DEAR TABBY (VOL. 1) : BARKING CATS, KNEADY KITTENS, FINICKY FELINES & MORE
In Volume One of our Dear Tabby series, cat expert, Kristin Levine, answers your most pressing questions about cats, from hair chewing, to unexpected bites and barking noises.
Five Ways To Stay Active With Your Cat This Winter
Colder days are here, and we’re all more inclined to spend lazy days indoors on the couch, snuggled up with our cats. Unfortunately, that also means we’re more likely to put on a few pounds—and that applies to our feline friends, too. Here are five simple tips to avoid winter weight woes.
1. Get the right toys for your cat.
We’ve all been there—spending tons of money on cat toys that never get played with. While cats are notoriously picky, just because your cat doesn’t like one type of toy, that doesn’t mean you should give up. Experiment with a variety of toys to see what piques your cat’s interest. For example, if your cat perks up when they hear a piece of paper crinkling, try picking up some toys that make a similar noise. Or, if your cat loves to chase animals, try some felt mice. Toys needn’t be expensive, either. In fact, there are plenty of toys you can make yourself at home. Check out our list.
2. Now, use them to play together.
Giving your cat some toys isn’t enough. You need to make sure that you’re giving them attention, too. After all, cats are more likely to play with a friend—and that means you. Run, chase, jump and explore along with your pet. It will keep both of you both mentally and physically stimulated.
3. Try some tricks.
Agility isn’t just for dogs. Cats can also learn to come, sit, fetch and jump on command. Get a treat that your cat loves, and reward them within 1-2 seconds after doing the trick so they associate it with the command. You may need to break the treat into smaller pieces to control calories.
4. Go for a walk.
Going for a walk with an indoor cat may sound unusual, but many cats find great pleasure in spending time outside. Plus, walking together can strengthen the bond between cat and owner. Before you venture outdoors, invest in a harness and leash specifically designed for cats, and make sure your cat is comfortable wearing the harness by using encouraging verbal cues, and associating it with treats. Let the cat explore the new environment slowly before going off on a big adventure.
5. Make mealtime an adventure.
Some cats may just want to curl up for a nap after eating a big meal. Avoid this behavior and keep your cat’s metabolism working best by giving them multiple small meals throughout the day. You can try hiding small portions of food around the house in bowls or in feeding toys, which will increase their daily physical activity and hone their hunting instincts. Lots of cats enjoy their food even more when they have to work for it!
Don’t let the winter blahs get you down. With our simple tips, you and your cat can stay active and healthy all winter long!