Enticing your dog to get active with a walk around the block or a game of fetch is a no-brainer, and a fairly common pet health practice. But when it comes to cats, most people don’t realize the value of exercise.
Many veterinarians recommend cat workouts to keep cats healthy well into his old age. And though a cat won’t exercise as readily as a dog will, there are a few strategies that will help you keep your cat active and mobile.
Try these 10 Cat Exercises They Will Like :
- Pair up exercise partners. Since a cat won’t respond to your requests to play as easily as a dog might, Jean Hofve, DVM, former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and current president of the Rocky Mountain Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, has a simple solution to ensure that felines get their needed cat exercise: Start with two cats. “A pair of cats who get along well will get plenty of exercise through their own wrestling and chasing games. I have a pair of 8-year-old brothers who still play like kittens!” says Dr. Hofve, adding that it’s better to get two cats at the same time than to introduce a second cat later on.
- Try a cat tower. The multi-tiered “cat towers” sold online and in pet stores are another good way to ensure that your cat will have plenty of places to play and areas to climb for a good cat workout. Susan Nelson, DVM, an assistant professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, suggests placing small treats in different parts of the tower to encourage climbing and playing.
- Keep plenty of toys around. Because cats tend to keep to themselves much more than dogs, the best strategy for cat workouts is to give them plenty of options in the form of toys. And these don’t have to be expensive toys from the pet store, either. Dr. Nelson says that that you can use everyday household objects as toys to encourage cat exercise.
- Create a hockey rink. To make things even more interactive and fun, Nelson advises putting a ball in a large cardboard box or the bathtub to create an instant “hockey rink” for your cat. As the ball goes flying off the walls (and the cat goes flying after it), you’ll get some laughs and your cat will get some much-needed exercise.
- Have fun with lasers. Speaking of laughs, few things will entertain you more — or have your cat moving faster — than a laser pointer on the end of a pen or leveling tool. “Laser toys are often good entertainment, but follow it up with a real toy the cat can catch to avoid fixation and frustration over never being able to catch the light beam,” says Hofve.
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