7 Best Exercises for Overweight Cats
6 min read
Got an overweight cat? You’re probably wondering what caused the weight gain in the first place. It could have happened for a few reasons: by overfeeding your cat, providing it with many leftovers, or not encouraging it to exercise enough.
Luckily, some exercises can help your cat lose weight. From cat yoga to cardio, and more, this blog will offer a few different ideas to help your situation. You can try one or a combination of suggestions from this list.
Doing cat yoga is a lowcost way to stay fit and healthy.
Some of you may have heard about cat yoga. Yes, it does sound a little crazy, but it’s real and it does work. From beer yoga to disco yoga, and now this. Cat yoga may be just another fad. However, cat yoga is a great low-cost and flexible way to work out at home, while encouraging your cat to stretch and play. All you need is a yoga mat and some toys for your cat.
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Think that walks are only for dogs? Walking is a great, healthy way to get your overweight cat to exercise and get some fresh air at the same time. You can use a lead for outdoor walks in parks, or ask your friends and neighbors if you can borrow their patio or backyard for an afternoon and let your cat walk around there.
When you think of cardio, the first thing that comes to mind is a treadmill. Not only designed for humans, treadmills now come in cat size. Although a bit pricey, this could be a great investment for your cat. Make sure you supervise them at all times while the treadmill is on for their safety. This is another good option for those who like to work out indoors.
If you’re looking for something different to help your cat lose weight, how about a small inflatable pool in your lounge or the backyard? Swimming is a great full-body exercise, and your cat will feel safe in shallow water while being in the comfort of home. If your cat is scared of water, you can start by filling the tub with a small amount of water and then move on to the inflatable pool gradually.
It’s no surprise that cats enjoy staying indoors, so, why not create some activities that will help them burn calories in the comfort of your own home? Cats like to chase and pounce. You can get some soft animal toys, balls, or lasers to help with this. Try this for 30 minutes in the morning and evening to ensure a good workout.
Another good way to get your cat fit is to invest in a tree or tower to let them climb and jump on when you’re not around. Cats are naturally independent creatures and with the right structures, they can burn calories while they explore.
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Taking a cat out may be a good way to socialize it and make it play with other cats.
Set up a playdate for your cat, social interaction might get your cat moving more. Even if your cat is usually independent, they will enjoy a change to their routine and it could be a way to encourage play. Some people need a friend to get started with exercise, and the same applies to cats!
How to understand that your cat is already overweight?
Your cat's weight may be different depending on the breed, so you can always ask your vet if the cat needs a diet.
Usually, an adult pet weighs about 8 - 10 lbs. Large cat breeds, such as Maine Coons, Siberian or Norwegian Forest, will weigh a few lbs more. After weighing your pet and discovering that the scales show a suspiciously high number, you need to consult a veterinarian about putting your cat on a diet.
By the way, fasting diets are not recommended for cats. Cats aren’t like humans in their eating habits. One or two days of fasting can be extremely dangerous to cats. Always consult a veterinarian when making changes to your cat's diet, but just remember, your cat will need to eat less to lose weight.
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Why is being overweight so dangerous for cats?
Your overweight cat might not be showing any symptoms right now. They might seem completely fine and happy. In the long-term, being overweight can cause many health conditions in cats, just like people, including:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Joint problems
- Arthritis, osteoarthrosis
- High blood pressure
- Increased chance of cancer
All of those conditions listed above are life-threatening, especially if they are left untreated. The best way to avoid these conditions is to help your cat lose weight and get it to a healthy weight.
What is the best diet for your cat?
Diets vary in purpose:
If your cat has only slightly overweight, changing their diet to a special low-calorie food will help. Many manufacturers produce cat food for inactive pets to help them lose weight.
If your pet is suffering from health issues because they are overweight, it’s recommended to consult a veterinarian before making any big changes to their lifestyle and diet.
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It’s not enough just to feed your pet a special food and hope that the problem disappears on its own. You need to make lifestyle changes for your cat, like those suggested above. It also helps to make sure your cat is not eating food all day unsupervised. Your cat will be used to having access to food in their bowl all day long. Instead, feed your cat in small controlled portions throughout the day. Don’t leave uneaten food out, clear your cats bowl after a short amount of time. Your cat will learn to eat their food when it is put out.
The bottom line
Getting rid of extra weight may be a hard task, but regular exercising can do a great favor here.
Keep in mind that weight loss is often quite difficult, and can take from several weeks to several months to get rid of just a few extra pounds. Different weight loss diets are certainly good in your cat’s weight loss program, but it’s important to remember that exercises is only one step towards solving the problem. You should also change the diet of your furry friend.
Always consult a veterinarian to find out exactly how much food your cat needs to eat. Each cat is unique, and recommendations will also vary. Cat food manufacturers provide nutritional information with the food to allow you to make sure you’re not overfeeding your cat.
Don’t worry too much if your cat is overweight, with some small changes your cat will be able to lose weight and live a better life. Try some of the exercises suggested. They will make a difference for your cat, especially if you exercise your cat daily.