Does My Cat Need to Exercise?

February 9, 2022

Cats make wonderful companions. Cuddly and complex, these mini lions and lionesses provide love and friendship for individuals and families alike. We want our kitties to be as happy and healthy as possible; that means providing nutritious food, a safe environment, regular check ups and plenty of exercise. With feline obesity on the rise, cat owners need to make sure they’re providing the necessary activity and stimulation to prevent excessive weight gain which can lead to a number of health problems. At American Boarding Kennels, we strive to equip our guests with the information they need to give the best life possible to their furry friends. In this article, we’ll share why your cat needs exercise, how frequently you should actively engage your cat in physical activity, and fun ways to fulfill this basic feline need.

Learn Why Cats Need Exercise

While cats certainly love to sleep (generally between 16 and 20 hours a day), they rely on physical stimulation to maintain their physical, mental and behavioral health. Roughly 40% of indoor cats are overweight. While fat cats are plenty cute, carrying those extra pounds can impact their mobility and lead to health issues like arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Cats are naturally curious creatures who love to hunt. Without proper physical activity, they can develop depression. This can lead to behavior issues like scratching furniture and floors, chewing wires, aggression and hyperactivity. By engaging your cat in active play, you help them maintain a healthy weight, satisfy their instincts and expend their energy in positive ways.

Make Time to Exercise Your Cat

Some people adopt cats thinking they’re a low-maintenance pet. While you don’t need to take them on multiple walks each day as you would a dog, you’re still responsible for keeping them engaged in vital exercise. How much exercise your cat needs or is capable of depends on their age and overall health. While your vet can provide detailed guidance for your unique feline friend, most cats tend to have the same basic needs. To meet the needs of your cat, you should spend about 30 minutes a day engaging them in active play. Because cats are natural predators, it can be beneficial to break this up into shorter bursts. Some experts recommend setting a play routine that happens at the same times every day. Start play-training your cat when they’re babies to help them develop healthy play behaviors. If you have an older cat, it’s not too late to get them used to play, but it may require a little extra patience and some distance to avoid scratches.

Try These Methods for Feline Exercise

There are a number of ways to provide exercise for your cats through play. Fishing pole toys and laser pointers are great for engaging their hunting instincts while maintaining a safe distance. Laser pointers in particular can give you the opportunity to allow your cat to run further distances. Electronic toys that mimic the movement of rodents can help your cat pursue their prey instinct on their own. Puzzle toys give your cat the opportunity to exercise their mental skills, though you’ll want to mix it up with more active play as well. Cat agility courses can be bought or created on your own and be seamlessly integrated into climbing and scratch towers, which are also feline favorites. Use catnip sparingly and keep your cat engaged with activities that involve chasing, tossing and pulling. Playing with your cat not only helps them stay healthy but improves your bond as well.

Maintain Your Cat’s Happiness with American Boarding Kennels

When you need to spend some time away, don’t leave your kitty to fend for themselves or wait on a cat sitter. Bring them into American Boarding Kennels for a stay in our Cattery. Cats will enjoy a comfortable vacation in our kitty condos. With plenty of opportunities for climbing, scratching, playing and napping, our facilities provide everything your cat needs to stay active and happy while you’re away. Our attentive staff will provide regular meals and special treats and engaging toys to keep your kitty companion content. For 37 years, American Boarding Kennels has provided the Twin Cities with trusted boarding services. To learn more about our cat-specific services, stop by one of our five locations in Burnsville, Montgomery, Edina, Wayzata, or Long Lake, give us a call at (952) 894-5100 or visit our website.