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Cat Exercise: Keeping Your Kitty in Good Shape

- Provided by VetStreet.com
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While most cats will never learn to run on a treadmill, no matter how much catnip you offer, almost all cats do benefit greatly from some form of regular physical activity. Not only does exercise burn calories, improve muscle tone, and reduce a cat’s appetite, but a healthy exercise plan will also help protect your cat from becoming overweight or obese, extending her lifespan and improving her quality of life. By sticking to a regular feline workout plan, you’ll have a major positive impact on your cat’s overall health.

Consult Your Vet

As always, it’s important to consult your vet before introducing a new exercise program. If your cat has any health issues, ask your veterinarian to recommend activities that fit your cat’s individual needs.

Get Moving

Some cats are very active by nature. Others may require special treats or cat toys to spark that playful spirit. Here are a few ideas to get your cat moving.

  1. Leave out paper bags, tissue paper, and cardboard boxes to inspire play.
  2. Provide fresh catnip.
  3. Encourage your cat to chase toys, balls, sticks with feathers, or flashlight pointers. Be careful not to shine the pointer in your pet’s eyes – or anyone else’s.
  4. Inspire climbing with a cat tree or cat condo.
  5. Provide a scratching post or pad.
  6. Encourage play with other pets. Set up play-dates with a friend or relative’s pet. You may even want to consider adopting another cat.
  7. Train your cat to perform tricks for low-calorie treats. For example, teach your cat to run to you from across the house, or climb up her cat tree when you shake the box of treats.
  8. Get your cat a food puzzle. Specially designed cat toys require your cat to work to remove treats inside.

Be sure to choose toys for your cat carefully, avoiding toys with string or small pieces that your cat may try to swallow, and don’t leave toys out for cats to play with unattended.

This article was reviewed by a Veterinarian.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.

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