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Cat Health: Exercise, Toys, and Playtime

Aug 18, 2007
How Much Playtime Do Cats Need? Cats needs at least 10-15 minutes of exercise three to four times a day. The exact amount varies with age, breed, health and physical condition.

Indoor cats need to play 3 to 4 times as much as outdoor cats to satisfy their needs for exercise. One hour of playful exercise increases your cat's lifespan by 4 hours.

TIP: If your cat is neutered he is twice as likely to get chubby, so decrease his calories by one third and play more. Be creative think up games that stimulate your cat's natural instincts.

Exercise Is Fun With Felines!

Exercise is integral to life. Not only is it essential for optimal health, it also improves circulation, stimulates vital organs, facilitates digestion and helps eliminate harmful toxins from the body. Exercise provides aerobic activity that stimulates your cat mentally and physically. Playful exercise is fun too. The more you play with your cat the more trusting and alert he'll become. It is a great way to bond, and it is as good for you as it is for your cat. Most owners end up looking forward to this "special time" as much as their cats do.

Cats have different types of personalities, just like people. Figure out what kind of cat you have-shy, curious, sedate or wild. Adapt the type of play you choose to the personality of your cat.

Cat nip is a perfectly safe herb that many cats enjoy. Once a week, sprinkle the fresh herb on the floor or on a couple favorite toys. Cats generally play, roll and frolic. Your cat will have fun and so will you.

Exercise Goals

Exercise promotes confidence, self-esteem and well being. If you make the commitment to eat right and playfully exercise at least 10 minutes four times a day, you and your cat will look good and feel great! Exercise enhances your health, your looks and your life.

If you and your cat can't exercise, feline massage is an alternative. It's therapeutic and stimulates vital tissues. It's also fun and feels great.

Cats love a ritual-especially before a good meal. Set play sessions for the same time each day and soon your cat will be there eagerly waiting for you.

The love you bestow on your cat and the relationship you share will become a source of continued happiness in your life.

TOYS

Toys provide a positive outlet for cats of all ages. Many are educational, some are interactive, and others are just plain fun. In additional to physical benefits,
they stimulate cats mentally; help prevent boredom, destruction and anxiety. Some toys are also a form of exercise like laser mice and many can be stuffed or rubbed with treats like catnip. Get a variety of toys and rotate them every few days.

GREAT SAFE CAT TOYS:

* Crumpled Paper Balls
* Peacock Feathers
* Empty Paper Bags
* Card Board Boxes
* Pieces of real fur (2 cm X 5 cm)
* Pinecones
* Ping Pong Balls
* A pile of shredded paper
* Empty 35MM film containers (or filled 1/3 with raw lentils)
* The occasional full toilet paper roll (for shredding)

Anything dangling from a fishing line makes a good toy:
Frozen green beans, Walnut shells, Sea-shells,
Plastic lids from bottled water, Leaves at the top of a Celery Stalk, Pipe Cleaners twisted up like Butterflies

TOYS

Cats judge toys based on their size, texture, sound and smell. Small, light weight items like crocheted mice, fish and birds especially with unpredictable, erratic movements are favorites for many felines.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

CREATE INTERACTIVE GAMES FOR YOUR CAT:

Kitty Hockey: throw a couple plastic rings from a milk jug on a smooth floor -- your feline will fly for the puck

Create snakelike toys: then sneak & slither them over chairs and up & down stairs

Make a kitty racquetball court: put a ping pong ball in a small box and cut a small paw sized hole in one end

Create a feline obstacle course: place several boxes upside down or paper bags on their side and cut holes in each to enter & exit

Improve balance & coordination with a multi-leveled cat tree: entice your cat to jump from 1 perch to the next during interactive play sessions

Encourage scratching and stretching with a few sturdy scratching posts covered with hemp or the rough backing of a piece of carpet

INTERACTIVE GAMES

Wiggle a fishing line with feathers on one end over
perches, playgrounds and obstacle courses to get your cat to stretch and keep his muscles toned

FACT: Play is soothing to the soul-yours and your cats.
About the Author
Copyright 2007 Dr. Carol Osborne

Get FREE pet advice from Dr. Carol at http://CarolonPets.com/

Visit Dr. Carol's Naturally Healthy Pets blog at http://CarolonPets.com/blog/

Buy PAAWS and VitaLife dog and cat vitamin supplements and other pet health products at http://DrCarol.com/
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