Cats have overtaken dogs as the pet of choice for American households. Unlike dogs, cats are not usually taken for a walk on a lead, which leaves you with the question: is your cat getting enough exercise, and why should you care?

Like all animals, cats need regular exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. Dogs are probably easier to exercise, as cats, for example, don’t tend to run after a thrown stick, bringing it back with that excited, expectant look that dogs invariably do. However, there are many ways you can exercise your cat – and also have a lot of fun too.

The simplest way to ensure your cat gets enough exercise is to play with him or her. Cats love playing, and kittens will usually play all by themselves and have obvious fun in the process. However, when you play with your cat or kitten, you strengthen the bond between you both, you ensure that your pet gets sufficient daily exercise, and it probably will do you as much good as it will your cat.

When a cat doesn’t get enough exercise, he or she will most likely put on excess weight, and might become obese. Some experts believe that up to 40% of pet cats in the US are overweight. You should feed your cat a balanced diet. Your cat should work for its food—hiding food throughout the house for the cat to find and enjoy is a great game. Look for our upcoming blog on diets for cats!

An overweight cat that doesn’t get enough exercise is susceptible to a range of health issues, including heart problems, breathing problems, muscular difficulties, joint degradation, osteoarthritis, diabetes, urinary problems, and more. When a cat lacks regular exercise they can also become bored, stressed and depressed. Cats need daily stimulation, and a regular exercise regime is ideal for that. cat_exercise_play

The simplest way to exercise your cat is through play. Various types of toys work well in this respect, especially toys that can wiggle to mimic animal movement. Avoid using your own hands to simulate some form of moving prey. While this works well with small kittens, they will soon become fully grown cats who think it’s fine and acceptable to pounce on unsuspecting human hands. Your visiting friends will not thank you for it, and it could cause significant injury.

Playing with your cat through the use of toys is easy. Your cat will quickly take to it. Use robust toys. The plastic, flexible type work well. Make them move to encourage your cat’s natural stalking instinct, but avoid using string if possible as this can be a possible hazard for your pet.

Playing with your cat for at least 20 minutes a day will do you both the world of good, and help to prevent your cat getting overweight. The benefits of regular exercise will become most apparent in older age. A healthy, active cat who has enjoyed regular exercise throughout life is less likely to suffer from old age problems.

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Do you need information about Cat Diabetes? Check out the following blog article: