Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital’s Blog
Meeting the Nutritional and Exercise Needs of Your Indoor Cats
Cats are natural hunters – and this instinct often determines the ways they enjoy expending energy. Leaping, stalking, pouncing, and chasing after their “prey” are all ways cats express themselves and get exercise.
Indoor kitties sometimes face a challenge, in so far that their environment often lacks the same opportunities for these behaviors. Despite indoor pets being better protected from accidents, illnesses, and predation risks that come with the great outdoors, they do need some help to stay mentally and physically fit.
Along with exercise, many indoor cats need assistance in the weight management department. With 60% of all domestic cats qualifying as obese, your pet’s nutritional needs should also be carefully considered and perhaps modified.
Indoor Cat Nutrition
Since an indoor cat generally doesn’t get as much exercise as one who roams the outdoors, he or she may struggle with weight gain and hairballs.
OK, you may be wondering why hairballs… because your feline will likely self-groom more as a result of having more time to lounge around. More grooming means, yes, more hairballs.
Fortunately, there are some specialty diets we can set your favorite feline up with. Indoor formulas are typically lower in calories while meeting your cat’s nutritional needs. There are also diets that curb hairballs or helps them pass through the digestive tract.
Depending on your pet’s health, he or she may also benefit from vitamins and supplements. The team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital are happy to recommend some brands that would be appropriate for your furry pal.
Exercise Ideas for Your Indoor Feline
Providing activities and interactive games for your cat may seems strange, especially if your meowy friend loves just about anything he can bat under the couch. On the other hand, you may care for a complete couch potato cat who would rather snooze than play.
Cats, like dogs, require exercise for complete health. To keep your cat moving, try some of the following paw-approved activities:
- Tie some lightweight toys to thick string (thick enough to not be ingestible, like sturdy cotton shoelaces) and tie them around doorknobs to provide home alone fun
- Scatter a few turned-over empty boxes and paper bags and create an indoor obstacle course especially for kitty-crazed playtime
- Swap out your pet’s toys every few months to prevent boredom
- Consider purchasing or building your own cat tree, complete with hiding cubicles, multiple stands, and dangling toys for loads of climbing and interactive fun
- Install window perches or ledges for your cat and place a few bird feeders outside – certain to be an attraction for all whiskered friends in the household
- When all else fails, grab a laser pointer (the go-to toy most cats go for)
To keep your cat at his or her best requires plenty of exercise and a diet tailored to lifestyle, age, weight, and health. Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital is your indoor cat’s ally in health – please call us with any questions about how to provide excellent care for your kitty companion.