Just because your indoor cat doesn’t prowl the neighborhood, chase birds, or get daily walks or trips to the dog park, doesn’t mean it’s okay to be a cat potato. It’s easy to create a virtual playground for your cat inside the walls of your home.
- String theory — Sad that the string came out of your hoodie in the wash, but now you have a perfect cat toy. Or the ribbon off a gift, an old shoe lace. Amazing how swirling in the air or in the ground can send your cat scampering after it.
- Roly poly — Cats may not be built for games of fetch, but roll a tennis ball or sock ball to them and watch them bat it around, and maybe even chase after it if they knock it across the floor.
- Free climb — Like toddlers, cat see the world based on how they can climb it. If your home allows, give them safe, sturdy levels to climb freely—like stools, window seats or ledges, or secure shelves—without you worrying about them knocking important things down.
- Kibble on the move — Cats are natural predators so one way to keep the brain and their body active is finding new spots to put their kibble. Try dividing the food you’d give your cat for one meal into three different bowls and put them in different spots where your cat can hunt them down.
In addition to the physical activity, make sure your cat’s diet matches his or her lifestyle. Indoor cat food is formulated with fewer calories, knowing that indoor cats aren’t quite as active as outdoor, plus it has fatty acids to keep their skin and coat shiny, even for life with an HVAC system that could dry them out. And if you think your cat may already need to lighten up a little, try a nutritious healthy weight cat food that helps them feel full but has fewer calories than regular cat food.