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5 Ways to Exercise your Cat

Is your kitty spending too much time cat-napping during the day? Do you have an indoor cat and worry about them not getting enough exercise? Although cats are blessed with a higher metabolism, getting them moving and playing is still a very important factor in keeping them healthy! Dogs can easily be put on a leash and taken on a simple walk. Cats . . . not so much. Unless your cat was leash-trained from kitten-hood, most would say that walking their cat was out of the question. Cats require a bit more creativity when trying to come up with ways to get them moving. To help get you and your cat started on your movement journey, here are 5 fun ways to exercise your cat.

Laser Pointers

Laser pointers are an inexpensive and universally enjoyed toy for cats. The small, darting beam of light looks just like a bug to kitties. They’ll zip and zoom around the room trying to catch their “prey”. Once your cat has started to tucker out, finish up the session with a toy they can physically catch. They’ll be mentally satisfied by being able to sink their teeth into their well-deserved prey.

Vertical Playtime

Cats are born to climb and leap. More often than not, our homes don’t give them the vertical climbing time that they crave. A simple shelf under a window sill or a scratching post with a perch on the floor will let them stretch and use their jumping muscles. If you’re looking to go all out, there are prefabricated wall obstacle courses you can buy. Install them on an empty wall and watch your cat leap and climb up their vertical jungle gym.

Play Time During Meal Time

Do you have a cat that doesn’t seem to want to do anything besides eat? You can use this to your advantage. Meal time is an easy way to get your cat moving. A non-interactive way to get your cat moving for food is to put their food and water separate from each other. For example, put their food on one floor and their water on another floor. They will have no choice but to make the trek between bowls. Get them jumping by moving their food during meal time. Move the bowl from the counter to the floor so they’ll use their jumping muscles. Make sure to reward them by giving them snuggles after their leap.

String Toys

Although it seems cliche, a ball of yarn can be as good as gold to your cat. Few cats can resist a string being pulled along the floor. Make it more enticing by wiggling it to make it seem “alive” or add some feathers to the end. Anything to make it seem more prey-like so your cat stays engaged. Just make sure to put the string toy away after playtime. Unattended strings can be safety hazard to your cat.

Play into their Natural Rhythms

Cats are naturally nocturnal. This means they are more active while the sun is down. You’re more likely to get your cat moving by playing during their peak activity levels. This doesn’t mean you have to wake up in the middle of the night to exercise your cat. Your cat might be more interested in playing first thing in the morning or before you go to bed. By working with their natural rhythms, you’ll be more likely to get your cat actively engaged in play time.

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