Getting exercise for cats is just as crucial as for dogs. However, exercise is often overlooked when it comes to wellness for cats. With dogs, part of the whole experience of getting one as a pet are the walks, the visits to the park, and playing fetch keeping both owner and dog at a healthy weight. With cats, we don't have that same sort of expectation.
However, cats need to stretch their legs as much as dogs. This leads to many new cat owners wondering exactly how they should exercise their feline friends. And one of the top questions that come up is this - can you walk a cat like a dog? In the interest of cat wellness, let's find out!
Importance of Exercise for Cats
Before we cover what you can and can't do as far as exercises for cat wellness, it's essential to understand what your goals should be. Exercise for your cats is important for many of the same reasons as it is for humans. Cats can get obese just like you can. Getting regular exercise also prevents cats from getting stressed out and helps satisfy their curiosity and sense of play.
Many worry about whether indoor cats get enough exercise. This is where the question of "can you walk a cat" gets its origin. However, you should rest assured that even an indoor cat can get the right amount of exercise.
A cat only needs roughly half an hour of solid activity in a day. Cats require less overall exercise than dogs and are a lot more stubborn about getting into activities as well. Getting some toys and giving them a place to climb is really all you need for an indoor cat. Just take a little time out of your day to play with them.
So, Can You Walk a Cat?
So, indoor cats are good as far as wellness for cats goes. But what if you really want to enjoy the outdoors with your indoor cat? Can you walk a cat?
In short, yes. You can put a harness on your feline friend and take them out if you really want to! There are some considerations, however, regarding cat wellness.
Firstly - does your cat actually want to go for a walk? The outside could be fun and exciting for an indoor cat, or it could be stressful. Similarly, putting on a harness and leash will go over better with some cats than others.
If you want your feline to go outside, it's a good idea to simply practice putting on the harness and taking it off. Then you can add the leash and let your feline friend experiment with how it feels around the house. The backyard is also a great place to get started with practice runs.
Safety While Walking Your Cat
If you figure your cat is good to go outside, your second and most crucial concern needs to be safety. You want to ensure that your cat doesn't suffer any injury or illness.
Your cat is a good indicator if anything is going wrong. They know better than you if there is a problem or if they feel uncomfortable. If they seem scared or stressed, it's time to head home.
Bringing a cat carrier along will give them a safe way to escape and prevent you from dealing with the scratches of an angry cat. Just let them retreat into the carrier on their own if they get nervous.
Make sure that you know the area where you will be walking the cat and do some preliminary research. Are there potentially dangerous animals like raccoons? Is any plant life toxic if your cat touches or eats it? Even if you're just going around the block, you should learn if any of your neighbors have aggressive pets.
You also need to be ready if your cat tries to make a run for it. Even in a harness, cats can be amazing escape artists. ID tagging your cat is always a great idea.
It's also vital that you have all your pet vaccines up to date. Checking for ticks and fleas is also very important for cats starting to explore the great outdoors.
Thankfully, with Wagmo, you can enjoy the great outdoors without sweating the health issues. Our pet wellness programs give you the coverage you need to keep your cat safe, no matter where they get their exercise.