EXERCISING YOUR CAT

People with dogs are often aware that dogs need exercise to stay healthy and happy. Most dogs go for a walk or have land to run on. Some swim or play ball with their owners. While some cats get to go outside and stay active that way, some never leave the house. Indoor cats need exercise too. A lot of the activities cats do outside such as hunting and exploring can be simulated inside with the right toys and a little imagination. Some cats are happy on their own with a toy and will play by themselves for hours. Others need more interactive play with their owner. Whether it is with direct interaction or by providing an environment that encourages movement and play, your cat will be happier and healthier. A good way to keep your cat busy is to hide pieces of kibble around the house for the cat to “hunt”. Hiding in boxes or bags is another example of what a cat may do outside but with natural hiding spots. Access to windows, preferably with perches, provides mental stimulation as your cat looks out the window. Regularly move beds and perches. This mimics a changing outdoor environment and encourages cats to explore. Scratching is normal cat behavior. Make sure to provide acceptable scratching materials for your cat, such as a carpeted post or cardboard plank. To train your cat to use these items, reward with treats and praise each time he/she scratches appropriately. You can also place catnip, treats and toys on or near the post to encourage this behavior. Scratching posts should be sturdy and made of materials cats prefer, like wood, rough fabric or cardboard. Many cats prefer vertical scratching posts, but some prefer horizontal ones. Put the scratching post next to a window, sleeping area or any other place your cat favors. We hope these tips help you to be more active with your cat! Here are some examples of cats enjoying life indoors.

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