Many cat owners choose to keep their cats indoors, and that's often a smart decision. Cats are prone to wandering and could face danger from cars, other animals, and various other hazards in your area. However, there are also drawbacks to keeping your cat indoors. One serious drawback is that your cat may not be getting enough exercise. Cat obesity rates are on the rise due in part to a lack of exercise for housecats. Your cat should be getting around 30 minutes of exercise a day. Take a look at some tips that can help you get your cat moving.
Engage in Playtime
It's not enough just to give your cat toys – your cat may just ignore them if they're feeling lazy. But your cat will be a lot more likely to play if you take the time to play with them.
You don't need very expensive toys – you can get a lot of traction out of something as simple as a Ping-Pong ball and a large cardboard box. Bounce the ball off the sides of the box and watch your cat jump in to chase it. Have a stylus with a laser pointer feature? Get your cat's attention and start moving the pointer – your cat will go to great lengths to try to catch it. A fishing pole-style cat toy with a tempting toy dangling off the end can be fun too – run it up and down the stairs for your cat to chase.
Try the Treadmill
If you have a home gym, your cat may as well get some use out of it too. It may surprise you to learn that cats can be trained to run on a treadmill. It's great exercise for them, just like it is for you.
Your cat will need supervision and a little help at first to stay on the treadmill. Start slowly – domestic cats can run as fast as 30 miles per hour, but only for short sprints, and you'll want your cat to get the hang of the treadmill before trying faster speeds. Treadmill training works especially well when you start when your cat is young and has the most energy – an older cat may not take to the exercise machine as easily.
Go for A Walk
Many cat owners don't realize that most cats can be trained to walk on a leash just like dogs can. Walking outdoors is not only great exercise, it also allows your cat to indulge their curious nature by checking out all the things to see and sniff along your walking route. And it's good exercise for you as well!
When training your cat to walk on a leash, you first have to start with the harness. Let your cat sniff the harness before putting it on, and try it on without the leash a few times first to let them get used to wearing it. Your cat may refuse to walk or walk strangely the first few times you try it on them, so be patient and let them adjust before trying it with the leash. When you do attach the leash, you will want to practice guiding your cat with it indoors before trying a walk through the neighborhood.
Get Another Cat
The simplest way to get your cat up and moving may be to bring another cat home. One cat may get complacent and lazy around the house, but add in another cat and the two will chase each other, wrestle, and play together. Just be careful to introduce the two cats gradually and make sure that each has their own space. This will help avoid stress and jealousy.
Talk to your veterinarian about strategies to help keep your feline friend at a healthy weight and ensure that they get enough exercise. Staying active is an important factor in your cat's long-term health. For more information, visit websites like http://www.gulfportveterinarian.com.