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Purr-fect fitness: 5 exercises for your feline friend

What’s the story

Encouraging dogs to stay active is common, but many overlook the importance of exercise for cats. Veterinarians recommend cat workouts for their long-term health.

While cats may not readily engage like dogs, there are strategies to keep them active.

Simple activities like playing with toys, using puzzle feeders, or creating indoor obstacle courses can help maintain their mobility and overall well-being.

Playtime

Catnip stimulates cats due to a compound called nepetalactone, which triggers a neurological response, leading to increased activity and playfulness.

Sprinkle a small amount of catnip onto a scratching post, toy, or designated play area, and watch as your cat rolls, rubs, and pounces with delight.

Just be mindful not to overdo it, as some cats can become overly stimulated by catnip.

Fun and challenging

Agility training isn’t just for dogs, cats can also benefit from this challenging yet fun activity. Set up a mini agility course using household items such as tunnels, ramps, and low obstacles.

Encourage your cat to navigate the course using treats or toys as motivation.

Start with simple obstacles and gradually increase the difficulty as your cat becomes more confident and skilled.

Problem-solving

Turn snack time into a fun and interactive exercise session using treat-dispensing toys. These toys require your cat to work for their treats, stimulating both their body and mind.

Fill the toy with your cat’s favorite treats and roll the toy around to release the delicious rewards.

This not only encourages physical activity but also helps prevent boredom and promotes problem-solving skills.

Exploration

Online and physical pet stores sell multi-tiered “cat towers” that provide ample opportunities for your cat to play and climb.

Placing treats strategically throughout the tower encourages climbing and exploration. This not only enhances their physical activity but also stimulates their natural instincts.

These towers offer a versatile and engaging environment for your feline friend to enjoy.

Running

You can train your cat to use a treadmill for exercise, particularly when they’re young and full of energy. Begin slowly and supervise them closely during treadmill sessions.

Starting with engaging toys can help initiate their interest.

Since cats can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, gradually increase the pace ensuring safety and monitor your cat’s comfort level.

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