Your cat’s lifestyle has evolved considerably in a life that mainly takes place indoors and where she no longer has to hunt for food herself. These two changes promote a different lifestyle that is far removed in physical activity from the level that your active friend would have in nature.
Although your cat does not need a vast living environment, it does need an attractive environment where it is possible for it to experience enough stimuli to play, hide, discover, climb, scratch, observe and, of course, sleep.
You can easily create such an irritating environment by using the height in your home and putting down cat trees, cat ropes and other raised furniture such as window sills and tall cupboards. In addition to the physical stimulation that climbing offers, your indoor cat will love being able to view people, objects, and small animals from a vantage point, enhancing both her psychological and physical well-being!
Keep up to date to keep your cat active
It is very important for her well-being to give your cat the opportunity to act from her natural instinct, such as her hunting behavior.
With this in mind, the ideal situation would be that you provide your cat with a freely accessible and safe outdoor space where she can freely hunt and play. If your immediate outdoor environment is safe, we recommend giving your cat unlimited access here.
However, if that is not the case, you might consider installing a fence so that your cat can take advantage of outside stimuli in a safe environment.
A message from Anne-Claire Gagnon, behavioral expert cats: “Physical exercise caused by discovery and play has several benefits that go beyond burning energy and calories and contributes to overall well-being: it increases mental stimulation, improves muscle mass and thereby promotes metabolism of your indoor cat, it promotes mobility and blood flow and, if she plays in your company, it naturally strengthens the bond between her and yourself. ”
“Cat fun for everyone”
As you prepare to play with and encourage your indoor cat, bear in mind that she will generally be more interested in certain types of games and interactions, the most popular being games involving fast and unpredictable movements, squeaky toys, prey simulation and sweets rewards! An equally stimulating alternative for when you’re not around is a cat pole that allows your cat to move, scratch, climb, hide and stand on the lookout! One way that contributes to maintaining her natural curiosity is to occasionally adjust the environmental composition by putting things in a different place.
A dog friend can be a special alternative to stimulation. Studies have indeed shown that if you have a dog, it is likely that your cat will spend part of the time she normally thinks about eating with her dog friend, reducing the risk of weight gain!
A message from Anne-Claire Gagnon, behavioral expert cats:
“Who would have thought that stimulating your cat can also be achieved by feeding her? There are two reasons for this. First of all, it has been proven that giving your cat wet food promotes extra water intake, which increases your cat’s activity level .
Secondly, playing is a good way to prevent boredom, involving your indoor cat in a game and rewarding her with chunks or other sweets for her participation.
Getting to know each other
Although encouraging exercise with your cat is positive, it is important not to overdo it and to respect your buddy’s physical rhythm. It is best to limit the first play sessions with your cat to 2 or 3 minutes. You should not impose play sessions and interaction on your cat, nor should it disturb your cat’s rest.
We advise you to involve your cat in the game only if you have the idea that she wants it too. Every cat is unique and the same applies to her preferences and needs. The optimal level of movement of your cat can depend on a number of congenital factors such as race, age or even a history of diseases. To find out what this means for your cat, we recommend that you discuss this with your veterinarian.