Some cats are adventurous creatures that love to run, jump, climb anything and play non-stop throughout the day and night. Others like to lounge and seem to spend their lives in leisure, sleeping the day away. If you are a new pet owner, you may be wondering what kind of exercise does my cat need? Is this something you need to worry about, or will the cat get the exercise it needs when it needs it?
In this post, we’ll examine the exercise needs of cats. We’ll discuss keeping your cat healthy through routine wellness and a cat wellness plan and give you some exercise ideas for keeping your cat active.
Importance of Exercise for Cats
All animals benefit from exercise and activity to keep their bodies fit and strong, and cats are no different. Although they aren’t as easy as dogs to take for a walk or train, cats also need regular exercise to keep them healthy. Exercise is as essential to a cat’s health as pet insurance or wellness protection is.
So how much exercise does a cat need? On average, experts suggest that indoor cats get at least 30 minutes of activity per day. Exercise helps keep a cat healthy, and is part of routine wellness, and provides many other benefits such as:
- Stimulates their brains and prevents boredom and depression - exercise can improve a cat’s mood, sleep, and their overall wellness.
- Promotes strong muscles and bone health
- Prevents Obesity - Obesity in cats is very common, especially in indoor cats, as they eat more calories than they can burn off. Obesity can cause health problems and lead to heart conditions or diabetes.
- Prevents Behavioral Problems - cats that don’t have enough exercise or stimulus may act out by scratching furniture or floors.
- Improves Your Relationship - Exercising your cat and playing with them can help develop a close relationship with your cat and encourage bonding.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats
Most outdoor cats spend their days chasing critters outdoors and interacting with nature. Still, indoor cats have a much more limited experience. Outdoor cats will automatically get enough exercise just by interacting with the outside world. Indoor cats may need some encouragement and interaction to get them moving such as a fun toy they can chase around or fetch.
The amount of exercise your cat needs will also depend on their stage of life. Kittens and young cats often need far more activity than older cats or cats with health issues. Even older cats can benefit from exercise and stimulation, and it will keep them moving and healthy.
Whether you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, having a cat wellness plan or pet insurance to help with routine wellness care and cover you in case of emergencies will help keep them in optimal health.
Can I Walk My Cat?
Although cats are not as eager to go on a walk with a leash as dogs, they do love the outside, and some cats may even enjoy the experience. Walking your cat does require training your cat and the correct harness to get it right. Make sure your harness is the right size so your cat can’t wriggle out of it. It can also be easier to train younger cats and start with getting them used to the leash in your backyard before venturing onto the streets.
You should also be ready for your cat to hate the idea and want to get as far away from the leash as possible and that’s okay, walking on a leash is not for every cat. However, if you do get it right, walking your cat can be an excellent way to get some attention and exercise for you both.
If cat walking isn’t your thing, here are some other ideas to get your cat to exercise:
- Cat Toys - find a simple stick with a string and attach a feather or ball or something else your cat enjoys chasing. Flick the line around and watch your cat scamper after it.
- Cat Tower - cat towers are great for getting indoor cats to explore new spaces and give them an area they can claw, climb, jump and pounce on. Cat towers can also fit into small spaces turning every small apartment or home into a playground.
- Lasers - cats are natural hunters and love to chase anything that catches their interest. A laser pointer lets you control where the light goes as your cat chases it around the room.
- Create an obstacle course - create a path for your cat to follow that asks them to jump or walk with balance through tight spaces and over obstacles. They may need a kitty treat or two to get started but should enjoy the challenge.
- Get Another Cat - sometimes cats aren’t interested in playing with their humans but love chasing another cat around the house.
If you have questions about your cat’s exercise needs or how exercise can benefit their
As cat people, we want to do everything to keep our cats happy and healthy. This care should also include a cat wellness plan and pet insurance. Cat wellness protection can cover much of the care you do already to keep your cats healthy such as vaccinations, fecal exams, urinalysis, bloodwork, and flea or heartworm medication.
Pet insurance will cover you in case of serious medical issues or injuries, so you never have to choose between a beloved pet and paying an invoice. If you are interested in wellness protection, contact us as Wagmo today and take a look at the options. We’ve got wellness plans to suit every pet’s needs and budget.