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Exercising your Cat
Exercising with you Cat
Whether you have an outdoor or indoor cat they are going to require daily exercise. Exercise is important for a cat to avoid obesity, keep them mentally active and it allows you to spend some quality time with them. In total 20 minutes of exercise is recommended per day. This does not have to be done at once and can be split throughout the day.
Cats exercise through play. Playtime is encouraged especially if your cat is an indoor cat.
Your cat is going to need some toys for you to dangle or roll around them to encourage them to participate. Some popular cat toys are:
- Feathery objects
- Toys that dangle for you to hold in front of them
- Laser pointers
- Ping pong balls or balls with bells inside
All of these will encourage your cat to run and play while enjoying time with you. For more serious exercise your cat can be put in a treadmill (at a low pace) or you can purchase a cat wheel. This works the same a hamster wheel does and is a favourite amongst the cat community. Should you choose to use these forms of exercise it is important that you monitor your cat throughout the process.
Cats can be taken for walks outdoors although it is not seen very often. Walking your cat on a leash allows them to experience the outdoors, safely. Your cat might be showing signs they require outdoor exercise if they are adventurous and want to explore, they are destructive or aggressive or they are anxious and over-grooming.
To walk with your cat you will need a harness that fits them right and a lead. The harness must be comfortable enough for them to move but tight enough so they can’t get out of it. Cats are not very accustomed to being walked so it might take them a while to get used to it. It is easier to teach a younger cat how to walk on a leash. That is not to say older cats can’t go for a walk it just might take them a little bit longer to get used to it.
3 things to remember when taking your cat for a walk:
- Familiarise your cat with their harness
Your cat needs to feel comfortable with the harness. Allow them to get familiar with it before putting it on.
- Walk your cat at home
Before taking your cat outside you should have a couple of practice rounds around the house first. This will allow you and your cat to get used to the process. We know cats can be a bit fussy so, at any point, your cat feels uncomfortable stop the process and try again later when they are more relaxed.
- The great outdoors
Once your cat is familiar with their harness and you’ve had a couple of test runs around the house, they are ready for the great outdoors! When going outside in the early stages don’t go too far or to areas that are overcrowded. However, once your cat is used to walking outside, they will be more comfortable in those situations and so you can explore a bit more.
Before introducing your cat to your home both inside and outside it is important to make sure their surroundings are safe. Cats are very inquisitive animals and if not monitored this could be harmful to them. Before getting a cat and letting them play indoors all low hanging wires should be tucked away out of sight. Cats can also ingest items around the house. Things like hair ties, tin foil and bread clips should be out of reach. Sewing and knitting equipment can look like a lot of fun for a cat to play with but can be very dangerous. If any foreign bodies are ingested your cat may require surgery to remove it. Be sure to look at our cat insurance policies to discover how we can take care of your cat should it need medical attention.
When taking your cat outside it is important to make sure all of their vaccinations are up to date. This will protect them from any germs or parasites they might encounter outdoors.
It is important to exercise your cat, but it is equally as important to do it safely. Find out everything else you need to know about your cat’s safety.