Feline Fun: Keeping Your Indoor Cat Active
Although winters in Texas can be unpredictable, we do spend more time inside during this season than any other – particularly around the holidays. Naturally, this can lead to a more, shall we say, couch potato lifestyle.
The same can be true for indoor cats, as their natural instinct to hunt and roam can become secondary to snoozing on a window perch. While it’s true that feline friends who stay inside are safer and healthier, they also need a bit more help staying at a healthy weight.
To help keep your indoor cat active, we’ve compiled some tips for exercise and enrichment.
Activities to Keep Your Indoor Cat Active
Since pet owners will be indoors more this winter, now is the perfect time to enjoy interacting with our feline companions. Quality time with your fur friend just might motivate you to stay active, too. For inspiration, try some of the following activities:
- Feather toy chase – Feather toys are a good way to get your cat to leap, pounce, and run. To get more of a workout, try running and zig-zagging around the living room with your cat hot on the trail.
- Laser light leaping – What cat isn’t obsessed with that “little red dot”? While there are automated laser toys on the market, we recommend the handheld variety to encourage you to play and interact with your pet.
- Cardboard box blast – If you really want to get your cat excited about playtime, grab a few cardboard boxes and paper bags (no plastic!), and set up a kitty kingdom that’s sure to please.
- Crumbled paper hockey – While your cat may not be equipped with a hockey stick, he or she will certainly have fun paw-whacking a paper ball across the kitchen floor. Bonus: it’s the cheapest toy in the world!
- Forage for food – If your cat is motivated by food, you might want to consider hiding small portions of kibble in random places. This encourages your cat to eat slowly and practice those foraging skills.
Boredom Busting Enrichment
All animals require environmental enrichment, and when it comes to indoor pets, it’s up to us to provide it. Along with physical well-being, mental health is important for your pet as well. Cats are naturally curious and require mental stimulation along with movement. Some easy ways to provide enrichment include:
- Setting up bird feeders in front of a window perch
- Offering challenging games, such as food puzzles
- Providing hiding places, such as cat trees or cubes
- Interacting with your pet through brushing, petting, and playtime
- Offering visually interesting toys, like a simulated aquarium
Total Feline Wellness
Along with exercise and enrichment, regular wellness exams help keep your cat at his or her best through consistent veterinary care. These exams help detect any changes in health early on and allow you the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.
Wellness care is also important for outdoor kitties since many health issues can go unnoticed until they turn into an emergency.