Nine Tips for Keeping Your Cat in Shape
Keeping your cat in shape can be challenging since they’re mostly kept indoors and love to sleep most of the day away. However, we have compiled a list of nine ways you can help your cat stay in tip-top shape.
#1 Get To Know Your Cat
Agile and acrobatic, cats are naturally curious creatures. While it’s true that cats love to sleep, many people mistake their dozing for laziness. Cats are just more active at night.
Cats are naturally playful and active (in between naps). You need to watch your cat closely to get to know what he/she already enjoys doing.
Cats may display a mellow temperament — until you bring home a laser pointer or catnip toy.
Does your cat hide and pounce? Place a cardboard box or paper bag (no plastic bags) in the middle of the floor and throw a catnip mouse inside. Then, sit back and watch the show. Is he/she under the coffee table? Try teasing with a peacock feather.
#3 Going “Hunting”
Does your cat enjoy the thrill of the hunt? If so, you could toss a superball (rubber bouncy ball) or foil ball across the floor, down the stairs, or up the stairs. Be sure to toss it away from the cat to get them moving. You can also throw a ping pong ball into an empty bathtub.
#4 Leapin’ Lizards!
Does your cat climb and jump? Try using a fishing pole-type toy with feathers or a stuffed toy attached to the end, encouraging amazing acrobatic leaps and jumps. Cat furniture with sisal rope makes a great jungle gym and promotes appropriate scratching behavior.
#5 Meal Time? Play Time!
Is your cat a couch potato and only motivated by food? If he/she eats dry food, take a portion of their usual meal and roll it piece by piece across the floor, causing them to chase it to get dinner.
Try putting treats into a container that your cat can bat around. If you can keep track, hiding dry food to see if your cat will find it is always fun.
#6 Make Time for Play
It is a common misconception that cats are generally aloof. Like any other pet, the more affection you give to your cat, the more responsive he will be. Cats also tend to respond better to repeated behavior. What does this mean? Take some time every day to play with your cat and you will both benefit from it. Remember, boredom is your cat’s worst enemy.
#7 What’s Cooking?
It might be hard to resist succumbing to feline charm and “free feeding” them, but consider this: Overweight cats live shorter lives. Obese cats suffer from heart and liver conditions and can develop diabetes due to excess weight. Limiting their daily food intake can prevent poor health due to overeating.
#8 Doc Knows Best
If your cat is overweight, some of the best health advice you can get is from your veterinarian. Some feline breeds are larger than others, so knowing what is normal for your cat is important. Other than the obvious hanging tummy, a veterinarian can measure your cat’s fat to muscle ratio and determine if the kitty needs to go on a diet. Your pet’s doctor may also do lab work to determine your feline’s overall health.
#9 The Good Stuff
Food quality is as important as quantity control when you feed your cat. Remember, cats are carnivores. Their bodies are designed to process a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Feeding a cat solely dry food and processed treats contributes to their weight gain. For a little variety, try giving them boneless chicken, beef or fish.
Hopefully, these nine tips for keeping your cat in shape will help them live a long and healthy life. If you need extra playtime for your cat, why not look at our daycare option?