There is a cat obesity epidemic in Australia. Overseas studies, including one from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), showed that 40 percent of cats are overweight — and 19 percent are obese.
Much like in humans, obesity in cats can lead to many other health problems, including irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, and disease of various organs. One way to combat this serious problem? Daily exercise. And for indoor cats, this means extended playtime.
While some cats are excited to play, others need motivation. Fortunately, matching toys and playtime with your cat’s personality will make it a fun experience for your pet.
The Hunter Cat
You have a hunter when your cat is ready to play and is always looking for anything to chase or pounce on. A wand toy is the perfect toy for hunter cats.
Tip: Don’t wave the toy; pull it around objects and corners instead. Because hunter cats love to seek and find prey, hiding toys around the house will make playtime fun for your four-legged friend.
The Independent Cat
Independent cats enjoy interactive play, but often times, they are perfectly fine on their own. If you have this can-do kind of cat, look for cat toys online or from a nearby store that’s perfect for a chasing game, such as balls, catnip, or toy mice.
Tip: Make sure to rotate toys every couple of weeks to keep your cat from getting bored.
The Lazy Cat
Lazy cats are known for their “Are you serious? That is not a real mouse.” look when you try to initiate play. Finding the right motivation is important if you have a cat like this. The first thing you need to do is to see what makes your cat’s eyes dilate. Is it a laser? A moving string? A catnip cigar? Determine the time of day your cat is particularly active, too.
If all else fails, get your cat moving with a game of hide and seek.
Don’t let your furry little friend be a part of the growing number of obese cats in Australia — make time for playtime as often as you can, and choose the right toys.