As of last year, according to statistics from the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, over 54% of dogs and 59% of cats are overweight or obese. This is becoming an increasingly important issue with pets. Physical activity will help them keep their muscles toned and their weight in check. Below are some ways you can engage your cat in play and exercise.
Getting a scratching post might entice them to play. They also might like having cat jungle gyms to climb around. If you don’t have the money or space to spare for that option, there are some other, more economical options to try.
Engaging a cat’s natural hunting instinct is the best way to get them to play. A remote-controlled mouse is a great way to get them up and running around. You could also opt for a string pulled mouse, and that way, you can get some activity in yourself. Feather toys are also great to engage with because it reminds them of birds. Remember though, whenever you finish playing with the string or feather toys, to put them up, as they can be choking hazards if left unattended. You can also get the same effect with a small flashlight or laser pointer. Be sure not to shine it directly into their eyes though.
It’s best to try and engage them in 10-15-minute sessions of play a couple of times a day. If your cat is older, or out of shape, start out slower and build up to that amount of time. Just like humans, out of shape pets need time to adjust to an exercise routine. If you have any concerns over whether your pet is overweight, schedule an appointment with us. We will look over your pet and assess their weight and fitness. From there we’ll discuss ways to lower and manage their weight.