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Getting Enough Exercise: How Much Exercise Do Cats Need?

Getting Enough Exercise: How Much Exercise Do Cats Need?

Have you ever looked at your cat lounging in her cat tower and thought to yourself, "What a lucky cat you are." Sure, your little furbaby may seem perfectly content just snoozing throughout the day, but that shouldn't always be the case. Believe it or not, cats need exercise too!

The thing is, domestic cats can easily get bored and unhealthy without regular exercise. But don't you worry! It's pretty easy to get your cat into a fit lifestyle; we just need a sprinkle of creativity, some toys, and maybe some catnip to encourage your cat.

So if you're wondering how much exercise your indoor kitty needs (and let's face it, who isn't!), then we've got you! Read on to learn more!

Benefits Of Getting Enough Exercise For Cats

Are cats living the good life if they're lounging around the house all day? Sure, you may think so – but your feline friend doesn't agree. Getting your cat moving is an important part of a healthy lifestyle too!

In fact, exercise helps your cat maintain a balanced weight, encourages good digestion, supports healthy joints, and even keeps their fur coat looking glossy and gorgeous. Plus, it can help reduce stress levels (kneading catnip-stuffed pillows does wonders for cats' mental well-being).

Plus, if you don't give your indoor kitty enough exercise to burn off excess energy (because, let's face it – cats get a bit hyper sometimes), well, then you might end up with some unwanted surprises from your pet (like shredded furniture).

So make sure to give your purring pal a few play sessions throughout the day – it'll benefit both of you in the long run.

How Much Exercise Do Cats Need?

Orange kitten playing with yarn

Not all cats require the same amount of exercise. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole—you know, aside from the fact that cats are never square. There are different types of cats, and their exercise needs vary widely depending on their breed.

For example, some cats love a challenge to keep them busy. We're talking about something like an elaborate set of tunnels with lots of cat toys and hiding spots for them to explore. Siamese and Bengal cats, for example, have bundles of energy crying out to be released.

On the other hand, if you have a lazy cat like a British Shorthair or Persian, then daily strolls around the house should suffice. These laid-back kitties know how to take it easy.

The point is this: find an exercise plan that caters to your pet's innate characteristics and one that you can easily stick with—your cat will thank you for it!

How To Get Your Cat Moving

Indoor cats don't need quite as much physical activity as outdoor cats do. But that doesn't mean they can skip out on their daily exercise routine. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep those claws moving.

Cat Furniture

Cat furniture like scratching posts, ladders, and shelves provide a great opportunity for climbing without having to venture outside. Plus, it gives your cat their little playground!

Toys and Playtime

Interactive toys like feathers on a wand or robotic mice are also great for your cat to stay active and entertained. You can also play hide-and-seek or tag with your kitty and get their heart rate up in the process. And who knows—you might even have fun too (shh, don't tell anyone)!

Regular Outdoor Time

If you want your cat to get some fresh air (not to mention surveying their kingdom in all its glory), walking them outside with a harness should do the trick. Just make sure that you always supervise, as indoor cats can find it hard to adjust to the unfamiliar environment outside.

Creating An Environment Conducive To Exercise

Whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or anywhere else in between, it's important to give your indoor cat a stimulating environment. This means creating a safe space filled with toys and other fun things to encourage them to keep active—no one wants a lazy cat!

The good news is that cats are surprisingly agile creatures, so even some of the smaller spaces can be great places for them to exercise. Here are some tips that may help:


Abyssinian kitten playing with feather toy

Provide toys and other items your pet can pounce on or chase. This can help engage your kitty's natural predatory instincts. Provide different types of toys like feather teasers or treat puzzles; these will help keep your cat's blood pumping and their mind active.

Scratching Post and Climbing Tree

Investing in a scratching post or tree can be great for cats since they need a place to express their natural 'need' to scratch something. Make sure you choose one that is sturdy enough for your kitty's weight and activities.

Hideaways & Cat Shelves

Making sure your indoor kitty has plenty of places to hide away is important, too—this is an instinctive behavior for cats, and it helps reduce stress levels. Setting up shelves around the house also allows them access to higher places.

Safety Tips for Exercising With Your Cat

Exercising your cat may be fun, but you should always keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to follow to keep your cat safe while exercising:

Be Prepared

Nothing beats preparedness when you're doing any type of activity. Do your research beforehand and ensure you have all the supplies you need. This may include secure collars, comfy leashes, and enough hydration for you and your fur baby! You should also trim your kitty's claws to reduce the risk of injury or accidental scratches.

Know Your Cat

You can only give what's best for your cat if you actually know your cat. Think about their personality before jumping on any exercise routine. Consider your cat's weight, age (are your cats still pretty much kittens or older cats), health condition, energy level, and preferences. If you're having doubts, start slow and work up from there—just like with any other form of exercise!

Time & Place

Once you've thoroughly researched and readied all the needed supplies, you should pick a nice place to exercise your pet. The area should have enough space and be safe and secure. Pick a time when there wouldn't be too many people in case your cat gets easily anxious or overwhelmed.

Take Breaks

Let your cat take breaks during your chosen exerciseand don't forget the treats! They get tired, too, just like you. Breaks are important to prevent over-exhaustion or getting overheated.


Can cats get too much exercise?

We all know that too much of a good thing can be bad. The same goes for cats and exercise. Too much activity and your furry friend would need an afternoon nap—we're not talking about a weekend cat nap either. Avoid overstimulation with laser pointers, too, as your cat may get frustrated.

Why is enough exercise important for my cat?

Weaving in playtime during their daily routine is important for cats—not just for physical fitness but also for mental stimulation. Exercise helps cats stay active and alert and keep boredom at bay. Plus, it allows them to build up muscles for healthy growth.

How much exercise should a cat get a day?

It all depends on your cat's age and energy levels. Try to provide about 15 to 20 minutes of playtime twice a day.

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