Making a Sedentary Cat Exercise

Encouraging your cat to exercise is a smart way to keep your pet active, healthy and help him lose weight. Getting a lazy cat to become active involves a little bit of training and encouragement but with patience and the right tools owners can find their cats healthier and even better behaved. Using an exercise wheel, cat trees and scratching posts, toys and cat nip are some of the methods to get your cat moving and living a healthy life.

Training Your Cat to Exercise

Unlike dogs, getting a cat to exercise isn't always as easy as getting out a leash and taking him for a run but there are many ways to get your cat moving. Owners must take advantage of their cat's natural instincts for climbing, pouncing and hunting with designated play time and toys to keep the cat active when no one is home.

There are plenty of toys available in pet shops today but simple homemade items can also be used to play with your cat. Set aside 15 to 20 minutes a day for playing and use shoestrings, sticks or wands with feathers or bells attached or cat toys from a store to get your cat pouncing and playing. Using a fishing pole with a toy or object attached to the end can also be fun for pets. It is important to commit yourself to the designated play times, especially if you have an overweight cat who isn't used to activity and needs extra encouragement.

Less Cat Naps, More Playing

Scratching posts and cat trees offer an alternative to cat naps by providing an area where your cat can have fun and be active while you're out of the house. Exercise wheels and pet treadmills also keep pets active but may require more dedication and training from owners.

Scratching posts and trees allow your cat to stretch his muscles, maintain a healthy claw length and relieve stress through clawing. Cat trees also let cats jump and release pent-up energy in a healthy and non-destructive way. Using cat nip or attaching toys to the posts and cat trees can encourage cats to use these products and allow owners to leave the house while their cats stay active.

Cat exercise wheels and treadmills may require some repetition and patience. Some cats love to use these items and don't need any help from their owners while others will need to be placed on the wheels or encouraged with cat nip, healthy treats and toys.

Exercise Can Prevent Health and Behavioral Problems

Obesity in cats is a common issue that can cause health problems like diabetes. A healthy diet and exercise are the best ways to maintain or lose weight in cats and prevent illness. Sedentary cats may also be more likely to behave badly if they aren't able to release energy or stress through exercise and activity and instead claw at carpets or curtains. With some exercise training and adopting a healthy lifestyle, owners can help their cats lose weight and get active, giving their cat a longer and healthier life.