It is obvious that an overweight cat has a number of unnecessary health risks that can be easily avoided. That said, the easiest way to get your cat to lose weight and be healthier is through exercise. Although indoor and outdoor cats have different requirements, we will be going over how to get your cat to work out and lose weight.
We would quickly like to say, one of the most common reasons for an indoor cat to be overweight is its food. Many cat owners accidentally feed their indoor cat a food with higher calories designed for an outdoor cat. Thankfully, if this is the case, it is a quick and easy fix. Simply swap your current cat food over to a product with lower calories designed for an indoor cat. Within two weeks you should be able to see a difference in your cat’s body weight.
Cat Exercises To Lose Weight
No matter if you have an indoor or outdoor cat, exercise is an excellent way to get your cat to lose weight. The main trick in working out how to get your cat to work out is to get it interested in the activity. That’s a lot easier said than done but here are a few tips that you can implement.
Next up we have the trusty, tried and tested laser pointer. Another cheap and easy to use toy that takes advantage of your cat’s instinct to hunt.
Although no-one knows for sure, the theory is that the little red dot triggers their instinct to attack. Once triggered the cat will chase the laser relentlessly no matter where you shine it. The best part if, the owner doesn’t have to do much to make the cat run the length of the room. It can also be a fun activity for you and your pet to engage in.
The iGearPro interactive LED light retails at around the $15 mark and has almost 200 positive reviews on amazon.
Here is a short video of how effective a simple laser pointer can be for your cat.
Cat Exercise Toys
Thankfully there are plenty of different cat exercise toys on the market that work. They are cheap, easy to use and have been designed to grab your cats interest as soon as possible.
These toys do this by taking advantage of your cat’s evolutionary traits to want to hunt. Designed to mimic a small bird while being brightly colored makes it hard for your pet cat to resist. They take minimal effort from the owner but can work wonders with your cat’s weight very quickly.
The pet fit for life multi Feather teaser toy currently retails at around $10. It has over 900 positive reviews on amazon.com with a large number of cat owners raving about the product in their reviews.
Multi-tiered cat towers are another excellent way to get your cat work workout and exercise. They have plenty of levels and space for your cat to play around with and exercise.
The main problem is getting your cat interested in playing with the tower. One trick we have found is to hide small pieces of a cheap snack such as tuna fish to the tower. This helps to get your cat excited to search for the source of the smell and in turn used to playing on the tower.
Another advantage of the pet tower is that it encourages your cat to scratch the tower rather than your furniture. The go pet club cat tree currently retails at around $40 and has over 2600 positive reviews on amazon.com.
When thinking about how to get your cat to work out, many peoples minds will instantly go to a catnip based product. While catnip can be very effective it does come with one or two caveats. Firstly, not all cats will respond to catnip. Secondly, some cats will have an aggressive reaction to it and possible scratch their owner.
That said, catnip can be an excellent tool to get your cat to workout and burn calories. It is advisable that you only use a small amount initially to see how your cat reacts.
The Hartz kitty frenzy cat toy currently retails at around $10 and has over 700 positive reviews.
A Play Buddy
Getting your cat a play buddy can be an extremely effective way to get your cat to work out. Most domestic cat breeds can be extremely competitive and will chase and wrestle for hours. The best part about this is the owner is free to do another task rather than playing with the cat while it works out.
One bad point of this tactic is if you buy two cats they will also play during the night. You could be fast asleep only to be awakened by your cats racing around making noise. Another thing to take into consideration is that some cat breeds get territorial. If this is the case then it will be easier to get two cats from day one rather than introduce another later.
Losing Weight Via Dieting
Although exercise is an excellent way for your cat to lose weight, dieting is a close second. A low-calorie formula cat food can do wonders in a short period of time, especially when coupled with exercise.
Reducing the number of calories your cat is able to eat each day means they require less exercise to lose weight. The Natural Balance low-calorie formula is one of the lowest calorie cat foods on the market. It has a large number of cat owners using it and currently retails for around $15.
How Much Exercise Do Cats Need
It is generally agreed that an indoor cat requires 20 calories per pound of bodyweight and an outdoor cat requires 35 calories. With the average healthy cat weight being around the nine-pound mark this means an indoor cat will require around 180 calories and outdoor cat 315 calories per day.
Start the weight loss process by working out how many calories you feed your cat then forcing a calorie deficit. That means if your cat needs 180 calories per day, only feed it 160. This way, any exercise the cat does is bonus weight loss.
When it comes to exercise, there is no set timeframe your cat needs to exercise per day. Different breeds have different activity levels and some cats have different natural hunting routines. For example, some cats may have naturally walked miles per day hunting, others may stay in one place to ambush their prey. Age is another factor that comes into play when trying to work out how much exercise your pet cat needs.
The best thing about cats is they will rarely keep playing or exercising if they are tired. They usually walk off for a nap letting you know that they have had enough. As discussed, one of the best ways to get your cat exercising is using cat exercise equipment such as toys. Simply play with your cat until it walks off, later in the day repeat the process and it will soon lose weight.