Chris Kouwenhoven

The feline couch potato

Is your cat bored? Feline boredom is often at the root of a variety of behavior problems including aggression with pets as well as people, compulsive grooming, and depression. We all know feline couch potatoes-sedentary cats who tend to be chubby. A daily dose of aerobic exercise is as important for cats as it is for their owners. A couple 10-15-minute play sessions a day will improve your cat's attitude toward life and will bring him into the land of the fit and trim. And by the way, interacting with your cat in a positive way is healthy and relaxing for you as well.

Invest in a couple of well-made fishing pole-type toys and take them out during the scheduled playtimes. (Cats love routine, so try to plan play sessions for the same time every day.) You can sit on the couch while kitty is getting a workout. When kitty is lying on his side and batting at the toy, it's ok to end the play session and put the toys away. (If these toys are not put behind closed doors, the cat will continue to hunt for them and could get into trouble by chewing the string or feathers.)

Have fun. These play sessions are great times for bonding with your pet.

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