Let’s face it! An overweight/obese cat is an unhealthy cat. By being grossly overweight, your cat could develop life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, osteoarthritis, and can experience a shorter lifespan.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, in 2014 “an estimated 57.9% of US cats are overweight or obese” with 26.2 million of them being classified as obese. That’s a lot of tubby tabbies! Why are so many of them overweight? Simply stated, cats are given too much food and too little exercise.
Five Good Reasons Why Cats Should Exercise – Overall, cats who exercise seem to lead healthier lives. Here are five good reasons why your cat needs to get off the couch:
- Burn off excess energy so they can go to sleep earlier
- Keep their weight under control
- Lack behavior problems such as late night meowing, scratching, or hyperactivity
- Maintain a healthier digestive system
- Stay healthy, agile and limber long into adulthood
Get a Physical before It Gets Physical – Have a veterinarian perform a physical examination on your cat before starting an exercise program. A good physical will let know about your cat’s health condition.
Types of Cat Exercises – The good thing about getting your cat to exercise is that it doesn’t require a lot of time for a cat to get a good workout. Usually, most cats require 3 to 10 minutes twice daily to get all the exercise it needs.
- Plan a Workout Routine – Having your cat wander around the house is not an exercise regimen. Encourage your furry friend to exercise with toys. Set aside five to ten minutes a day for exercising your cat.
- Play Hunting Games – Cats are natural born hunters. Therefore, any playtime activity that involves hunting will get it to move around. Buy toys that look like something a cat would normally hunt: birds, lizards, bugs, or mouse toys. Chasing the red dot from a laser pointer has become the cat toy of choice in the 21st Century. Most cats never tire of chasing that elusive dot.
- “Who Moved My Bowl” – feeding time can be a great time to get your cat to work for its food. Simply move the food bowl to various areas of your house so your cat will have to track it down before chowing down.
- Bird-feeders are not just for the birds – By placing a bird-feeder in your yard and close to a window will keep your four-legged pal entertained for hours. The jumping on the window sill and pawing at the birds will give your cat some exercise.
- Go Outside – If you have enclosed yard, taking your cat outdoors is a great way for it to burn off calories while exploring. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t runaway.
Cat Foods and Supplements Exercising Cats
An active cat is going to require the proper nutrition. The following are suggested cats foods and supplements that can help your cat lose weight, stay healthy, and enjoy an active lifestyle.
Taste of the Wild Canyon River Feline Formula w/Trout and Smoked Salmon feeds your feline’s wild side with real trout and salmon.
Blue Healthy Aging Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe for Mature Cats is formulated with the Blue Life Protection Formula with LifeSource Bits that provides your cat with superior nutrition, plus a unique nutrient and antioxidant package specifically formulated for your aging cat’s needs.
Purina Veterinary Diets HA HypoAllergenic brand Feline Formula provides complete and balanced nutrition for the growth of Kittens and maintenance of the adult cat.
Antiox-Ultra 5000 for cats (and dogs) provides your pet a powerful combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to fight aging and improve their overall health.
Dasuquin for Cats is a joint supplement for cats. It contains avocado/soybean unsaponifiables fortified with green tea, combined with glucosamine and low molecular weight chondroitin. It is the most complete joint support supplement available.
Vetri-Science Omega 3, 6, 9 is an advanced multi-fatty acid supplement for dogs and cats available in a soft gel capsule or a bacon flavored liquid. Omega 3, 6, 9 is a blend of natural oils from Borage seed, Flaxseed and Fish.
Epakitin a nutritional supplement that safely and effectively supports kidney function and helps slow down the progression of chronic kidney disease. Epakitin is a highly palatable and safe phosphate binder providing further protection to kidneys.
*2014 Obesity Facts & Risks. (2015) http://www.petobesityprevention.org/pet-obesity-fact-risks/ Accessed on May 9, 2016.
Do you have any exercise tips for cats?
Please let us know in the comments section.