Exercise Tips for Your Indoor Cat

Often, vets notice that indoor cats get less exercise than free-roaming or outdoor animals. While your pet is certainly safer inside your home, make sure she’s getting the physical activity she needs. Use these suggestions from a Santa Rosa vet:

Jungle Gym Structures

You’ve probably seen cat jungle gym structures before. They’re widely available in pet stores, vet’s offices, and retail outlets and are great for providing hours of fun for your cat. These carpeted structures offer high perches for cats—who love surveying their territory from high positions—and they often come with built-in scratching posts and fun toys.

String, Yarn, Ribbon

Want to save some cash on your pet’s toys and physical activity? Try using items around the house, like ribbon, yarn, or string. Just about any cat will go wild when such an item is dangled in front of them—try playing with your cat for several minutes so she gets a good workout in. Remember to pick up the string or ribbon after playtime, though, because a cat can swallow a piece by accident and cause an intestinal obstruction.

Small Prey Toys

Cats love to engage their natural hunting instincts, even those cats who prefer to stay indoors. Try using fake mice or bird toys and dragging them along the floor. Most cats will dart after it enthusiastically, trying to catch the prey. Without realizing it, they’ll be getting a workout! Some toys even wind up and scoot along the floor themselves.

Laser Lights

Laser light toys shine a small red dot on the floor wherever you point it. Cats go nuts trying to catch the laser, working up a sweat as they dart all over the floor, around furniture, and up the walls. Some laser lights even shine in the shape of a mouse, insect, or bird, further enticing your cat’s instincts. Just be sure not to shine the laser in your cat’s eyes, as it can cause retinal damage with repeated exposure.

Call your Santa Rosa vet’s office for more suggestions on exercising your indoor cat.