Cats Need Exercise

Owners do too, but we will focus on the cats.  It is very important for cats to get at least 15 minutes of play each day.  There are a variety of great toys available for them to enjoy.  Remember to mimic their behavior in the wild – hunt, catch, kill.  They need to catch the toy every once and awhile.  This is one of several reasons I do not like playing with a laser.  In fact, some cats develop a neurosis called frenzied play syndrome because they never catch the beam of light.  You should get your cat’s heart rate up and if possible, get them panting. 

Back to their natural behavior, at the end of when they have caught the “prey” you should feed the cat.  That is what they would do in the wild.  Another benefit is the human-animal bond you will enjoy if you take time to play with your cat every day.

The following video clip stars two of my cats, Mauka and Keanu in play.  Please notice that Mauka is allowed to hold the toy for awhile when he catches it to replicate hunting behavior.  Enjoy!

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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