• How To Keep Your Cat a Fit Kitty

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    How to keep your cat a fit kitty, did you know that the majority of cats will happily spend most of their time sleeping with a bit of night time hunting thrown in. Obesity is just as common in our pets as it is in us, read through this short article which is full of great motivating ideas for getting your pooch up and interested in playing and exercising.

    image credit vetstreet.com

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    Here is a fun article from animalplanet.com¬†giving you five powerful ways keep your kitty fit.If your cat has been mistaken for a sofa cushion, it’s a strong indication that she needs to move more and eat less. Likewise, if she has a pendulous belly that sways when she moves or a thick layer of fat that covers her ribs. And if she has a flat, broad back from neck to tail — without a waist that tucks in toward her spine between her ribs and hips — it’s time to slim down. An estimated 70 million cats — more than half the domestic cat population in the United States — are overweight or obese, according to a 2010 study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

    All cats require routine health and dental care to stay fit. Don’t be surprised, however, if your veterinarian recommends increasing your cat’s activity level. Unless her fitness improves, your cat will be at risk for heart, respiratory and kidney disease, as well as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and ligament injury. In addition, an obese cat will die an estimated 2 1/2 years earlier than a cat with an ideal weight.

    How much exercise your cat needs will vary with age, breed and existing health conditions. One thing’s for certain: Getting your kitty to move more often will improve her quality of life.

    Wondering whether your cat needs a personal trainer? Psych yourself up for the job starting on the next page.

    1: Create an Indoor Jungle

    A feral cat covers a lot of ground as it roams — an average of 388 acres (157 hectares) per day — but an indoor cat spends 80 percent of her time lying around, according to a study published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management.

    You can make or buy platforms that act as perches. These cat-sized shelves attach to walls or windowsills and offer incentive to jump to higher vantage points. A scratching post will tone shoulder and back muscles (even declawed cats will enjoy pawing them), and a post with multilevel platforms will hone balance and coordination. The material that covers the post shouldn’t be thick enough to entangle and damage claws — most cats prefer a tightly woven natural fiber.

    You can also increase the distance between your cat’s water and food bowls. These extra steps will burn a significant amount of calories over time.

    All cats require routine health and dental care to stay fit. Don’t be surprised, however, if your veterinarian recommends increasing your cat’s activity level. Unless her fitness improves, your cat will be at risk for heart, respiratory and kidney disease, as well as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and ligament injury.

    Wondering whether your cat needs a personal trainer? Psych yourself up for the job starting on the next page.

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    2: Create an Indoor Jungle

    A feral cat covers a lot of ground as it roams — an average of 388 acres (157 hectares) per day — but an indoor cat spends 80 percent of her time lying around, according to a study published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management.

    Clearly, your house cat isn’t feral — and even though your household may occasionally seem less than civilised, it doesn’t actually mimic life in the wild. However, you can still turn your home into an entertainment-rich jungle with the addition of strategically placed perches, posts and perks.

    You can make or buy platforms that act as perches. These cat-sized shelves attach to walls or windowsills and offer incentive to jump to higher vantage points. A scratching post will tone shoulder and back muscles (even declawed cats will enjoy pawing them), and a post with multilevel platforms will hone balance and coordination. The material that covers the post shouldn’t be thick enough to entangle and damage claws — most cats prefer a tightly woven natural fiber.

    You can also increase the distance between your cat’s water and food bowls. These extra steps will burn a significant amount of calories over time.

    3: Be a Play Partner

    If you spend just 10 minutes twice a day playing with your cat, you can dramatically improve her fitness level. Cats — even seemingly “lazy” ones — will respond to your efforts with brief, intense bursts of activity. If you’d rather stock up at a local pet store, look for toys that tap into her natural prey drive, like a catnip mouse tied to a string that you can drag in front of her.

    Want to build fitness into your cat’s day, even when you’re away? Introduce a second cat to your home. The two will wrestle, chase and play at regular intervals throughout the day (and night).

    4: Police Her Food

    Instead of putting your cat on a diet, however, you could make her work for her food with a plastic foraging ball. This is about the size of a tennis ball and has a hollow center than can be filled with dry cat food. Holes in the ball allow the food to fall out when the ball rolls, giving your cat incentive to move the ball — and her body in the process. Just be ready to refill the ball at regular intervals — or leave additional, measured portions of food in her bowl — to ensure she gets enough to eat.

    5: Try Competitive Play

    You can set up an at-home agility course using household items like overturned chairs and teach your cat to run the gauntlet. The International Cat Agility Tournaments organization even offers instructional guides for DIYers, as well as training sessions for cats. Whichever route you take, the benefits are clear: Play, even the competitive kind, improves your cat’s physical health and fosters strong bonds between pet parents and their feline charges.

    happycrazypets.com

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