We all know that if we want our feline to lose weight, then it's important to take a good look at their diet and ensure they are not being fed too much or the wrong type of cat food.

However, when it comes to their pet losing a few pounds, many cat owners seem to forget that other essential component of weight loss: exercise.

"Getting your cat more active is just as important as feeding the correct amount of food," says Michelle Warfle, cat manager at Best Friends Animal Society cat manager.

"Not only is exercise good for your cat's physical wellbeing, it is also good for his or her emotional wellbeing."

Indeed, a cat that is overweight and suffering from associated health problems is more likely to be unhappy or even depressed that those that are fit, healthy and active.

What's more, spending time playing with your feline friend is great for bonding with your pet, and owners who make the effort to do so tend to have a stronger and more rewarding relationship with their cats.

"The activities do not have to be elaborate," Michelle adds. "They can be as simple as going for walks, playing with puzzle toys, playing fetch, playing with an interactive toy, or batting around a toy mouse."

Another clever trick is to feed your pet or leave their bedding upstairs, as this will encourage them to do some activity on a daily basis even if they don't leave the house.

And there's no need to worry if you haven't got masses of spare time to wind up mice, drag along pieces of string and make exciting cat play houses out of cardboard boxes.

"You do not have to set aside big blocks of time," says Michelle. "Your cat will benefit from multiple short activity times."

Written by: Hannah