Fat Cats? Not With These Toys
Playtime products to motivate overweight felines.
Help your overweight feline maintain a healthy mind and body by encouraging him to play. Cat play with appropriate toys promotes exercise, hones natural skills, alleviates boredom and stress -- and is just good fun for both you and your kitty. So when purchasing toys, think about those that promote independent play and animal-human relationship building.
Whether your pet is overweight or not, feline experts strongly recommend selecting toys that enhance your feline's natural instincts to hide, run, chase, bat, scoop, pounce and jump -- the same skills that make cats great hunters.
According to author and certified animal behavior consultant, Pamela Johnson-Bennett, "as predators, cats need to hunt. But, as an indoor cat matures, he can lose his desire to hunt because he can easily leave the couch and walk over to the food bowl."
Furthermore, Johnson-Bennett notes that far too many times her clients tell her that their cats refuse to play with their basket full of toys. Johnson-Bennett advises owners to make their cats' toys come alive by using foraging toys, such as the Funkitty toys from Premier. "Have your pet work for food by hiding foraging toys, around the house. Allow him to do the job he was born to do," advises Bennett.
After "Tiger" McDowell was diagnosed as being extremely obese, his veterinarian prescribed a change of diet and more play. His owner, James McDowell, slowly increased their playtime to three or four times daily. James McDowell uses a laser toy to keep Tiger running around the house and catnip spray to freshen up fishing poles and other toys to make them more appealing.
"He lost a good amount of weight, is energetic and seems happier. Now, I am challenged coming up with activities that keep his interest," says his owner. "I think I am going to introduce him to walking on a leash."
Before buying any toy, also make sure that toy is age and activity appropriate. A soothing toy like a tunnel is a better choice for an older pet while an activity center is an ideal purchase for a younger cat.
Also, when considering cat toys, buy toys that are well made and safe. Make sure the toys have no easily breakable parts. Rotate them weekly to keep a cat's interest. And last but certainly not least -- always follow all directions, including those providing for supervision.
Planned feline play will contribute to your cat's health and longevity as well as creating a stronger bond between you and your cat.
What toys do you use to keep your cat active? Tell us below!
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