch to a toy she can actually get her paws on, because cats become frustrated if they can never catch their prey.

3. Hide-and-Seek

Choose your cat’s favorite toys and put them under pillows, behind the couch or on the seat of a chair. Make sure some are up high, so he will have to jump, and some are down low, in places where he will have to crawl.

4. Stairs

Roll balls down the stairs for your cat to chase. A jingly ball with a bell inside or a rubber ball that bounces high might attract an otherwise disinterested kitten. Release several at once for a real attention grabber!

5. Walks

Not all cats will tolerate this, but it’s possible to get some to walk on a leash. Start by getting your cat used to wearing a properly fitted harness for short periods inside. Next, attach a short leash and let her drag it around the house. Then move outside, allowing your cat to acclimate to her surroundings first. Soon you may be enjoying daily strolls.

6. Interactive Toys

Puzzles and treat-dispensing balls help keep your kitty’s mind engaged and body moving. Try an activity board with beakers that he has to tip and sliders and knobs he has to move to reveal a few hidden treats.

7. Wand Toys

Long poles with dangling toys, feathers or ribbons are great play choices. Move the toy like prey so she can practice stalking and pouncing. While swatting and batting, she’ll be burning calories and having fun.

8. Tunnels

Your cat may just hide in the tunnel, which isn’t much exercise. See if you can entice him to run through it to reach a tempting toy or treat on the other side. You can also make short homemade tunnels out of boxes and paper bags and watch him run from one to another.

9. Track Toys

You can find different kinds of ball-and-track toys for your cat, from simple circles to racetracks, wobble boards and even tracks that stick to a window.

10. Fetch

Dogs aren't the only pets that fetch. Some cats also enjoy the game. If yours is reluctant to play, test different toys to find one that piques her interest. Try wadded up paper or catnip-filled toys.

11. Wheel

Believe it or not, there are exercise wheels for cats. With a little training your feline will learn how to walk or run on the wheel. The next thing you know, he’ll be jumping on and burning calories.

12. Playmate

If the time is right and the whole family is on board, consider adding another cat to the family. With proper introductions, and if the two get along, they can play together and keep each other active.

Choose toys and activities that fit your cat’s personality and your lifestyle. Playing with your cat not only strengthens your bond but also keeps her moving. You may find that it helps keep you purr-fectly healthy too!

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Tags: Cats,Friends,Pets
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