Healthy Tips to Keep Your Cat Fit

On the catwalk - cat in Istanbul, TurkeyYour cat is a natural-born hunter, and much of his or her play is tied to these inherited predatory instincts. Kittens are exemplary in their capacity to play, which also helps them develop motor skills and burn off all that extra energy. However, play shouldn’t stop after kittenhood.

Interactive play is important for cats of all ages, mostly because it helps deter age-related weight gain. If you’re looking for ways to keep your cat fit, our veterinarians and staff offer the following tried and true methods that satisfy Fluffy’s innate desire to hunt and play.

On the Ball

Bored cats are often stressed cats. If there’s no outlet for anxiety and tension, your pet may experience unnecessary weight gain, lack confidence, or develop unwanted behaviors (e.g., compulsive grooming).

Get Together

The importance of interactive play should not be underestimated or undervalued. Sure, your cat can play solo with a variety of toys, but playing with you inspires trust, bonding, and is way more fun.

The best type of toy for interactive play typically has a long wand or pole with “prey” attached to the end. Like a fishing pole, you can launch the prey from side to side and watch your cat go crazy. It’s best to hide the toy a little, make it shake or quiver, and then have it dart to another location in your kitty’s line of vision.

Grand Capture

When playing with your cat, allow him or her to capture the “prey” to build his or her confidence. If the reward is too elusive, your cat will become bored or discouraged and may lose interest in playing altogether. The more fun your cat has while playing, the happier he or she will be.

Athletic Hunter

To keep your cat fit, we recommend 1-2 play sessions every day that last 15-20 minutes each. You may be surprised at how much fun you have together – and how svelte your cat becomes.

If your cat is overweight or you’re trying to manage obesity, we also offer nutritional counseling to work in tandem with your exercise routine.

Get Vertical

Installing a multi-level cat tree is a great way to keep your cat fit. Climbing, peering, and chasing up and down the structure burns calories and tones muscles.

Cat shelves or walks also provide extra vertical space in which your cat can get moving. Try to adopt a “feline mindset” to generate creative ideas.

Animal Companionship

Another great way to keep your cat fit is by integrating a second pet into your household. Remember, this is a delicate process that should be done with great planning and sensitivity.

If you have a grown cat, adopting a kitten will certainly increase overall activity levels. Animal companions can get along very well together and may inspire more fun in general around your home.

Keep Your Cat Fit

For additional suggestions on how to keep your cat fit, please schedule a wellness visit with one of our veterinarians. We always welcome opportunities to discuss ways to improve your cat’s health and happiness.