How much exercise do indoor cats need? If you are afraid that your cat is getting lazy and inactive, you could consider planning exercise sessions with your cat. Cats need to be active to stay in good shape and keep being reactive in case of necessity.
Indoor cats should exercise between 30 to 60 minutes a day. An indoor cat does not have as many opportunities as an outdoor cat to run around and play. Thus, it’s essential to dedicate time to your kitty to help them exercise to ensure they stay happy and healthy.
Let’s see what can be done to keep your cat exercised and in good shape.
- 1 DO CATS NEED EXCERCISE?
- 2 10 CATS FITNESS IDEAS
- 3 HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO INDOOR CATS NEED?
- 4 WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR MY CAT TO EXERCISE?
- 5 HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE MY CAT TO EXCERCISE?
- 6 WHAT ARE SOME EXCERCISES THAT MOST CATS ENJOY?
- 7 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
DO CATS NEED EXCERCISE?
Typically, cats are pretty busy during the day. They run behind other animals, jump on trees, play with other cats, and are generally curious about anything that moves. But, this is true mainly for outdoor cats. Indoor cats do not have the same chances to exercise their body.
It is very easy for a cat to gain weight, but it’s difficult for them to lose it, so getting them used to a consistent playtime will ensure they keep that healthy habit for as long as possible. In fact, indoor cats can get easily bored and spend too much time sleeping instead of challenging their senses.
There are positive points in keeping indoor cats exercised:
- Maintiain a strong body structure
- Maintain and improve their ability to jump
- Keep their survival instincts excercided
- Keep their mind active
- Prevent sadness and depression
There are tons of methods you can use to keep your cat active and in good shape. For example, you can use toys, let your cat outside (either on a leash or under supervision), get him a playmate, cats trees, and more.
You could even get a cat fitness wheel. Here are some examples of fitness wheels for cats:
Here is a list of activities you can do with your cat, or have your cat do, to stay exercised and healthy.
10 CATS FITNESS IDEAS
If you have an indoor cat, you have to spend some time keeping your cat exercised, or at least you have to set up your environment so that it can represent an appropriate level of challenge for your cat. Cats have to move their bodies but also keep their mind stimulated.
Here are some of the things you can do to help your cat stay well:
1. CAT TREES
Naturally, cats like to climb. You can find cats on top of trees or even walking on a roof in the outside world. If you provide a tall tree for your cats, they can jump up and down and exercise climbing.
Here is an example of a tall cat tree:
2. CATS TOYS
You can buy different cats toys, even interactive and electronic toys. Your cat can be stimulated both physically and physically. For example, you can play with your cat for 10 minutes a day using a laser. Typically, cats like to run around for 5 to 10 minutes; then, they need rest.
You can do 2 or 3 small playing sessions instead of doing only one session. If you buy your cat balls and other stuffed toys, he can also play when you sleep or when you are not at home.
3. CARDBOARD BOXES
You could prepare a special event for your cat. Get some cardboard boxes and place them in a room in your house. Your cat will enjoy jumping in them. You can throw balls in them. Your cat will gladly jump in and out in the attempt to retrieve them.
If you want to try your hand at building a whole house for your cat made of cardboard boxes, you will make your cat happy. Your cat will be entertained for days in the attempt to go in and out of the cat house.
4. BRING YOUR CAT OUTDOOR
If you have a yard or a garden, you could let your cat out and let him enjoy a few hours outside so that he can taste the sensation of climbing a tree, explore and move around. If you do not have an enclosed space to let your cat out, you could use a leash.
You could teach your cat to walk on a leash and bring him out to explore. In this way, your cat can walk around, get some fresh air and move his body simultaneously. It is beneficial mentally and physically.
5. GET A SECOND CAT
A second cat can be more effective than anything else. When cats become friends, they love to chance each other and play fighting. In this way, they run every day, jump and keep their mind and instinct exercised.
Cats can challenge and stimulate each other. In addition, a new addition to the family can help a cat feel less sad and not alone. In my experience, a second cat is a perfect solution to help a resident cat become active and go out of depression.
I have adopted a second cat because my first one was sleeping too much and did not play anymore with anything. He was sad and not interested in anything. Once I adopted a second cat, it took only two months to become best friends and play every day.
I see them running back and forth, jumping on the couch, playing fighting, and my first cat went back to being playful and interested in things. So it may not be successful in all cases, but it is a good solution, in my opinion.
6. CAT SHELVES
If you love your cat, you can go as far as building cat shelves that he can use to jump and climb. Cats love to see the world from above. So if you create a structure for them, you can be sure they will take the opportunity to go as high as possible.
HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO INDOOR CATS NEED?
An indoor cat should have the opportunity to get some exercise or move around every day. It’s ideal for a cat to exercise or be active for at least 30 minutes a day.
As a cat gets older, they might not be prone to looking for opportunities to stay active on their own. Being indoors, they won’t naturally have to walk around or run to leave or return home, catch prey, or avoid predators.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR MY CAT TO EXERCISE?
Unfortunately, indoor cats are very prone to becoming overweight as they aren’t always running around as much as outdoor cats. Furthermore, they have easier access to food and more cozy places to curl up on to go to sleep.
As your cat gets older, it can also be harder to encourage them to play and exercise. In addition, as with most animals, overweight cats are at an increased risk of developing a plethora of health issues that can cause them discomfort and can potentially shorten their life.
HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE MY CAT TO EXCERCISE?
Consider getting your cat some toys that play on their instinct to want to hunt prey. These toys should be something they can chase, chew, and throw around. Hiding their toys in different home areas encourages them to pursue them.
If they don’t seem interested, you can try sprinkling some catnip on their toys or get toys with catnip inside them. This will usually be enough to excite your cat and give them that boost of energy they need to keep playing.
WHAT ARE SOME EXCERCISES THAT MOST CATS ENJOY?
Having a cat tower near a window is a good idea to give your cat something to scratch, climb, and sleep on. If you find your cat stops using the tower, some catnip spray could help bring them back to it.
Laser toys also tend to be popular amongst many indoor cats. They enjoy chasing the tiny red dot around and jumping at it, trying to catch it. Toys with a string and handle attached can also be fun for cats to jump at and chase.
Not only can encouraging your indoor cat to stay active help keep them in optimal health, but it also allows you to bond with your cat. In addition, they might be more susceptible to cuddling up with you once they’re all tuckered out from getting their daily exercise, which is a win for both of you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How to get an older cat to exercise?
If you want to get an older cat to exercise, you should use lover cat trees, balls, and in general, toys that he can access without having to jump too high. You can also play with your senior cat with your hands staying close to him.
What exercises are suitable for cats to lose weight?
If you have a fat cat, you can exercise him by doing long walks using lasers, toys, strings, and other toys that can help him move and chase things around. More movements with a chance in diet should get good results.
How active should an indoor cat be?
The activity for an indoor cat can vary depending on the breed, age, and personality. However, cats sleeping too much and showing no interest in playing are a concern. Cats should run and play for at least one hour a day, even if in different moments.