Kittens may be naturally active and constantly running around the house, but as our kitties get older they tend to become more sedentary and may require extra stimulation to get them moving. Here are some ways to get your cat moving on a daily basis to help maintain a healthy life.
They have several different types of cat toys at the pet stores. Try picking out a few and see what your cat likes. There are remote controlled and battery powered toys that
usually look like mice, feather toys that are usually attached to a string and pole, small balls that have a bell in them and jingle when rolled around, and many more. Most of the toys will engage a cat to play for a short amount of time during the day. The best cat toys do not have to be bought, but can be made at home. Paper crumpled up into a ball, shoelaces, yarn, or hair ties will excite most cats. It’s always a good idea to put away the toys after play time so that your cat does not accidently ingest them. Also, by not leaving the toys out, your cat does not get used to seeing them all the time and become bored with them.
Another great idea is to get cat trees. Cats are natural climbers and enjoy perching in high places. You can also put your cat’s daily meals at the top of a cat tree, or on different levels of it to encourage your cat to climb on it several times a day. You can also try purchasing a cat wheel. A cat wheel is very similar to a hamster wheel. When you place your cat on the wheel their weight makes it start to turn, and the faster they move the faster the wheel goes.
A great do it yourself cat toy is to used cardboard boxes and cut holes into them to make a kitty adventure course. You can stack the boxes and create tunnels between them. On the same note you can buy shelving systems so your cat can climb from floor to ceiling. Just make sure any shelves are properly mounted to the walls and can support your cat’s weight.
Laser pointers are a great ways to get cats moving. Shine them on the floor and lead your cat over to the climbing tree. Slowly move the laser pointer up the climbing tree so that your cat can see it has moved from the floor to the tree and that they now have to follow it up. Once you get your cat to climb up the tree, shine the laser pointer to get the cat to climb back down. If you do not have a cat tree you can do the same thing with steps. If you don’t have steps running them back and forth across the floor is also beneficial.
To engage your cats mind, start doing clicker training. Cats may take a little bit more time to clicker train than dogs, but engaging their mind is just as important. Lack of exercise, and mental stimulation leads to boredom. Cats manage their boredom by sleeping and eating which may lead to an overweight, unhealthy cat.
Feed your cat its meals by using food dispensing toys. Cat food dispensing toys are a great way to engage your cat’s mind, and exercise them by making them work for their food. You can also split their daily meal up into several small portions and hide them in different places around the house. Put the food in high places, and low places so your cat has to move all around. If you have more than one cat in the house you can hide their food in two different rooms and lock them in during feeding time.
Now that you have a few ways to get your cat moving see what kind of games he/she likes. See what games you can come up with and what household items can become the best cat toys.