Having a lazy cat at home is a source of worry especially if your feline friend tends to be inactive all day long. Inactive cats are more prone to becoming overweight or obese, the number one cause of serious health problems that can prevent your cat from enjoying a long, happy life with you and your family.
Want to get your cat to become more active? Check out these 4 tips:
1) Provide new toys
Often the key to encouraging your pet to get up and play is to give him or her new cat toys. Playing with the same old toy may be the reason why your cat is bored and not paricipating in playtime. Whenever you buy a cat toy, make sure that it’s something your feline will love to play with for a long period of time.
Once you’ve found the type of toy that your cat loves, don’t stop there. Keep searching for other toys to ensure that the fun factor doesn’t disappear. Try to get toys in different colors so that your cat won’t get tired of seeing them.
2) Set up different games
Use trial and error to find out what kinds of games your cat will enjoy. Cats have an extreme drive to pursue play and aren’t very interested in playing alone. This is why your cat loves it when you play with her. Try playing the following games with your cat to get her lazy butt out of bed.
Contrary to what most people believe, cats do play fetch. Just make sure to choose a toy that you can throw all the way across an area and is easy for your cat to carry in his or her mouth. Throw the toy and wait for your cat to leap and chase after it. Your cat will bring the toy back to you so that you can throw it again. If your cat successfully fetches the toy for you, reinforce the behavior by giving healthy treats or by petting.
Feather and String
Buy a wand toy or you can create your own using a stick, string, and a bell or feather. To play, pull the toy away from your feline’s view and watch as he or she lunges after it.
Felines enjoy chasing after light reflections. Try catching the light with reflective items such as a CD or mirror. Then, bounce the light low onto a floor, wall, or any safe surface. Chasing after something that can’t be caught will become frustrating for your cat. Ease your cat’s frustration before playtime by switching to a catchable toy. Also, avoid using laser pointers for this game as it can damage your cat’s eyes.
Basically, your goal for playing games is to pique your cat’s curiosity. Once you find a game that your cat adores, make sure to find time to integrate it into his or her daily routine.
3) Use catnip
Catnip is a kind of herb that contains a chemical called “nepetalactone”. This chemical triggers an amazing response from many cats, however, not all cats may be affected by catnip as sensitivity to nepetalactone is an inherited trait. Catnip works by making your cat excited so that he or she can be active and have fun instead of lying all day in bed.
It’s not just housecats that react to catnip. In fact, even wild felines such as tigers may become susceptible to it. Despite catnip’s drug-like effect, it’s neither harmful nor addictive for cats. Give your cat a small amount of catnip to chow down when he or she doesn’t seem to enjoy play time.
4) Create plenty of room for play
Your cat may be reluctant to play because she feels confined in his or her play area. She may have accidentally bumped into fragile items which made you speak loudly to her. Cats are highly intelligent and can discern when you are angry. This may have an adverse affect causing your cat not to want to play in small areas. Make sure your cat’s play area has plenty of space and is cat-friendly. Invest in a cat tree or a scratching post. Use this item as the center of your feline’s playtime. You can also use an old stool, chair, or other furniture you won’t mind getting scratched.
Cats hate the feeling of boredom just like humans. Fortunately, there are many ways to entertain your cat for him or her to have fun-filled days. Whenever you find your feline friend being lazy, do him or her a favor and try these 4 tips to fill her otherwise dull life with color and excitement.
Farah Al-Khojai is the Managing Partner of Pet’s Delight. A passionate entrepreneur, Farah holds a BSC in Government from the London School of Economics. She is always on the lookout for new opportunities to develop and grow the pet and equestrian retail and wholesale market in the UAE and beyond, and is proud to be at the helm of the first and the largest pet care provider in the market representing world-class brands including Orijen, Applaws, Hunter, Savic, Flamingo, Ruffwear and Rogz.