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Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. January 16, 2017
Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines

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There are many people who do not notice that their cat is getting fat until it is too late and the animal is already suffering from serious obesity. We know that chubby cats are very sweet, but the reality is that if you want your cat to be long-lived and healthy you must apply yourself to help them lose weight.

If this is your case, stay with us at AnimalWised. In this article we will offer you some tips and guidelines so that your cat can begin to exercise with you in a dynamic and fun way. Shall we get started? Find out the different types of physical exercise for obese cats we recommend.

How much exercise do cats need?

Cats are animals with a very particular life style; you cannot expect a sedentary cat to suddenly spend long hours exercising simply because you bought them a scraper with a ball. A cat that barely moves needs to be motivated.

You must dedicate about 20 minutes a day to exercising your four-legged friend if you want to start noticing results within one or possibly even two months. You must be careful to not overdo it, since physical exercise should be fun and attractive for the cat.

Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines - How much exercise do cats need?

Exercise through intelligence games

There are a variety of intelligence games that are very useful to motivate your cat, especially if they're not a big fan of physical exercise for its own sake. Some cat toys dispense treats, others use lights or sounds; it will be up to you to find the one that your cat finds most attractive.

Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines - Exercise through intelligence games

Kong for cats

You can also think of simpler and cheaper intelligence games, such as purchasing a kong for cats. A kong is a pet toy that must be shaken and moved to reach the treats inside - in your cat's case they should be diet snacks.

In addition to promoting movement, a kong for cats will be of great help as it is completely safe, helps overcome separation anxiety or long periods without you present and can be used without supervision.

Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines - Kong for cats

Active exercise for obese cats

In this type of physical exercise for obese cats you become involved, as you must supply the main source of motivation: you have to act like a coach trying to have their apprentice reach their top performance, but never overdoing it.

Get hold of toys that motivate your cat. At AnimalWised we recommend toys that make sounds or lights as they better capture the cat's attention. As discussed above, you should spend at least 20 minutes daily having your cat chase the toys and actively exercising.

Avoid using laser lights as they often frustrate and stress the cat because they're impossible to catch. It is best to use a physical toy that the cat can occasionally hunt down.

Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines - Active exercise for obese cats

Passive exercise for obese cats

You can make your cat exercise without realizing it within your own home. In order to help your obese cat exercise passively you must analyse the structure of your home and the furniture you have in it.

Some ideas:

  • Do you have stairs? Divide the cat's food into two portions and place them at each end of the ladder. This way the cat will have to climb up and down to eat it all.
  • Do you have space for one more piece of furniture? In our article on furniture for cats you will see a counter top that has been converted into a sandpit. The cat can access it through some holes; you can make a similar one that will encourage your pet to jump.
  • Scatter the cat's toys about in different parts of the house: tables, beds, counter tops, cabinets... Your cat will have to move to access them. However, remember that they should remain within sight as otherwise the cat will not find them.
  • Is your cat sociable? You may consider adopting a cat from a shelter. If they get on, they may become genuine and inseparable friends and this will prompt them to move and play.
Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines - Passive exercise for obese cats

Does your cat have their own space?

More and more people are dedicating a part of their housing space to their pets. In the case of cats, we can find a great variety of furniture and even entire playrooms. You can also have yours by using gateways and fixed shelves, try it!

Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines - Does your cat have their own space?

Did you know that there are wheels for cats? Sean Farley's invention surprised everyone by being made of recycled materials and offering obvious benefits for felines. In addition to exercising the animals it also relaxes them and eliminates stress. If you have tried it, please let us know!

Image: animalmascota.com

Feeding an obese cat

In our article about preventing obesity in cats we mentioned the importance of a proper diet. You can find a variety of diet or low calorie dry feeds - consult with your veterinarian to know what they recommend. Snacks and treats must also have a low calorific value.

It is extremely important that you offer your obese cat the right amount of feed, as excesses will not prevent your feline from taking on further weight. Consult with a professional regarding the possibility of adding a greater proportion of wet food, a beneficial idea because it contains large amounts of water and improves the cat's detoxing and hydration.

Here you can learn what is the best diet for cats.

Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines - Feeding an obese cat

These are just a few tips and guidelines on physical exercise for obese cats. You should come up with your own ideas that can work for your cat, as you know them better than us. And, of course, share your tips in the comment section!

If you want to read similar articles to Physical Exercise for Obese Cats: Tips and Guidelines, we recommend you visit our Animal games and fun category.

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