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Pet Care » Your Cat's Health

Things You can Do to Keep your Cat in Shape

Feline Physical Fitness and Good Food Habits

The reality isn't too far removed from the jokes that you hear being made about cats. About how all they do is eat, sleep, and poop. Kind of like a human baby, except cats never quite outgrow it.

No matter how you try to console yourself, a fat cat is NOT a happy cat. A fat cat is an unhealthy cat. Before your cat starts to look like Garfield's long-lost twin, get in the habit of providing some physical activities to not only entertain your cat, but also to help him or her burn calories, tone muscle, and strengthen joints. Also, devise a good balanced diet early on and stay the course no matter how hard your cat begs for more food or lots of leftovers.

What physical activities can I utilize to help keep my cat in good shape?

The pet market is flooded with wonderfully interesting cat toys. Look in any pet catalogue or cruise the aisles of your local pet store and you'll get a sample of what we're talking about. Some of the unique items to choose from include:

  • Catnip-laced balls and catnip bubbles to chase and swat
  • Indoor kitty condos, "jungle gyms," and floor-to-ceiling climbing towers/trees
  • Laser lights to wave on the wall or floor for your cat to chase
  • Outdoor tunnels/cages to not only allow your cat to get a breath of fresh air but to run around in with wild abandon
  • Remote controlled mice for your cat to endlessly chase
  • Spinning merry-go-rounds that have balls and feathers hanging from it
  • Steps to climb to sit on a window ledge or other favorite location

While some people take their cats for a walk on a leash, many cats aren't very interested in such an activity. Sometimes the best form of physical activity can be provided by simply having another pet to chase and wrestle.

What eating habits should my cat have to help keep them in shape?

It's simple - all good things in moderation. Some people put down a bowl of cat food and keep filling it whenever they see that it's empty. Not all cats know when to stop eating. If you're going to keep filling the dish, there's a possibility that your cat will keep on emptying it just as fast as you replenish it.

While there's a wide array of cat treats currently on the market, the same holds true. Only feed them in a limited quantity - that's why they're called treats! If your cat just can't seem to get enough treats, look for a low-calorie, healthy version compared to moist fat-filled nuggets.

If not all of your hard work in maintaining a good diet for your cat and providing him or her with a physically stimulating environment helps keep your cat in good shape, an undiagnosed medical condition could be part of the problem. Take your cat to see the veterinarian and listen to their suggestions as to how best to proceed.

Think of the fun that you'll have interacting with your cat while they're actually getting some exercise. Enjoy the time that you spend together. Choosing healthy high-quality food for your cat might even have an effect on your own eating habits. If nothing else, you'll have done all that you can to ensure a longer healthier life for your dear furry friend.

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