Is your cat active enough?

- Posted by in Pet Care
Is your cat active enough?

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!

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Comments

12th Jan 2018
Customer Since: November 2017
From: Suffolk, United Kingdom

I was given two pedigree cats brought up in urban houses with no garden because the acquisition of a dog really made their lives miserable. The younger of the two seemed to be bullied by the elder. Since she died, the Siamese, now about ten seems much happier on her own. She has access to a smallish garden and a rural village, but never goes anywhere except the garden for the essentials as I do not provide a litter box. She regards furniture as the ideal scratching place despite being given a scratching bed. I see her playing with her own tail or rubber bands so assume she has enough exercise. She never puts on weight despite access to food and water 24/7. Since being alone, she shows me a great deal more affection, though hides when visitors come.

12th Jan 2018

bought the mouse shaped laser pointer for my deaf cat and she lovesit hours of fun chasing the red dot .

12th Jan 2018

My cat is 15 with a lung and stomach condition, half indoors and half out in the garden. He does not respond to cat toys, seems reluctant to go out especially if other cats are around the garden that is safe from other cats but not the nasty neighbour next-door caught spraying him with weedkiller. He has a window seat and sits on the table via a chair. I keep the door open to ensure his safety but worry he is not getting enough exercise. He is not very independent at all and just wants to be with me all the time. Any ideas or advice please?

14th Jan 2018

We have a cat with brittle bone disease and a heart murmur, so we have to be careful with her. Has anybody got any advice or had similar experience?

15th Jan 2018

My current cat is the first I've had who is timid, greedy/bored/lazy!
She has access to a huge garden which is away from busy roads; she goes out to eat grass and runs back in.
She has a "treat" ball for her food; she is so obsessed with the food she can clear her correct portion of food in half an hour. She tired of the laser light toy after kitten hood and now watches it, but doesn't do anything else.
She has a scratch pole etc and will race around the house for about 5 minutes in the morning and then sleep the rest of the day under a duvet!
She has been plump since a kitten. What advice does anyone have?

15th Jan 2018

Hi Srg,

Thanks for your question.

As your cat is older, there's nothing wrong with him staying inside and getting less exercise now. It's likely he is slowing down and providing he appears happy and healthy (aside from the existing conditions), then I wouldn't worry. Some cats just aren't very independent and enjoy the companionship of their humans. If your cat starts gaining weight and you're concerned about his lack of exercise, then you might want to chat with your vet about it and come up with a solution.

I hope this helps,

Hannah.

15th Jan 2018

Hi David,

Sorry to hear your cat is struggling with some existing conditions. It would probably be best to speak with your vet if you are concerned about your cat's ability to exercise. Remember that it is as important to keep your cat mentally stimulated, so if physical exercise is difficult, try interactive toys and play that engages the senses. A treat dispensing toy may be useful as it will encourage learning and light exercise.

I hope this helps,
Hannah.

15th Jan 2018
Customer Since: June 2016
From: Rhondda Cynon Taff, United Kingdom

We are down to a mere three cats now, one black semi long haired 19 year old girl called Lucy , one black 9 year old girl called Lena, and an 8 year old blue Persian. The two black cats have always been in/out cats, making use of the cat flap, as and when they wanted to go out. The Persian, Sarah by name, we have only had for 6 months, we got her from a breeder who had no more use for her! Needless to say, Sarah does not go out at all, as I would be worried she would get picked up by someone who took a liking to her. I really can't understand people who pay several hundred pounds for a pedigree cat, only to let them roam free! Sarah is the fourth Persian we have had, and none of them have ever been allowed outside to wander at will. Sarah likes to play with toys, but Lena and Lucy think they are too 'grown-up' to play any longer - well that's what the look on their faces say when I try to get them to play!!
We have had as many as nine cats and two dogs at one point, but we are a lot older, so the cats we have now are a good number for us to look after.

15th Jan 2018

Hi Anonymous,

It can be difficult to know what to do when your pet won't exercise but has weight to lose. I would advise speaking to your vet if you're concerned, as they may want to run some tests just to make sure everything is okay. It sounds like your cat has a hearty appetite though which is a good sign :)Some cats are just less independent than others and prefer being inside with their humans. If you think your cat is overweight, it is definitely worth consulting your vet to find a solution.

I hope this helps,

Hannah.

27th Jan 2018

We find cat toys like Da Bird and Feather frenzy are great for getting our cats running and jumping about in garden or house. Our cats were brought up as house cats but now have supervised access to a back garden.
When house cats they had a floor to ceiling height cat tree/ scratching post with attached platforms at different heights. It was by the main window so they got good views of the outside world.

27th Jan 2018

Further to my earlier comment : our cats are quite clingy and seem happier with interactive toys than playing by themselves, playing without us they quickly lose interest and abandon whatever toy.
So DaBird and Feather Frenzy are ideal as we have to wave the wand around and recapture the 'bird' if they run off with it and try biting through the string !

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