Can Your Cat Help You Get in Shape?

Do Laser Pointer Push-Ups

While you aim the red dot at the wall or ceiling and she’s excitedly figuring out how to trap and kill it, do a push-up, a yoga pose or stretch. “She’s exercising her prey drive while you're doing physical moves,” Archibald says. In 10 minutes, you'll be able to do a couple of sets of reps and your cat will have fun withthe laser pointer. Just take care not to point the laser directly into your cat's eyes for any length of time.

Use a Climbing Tower

Cats love to go vertical, and you can participate in that by tying a toy or treat to the end of a wand or stick and teasing the item over her head so she climbs higher and higher to catch it, cat trainer Lisa-Maria Padilla says.

Walking cat on leash
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With patience (and plenty of rewards), you can train your cat to walk on a leash.

Take Her for a Walk

Dogs aren’t the only pets that can walk on a leash. Many cats enjoy it, too — but you’ve got to ease them into it. Vetstreet created a video that can help you decide if your cat is a good candidate and also learn the basics. Watch How to Train a Cat to Walk on a Leash.Eventually, if you cat is amenable, you’ll work your way to going outside. “She’ll want to sniff around and investigate things to get comfortable, so give her time to do that,” Archibald says. Of course, before you take her outside, check with your veterinarian to make sure her vaccines are current and she's protected against parasites.

Jog With a Cat Stroller

Cute kitty strollers are popping up everywhere, and no wonder: They let your cat experience the outdoors safely while you burn calories and stretch your muscles. “Let her sniff the new stroller before putting her inside, then introduce her to it indoors, rolling her in it slowly so she gets used to the motion,” Archibald says. Put a treat in it to soothe her, and give her time to get comfortable and feel secure, not trapped and freaked out. Once she’s acclimated, it can be the perfect cat-human exercise: She gets to take in her surroundings or relax and nod off while you do all the work moving and pushing.

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