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Though dogs are generally eager to accompany you on a brisk walk or jog, your cat is likely to be disgusted if you suggest such an activity. Getting cats to engage in aerobic exercise is more than just difficult — it actually goes against their very nature. Wildcats spend very little time in motion. They sit and watch before bursting into an intense chase that typically lasts only minutes. After hunting, cats return to their sedentary watchful position to recover for the next opportunity.
Our house cats are similar in some ways to these wild felines — though they generally watch the world from their favorite pillow. Just because cats don’t excel with long-distance exercise doesn’t mean we shouldn’t encourage them to get up and move — especially if they have pounds to lose! But because exercise is not second nature to cats, it often takes creative thinking to get our feline friends on the go.
Cats are designed for short bursts of activity, and any opportunities for your cat to stalk and pounce will provide both excellent exercise and mental stimulation. There are many kinds of cat toys available and many you can make yourself. Cats generally love toys that squeak, chirp or move in some manner.
If your veterinarian has advised you that your flabby feline could benefit from a little more activity, here are some helpful tips to get you started on the path to better health. Try these games and tricks to get your cat moving and, hopefully, losing (although be sure to consult with your veterinarian before embarking on any exercise program with your pet).
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