How to encourage a lazy cat to play & be active

Cats have a reputation for being more than a little relaxed – possibly down to all those hours they sleep. There’s a fine line between unwinding and lazy though, and too much of the latter is never a good thing for felines.

If you do find yourself constantly asking, ‘Why is my cat so lazy?’, well unfortunately, there’s no easy answer.

It could be a lack of mental stimulation. Poor nutrition. Constant overfeeding leaving them sluggish and inactive. For some cats, it’s just in their genes.

While an idle cat may look as if they’re having the time of their cat life, the long-term health consequences can be worryingly severe.

And so that’s why it’s up to us to give them a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Encouraging activity will not only boost physical robustness, it will do wonders for their mental well-being.

10 ways to get your lazy cat to be a little more active!

  1. Don’t just leave your cat to play alone.

    Cats are very good at entertaining themselves, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like a playmate now and again. The more time cats spend alone the more isolated and lethargic they can become, so make sure you plan in plenty of quality one-on-one time with them.

    Felines can benefit hugely from pet parent interaction. Regular play sessions and daily exercise routines will increase activity levels and improve overall fitness, as well as alleviate any boredom or stress – and that goes both ways.

  2. Explore more stimulating toys.

    Cats, like people, need variety. Playing with the same toys over and over again can quickly become tiring for our feline friends. Toy rotation is a simple way of preventing playtime fatigue, keeping cats interested and happy.

    Thankfully, there’s an incredible amount of choice when it comes to cat toys nowadays so you shouldn’t struggle unearthing more stimulating options. Always put their toys away when they’ve finished playing as well. If granted constant access to their playthings they’ll soon become bored of them.

  3. Consider how diet could be a factor.

    How would you feel after demolishing a huge burger, large fries and a soda? Not much for moving we’re willing to bet. Humans have a lot more energy when they’re eating the right foods. And it’s the same for our cats.

    Cats thrive on complete and well-balanced diets; ones that focus on high-quality proteins, natural ingredients with no artificial additives or preservatives. Getting their diet right is also key to preventing obesity, a growing problem among felines and one that can lead to severe health complications.

  4. Use play and treats together.

    Instead of dishing out treats to your cat as and when, try making reward time a little more challenging. Making felines ‘work’ for their treat is a great way of motivating them to get up and about. Games you can play include hide and seek or fetch, while treat-release toys are a fun addition to any cat household.

    Earning food in this manner will keep your cat active as well as happy and mentally simulated. Treats should not make up more than 20% of a cat’s daily diet, so be careful when rationing out rewards.

  5. Keep experimenting with toys and games – you’ll find a favorite!

    Most cats are relatively easy to please but if your cat won’t play with toys, don’t worry. Try engaging them with new ones, or find new ways to play with old ones. There are hundreds of different cat toys on the market from feather wands and toy mice to exercise wheels and puzzle games.

    There’s even a host of ‘Apps for Cats’ available to download to your phone, just in case you have a tech-loving feline who enjoys a little screen time every now and then. It might take a while, but eventually you’ll find a toy or game your cat can’t get enough of.

  6. Create a cat obstacle course.

    A cat obstacle course could be just the thing to get your lazy cat jumping for joy. Start off simple with a few weaving poles and a couple of jump through hoops. Don’t force anything. Use toys or treats to entice them if they’re initially wary, giving them time to adjust to the set-up.

    As they grow more confident, begin adding in new sections like tunnels, cat trees, climbing walls and even a scratching post at the end. The more stimulating the environment, the more rewarding your cat will find the experience. As well as providing excellent physical exercise and mental stimulation, it’ll also mean you’re spending quality time with them as well.

  7. Teach them new tricks using kibble.

    It isn’t just dogs who love being taught new tricks. Cats can be just as fun to train, too. Building up communication in this way will strengthen your bond, and also encourage your cat to engage in more physically and mentally stimulating behavior.

    Using treats all the time can lead to overfeeding, so adding in kibble will still offer that extra incentive while ensuring they’re receiving a healthy dose of nutrients. Keep training sessions short but consistent, and be patient.

  8. Leave food out around the house.

    We know cats should be fed a well-balanced diet full of nutrients, but health and fitness shouldn’t end at the bowl. Cats love food, even lazy cats. Making them work for their meals encourages increased activity while the extra exercise will help them maintain a healthy weight.

    Placing food at various spots around the house is a good way of doing this. You can even take your cat on a food journey. Put their food in a bowl and walk around the house. If they’re hungry, they’ll follow. Place the bowl down for a few seconds, let them eat, and then pick it back up and move on.

  9. Add food puzzles to mealtime.

    While asking you and I to complete a puzzle before each meal would probably drive us up the wall, cats love them. Food puzzles are a superb way of turning mealtime into a fun game that will have your lazy cat moving and thinking.

    Food puzzles come in various shapes and sizes from simple dispenser designs to more elaborate contraptions. Begin with the easier designs first. Once they get the hang of these, move on to the more complicated puzzles.

  10. Are they getting enough water?

    A dehydrated cat is not going to have much energy. You always need to make certain your cat has access to plenty of clean fresh water every day. While a lot of felines will receive adequate hydration from the wet foods they eat, it’s highly beneficial to provide different sources. Some extra hydration could be just what’s needed to put that spring back in your cat’s step. If you’re concerned your cat isn’t getting enough water, place waters bowls in different areas around the house to see if there’s a particular location they prefer.

Poor nutrition & lethargic pets often go hand-in-hand

Everybody knows cats need food to survive.

For them to thrive though, it’s imperative they’re getting the right foods packed with essential nutrients.

Just like with humans, a cat’s energy levels are significantly affected by what they eat.

Poor nutrition, combined with inadequate calorie intake, can lead to lethargy in the short-term, but can also set your cat on a path to more serious health issues long-term.

Reveal’s meals are made with 100% natural ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives or additives, benefiting cats with intolerances.

This is vital for cats plagued by stomach issues who can struggle finding the energy to move.

Revel’s complimentary meals are also high in animal protein, which aids growth and development while keeping the immune system fighting fit.

Healthy cats are more likely to remain active.

Recipes like our Tuna With Seaweed In Broth Can, the Chicken With Pumpkin In Broth Can or our Chicken Breast with Duck in Broth Pot are more than just tasty meal choices bursting with flavor.

They’re part of a wider selection of nutrient-rich dishes that when served as part of a complete diet will have your cat’s energy levels soaring.

Remember to take your time if you’re moving a cat over to a new diet. Sudden change can cause digestive upset, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.

If you’re happy your cat is eating a complete and well-balanced diet, but they’re still sluggish and lethargic, there may be a more serious underlying problem.

Ring your vet and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

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