Why Exercise Is Important for Cats

One good way to exercise your cat is to take him for a walk. The safest way to do this is by walking him on a cat harness. It's much easier to teach a kitten to walk on a harness than it is an adult cat, but it can be done. You may need to lure him along a step at a time at first, rewarding him with a treat for following you. Once he gets the hang of it, be sure to only walk him in safe places where loose dogs can't come after him. And don't forget to administer flea, tick and heartworm prevention.

Even handicapped cats can get exercise. For example, obese cats may have to play games by swatting at things when lying down, and blind cats can chase toys that make noise. As cats age, they desire less exercise, but you should still strive to get in a short active session once a day. Be prepared to reduce the intensity to what your cat can safely do. And check with your veterinarian about joint supplements, pain medications, or other things that can help make your cat more comfortable and willing to exercise.

Exercise is important for your cat, not only to keep him fit and trim, but also because he needs mental stimulation. Cats, especially young cats, that are left alone all day with nothing to do can create their own games, which may not be healthy for your household belongings. Even though cat videos are available that many cats find amusing, many more cats are bored and would welcome the diversion of getting some exercise. A well-exercised cat is more likely to be a contented cat.

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