Tuesday, June 24, 2014

6 Easy Exercise Games for Indoor Cats

For indoor cats, exercise can be a challenge. Many indoor cats will gain weight due to lack of exercise and become overweight. Getting an indoor cat to exercise can prove to be difficult too. But there is hope! There are a lot of simple games and activities you can try with your feline friend to make sure they stay active and healthy.

Photo via brx0

Remember that if your cat doesn't like the first game you try, don't give up! Maybe it's just not for them and the next game you try will be better.

Laser Pointer

A laser pointer is cheap, easy, and fun. Many cats love playing with laser pointers. Just turn it on, flash it on your walls and floors for your cat, and watch them try to catch the ever elusive red dot. This is a very fun game for cats and they should get a good amount of exercise from it. 

Fishing Pole Game

You can make your own fishing pole game pretty easily. Tie your cat's favorite toy to the end of a string and throw it down the hall or across the room. Slowly reel in your catch as they hunt their toy.

Just the other day, I was at the store and saw a small fishing pole meant for young children. It was inexpensive, about $10. I thought it could make for an interesting game with a cat. Of course, you don't have to use an actual fishing pole. You can also use a wand, but you may not get too much distance with those. Wand toys are also great for exercising. 

Use a Cat Game App

Did you know that there are several apps available that are made JUST for cats? Download an app on your iPad for your cat and watch them play. You may want to use a screen protector just in case to prevent scratches on your electronics. This is both mentally stimulating and gives your feline friend a little bit of exercise too. 


Play Fetch

I know what you're thinking - fetch is for dogs! Most of the time yes, but this game is meant to make your cat work for their food while they burn calories and get exercise. I learned about this game from a client at the Veterinary Clinic where I used to work. She used this technique to get her overweight cat to lose weight. 

Throw a piece of your cat's kibble or a treat down the hall or across the room and see if they will chase after it. Repeat the process until one of you has had enough. 

Make a Box Fort

There is something about boxes that cats love. If you have some extra boxes laying around, make a fort for your cat out them. I don't know why, but I love making mazes and forts for my pets with boxes. If you're worried that your cat will just go in and take a nap instead of play, try lacing the fort with catnip and toys. 

Go Outside

If you have an indoor only cat, try taking them outdoors. Of course, using a leash and harness is recommended. Especially if your cat has never been outdoors. If your cat is older and scared of the outdoors, don't force them to do something they don't want to. Outside can be a scary place for some cats. 

But, for other cats it can be a fun place to explore and take a walk. Many cats do enjoy going outside on a leash and harness. 

Photo via David DeHetre

Like I mentioned above, if these ideas don't work for your cat try something new! All cats are different and have varied taste. Try scheduling a time at least once a day to play with your cat. Cats not only need exercise but mental stimulation as well to stay happy and healthy. 

Let us know what kind of exercise games have worked or not worked for you and your cats in the comments!

24 comments:

  1. Great post! All kitties need stimulation. Of course I have always gone outside on my own, but I still like to play games indoors :)

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  2. Great tips!!!! My kitties LOVE the laser pointer!!!!
    Thanks for all the wonderful tips!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  3. We do four of the six with fat cat bro Bert. He doesn't play fetch, and since he is always trying to run away, we won't take him outside as it would only make his problem with wanting to go out worse. The laser pointer really gets him going, and Mom takes his fishing pole to the stairs and runs up and down so he has to run the stairs too for a good work out. Great post!

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    1. Hey that running up and down the stairs stuff is bound to give them both a great workout! Good idea.

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  4. What a terrific post! Us indoor kitties can use all the help we can get maintaining our girlish (and boyish) figures.

    Waffles is a HUGE fetch fan... but he gets his most exercise with the red dot. And chasing me.
    ; ) Katie

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  5. I am going to make a fort now! They also love feathers from my geese, I just put them on the floor for them.

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    1. Oh wow you have geese? I bet the feathers smell good to them :)

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  6. We do 4 outta 5 so that isn't too bad. We are not allowed outside, even on a leash since that is where the fleas live.

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  7. Great ideas! The apps are definitely new to me, and I might have to see if I can find some of those. We didn't have luck with the laser pointer with Sam, but I also love the box fort idea. She loves to climb in things so that could definitely keep her busy.

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    1. I just always loved making forts for Nibblet out of boxes. I'm sure I made some for my cats when I was younger too.

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  8. thanx for a kitteh post two day shiner !!! we like ta play fetch, laser pointer, in boxes N dai$y likes "paint for cats"...tissue paper N newspaper iz fun ta attack two, de noizee err....de better !! we all sew like ta play "stix under de rug"....de food gurl getted a bunch oh stik lookin thingz at de hobby shop N her puts em under de rug sew we can pounce on em then fite de rug !!

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    1. Paint for cats? Is that real paint or an app? I bet she is a master artist!

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  9. Jewel really used to play fetch - I'd throw a milk ring and she'd go and bring it back! :) I'll share this post; I think they are great games for cats to get exercise :)

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    1. Thank you Sierra! Sounds like a fun game Jewel :)

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  10. What a great article with fun and easy ways to promote exercise for cats. I can't wait to share this.

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  11. There are also lots of safe enclosures for cats to spend supervised outdoor time in. Amelia is particularly fond of her mesh tunnel (that zips closed on both ends) but she has several tents and cubes for outdoor play. And sorry, Brian, but fleas ride inside on humans so all pets should use some sort of flea control whether they go out or not!

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    1. I always see Amelia in her cute little stroller!

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  12. I love to watch cats play - their dexterity is amazing. And you can see in their eyes as the mind starts calculating their next move. Fascinating!

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  13. Great ideas ! Even if we have an outdoor fence, Mum plays with us every day. We love fishing poles ! Purrs

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  14. Both of our cats like to fetch, but only a particular object. For Maxwell it is a small orange worm toy that he has had since he was a kitten. For Lucas it is the tabs that you pull off a new milk container. Their fetch and retrieval skills are always enjoyed by our house guests.

    I had no idea their were iPad games for cats. That sounds hilarious to me and I'm pretty sure our cats would actually play!

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    1. Sounds like the milk ring is pretty popular. Someone else said the same thing. Although, Fruit Ninja wasn't meant for cats, looks like they like to play it in the video! There are some specifically made for cats though.

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  15. Thank you very much for the useful informations you give.My name is Ekin.My mother tongue is not English ,sorry for my language mistakes.My cat likes to play catching and hiding with me.She runs and hides waiting for me to find and catch her,;after I fined her I say "I have found you,", I caress her and then then I run and hide from her . When she finds me she touches me and begins to run away from me...and this game continues until she gets tired and needs some rest...

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