Keeping an indoor cat active beyond its kitten age can be challenging if you don’t know what to do. It’s common to wonder about how to keep your cat active. The good news is that you have several options to provide physical and mental stimulation to your feline pet.
Read on to learn some answers to common cat-owner questions, including why your cat is not very active and how to help your cat get more exercise.
Why Is My Cat Not Very Active?
Cats are naturally sleepy animals and could spend up to 16 hours a day resting. They are most active as kittens, but it’s not unusual for an adult cat to expend less energy in play. Sometimes, though, a cat might enjoy lounging more than exercising.
A senior cat will likely require more rest due to age-related conditions like arthritis. Poor nutrition and illness are other reasons your pet may not move around as much as you’d expect.
How Can I Make My Lazy Cat Active?
Aside from being sleepy often, cats are also crepuscular, which means they are most active at dawn and dusk.. It’s not uncommon for them to rest during the day so they can hunt and play at night. However, your cat shouldn’t be sleeping all day every day.
Engaging with your pet is an excellent way to stimulate it physically and mentally. Cats are athletic, so if they get bored or don’t have an outlet for their excess energy, they could resort to lounging around the house. Instead of allowing your pet to sleep all day, consider the following ways to exercise your cat and make it sleepy due to tiredness instead of laziness.
How to Keep My Indoor Cat Active
Many people wondering how to keep their cat active have indoor cats.
Outdoor cats usually don’t have a problem remaining active. They frequently move around in response to their environment and to hunt. However, keeping an indoor cat engaged may require more work.
Cat toys are available in many forms and are great for keeping your cat entertained. You could purchase toy mice, feathers and strings on sticks, moving toys that are battery or remote control operated, laser pointers, and stationary toys with moving parts. Whether your cat plays alone or with you, toys are an excellent way to help your pet play.
If your cat likes to hunt but appears disinterested in play, consider building a bird viewing station near a window. Pet cats retain their natural attraction to birds and other small animals, which they view as prey. You could stimulate their hunting instincts by installing an indoor window perch for your cat and a bird feeder outdoors by the window to attract birds.
After watching birds, your cat will likely want to hunt. Instead of letting it outdoors, you could feed their instinct and help it exercise by hiding their favorite treats around the house. Another option is to put treats in special toys and puzzles that promote hours of mental stimulation and reward your pet with goodies.
How to Keep a Cat Active During the Day
Cats that are inactive during the day might be more active at night. Playful cats could make noise or get into mischief while you’re resting in bed. Daytime action may help them relax more easily at night, potentially reducing their noise and mess.
Even if your cat loves playing with toys during the day, they could get bored of them. Revitalize old toys by spraying them with catnip or buy new playthings to gain your pet’s interest. Cats are less likely to ignore new items, and many felines find catnip stimulating.
It also helps to have a scratch post in your home. Cats use these structures to exercise, destress, stretch, and mark their territory. Without a scratch post, your pet may resort to scratching on furniture or urinating away from the litter box due to stress.
A good scratch post is sturdy with no chance of wobbling and falling when the cat leans on it. It should also have a satisfying material to scratch but not one rough enough to pull on its claws.
How to Keep My Cat Active While I’m at Work
When you’re not home, it’s hard to ensure that your cat gets enough physical activity without being proactive. One of the best ways to keep your pet engaged without your presence is to get a second cat. Two cats that get along well will play wrestling and chasing games without your intervention.
You could invest in an automatic cat toy if a second cat isn’t an option. These devices have functions that allow them to turn on randomly to give your pet something to play with while you’re at work.
How to Exercise a Cat in an Apartment
Many people wonder how to exercise a cat in an apartment because they aren’t always spacious enough for the cat to roam. You can maximize your space by thinking vertically instead of horizontally and investing in a multitiered cat tower. Some options include baskets, toys hanging on strings, hammock perches, and scratch posts to allow your cat to scratch, climb, play, and rest.
Cat towers usually don’t take up a lot of space. However, you could install catwalks like little shelves or hammocks on your walls to give your pet places to jump or climb without using floor space. These structures are generally safe if you bolt them to the wall.
If you’re home, you could exercise your cat by using a laser pointer. You could focus the beam on an empty wall to encourage it to jump. Wand toys are another way to get your cat moving in a small space.
Keep Your Cat Active with the Help of Penny Paws
Now that you have the answer to “how to keep my cat active,” make sure their inactivity isn’t due to a health problem. Penny Paws is a leading animal clinic with several Texas locations and a mobile vaccine clinic.
Our veterinary care professionals will help your pet stay healthy and happy with routine exams, vaccinations, grooming, and emergency care. Contact one of our Penny Paws locations for an appointment.