Cats are finicky creatures, and it’s not always easy to encourage exercise in these four-legged friends. You might not have even known that cat workouts were a thing, but they are, and vets will tell you that cats should keep up with exercise even into their senior years. Here are some ideas to help you exercise your cats.
1. Cat Towers
You’ve probably seen the multi-tiered towers you can find in pet stores or online at Amazon. These towers are fantastic ways for your cat to get exercise naturally. They climb the towers because cats love to perch at different heights. You can also encourage your cat to explore other parts of the tower by putting treats in strategic places.
2. Laser Beam Play
If you have a cat, you’ve probably discovered that cats love to chase lasers. It’s also entertaining to watch cats chase them. Kitties move quickly to try to catch the beam, and it’s an excellent way to get them to exercise. It’s also good bonding time with your cat as you play with her. Children can play with cats like this, but remind them to be careful not to shine the laser into anyone’s eyes accidentally.
3. Cat Wands
Wands with feathers and ribbons attached are great fun for cats. They get excellent exercise as they chase the ribbon. It’s another interactive toy where you can play with your kitty and encourage them to get in more activity. If you want to get them moving, drag the wand over different level surfaces, like from the floor to the ottoman to the couch, and back down again.
4. Partner Up
Cats exercise better when they have another cat to play with, so having a pair of cats is healthier for them. It’s best to get them at the same time and grow up together. If you choose to get a second cat and introduce it later, take the time to make sure that both kitties can adjust to a new addition to the household.
5. Simple String
You don’t need to get fancy cat toys because cats are sometimes happy with strings. You can attach a long one to your pants and have it trail behind you as you walk. Your kitty will have fun interacting with you, and you’ll get your steps in, too. It’s a win-win for both of you.
6. Teach the Leash
With practice, cats can learn to walk on a leash, just like dogs. It’s easier to do with young cats, but you can still do it with older cats. Be patient and consistent, and eventually, your cat will get it. Cats do have vastly different personalities compared to dogs, so if your cat is not an outgoing kitty, this might not be a good option and may add stress instead.
7. Schedule Regular Playtime
Sometimes, you get bogged down with too much to do because you’re busy. Life gets in the way, and it happens to everyone. If you schedule playtime with your kitty when they’re most active, it forces you to slow down and relax, and it also creates regular bonding time with your cat. Having regular playtime can be a great way to exercise your cat.
8. All the Toys
Cats are excellent at entertaining themselves, so having various toys available to play with is an excellent way to encourage exercise passively. Don’t put out too many toys at one time because it can be overwhelming, but having a few out and cycling through them is another way to improve your cat’s activity.
9. External Stimulation
When cats are interested in their environment, they’re going to be more active naturally. Providing them with external stimulation is a way to encourage them. Examples of external stimulation include fish tanks, window perches where they can watch birds, or anything else that gets them moving.
10. Break Out the Catnip
Catnip can be very stimulating for cats as it makes them more playful and energetic. Be careful with this, though, because too much can be overstimulating and cause anxiety. If you do use catnip for your cat, do so in moderation. Pay attention to your cat’s behavior and stop using it if your kitty goes from energetic to anxious.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Exercise Your Cats
Cats are naturally playful critters, and they love to spend time with their humans. Interactive toys encourage your kitty to be active, and you get to spend time bonding with your fur-baby. Having extra toys when you’re not around is also an excellent way to exercise your cats. External stimulation and catnip can push your kitty to be more active as long as you’re careful about how you make it happen.