How Much Exercise Does Your Cat Need?
Exercise is essential to keep any animal healthy, and your cat is no exception. Despite appearing very happy to lounge around most of the time, they also enjoy the opportunity to get involved in some more strenuous activities. Here’s what you need to know about exercise for felines.
Why is it important that my cat gets enough exercise?
As we know, exercise is crucial for keeping your furry feline healthy. One of the main reasons for this is that it will help to keep your cat’s weight under control. Research suggests that as many as 40% of cats in the United States are overweight or obese, and just like us, carrying extra pounds can be bad for your pet’s health. Not only does being overweight make your feline friend more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis, but it can also even affect their ability to move around. Since cats rely on their natural agility, any impact on this can prove dangerous for them.
Another important reason to ensure that your cat gets enough exercise is that physical activity also provides mental stimulation for your pet. Animals that are not given sufficient opportunity to expend their energy are more likely to develop behavioral problems, with some being destructive. You may notice that your cat is scratching furniture and flooring, chewing, behaving in a hyperactive way or exhibiting another undesirable behavior.
How much exercise does my cat need?
Every cat is unique, and this can mean that their exercise requirements do vary a little. Normally this is based on age or health. For example, a much older pet or one with health problems may not be advised to do a great deal of exercise each day.
The general consensus is that most indoor cats do not get enough exercise each day whilst some outdoor felines do get a sufficient amount. Experts recommend that cats should ideally spend an average of 30 minutes doing moderate exercise each day. This may not have to be running and indeed, you cannot force any pet to do anything that they don’t want to. Cats are naturally less inclined to exercise than dogs, and so you may need to make a specific effort to get your feline furbaby moving.
One of the best ways to ensure that your cat gets enough exercise is to spend a little time playing with them each day. Choose a game that gets your furbaby active – such as chasing a feather or laser pointer, or other interactive activities. Even if you can’t manage to do this for at least half an hour each day, the more you can do, the better it is likely to be for your pet.
Our veterinary team will be able to advise you about your pet’s health requirements and will be happy to give you some more tips and tricks for getting your cat moving. Contact our clinic today to schedule an appointment.