Many of the UK’s cat population are indoor cats and spend little time engaging in physical activity. Sometimes even cats with access to outside areas adopt sedentary lifestyles. This lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to numerous health and behavioural problems such as obesity, lethargy and aggression. This article gives vital information on the benefits of exercise in cats.
Ideally exercise should be introduced when your cat is young and full of energy. It can be difficult to rouse an older cat especially if they have already developed obesity. However gentle introduction can coax even the laziest of cats into some form of physical exercise. As the weight comes off and your cat’s metabolism increases, you will be amazed at how active they become as a healthier happier feline.
Physical Benefits of Exercise in Cats
- Raises metabolic rate
- Increased muscle tone and strength
- Increased joint flexibility
- Improves circulation
- Increases bone strength
- Reduces risk of heart and respiratory disease
- Weight control. Avoids diseases such as obesity and diabetes
- Can help in the management of arthritis
- Boosts the immune system
- Aids digestion
- A healthier happier pet that lives longer
Emotional Benefits of Exercise in Cats
- Strengthens the bond between you and your pet
- Mental stimulation
- Emotional well being
- Reduces stress
- brings about stable sleep patterns
- Reduces behavioural problems
Keeping your cat active and providing mental stimulation may reduce the incidence of behaviour related problems such as aggression, hyperactivity, self mutilation, licking and marking. Boredom in humans can lead to depression and stress so it figures that similar problems can be seen in cats without sufficient motivation. Many species of cats, both domestic and wild will sleep for a large part of their day. However, in nature they have periods of activity where they will hunt, play and interact socially. This activity can be recreated in the home by stimulating them to perform actions such as hunting, chasing, jumping and climbing. This allows them to be involved in movements which nature designed them so perfectly to do.