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Keeping your cat fit can be challenging as they mostly stay indoors and love to sleep for a greater portion of the day. Here is a list of ten ways in which you can help your cat stay in shape:
- Get to know your cat – Acrobatic and agile, cats are naturally very curious. While they do love to sleep, a lot of pet owners mistake their naps for laziness, which is simply not true. Cats are more active during the night.
- Playtime – Cats tend to display a mellow temperament – till you bring home a catnip toy or a laser pointer. If your cat likes to lie hiding and pounce, place a paper bag or a cardboard box in the middle of the floor with a catnip mouse inside. If your cat is under the coffee table, try teasing it with a peacock feather.
- Go “hunting” - If you cat enjoys the thrill of hunting, toss a foil ball or one of those bouncy rubber balls across the floor, up the stairs, or down the stairs. Make sure you toss it away from the cat to keep it moving. If you want to see your cat play hockey, try throwing a table tennis ball into an empty bathtub.
- Leaping lizards – If your cat likes to climb or jump all the time, use a toy fashioned like a fishing pole with feathers or a stuffed toy attached to the end. It will inspire your cat to perform acrobatic jumps and leaps. Sisal rope on cat furniture makes for a great jungle gym and encourages appropriate scratching.
- Turn meal time into play time – If your cat is a couch potato and only motivated by food, take a small portion of its meal and roll it across the floor. It will cause them to chase after their dinner. You can also try to put treats in a container and have your cat do everything it can to get it. If you are able to keep track, it is a lot of fun to hide dry food to see if your cat will find it.
- Avoid overfeeding your cat – Diet is the biggest contributor to feline obesity. Overweight cats lead much shorter lives. Obese cats also suffer from liver and heart conditions, and can develop diabetes due to excess weight. Poor health from overeating can be prevented if you limit their daily food intake.
- Take your pet to the vet – if your cat is overweight, the veterinarian is the best person to get health advice from. Some cat breeds are bigger than others, so it is very important for you to know what's normal for your cat. The vet will measure your cat's muscle to fat ratio and determine if a diet is needed. Your pet's doctor might also do lab work to determine the overall health of your cat.