Activities for indoor cats to reduce obesity
During these long winter days, you want to make the most of your time with your cute kitty. While encouraging playtime, your cat may just not be up for it. Just like us, this season makes one want to curl up and snooze! But for furry felines a lack of stimulation, inappropriate diet, and or any medical issues, can make them obese and unhealthy.
Cold weather brings, not only shorter days, but also the love of laziness. Yes, we all need to stay cosy and comfy, but keeping active this winter is vital for our physical and mental health. Here are some activities that can help you help your cat keep active and reduce the chance of obesity:
Chase the meals
Right from the get-go, you can activate the adrenaline in your feline at their mealtime. The way to do this is to make it a rewarding time for your cute kitty. The classic hide and seek game is an excellent choice. You can hide small food portions in bowls or feeding toys. Another way is to play the four-command game: come, sit, fetch and stay. In learning these commands, they will be more active. Upon acting appropriately, reward them with a second small portion or two.
The game increases their metabolism as they have to work to get their meals. Not only does this helps with daily physical activity, but it also hones their hunting instinct. What’s more, research proves that animals tend to enjoy their meals more when they have to work for them.
Use food puzzles
If you do not want to add food mess to your house, another trick is food puzzles. Instead of dishing out the meals, put the eatables in a puzzle bowl. This will make your feline work towards getting their food. This activity keeps a feline both mentally and physically engaged.
Try some new cat toys
The great news is that there are always new additions to the already extensive range of cat toys, from feathers to balls to anything that’s hanging from a string. Try increasing movement by batting a ball or throwing it and making him/her chase it. Any of these will get your kitty off the couch and get them to move. Find a toy that both you and the kitty enjoy and create that common ground and connection! Make your feline bounce and pounce. Nothing is more joyous than that!
A cat jungle, perhaps?
No, you need not go into the woods! You can create a similar environment at home. Again, the jungle toy, a cat tree, comes to the rescue. This augments the vertical space in your house. It will encourage your cat to climb and jump higher. Also, these trees will give your kitty new nooks and crannies to explore and places to relax in, and encourage your cat to scratch.
On your next annual visit to The Cat Hospital, we will check your cat’s weight and discuss diet and exercise options with you. For obesity, it can be complicated to do a proper assessment with cats. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t feel their ribs (running your hands down the ribs) then your cat is obese. The ribs should be easy to find on a healthy animal. Underweight cats have ribs that are too noticeable, so you can go too far the other way. Call us today to schedule!
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