The majority of feline illness can be directly linked to their diet and lifestyle. Their wild relatives stalk and eat an average of 9 times a day, with plenty of attempts to stalk and capture prey in between meals. These cats, which are not reliant on a full bowl of kibble, may consume more protein and fat than carbohydrates, and ultimately expend more energy capturing their meals than the average housecat. Not surprisingly, these wildcats are typically leaner than your average kitty.
Indoor cats don’t have to work for food, and most don’t even have to ask that their bowl be filled. In addition to choosing a high-value diet (and sticking to exact portions and meal times), exercising your cat is the key to their overall health, happiness and longevity. Unfortunately, there could be reasons that stand in the way of exercising your cat.
The Big Picture
Keeping your cat fit is one of the best ways to guarantee a longer life. With obesity and diabetes rates on the rise among pets, exercising your cat is crucial to their overall wellness. Even just playing together for 30 minutes a day can make a difference in your cat’s weight, not to mention helping your kitty to be happy and more satisfied with life. But let’s face it, life can get in the way and even the most dedicated cat owners make excuses not to force an exercise routine at home.
One Possible Reason
Kittens love to play and find even the most mundane things absolutely riveting. However, as cats age they become a little set in their ways. They may have previously latched onto the laser pointer but now they can’t be bothered to get up from their cozy bed. As a result, owners might opt out of exercising their cat, despite knowing it’s importance.
Exercising your cat might not happen if they have gained weight over the years. Obese or overweight cats need the movement, but because of their extra pounds it may be harder for them to move around. The guilt surrounding this can cause an owner to continue the trend of not exercising their cat in a vicious cycle.
A Simple Misunderstanding
Exercising your cat can be as easy as providing them opportunities to employ their feline instincts. Stealthy predators, cats shine when they get to ambush, pounce and stalk their prey. Finding things that appeal to these instincts is key, and trying to get into the head is necessary to support this lifelong interest.
Burning out on toys is another reason owners give up on playing with their cats. It is really important to find out what your cat likes. Stock up on these toys but also be aware that their interests may change over time. Keep it fresh for your cat by rotating their toys on a weekly basis, and store ones not in use behind closed doors. When they start to look bored, pull a little switcheroo on them.
On a similar note, you are probably less likely to play with your cat if you don’t find any enjoyment in the toys or games they like. While you are certainly tasked with supplying the kinds of toys that your cat likes, for long term success it’s equally important that you like the games you play together.
Exercising Your Cat
Each feline has their own unique interests, but one thing remains the same. Daily exercise is essential not only for their happiness, but can keep unhealthy pounds off. As a bonus, playing with your cat can be super fun for you, too!
As always, if you have additional questions please let us know!