Getting Cats To Exercise
Cats aren't lazy; but they do tend to enjoy being left alone at times. However, like dogs, cats need time spent outside to run, play and socialize with other companion animals. If they spend too much time indoors, they will become lethargic and risk health concerns including obesity and arthritis as they age. In fact, 59 percent of cats in the United States are classified as overweight or obese.
Here are ways to get cats up-and-moving outdoors from the convenience of their own fenced-in backyard:
Set up a cat tower. Cat towers are great toys for cats and allow them to jump from level to level and play with other feline friends. They can even be moved inside once the weather gets too chilly to stand outside for extended periods of time.
Set up a pinata: Who doesn't love smashing a pinata? They make great cat toys and allow the cat to use arm strength to scratch and play with the item.
Give them ball or yarn: This is common; but cats love rolling around the ground with a big ball of yarn. Just watch their movements; and make sure they don't get tangled up. The string can become a choking hazard for kitties.
Add catnip to toys: Toys such as cat wands that ask the cat to reach for the squeaky toy or ball is great exercise for cats and positively reinforces their behavior with a treat.
Winter is the most challenging season of the month for both pet and pet owner; but these games can be played both indoors and outdoors throughout the year to get the cat the 30 minutes of daily activity needed to remain fit.
- Jenn Smith