Helping Your Cat Get Exercise This Winter

For an outdoors cat, the winter months can be a difficult time to exercise. Follow these tips to keep kitty in shape.

Cats and people share a lot in common, but one thing you might’ve noticed this winter is that you and your kitty are spending more time indoors on the couch. But while you have the gym to head on over to anytime you feel the need to jog a few miles or put in some time on the elliptical, your pet cat has no such outlet! So how do you make sure your kitty doesn’t fall behind in his or her exercise requirements while it’s snowy and cold out? Consider a few of these tips to slim down your indoor cat and keep off that weight.

Schedule playtime once a day

One simple step you can take is to make sure you play with your cat. While tossing your pet a catnip toy will get him or her going for a bit, if you actually devote yourself to serious playtime with a variety of fun toys, you’re sure to give your kitty a good workout! Take 10 minutes out of your evening to get down on the floor and have some fun!

Encourage a little indoor hunting

It goes without saying that most outdoor cats don’t need slimming down. They get plenty of exercise on their own during all that exploration outside. But not all outdoor environments are safe, even for the most savvy cat, and cold weather can only make these locales more dangerous. That doesn’t mean you can’t encourage some indoor hunting with your cat, though. Try taking kibble or low-calorie cat treats and spreading them around the house so your cat can make a game of trying to find them.

Try out the leash

Believe it or not, some cats have been trained to walk on a leash like dogs. According to an extensive article on The New York Times, training your cat to do so can be a long and arduous process – but also completely worth it, especially if your kitty needs more exercise!

Discuss diet with your veterinarian

Exercise is one thing, but putting your pet on a diet isn’t a decision you should make on your own. Have your veterinarian check out your cat and gauge whether or not he or she actually needs to lose much weight. If so, construct a diet that’ll help your pet slim down to a healthy weight for a cat.