How to raise an indoor cat's fitness level
Indoor cats aren’t as physically active as their outdoor counterparts. To prevent them from growing obese you must exercise your indoor cat daily. Sound difficult? Don’t worry its fun for both you and your cat.
Part One: Materials
- Go to your local pet store. They are bound to have TONS of toys. Make sure that you buy an assortment of toys to prevent your cat from getting tired of the toys he/she has. Some toys to buy are catnip toys, little plastic balls, fishing-rod toy, and fake mice.
- Look around your house. In most cases you don't even have to venture to the pet store. Most of the things you need can be found around the house. Some things that can be used around the house include:
· Cardboard boxes. Leave a clean, empty box out for your cat. Cats love to jump or dive into the box.
· Aluminum balls. Take some aluminum foil, roll it into a ball and toss it to your cat. The uneven surface allows the ball to bounce in different directions (like an American football). The cat won't attempt to eat the ball because it won't taste so good (though they might chew on it). Paper will also work to make balls.
· Plastic golf balls or ping pong balls. They are cheap and easy to replace when your cat breaks or looses them.
· String The quintessential cat toy. String or just plain old shoelaces provide your cat with tons of fun and exercise as they chase the string across the floor (when you are moving it).
· Laser pointers or a strong flashlight. Cats love chasing the beam of a laser pointer across the wall or floor. DO NOT point the beam directly into your cat's eye.
3. Cat Trees and scratch posts. A scratch post is essential to having a cat. It exercises the cat and trims your cat's claws all in one. If you feel like going above and beyond for your cat, you may be interested in cat trees. Cat trees are multi-level structures meant for cats to jump, sleep and scratch on. They generally range from 5-7 feet. They can be expensive so you may choose to build your own (there are many how-to guides on the internet).
Part Two: Playing and exercising with your cats.
- Space Leave an open space in your house for your cat to play freely.
- Time Set aside time everyday to play with your cat. You don't have to set aside hours, just a minimum of twenty minutes (or two sessions of ten minutes). If your cat is asleep, don't wake them to play. They won't be too happy or energetic.
- The String Game! Take a string or shoelace and shake it on the floor near your cat. The cat will run after the string so you've got to keep it moving. Don't run because the cat most often won't follow you. Just move it next to your so they have to change direction or spin around. Let the cat have the string once and a while. If you keep the string away from them for long enough they will become frustrated and stop playing.
- The Jumping Game! Dangle the string above your cat's and watch your cat stand up on its hind legs to bat at the string or jump up to bat it with its forepaw.
- The Stairs! This is the best way to exercise your indoor cat! Bring your cat to the base of the stairs. Sit in the middle of the staircase with a string toy or a fishing-rod toy. Put the string to the base of the stairs where the cat is and pull it up the stairs. Your cat will run up the stairs after the string. When you're at the top, pull it back down. Repeat this for a while; it is great exercise for your cat.
- The Laser game! Point the beam of a laser pointer or a strong flashlight near you cat. When you catch the cat's attention and it goes after the beam move the beam away from the cat. Remember to always keep the beam where the cat can see it or else it will give up.
- Make your own games. Now that you have a taste of what it's like to exercise a cat come up with your own games or variations.
- Put away the toys. When you're done playing with your cat remember to put away the toys. This ensures that the cat won't become accustomed to the toys all the time. It will also make your cat understand that it is playtime when he/she sees them.
· Never use fingers or toes as toys. You will get pounced on later when your least expect it
· If you don't have time to play with your cat, leave a string dangling from a doorknob where they can play with it by themselves.
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