How to Add Kitty Cardio to Your Cat’s Routine | Dr. Elsey's
gray cat playing with feather wand toy

How to Add Kitty Cardio to Your Cat’s Routine

While cats are notorious for being low-maintenance and lazy companions, our feline friends benefit from physical activity for a happy and healthy life. Obesity is seen in about 40% of cats in the United States, and can lead to a series of health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Cats also rely on their ability to be quick and agile, and being overweight can greatly impact their joints.

Aside from the physical impacts of obesity in cats, an inactive lifestyle can also cause a series of behavioral problems. If you notice your furry friend chewing on your things, scratching up furniture or showing any signs of erratic behaviors, this could be caused by the inability to expel their energy in a different way.

Although they typically won’t play fetch like their canine counterparts, there are a lot of creative ways to ensure that your furry friend is getting their daily dose of physical activity to stay happy and healthy. Depending on your pet’s age, we’re here to give you guidelines on how to get your cat moving so they can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle throughout every stage of life!

Most vets recommend that your cat should be getting about thirty minutes of physical activity per day. This is the typical guidelines for a matured, healthy feline. If you have an older cat or your cat suffers from any health-related issues, adjust the time and intensity of your cat’s physical activity accordingly. 

Mealtime Chase

All pets look forward to the time of day when they know it’s time to eat! An easy and low-impact exercise for your pet can be combined with mealtime. When you get your cat’s attention after opening their food, lead them around your house to sneak in a little walking exercise for your pet. This technique could also work with catnip or a toy your cat loves. Even if it’s just five minutes, it’ll get your cat up and moving!

Laser Tag

This exercise is entertaining for both pet and owner! If you don’t have one already, purchase a laser pointer and get your cat accommodated by pointing it at the floor and holding it still. Once they realize it’s not a threat, your cat will attempt to chase around the little light. This is a great way to control the intensity of your pet’s workout based on their physical needs and age. If your cat doesn’t prefer the laser light, try out a ribbon or a wand with a toy attached to get them moving instead — just remember to supervise any play involving these types of toys!

Cat Towers

While your pet might typically like to lounge around on their cat towers, having a multi-tiered tower can get your pet moving and climbing around. Investing in a new, taller tower will urge your cat to explore the new structure and embrace their agile nature. 

Exercise Partner

In a last-ditch effort to get your cat moving, some pet owners found it helpful for their furry friend to have an exercise partner. Adopting another cat can get both felines up and moving by playing with each other and following the lead of another cat. It’ll also bring excitement into your household and inspire your cat to zoom, roll and pounce!

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