Fit­ness for house­bound cats

Amazing Wellness - - HEALTHY PET -

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 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 k9­fit­

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