Fitness for housebound cats
butt kicks: Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, bend your right knee and raise your right heel behind you, toward your butt, then back down, and repeat with your left leg.
SPOT’S SIDE SHUFFLES: Do side shuffles across a room, to the right and then the left, with your dog walking or running in front you. Start off slow. Find your own rhythm and balance, and let your dog get used to following you, and then pick up speed. To increase intensity, bend your knees and do the motion in a squatting position.
SHELTIE STEP UPS: Stand with your right side by a platform (height appropriate for your fitness level), dog on your left. Step up with your right foot, encouraging your dog to put its front paws onto the step. Bring your left foot onto the step and put your weight on both feet, having your It isn’t common to see pet owners walking their cats down the street, but the practice is beginning to catch on, says Steve Dale, a certified dog and cat behavior consultant in Chicago. “Most housebound cats will acclimate to a leash and harness,” he says.
The trick is to do it gradually. Get a cat harness, put it on your cat and allow the cat to walk around the house a few times. Then add the leash, and gradually start taking it outside for short periods. Don’t try to go for a long walk.
“Cats wander,” says Dale, so don’t expect to get a vigorous workout. However, all physical activity counts, so it’s good for you too.
If your cat is highly motivated by food, he recommends puzzle toys that hold kibble. Hide them in unexpected places to get your cat prowling around. Be sure to subtract the same amount of food from the cat’s normal diet.
For more tips, visit stevedale.tv. dog follow. Step down with your left foot, bring your right foot back onto the floor, and have your dog follow. Repeat 10 times, and then do the same on the other side.
Dogs make great workout buddies. To find a K9 Fit Club-certified trainer for you and your dog, or to get certified, visit k9fitclub.com.