Born to parents that loved animals, we grew up having all sorts of animals as pets at home including dogs, different kinds of birds, fish (although I do not consider fish as real pets), rabbits, even goats! But it wasn’t until I was 20 that I finally adopted a cat, a white Persian. Needless to say, I fell in love with it!
As a newbie, I tried hard to make my cat comfortable in its new home. He was a smart kitty and knew how to get his demand for food fulfilled. I got a chance to observe a cat closely and found out that cats are aesthetic and graceful. He could move around without making any noise.
Over a period of few weeks, I could tell that my cat would make a ‘thump’ sound whenever it landed on the ground. I couldn’t feel my cat’s ribs and his belly had become rounder. My worst fear came true! My cat had become overweight and lazy.
I felt guilty for overfeeding my cat and my first instinct was to reduce the intake of food, slowly and gradually. However, that did not yield desired results. I consulted my vet about the importance of cat exercise and made it part of my cat’s daily routine.
As predators, cats have the innate ability to hunt, climb and investigate. Since my cat didn’t have access to outdoors I had to think of creative ways to encourage it to be more physically active indoors.
Does it sound familiar? Has your cat become fat and lazy?
If the answer is yes, then you need to learn about the importance of cat exercise.You need to get your cat moving. There are a plethora of options available in the market. You can encourage your cat to move by providing climbing and perching posts or scratch posts. You can place food treats (or even a small meal of dry kibble) in interactive toys that require the cat to roll or manipulate them to get food.
You can hide the food around the house, (make sure not to forget where you put it) or you can throw it piece by piece for your cat to run after. Interactive toys such as feathers wands and laser light pointers can provide even more exercise. Several toys, for example chewing or scratching balls allow your cat to play on its own when you’re away.
As cats get older they desire lesser physical activity but you should strive to add a short active session daily. Anxiety and stress in cats can cause behavioral problems including aggression and urine-marking. Even 20 mins of activity a day can provide the cat with lots of mental stimulation.
Knowing the importance of cat exercise helps us understand how to keep a cat physically and mentally healthy. Also, cats that are left alone all day with nothing to do will most likely create their own games using furniture and other household belongings. A well exercised cat is a happy cat! PURRRR