Exercising your cat

Most cats love to roam around outside which can help to keep them fit, however, an outdoor lifestyle comes with risks. Some risks include car accidents, snake bites and exposure to toxic products (eg. garden products) or plants (eg. Lilies). An outdoor lifestyle also increases their chance of contracting Feline AIDS as it’s spread by direct contact (eg. cat fights).

Therefore, an indoor life is a safer option for your feline friend. Cats housed indoors can be prone to becoming overweight due to a less active lifestyle. Having an active indoor lifestyle can decrease some behaviour problems, help to encourage a happy mind and help build your bond with your cat.

Below is a list of some tricks to help keep your cat active in a safe way:

1. Laser pointer with treat rewards.

Most cats will happily chase a laser pointer and it’s a great way to help get your cat moving. However, always reward your cats’ play with a treat as this mimics hunting.

2. Toys.

There are lots of different cat toys available from pet stores. Always ensure you monitor your cat with toys as occasionally they will try to eat them resulting in tummy problems!

A safe way to encourage outdoor movement is a purpose-built enclosure. Most involve a cat flap from the house to an outdoor run which leads to an outdoor enclosure. Enclosures should have various perches to enable your cat to be off the ground.

4. Harness walking.

Harness walking is not tolerated by all cats. It is best to introduce this to your cat as a kitten. Ensure the harness is fitted well and do no walk on a collar as cats can be flighty. Most cats who enjoy harness walking need only be exercised in your yard. Avoid roads and other animals while doing this activity.

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