If you are familiar with Garfield, the lasagna-eating, plump, orange tabby, first made famous in cartoon strips from the mid-70s and later adapted for an animated television series, you will recall that Garfield was a serious couch potato! He loved to eat, sleep, watch TV and repeat. He certainly did not get a lot of exercise. While the concept is great for entertainment purposes, a cat that isn’t consuming healthy foods and doesn’t get enough exercise can develop an increased risk for many serious ailments including cancer, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and a faster degeneration of affected joints. A cat with these issues may not only have a shorter life span, but also poor quality of life. Luckily, there are many ways to ensure your Garfield gets out of his couch-potato funk, and gets moving to enjoy a healthy, happy, long life right from the safety of your home.
For low impact exercise, consider picking up a feather-on-a-stick, balls made especially for cats, or even a wind-up mouse, or mouse on a rope. Your cat will love sneaking up on that colourful, sought after item and pouncing when the time is right. She may even break into a full chase if she is after a ball and if your movements are fast enough. There are also some toys that will give your cat a chance to play on her own such as food puzzles which stimulate brain health and satisfy her curiosity.
For medium impact exercise, you may want to look at purchasing a laser pointer. This inexpensive purchase will provide hours of fun as you point the laser on the floor in front of your cat and watch him tap his paw to catch the mysterious red dot. Once he really gets into the game, you can move the pointer quicker and higher, shining it on walls above to encourage him to run, jump and pounce for the dot. This will build up his stamina and get him moving quickly. To avoid stress and give him full satisfaction, vets recommend that you allow your cat to win the game by swapping out the laser pointer (which he cannot actually catch) for a toy that he can catch and enjoy.
For higher intensity training, look at investing in tunnels, towers, trees, or other furniture pieces made specifically for cats. Individual cat tunnels are often inexpensive to purchase and are made from materials that fold flat to put away when play is done. By rolling a ball through the tunnel from one end to the next or standing at the opposite end from your cat with a toy or treat, you can get kitty to crawl or run through the tunnel for fun. A cat tree will allow your kitty to sharpen her claws and do what she instinctually wants to do, climb! Some tree towers on the market even incorporate tunnels and the cat tree, to provide an obstacle course that will get your cat in cross-fit shape. There are also cat frames available for purchase that can be mounted to your wall, providing a decorative display, and giving even the most elite cathletes a great work out!
Of course, you can’t overlook the importance of fuelling your cat with a healthy diet that will provide the nutrition he needs to enjoy his active life. Snappy Tom Pet Supply has you covered! With healthy, pure fish protein segments in cat food products, and all the positive health aspects associated with it, such as Omega oils for joint, heart, and coat health, your Garfield will be set up to enjoy the healthy, long life you envision for him.