Unless they have been trained well, usually from kittenhood, cats cannot simply be hitched to the end of a leash and taken on a walk like dogs can. But while cats do have high metabolisms that allow them to spend an enormous amount of time lying around, they do need some regular physical activity in order to stay fit and well.
Exercising Your Cat
Regular, physical activity allows your cat to establish and maintain a healthy body weight, which can have enormous benefits on their overall health, especially as they age. Regular physical activity also allows them to maintain toned, strong muscles and an alert and active mind. Depending upon how one chooses to exercise their cat, they can also find these activities to be valuable bonding opportunities that don’t take too much time but can make both of you happier.
It would be best for your cat to engage in some sort of physical exercise activity for at least ten to fifteen minutes each and every day. Some cats, especially kittens, will often initiative playful activities and you can simply join in to stimulate them. Chances are they may very well keep right on going even after you have lost interest. Older and more mellow cats may need help to get started on a physical exercise activity, and may only be active for a few minutes before losing interest and choosing to rest. This is fine, but it means that you will have to interact with them more times throughout the day to get the full ten to fifteen minutes of physical exercise activity in.
How you choose to exercise your cat depends a lot upon their age, their weight, their temperament and their interests. Most cats love to generally romp around and climb things, which can make intricate cat trees and scratching posts an ideal choice. If you feel like being creative you may even consider building your own cat tree, using materials and creating spaces that you know your cat will enjoy.
Toys and activities that stimulate a cat’s natural hunting instincts are often one of the easiest ways to get them into physical activity. Try several different things and see what your cat likes best; chances are you will both enjoy it. If you’re not sure how to best exercise your cat, especially if they are older or suffering a health or other physical condition, please check with a qualified veterinarian.