Between catnaps, cats are always on the go. Regular exercise helps prevent obesity and its associated health risks. It also helps prevent undesirable behavior by entertaining your cat and providing physical or intellectual stimulation.
Exercise Through Play
- Peak activity for cats occurs in the early morning and in the evening. Play with your cat before you go to bed so she will be ready to sleep when you are.
- Toys are fun, but interactive play is also entertaining and one of the best ways to keep your cat healthy and responsive to you.
- Solitary cats may play more roughly with their owners. Your single cat has only you to play with and needs to learn to control playful nips and scratches.
- The only thing better than one new cat is two! They will keep each other company when you can't and you will harbor one more loving pet in need of a good home.
Provide Safe Toys and Games
- Choose sturdy toys without small parts that can be swallowed. Discard any broken toys.
- Provide a variety of toys and put them away between play sessions.
- Try hiding a few kibbles of Science Diet® cat food and let your cat hunt them down.
- Despite the traditional image of cats playing with balls of yarn or string, these are dangerous if swallowed.
- Avoid games that teach your cat to pounce on moving fingers, hands, feet or legs. These could encourage serious aggression later.
- Play games that direct your cat's playful energy away from you. Chasing ping-pong balls is great fun.
- Dangle toys from a string tied to a stick like a fishing pole, but keep the pole low to discourage risky leaps.