Cats are one of the most popular pets in the UK, second only to dogs. One of the most likely reasons for this is their independent spirit, with owners often praising them for keeping themselves busy, and being considerably less demanding than a dog. Especially if you have an outdoor cat, you’ll have to put out minimum effort to get maximum satisfaction.
One popular misconception is that cats are lazy creatures and sleep most of the day. This is, in fact, not the case, and cats in their natural environment spend much of the day hunting for small prey.
Whilst keeping cats indoors protects them from the potential dangers of a residential area, as well as disease and predators, it also increases their risk of contracting certain conditions, such as obesity. It also means that they could start to get bored if kept in a space that’s too confined.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways that you can help alleviate this boredom and get your cat active:
Set Aside Time
As we said, many people choose to keep cats as pets because they see them as the easy alternative to dogs. Whilst that may be true of outdoor cats, if you’re looking to keep your cat indoors then you need to make sure you set aside time for them to exercise.
Although it sounds like an imposition, it really doesn’t have to be. Remember, cats are small creatures, and they don’t need as much exercise as we do. If you can make 20-30 minutes a day, that’ll be plenty to keep them in shape.
Routine is the key here, and if you build exercise time into your daily schedule then you should find it fairly easy to implement.
Who said only dogs get taken on walks? Cat walks are a thing too, you know…
We should say that is won’t be for all cats, and if yours likes to do their own thing then this might be lost on them. However, there are a range of cat harnesses and leads on the market, meaning that you can walk your cat just like you would a pooch.
Remember, if you are walking your cat then it’s a good idea to get them a collar and tag with up to date contact details. Also, whilst it’s not a legal obligation, getting your cat microchipped will help to reunite the two of you if they get lost.
If you’re looking to walk your cat but you work full time and don’t have the time to commit, perhaps Tailster can help? We have a range of vetted walkers across the UK, available to walk your cat as and when your require. For more information, click here.
Another one that isn’t usually associated with cats, but it can be! And they’re fast, so it’ll keep you on your toes too!
As we say, cats are natural hunters, so get them interested in a ball or small toy and they’ll chase it for hours. This is a particularly good one if you have a large garden!
It’s also good if you’re busy with something else – throw the ball/toy, then carry on with what you’re doing.
We accept that cats can be stubborn little things, and it sometimes takes time to build up a rapport and get them playing. However, there’s one thing your cat will always be interested in – FOOD!
If you’re desperate to get your cat active and have tried everything, make mealtimes a game. No, really – hide small portions of food around the house and have them search it out. It sounds silly, but it’s really the same concept as hunting, which comes natural to them.
You could also repurpose cardboard tubes and containers, hiding treats in them and letting your cat find a way to get them out. Honestly, tease them with food and you’ll get a response!
No matter which method you choose, what’s most important is that you’re getting your cat up and about, and that they’re getting the exercise they need!