When you own a pet you have a responsibility to look after its health. You can’t just take the benefits – companionship and cuteness – without dealing with the fact that a pet is an active animal which needs to burn off its energy. You also need to ensure that if it is ill that is taken to the vets. These bills can be expensive so it is a good idea to get a pet insurance policy to cover these costs.
Obese pets are one of the latest and very worrying problems in the UK – over six million pets in the UK are officially overweight, according to figures from People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, and 50% of that number is made by cats. A fat cat may seem cuddlier, but it’s not healthy. Overfeeding is a big problem, as people neglect to control their pet’s diet.
Exercise is also a big issue. Ensuring your cat does enough exercise should lessen the destructive and annoying behaviours exhibited by bored and frustrated cats.
The trick to making sure your cat exercises is to remember that cats are very independent, free-spirited creatures. You’ll find it difficult to corral them into doing anything they don’t want to – you’re going to need to make it fun. Toys and towers are what you need – something for your cat to chase and mock-hunt and something to climb. These fun activities will help your cat to become more active. Some specialists advise trying to get cats to play in pairs; cats in company will be more active than solitary animals as they’ll play-fight to establish dominance, and also muck around together just for the fun of it.
If your cat needs to lose a lot of weight, it’s time to stop the softly-softly approach and get disciplined. Cats can be trained to wear a harness and walk on a leash. A docile, chubby cat can be coaxed into a harness and taken for a walk – though it’s important that your cat has had its injections before you take it outdoors. Other serious cat exercise activities include training your cat to walk on a treadmill. This may be easier and less embarrassing than taking it in public on a lead.
Another innovative way of giving your cat exercise is to invest in a cat-wheel. We’ve all seen hamster-wheels, and cat-wheels are basically larger, scaled-up versions of this concept. The wall-mounted cat-wheel provides your pet with a constant challenge and a way for it to burn off energy. It needs a reasonable amount of space for installation, and may confuse your cat at first, but there is evidence to show that cats quickly come to enjoy the novel experience of running in a wheel.
Cover your cat’s vets bills with a tailored cat insurance policy from The Co-op Insurance