How to keep your indoor cat fit
Try these four fitness tips to keep your kitty activeBy Lisa Hannam
Use cat toys
Teresa Chu, a Saskatoon veterinarian, says: “Cats tend to be attracted to small birds or to rodents.” To find out if your pet responds best to toys that dangle in the air or to those that roll along the floor, use a laser pointer to see if he chases the light along the baseboard, or higher up across the wall.
No matter what toy you get, “let him catch the so-called prey,” recommends Janis Alexander, an animal caretaker at pet product manufacturer Rolf C. Hagen, in Baie-D’Urfé, Que. “It’s rewarding for the cat.”
Use cat food
Treat balls, such as PetSafe’s SlimCat Interactive Feeder, have a hole you can insert treats or kibble into, and he has to bat it around to get some.
Switch up your cat's feeding spot
“That works the cat’s hunting behaviours,” says Chu. Or put portions of his meal in different places to exercise his mind and body. You could also move the litter box so he has to walk up or down some stairs to get to it. But, Chu warns, keep one litter box in the original spot initially, or he may start to pee around the house.
Play with your cat
Cats of all ages need 30 minutes of playtime a day. Exercise is a learned behaviour for cats, says Chu, so train your cat to play—preferably at a regular time, since cats are creatures of habit.
This article was originally titled "Run, kitty, run!" in the October 2010 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience–and never miss an issue!–and make sure to check out what's new in the latest issue of Best Health.
Best Health Magazine, October 2010