7. Increase Your Cat’s Activity
When was the last time you played with your cat? If you didn’t answer “today” or “yesterday” then you’re missing a golden opportunity to help your cat stay healthy. Don’t just supply a huge pile of toys in the corner of the room because they’re dead prey. Purchase some interactive toys that are based on a fishing pole design and get in the game with your cat. Move the toy like prey so your cat can respond like a predator. Interactive play therapy should be done at least once a day (and hopefully twice). With some overweight cats, merely just increasing their activity is enough to help them shed those extra pounds.
8. Environmental Enrichment
In addition to the puzzle feeders and interactive playtime, set up some games and opportunities for exploration that will keep your cat active when you’re not at home, such as:
- A multi-perched tree provides an opportunity for your cat to leap, climb, scratch and get a little extra exercise.
- Paper bags or boxes left on their sides with toys inside. You can even cut out the bottoms and connect them to make tunnels.
- Place balls, fuzzy mice and other little toys around the house for your cat to discover.
9. Training Your Cat
Clicker training is a great way to work on behavior issues but it’s also a fun way to increase the bond you share with your cat and train her to do some physical behaviors such as jumping through a hoop, walking in a circle, giving a high five, and so on. You can even use clicker training to create an indoor agility course for your cat. Start with something simple such as going through a tunnel and then gradually add new elements. My cat loves doing our little at-home agility course and it’s a fun way to keep her active.
10. Take it Slow When it Comes to Your Cat’s Weight Loss Program
Weight loss shouldn’t be done quickly with a cat because of the risk of hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). No matter how much weight your cat needs to lose, follow your veterinarian’s guidelines and do it gradually.
Need More Information?
If you have questions about your cat’s health and weight, consult with your veterinarian. For more information regarding playtime and mealtime, refer to Pam Johnson-Bennett’s books. Pam is the best-selling author of 8 books on cat behavior and training. Her books are available here on our website, in bookstores everywhere and also through your favorite online book retail site.
If you have a question about your cat’s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat’s veterinary care.