How to stop your fat cat from be­ing a couch potato

Daily News - - LIFESTYLE - RICHARD MARS­DEN

IT is not only hu­mans who are fac­ing an obe­sity cri­sis – the world’s mog­gies are, too. Over­feed­ing and lack of ex­er­cise mean 40% are over­weight.

Now own­ers are be­ing urged to make sure their pets get a daily work­out.

Vet Dr Carolina Vilches Romo warns that many own­ers un­der­es­ti­mate how much ex­er­cise their cats need.

Romo, an ex­pert in fe­line medicine and surgery, sug­gests try­ing hunt­ing games and even ham­ster-style wheels. “We’re not rec­om­mend­ing that peo­ple start walk­ing their cat on a lead like a dog, as this can cause dis­tress to an an­i­mal that is fiercely in­de­pen­dent and craves con­trol,” she said.

“But house cat own­ers should be cre­at­ing a daily ex­er­cise rou­tine for their pet through ac­tive play and stim­u­la­tion.”

Romo says cats that never go out­side un­su­per­vised should get at least 30 min­utes’ ex­er­cise a day. “It’s in your cat’s DNA to want to use short bursts of en­ergy to hunt, jump and play, so try to in­cor­po­rate th­ese into your ex­er­cise rou­tine,” she said.

“You should be aim­ing for 10 to 15 min­utes, sev­eral times a day. Hunt­ing-type games work well, where you en­cour­age your cat to chase or stalk some­thing. They also love to bat toys around and chase af­ter them. The key thing is find­ing what works for you and which your cat loves.”

Vets warn that obe­sity in cats is a ma­jor con­cern as it can in­crease their risk of heart dis­ease, can­cer, di­a­betes, kid­ney dis­ease, asthma and arthri­tis. – Daily Mail

PIC­TURE: FLICKR. COM

Vets warn that obe­sity in cats is a ma­jor con­cern as it can in­crease their risk of heart dis­ease, can­cer, di­a­betes, kid­ney dis­ease, asthma and arthri­tis.

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