Exercise for cats – Pet tip 130
Your cat is waking you up in the middle of the night, swiping everything off your dresser and onto the floor. You awake from your slumber to a needy cat meowing in your ear. Destroying your favourite sofa has become your cat’s favourite pastime. These are three common problems, among others, that potentially have a solution that may be easier than you think! Although not foolproof, since these changes in behaviour could also result from other problems, exercise is a good place to start. Encourage your cat to exercise. Simple as that. Here are three easy ways to get your feline couch potato active, that will also probably make you laugh AND require little effort on your part.
The Laser Pointer
Fun not only for your cat, but for you as well! This toy is a must-have for cat owners. It is simple in concept: a pen that shoots a red beam. However simple the concept, the results are unexpected and random. A cat that is focused on its task of catching the red dot, will bounce off walls, furniture and even people that get in the way! It is an absolute riot to watch. As a bonus, all you have to do is move your hand ever so slightly pressing down on a button, but be careful not to shine the laser in your cat’s eyes. It is rare to see a cat that has been able to completely ignore the lure this laser pointer possesses. Cats that really get into chasing this laser beam will exhaust themselves in no time at all. These are usually sold in any location that sells pet supplies, are relatively inexpensive, and you can probably find many other uses for them.
A classic staple in the arsenal of cat toys. Of course, cats being themselves, each individual will have their own personal likes and dislikes about which mouse they will enjoy. Some only like mice that look real, grey or white mice, while others will be enthralled by the neon coloured mice that make rattling noises when they throw them up in the air. If your cat takes a shine to these toys, it is wise to stock up, as they are easily lost. You might even find that your sneaky cat has begun to purposely hide them so that they can play with them later! Additionally, if you have other pets in the house, dogs in particular might find them a nice tasty afternoon snack, or perhaps just enjoy ‘skinning’ the mouse. These are inexpensive, and give the cat something concrete to play with, for those who feel they’re cheating their cat by a laser pointer they can never catch.
Catnip is an herb that affects many cats, making them enjoy playing and giving them a sense of pleasure. Catnip does not affect all cats in the same manner, so the outcome of these toys will depend on if your cat is responsive to this ‘enhancer’ or not. Cats that frolic in the scent of catnip will covet toys containing catnip. A wide variety of toys can be made to include catnip, such as balls, mice, or chew sticks. Catnip is perfectly safe for your pet, and they may spend hours playing, rolling around, and licking these toys.
There is an endless supply of interesting cat toys that can be found anywhere that pet supplies are sold. Think like your cat to find toys that will please him or her; some cats are extremely picky. Finding them a toy will be quite the chore, but all the more rewarding in the end. By selecting a toy that your pet spends time chasing and getting lots of exercise with, you will most likely see an improvement in their attitude. Perhaps all “Fluffy” needed was to burn off some of that excess energy. Cats being cooped up in the house all day can become ‘couch potatoes’ just like their humans, and although they live longer lives than their outdoor counterparts, we must help them by giving them daily exercise. If you play with your cat just before you go to bed, chances are they will be rid of this energy that was causing them to wreak havoc in the middle of the night and early morning.
By Laura Platt – Pets.ca writer