COVID-19 is currently impacting everyone’s routines and pets are no exceptions. As people bring more work home and occupy more space in their home for longer periods of time, indoor cats may become more reclusive. To maintain their mental and physical health it’s important that cats continue to get exercise while everyone is sheltering in place.
Here are some ways you can encourage your indoor cat to keep moving:
Create a “Kitty Coliseum”
Take a large cardboard box, a bathtub, or some other enclosed space and put a ball or elusive cat toy inside. This will activate your cat’s ‘prey instincts’ and keep them moving and engaged in safe, contained space. If it’s a bathtub or another slick surface, your cat will get additional agility and balance exercise and you may get some extra laughs as they attempt to keep their footing.
Multi-story ‘cat towers’ or ‘cat trees’ are a great way to encourage your cat to play and climb. These can be found in most pet stores and range from simple to extreme. If you have a particularly tall tower, hiding a fragrant treat or cat toy at the top will motivate your cat to get a great workout. If your cat is particularly energetic, you can add in an agility course. It’s ideal to keep the action away from your work station to avoid mishaps.
Flexible wand-style toys with a feather, fake rodent or something colorful on the other end are safe, fun and interactive play for cats and their owners. If you have a fishing-pole-style toy, you can create some extra slack and run the toy up, over and around furniture. The ensuing chase will dial up the exercise intensity and give your cat a satisfying capture once they make their catch. There are also remote control cat toys on the market that can provide hours of fun and exercise.