When thinking of exercising pet’s it’s a common misconception to think that only dogs need to get exercise. But that isn’t true. According to a study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention in 2008, an estimated 57% of cats are overweight or obese.1 Just walking around the house is not enough to keep your cat in-shape. They need to be encouraged to play and get their furry behinds moving.

Kittens

I’m sure you know, but young cats have a TON of energy! If your kitten isn’t getting enough exercise, they may develop some behavioral problems due to all their excess energy.

Scratchers are great options for all cat’s but especially younger felines (and your house!). Scratching is a natural instinct and giving them something to scratch will save your furniture from getting scratch marks and encourages them to do something active. The Fat Cat Big Mama’s Scratch N’ Play ramp includes a package of catnip which will encourage your kitty to play and includes a toy for double the fun.

Cats are also hunters at heart and tend to like games that appeal to their instincts. Furry mice toys like the JW Zippy Mouse Toy will get your cat’s instinct to chase and hunt while the mouse moves across the floor. For more solo play action, the FAT CAT Crazy Circle lets your cat chase after a ball that can be filled up with catnip to allow their hunting instinct to come out.

Older and overweight cats

Elderly and overweight cats may not be as excited to exert themselves as they used to be. It may be harder to get your older cat to play but just like with humans, a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise.

Older animals may not be as excited when you throw fake mice around and may need something a little more interactive to play. Teasers are a great option for older cats as they as they simulate chasing and capturing elusive prey. The FAT CAT Catfisher Doorknob holder allows your cat to be able to play with the teasers even when humans aren’t available.

If your furball is reluctant to get up and move, any toys infused with catnip – an irresistible scent – will encourage playtime and keep your cat interest. Most Petmate cat toys are infused with catnip but sprinkling it on scratchers will give the illusion of catnip being in the toys.

Older cats may no longer want to climb up your bed or other furniture. This is a missed opportunity for them to exercise. They can be encouraged to climb up with the help of pet stairs and ramps. Placing the steps in different areas of the house may encourage them to explore more.

Cat’s don’t follow directions as nicely as dogs do especially when it comes to playing so the easiest way to get your cat moving is to get another cat. A pair of felines who get along will get plenty of exercise while playing with one another. Even older cats will wrestle like kittens when with a friend.2 Bringing home a new kitten? Get your home ready with the help of this checklist.

Sources:

  1. getting-tubby-tabby-back-into-shape
  2. ten-cat-exercises

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