How Much Exercise Should Indoor Cats Get?


A recent article in The New York Times sheds some light on the question of how to keep your housecat healthy (and happy) through exercise. According to experts, indoor cats do need exercise, and the majority of them do not move around nearly as much as they should. Cats in the wild roam their territories and are always on the hunt for food. So what’s a pampered indoor cat to do?


In addition to not getting enough exercise, indoor cats are often overfed, with dishes of dry food left out all day for them to graze on. Lack of exercise and obesity can lead to many health problems for cats, including arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and skin, liver, and urinary tract disease.


Indoor cats can best be exercised with play. Make sure you have a variety of toys you can use to engage your cat in play with on a daily basis. Try wand toys, mice and larger “kick” style toys, and be sure to use laser pointers with care so that you don’t point them in your cat’s eyes.


Besides toys, be sure to provide your indoor cat with environmental enrichment like scratching posts and cat trees. Experts also recommend using interactive feeders, hiding treats in puzzle toys, and even just sticking little treats around the house for them to discover.


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