Is your cat getting enough exercise? You can help!

Cats can sleep 12 to 16 hours a day. And while you may think it’s perfectly natural for kitties to laze the day away, lack of exercise can lead to severe health issues for your cat and expensive veterinary bills for you. Here’s why cat exercise is essential, plus some ways to keep your cat active.


Why exercise is important

More than 50 per cent of cats in Canada are overweight, and many veterinarians believe up to 70 per cent of Canadian cats aren’t getting enough exercise. Lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain, which can cause many health problems, such as:

• Diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Arthritis
• Depression

Cats also depend on their agility to move around and avoid predators, so being overweight can put outdoor cats at risk.

Physical activity also provides mental stimulation. A lack of exercise can lead to behavioural problems like scratching furniture and flooring, chewing objects and hyperactivity.


Ways to exercise your pet

Experts recommend cats get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. However, every cat is different. For instance, a cat with existing health issues should probably do less.

Cats are less inclined than dogs to join their owners for walks or to play outside. However, activities such as chasing a feather or laser pointer can engage your cat to get their muscles and minds stimulated.

You don't have to do it all at once. A few minutes at a time throughout the day is better than letting your cat lounge on the sofa. Also, keep plenty of toys for your cat to bat around when you're not home.

Purchase or build a cat tower or create obstacles in your home for your cat to climb. Moreover, having a playing partner will significantly increase movement and mobility. Get a second cat so they can keep each other active.


Other ways to prevent feline obesity

Engaging your cat is just one piece of the puzzle to preventing feline obesity. You can curb your pet's weight gain by limiting the treats you give it daily and only feeding it nutritious food recommended by vets. Feed your cat at designated times instead of leaving heaps of dry food in a bowl all day.


Visit a cat vet in Scarborough

At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, our cat clinic provides an extensive range of feline health services under one roof, including spaying and neutering, vaccinations and flea and tick control. Our vet clinic also offers dental care, and microchipping. Contact us today at our clinic in Scarborough and make an appointment for your cat or kitten.