Cats by their very nature, are independent creatures with a will of their own. But gone are the days when cats spent their whole lives roaming outside and were hardly seen by their owners. Nowadays, having a house cat is fairly common, and something an increasing number of people are choosing to do.
Most free-roaming cats will be getting more than enough exercise in their everyday lives just by coming and going as they please, climbing trees and fences, and venturing from home. They will return when they’re tired and hungry and stay inside to regain their energy, ready to go again.
On the other hand, cats that live exclusively indoors may be leading more sedentary lives and not getting the exercise they need. They might face fewer risks than their outdoor counterparts, but are they being as healthy as them?
For indoor cats, it is important to enrich their environment as much as possible to encourage activity and play. If you’re home with your cat then using a teaser or laser pen to get them moving is a great way of promoting exercise.
Laser pens are particularly useful for people who want to exercise their cats from the comfort of the sofa or without having to get up. If, however, you’re not at home, then treat dispensing toys are a great alternative. Pack them with nutritious treats and leave for your cat to discover!
Not only will they tap into your cat’s natural hunting instinct, but they will also stimulate the mind and encourage repeat behaviours and learning.
Vertical spaces like cat trees and climbing posts are also essential for house cats as they help keep them fit and nimble. But it’s not all about buying expensive specially built cat trees – simple things like ladders rested against the wall will do the trick! They also provide a great vantage point for your cat to observe the world from, so place beside a window for the best views.
Finally, if your lifestyle and home can facilitate it, consider getting a playmate for your cat. Having someone to play with will bring endless fun and encourage activity rather than prolonged sleep and destructive behaviours associated with boredom and loneliness.
If you have any advice or tips on keeping cats active, please comment below and share with our other readers!
Written by Hannah Dyball