For an indoor cat, your house is their ultimate playground. Exercise is essential for an indoor cat as it helps them release stress, digest their food, and get some of their playful energy out. Otherwise, you might have a mischievous cat on your hands!
Cats don’t have a high tolerance for extended exercise, however. Playing with your cats in, 10-15 minute spurts will keep them in tip-top shape.
Here are ways you can incorporate more exercise into your indoor cat’s life:
Work for Treats
There are a wide variety of puzzle balls and treat-filled toys on the market for your cat to play with. These toys come with the reward of food, of course, but your cat must work for it! Usually, the toys involve batting the object around or chasing it down the hall for the reward. They come in soft or hard plastic and typically are at least partially transparent so that your cat knows what the target is.
Toys, Toys, and More Toys
Cats love sinking their claws into a wide variety of objects. From feather wands to toys shaped like bugs, having a collection of things to choose from keeps a cat from feeling bored. They especially love toys that remind them of real-life creatures they can catch! Many of these toys are just a few dollars, with the idea that they likely won’t last long.
When cats play, they play hard. Make sure you have a few backups for when a toy is officially destroyed.
It’s the Little Things
Don’t want to always spend extra money on fancy new cat toys? Common household items work well to keep your cat occupied. Things like yarn are cliché for a reason: a ball of yarn or thick string is perfect for an engaging play session. They love unraveling things. Keep in mind that this is an activity that involves both of you. Leave a cat alone with string, and they might accidentally try to eat it.
Other household items like cardboard boxes and paper bags will also keep them entertained for at least a few minutes.
The Ultimate Agility Course
If your cat is bursting with excess energy, a homemade agility course is an exciting and interactive option. Start small and work your way up to the ultimate obstacle course. You can begin by getting your cat to retrieve a treat out of a bag or a cat-friendly tube. Gradually, you can move to things like ramps or weave poles to keep your cat fit and happy. With time and comfort level, your cat will jump and dive to complete the course you create and get the prize they have been hunting.
Take a Catwalk
Sometimes staying indoors isn’t always the best option. Many people have cat harnesses and walk their cats in their backyards or parks. If you want your cat to explore the great outdoors with your supervision, this is a great compromise. Get your cat used to wearing a harness by putting them in it periodically while they’re hanging out inside. When the time comes for a walk, they won’t feel so skittish about wearing something around their midsection. Soon enough, your cat will bring the harness to you for their weekly walks in the park.
We hope that these tips will keep your cat active all season long!