It’s important to ensure that your cat benefits from exercise for a healthy quality of life. Cats can be very independent and not as easy to exercise as a dog.
Exercising your cat will not only help to prevent weight gain, it can also reduce stress. Keeping your cat active will also help to maintain optimum joint health and keep your cat mobile as they age. Spending around 10-15 minutes a few times each day playing and engaging with your cat will make a huge difference.
To help encourage your cat to exercise and be more active, there are some positive things you can do which include:
Plenty of toys
Cats tend to keep to themselves entertained more than dogs, so make sure you leave plenty of toys around for your cat to play with. Introduce new ones occasionally to keep them interested. You can also play with your cat with the toys, rather than leaving them to it.
Take them on the lead
Believe it or not, it is possible to walk your cat on a lead like you would a dog. With proper training, you can encourage your cat to tolerate lead walking. It is best to introduce them to the lead early on at young age, as this will make training easier. Be sure to let your cat get used to the lead and harness prior to attempting to take them outside.
If your cat is particularly energetic and mobile, you could try agility exercises. These could include obstacles such as bars to jump over, or tunnels to go through. These will help to push your cat both physically and mentally.
These are a great way to get your cat moving. Used carefully they can encourage your cat to jump around and get energetic. Be careful not to point the laser directly in your cat’s face and be sure to make room for your cat to move around without knocking anything over.
Make them work for treats
Get your cat moving and working for their treats. Put them high up on a cat tower, or inside toys to really make them have to play to get their treat.
Consider their age and ability
Always consider your cat’s ability before trying something new. Older cats may not be as mobile and may not be able to jump too high or move around as much. Kittens may be happy to find their own entertainment, however older cats may need encouragement. Younger cats will also be able to exercise for longer than senior cats, so don’t push your elderly cat to do too much.
An outdoor enclosure in your garden would give your cat the benefit of being outdoors, but in the safety of the enclosure.
Speak to your vet if you are unsure about how much and the types of exercise your cat should do. Your vet is best placed to monitor your cat’s health and offer advice dependent on their needs.
To support your cat’s mobility, consider using nutraquin+, which contains the necessary high strength natural ingredients that help to maintain healthy joint function in dogs, cats and horses, whilst supporting the natural systems that control inflammation. For kittens you could use nutraquin, which supports joint structure and promotes optimum joint heath during growth.