Cats are designed to be active in short bursts, so playing with them is the best way to make sure they get enough exercise, especially if they live indoors. It’s also a great way to bond with them, and show them how much you love them!
If you’re trying to help your cat lose a few pounds, it’s important not to make big or sudden changes to your cat’s diet or exercise routine. If you have any questions or concerns, your vet will be happy to help. You can also download our guide to getting your cat into shape.
Cats who are bored tend to eat too much and get fat. Help your cat stay active and interested in life by giving them a range of special cat toys and activities.
Remember to keep your cat’s toys clean and throw them away if they get damaged. Getting them a new toy every now and again is a perfect treat, and much better for them than food.
Most cats love playing games, especially with:
- Things they can hit. Cats enjoy batting at light things that move easily across the floor: a ball of paper is ideal. It’s important not to give them anything they can chew up or swallow. If you’re fed up of your cat losing their toys under furniture you can put the ball or toy in a large cardboard box so that your cat can play with it in a controlled space.
- Things they can chase. Wind-up or motorised toys, or a piece of string dragged across the floor, will turn even a couch potato into a hunter!
- Things they can jump onto. Cats love to be up high so making sure there is safe surfaces and space they can jump on and off to help burn extra calories.
- Things they can climb into. Cats can have hours of fun with an empty box or a tunnel.
- Things they can scratch. Scratching keeps a cat’s claws sharp, and tones their shoulder and back muscles. A scratching-post will meet this need – and should save your furniture!
Although it’s tempting, it’s not a good idea to use your hand or fingers as ‘bait’. Your cat will think it’s OK to scratch and bite you – and it’s not, even as a game!
Scratching – claw conditioning
Scratching, or ‘claw conditioning’ is a natural part of cat behaviour. It keeps their claws healthy and leaves scent marks.
Try a scratching post for your cat to help prevent damage to your furniture or carpets. Ensure it’s stable and tall enough for your cat to exercise at full body stretch. If it isn’t, your cat may choose your furniture instead!
Top toys for cats
Looking for vet recommended toys for your cat? Include toys like these in your cat’s playtime, all available from PDSA Petstore:
- Kong window teaser: stick this little birdy to your window and your cat will have great fun batting it about.
- Play ‘n’ squeak mouse: this little mouse will let your cat enjoy hunting, stalking and pouncing with any harm coming to the real thing!
- Sisal scratching board: this scratching board comes with dangly toys attached to encourage your cats to use it, not your furniture.
- Kong wobbler for cats: this toy dispenses treats and your cat bops it around and chases it – great for keeping their brain active, too.