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Indoor Cats and Exercise:

Do you have an indoor cat and are worried that it is not getting enough exercise and will start putting on the pounds? Even though cats have a high metabolism, they still need exercise to keep them from becoming obese. Unlike dogs we don’t tend to put our cats on a leash and take them for a walk. It may take some imagination and patience to find ways to encourage your little one to be more active and to keep it entertained. Activity is good for all pets and helps maintain a healthy body weight and keeps muscles toned and strong. Exercise is fun and keeps the mind alert. Depending on your cat’s age, weight, temperament and interests, you can set up an area with cat trees and scratching posts for him/her to romp around. If you are handy with tools, you can build your own cat jungle gym, or you can find one at your local pet supply store or online. If your cat is reluctant, you may need to get more involved in the festivities. A cat should exercise about 45 minutes per day. You should try to spend about 10-15 minutes a few times each day engaging your cat in some form of activity. Young cats and kittens will usually take the initiative in engaging you in play, or they will find their own entertainment. Young cats tend to be easily amused and will probably want to continue to play long after you have tired of the game. Older and overweight cats are little harder to entice. They generally don’t have the interest and endurance for extended playtime. Begin with a few minutes at a time, several times a day and increase the time as their tolerance increases. Tips for creative activity: Activities that stimulate a cat’s natural hunting instinct are best. Little mice thrown across the room should get their interest. Feather toys attached with string to a stick work well. Never let your cat play with these toys without supervision. They are fun but can be dangerous if swallowed or if the cat gets tangled in the string. Try a piece of yarn or a shoelace (wiggle it across the floor). Another favorite is a beam light…a small flashlight or laser pointer will do. Keep the light low…they will literally climb the walls to catch the light. Empty cardboard boxes can bring hours of fun. Make meal time fun. Use a puzzle bowl or feeding ball to make your cat work for the food. It keeps them stimulated and they don’t wolf the food down. Try hiding food in different locations and have the cat hunt for it. With some imagination and a commitment to spend at least a combined hour each day on your cat’s activity, you will find that both you and your cat are enjoying a healthier and more joyful life.

Do you have an indoor cat and are worried that it is not getting enough exercise and will start putting on the pounds? Even though cats have a high metabolism, they still need exercise to keep them from becoming obese. Unlike dogs we don’t tend to put our cats on a leash and take them for a walk. It may take some imagination and patience to find ways to encourage your little one to be more active and to keep it entertained. Activity is good for all pets and helps maintain a healthy body weight and keeps muscles toned and strong. Exercise is fun and keeps the mind alert. Depending on your cat’s age, weight, temperament and interests, you can set up an area with cat trees and scratching posts for him/her to romp around. If you are handy with tools, you can build your own cat jungle gym, or you can find one at your local pet supply store or online. If your cat is reluctant, you may need to get more involved in the festivities. A cat should exercise about 45 minutes per day. You should try to spend about 10-15 minutes a few times each day engaging your cat in some form of activity. Young cats and kittens will usually take the initiative in engaging you in play, or they will find their own entertainment. Young cats tend to be easily amused and will probably want to continue to play long after you have tired of the game. Older and overweight cats are little harder to entice. They generally don’t have the interest and endurance for extended playtime. Begin with a few minutes at a time, several times a day and increase the time as their tolerance increases. Tips for creative activity: Activities that stimulate a cat’s natural hunting instinct are best. Little mice thrown across the room should get their interest. Feather toys attached with string to a stick work well. Never let your cat play with these toys without supervision. They are fun but can be dangerous if swallowed or if the cat gets tangled in the string. Try a piece of yarn or a shoelace (wiggle it across the floor). Another favorite is a beam light…a small flashlight or laser pointer will do. Keep the light low…they will literally climb the walls to catch the light. Empty cardboard boxes can bring hours of fun. Make meal time fun. Use a puzzle bowl or feeding ball to make your cat work for the food. It keeps them stimulated and they don’t wolf the food down. Try hiding food in different locations and have the cat hunt for it. With some imagination and a commitment to spend at least a combined hour each day on your cat’s activity, you will find that both you and your cat are enjoying a healthier and more joyful life.

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