Is your cat getting enough exercise? Indoor cats, who also spend large chunks of time alone, are more likely to need dedicated playtime. Although cats have an incredibly high metabolism, they still need to get moving to ensure good general health. Luckily, there are many cat activities to help motivate a reluctant feline. Whether you’re a new cat owner or a seasoned cat lover, you and your cat can benefit from a few of these playtime tips. Remember, playing with your furry feline expresses your love and promotes healthy activity simultaneously.
Is Playing With Your Cat Considered Cat Exercise?
Absolutely! In fact, playtime is one of the best ways to get your cat to participate in healthy exercise. Physical activity is a vital element in your cat’s wellbeing. Active cats often have higher levels of happiness and better health. Unlike dogs, convincing a cat to go for a walk on a leash around the block can prove to be complicated. One of the best ways to help your cat stay active is to spend some time playing with them.
Engaging in activity with your cat is essential to help them reach a healthy level of activity. Just one hour of playing with your cat can help increase their lifespan by four hours. Cats who regularly exercise are less prone to developing anxiety and depression. Physical activity also helps decrease the chances of separation anxiety and destructive behavior.
Playing with your cat not only helps them burn calories, but it also stimulates their brain. Engaging in activity with your cat can help them deal with boredom, while also strengthening your bond together.
How Much Exercise Does a Cat Need?
Cat’s are incredibly independent, enough to find ways to play on their own. However, a cat who plays and wanders alone often isn’t getting enough exercise. Too frequently, people will not prioritize monitoring their cat’s exercise levels. Thanks to several misconceptions about cats and exercise, it can be hard to pinpoint how much is necessary.
So, how much exercise does a cat need? You should try and play with your cat for about 10-15 minutes a few times a day. In general, cats should be active for at least 30 minutes a day. Younger cats will usually seek out playtime either with you or alone since they tend to be easily amused. Cats that are older or overweight might need an extra push as they might have less endurance or interest in playing.
However, all cats will benefit from several short physical activities each day. Try and experiment with different toys and reward systems to pique your cat’s interest. You might also notice a difference in affection, the more you play with them.
How to Play With a Cat (Cat Exercise)
If your cat lacks the incentive to exert themselves in physical activity at least once per day, you might need to step in. Even cats who chase shadows and climb up and down their cat trees, still need some interactive playtime.
Paying attention to how your cat plays on their own can teach you how to play with your cat. Watching them will help you develop playtime routines that will keep both of you engaged. Using their favorite toys will make playtime all the more entertaining for them, allowing them to stay active longer.
Learning what they get excited about, will not only help you develop an exercise routine, but it will also enrich their lives. Creating a fulfilling playtime experience regularly with them will help them feel loved.
Of course, moderation is always key. If you play with your cats for too long, it can tire them out and cause overexertion or fatigue. If your cat begins to pant, stops engaging, or seems agitated or angry, take those as signs that playtime is over. Playing with your cat in short sessions throughout the day is proven to be more effective when compared to one long playtime session.
Even four ten-minute sessions each day will make a difference in a cat’s health. If you’re confused about how to exercise with your cat, or if your cat doesn’t seem to engage with any activities, ask a vet to help you plan an appropriate cat exercise.
Promote Independent Cat Activities
Promoting independent cat activities is a great help if you’re not around all day to play with them. There are several different cat toys that best help your cat with boredom and physical activity.
Almost all cats enjoy cat trees. Cat trees present cats with a wide range of activities with hiding spots, toys, cat-scratchers, platforms, and cat perches. A toy like this can keep any cat entertained throughout the day, even while you’re away at work.
Some more interactive cat toys include feather wands and fishing pole teasers. These toys work best when you use them to play with your cat. They’re so easy to use, you don’t even have to get up if you don’t want to. These toys will also help in the bonding department.
A few pet owners rave about lasers; however, playtime is much more stimulating and pleasant for a cat when they can grab onto whatever it is they are chasing.
One other option is to try combining catnip with playtime activities. 70% of cats have a positive physical response to catnip. Cats who respond will be more enticed to partake in activities that involve catnip. You can try to sprinkle some catnip around your cat’s play area or try using some catnip spray.
Spraying toys with CBD catnip spray or hiding toys with treats in them can help stimulate your cat’s brain as they hunt for their prize. Hiding toys, and getting them in the practice of “hunting” for their treats can promote healthy independence in cats–especially if your cat gets lonely when you’re not around. Catnip also works well for behavioral training, for example, it can be used to stop a cat from scratching furniture.
Consider playing with your cat whenever you’re home in short intervals a few times a day. Interacting with your cat during playtime will not only improve their overall health, but it will also help strengthen your bond and keep them active even when you’re not around. Cat’s love rituals, so making it a habit of playing before they eat, can also help improve their appetite. There are many benefits to playing with your cat! So, go out and buy them a new toy and get on it.
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Written by Joe Farber at www.holistapet.com