Cats truly are the perfect pet. They don’t need to be walked and they are litter box trained. But, instead of living a challenging, active existence in the wild, we’ve created furry, flabby couch potatoes who tune into late night TV.

According to Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, “Cats are happiest being cats – having the opportunity to pounce and hunt, even if they are indoors.” She believes that mental and physical activity is essential to inactive cats to prevent them from becoming brain dead, overweight and prone to many diseases, including diabetes. 

Before you devise a Zumba routine for your feline friend, however, check with your veterinarian. If kitty passes his physical, strategically placed cat trees, cat walks, or a window ledge overlooking an outdoor bird feeder will help kitty exercise his mind. Treat balls, laser lights, dangling toys, a variety of mice and catnip toys are good for their physical well being and muscles.

Try an interactive video. The link below will take you to a website that offers many videos featuring birds, squirrels, and other outdoor sights and sounds.  We play these videos for the cats at Cat Depot and the cats are often mesmerized!
 
www.petsittervideos.com

If you have a screened in porch or lanai, cats love to be out in the fresh air.  You might consider hanging some bird feeders in the yard to attract some interesting "scenery" for your cat. 
 
You can also purchase an enclosed outdoor playpen for your cat as shown on the link below.  Many cats love to play or bask in the sunshine within these safe enclosures.
 
www.drsfostersmith.com/cat-supplies/outdoor-cats/ps/c/3261/20830

Humans can instigate play with older cats who can once again, remember how to play. And, who knows – it may be good for you too.

Author:  Linda Slavin, Co-Founder, Cat Depot

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