Cats are beautiful animals that have evolved over thousand of years. Their bodies are designed for speed and hunting - they are incredibly agile. The domestic cat doesn't need to hunt, or hide from prey any longer! They have comfortable lives, and are fed by us!
Since they don't really do a great deal physically, they naturally will not be in the shape that they should be. Many, many cats in the United Kingdom are overweight; even if they don't look it. Many pet owners do not realise that a cat that is overweight may suffer heart problems, arthritis or diabetes.
It is no wonder that experts recommend a healthy diet AND exercise for your pet cats. It will help mobility, keep your cats' body healthy, ensure your cat is an ideal weight, and keep your cats' hunting instincts as sharp as ever. Exercising your cat is fun for both you as the cat owner, and the fluffy ball of fun as well! We have put together some tips, ideas and pointers to ensure your cat is fighting fit, and in tip top shape! If you are unsure whether your cat should be exercising due to an illness or condition, remember to ask your vet.
Cat Laser Pointer
Why not try a laser pointer? A small 'pen' that shoots a red beam that you can shoot around the room. Your pet cat will chase it around the room like crazy! This is fun for both you and cat - you will laugh your socks off! It won't be long before your cat is shattered after a great work out. Remember, these gadgets are nice and cheap, and gives you hours of fun. Just don't shine the beam into their (or your) eyes! Have a read of our cat laser pen article!
Scratching Posts and Cardboard Boxes
To ensure your cats are stretching and using their muscles, invest in a scratching post - maybe even one with different levels! Your cat will be able to jump and climb on this apparatus to improve balance and strength. Cats love to keep their claws in good shape, so encourage them to use this - rather than the furniture!
Before you throw big cardboard boxes away, leave them lying around for a few days. Cats love this. They will hide in it, jump in and out of it, and maybe sleep in it. Remember cats are inquisitive animals so it won't take them long to get stuck in! You could try your hand at cutting holes and tunnels to give them an obstacle course to go mad in!
Cat Toys and Catnip
Fake mice are often a favourite. Your cats will love these, and they are easily available at any good pet shop. They will chew them, poke them, fight with them and run around with them.
Catnip is an excellent way of increasing activity in your pet cat. Catnip is a natural herb that affects the behaviour of cats. Cats will lick it, roll in it and leap around in it. It is perfectly safe for pet cats, and it can give them hours of fun. Most pet shops will sell catnip toys - toys that are covered in catnip, or have catnip in. You can also buy catnip spray or powder to sneakily place around the house to get your cats going!
You can buy cat toys from pet shops or even make them yourself. Toys include fake mice, empty toilet rolls, balls of foil, wind up gadgets and ribbons. The combinations are endless. Try dangling toys above your cat to make them jump and try and catch their 'pray'. Shooting toys around the room will get your cats running around and bouncing off the walls!
Playing with kittens is also very important. It keeps them in shape and ensure they always have their hunting instincts. Exercise will help your cats to be healthy and fit. It may also help them to be happy, and can sometimes ensure that they don't misbehave! It can also be great fun for you too.