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Anyone have any ideas on how to keep indoor cats fit and healthy?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
After the death of one of our cats, we have decided it's not safe enough for them to free roam. We have 4 cats, and we wanna keep them inside. Any advice for indoor exercise for cats?

Thank ya.
post #2 of 16
A laser pointer is great exercise if your cats will play with it (and most will). I have 10 completely indoor kitties (8 of them are under 1 year!) and the laser pointer keeps them occupied and tires them out for hours.

ETA: Another thing you can do is to buy or make at least one of those big cat "trees" for them to climb on.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks! i was already planning on buying a laser pointer or two. We have one small play structure for them to bounce around on a bit, and i'm trying to convince my parents to turn our screened porch (Which we never use) into a cat play area. I just wanna keep my babies healthy, and safe. I wish we could let them out, but after one of them died earlier this week we've decided it's not safe for them outside.
post #4 of 16
DA BIRD or cat dancer .... toss games with milk jug rings...
post #5 of 16
I would suggest lots of toys. Zek likes strings, furry mice, laser pointers, and anything with feathers (he is especially possessive over his feather wand). Odo likes catnip, feathers, and strings. They entertain each other by wrestling and playing chase. I have a couple of cat trees for Zek to climb (Odo prefers the ground). I also have a fish tank that keeps Zek amused for hours trying to catch the fish through the sides.
post #6 of 16
Toys Toys Toys!!

I also suggest checking out e-bay for cat trees. I spent about a month checking every couple days and finally found someone who makes them in his free time. Much cheaper and the quality of construction was much better than the one my friend bought from one of those companies that makes 20 different kinds. It did take about a month for shipping, but the wait was well worth it. My cats love it, and they have completely stopped scratching my bed too!! What an unexpected and lovely bonus!
post #7 of 16
THANK YOU for opting for indoors-only. It's the caring and kind thing to do. To keep your cats fit, healthy and happy, play with them daily! The interactive "fishing pole" type toys, such as Feline Flyer and our favorite, DaBird, will have them airborne and excited day after day; and the safe, cat-specific laser pointer toys you can get at "pet" supply stores will keep them running up,down, and sideways. Catnip toys, sparkle/twinkle balls, foam soccer balls, -- any safe toy for cats is sure to keep them hopping, especially when YOU play with them!
post #8 of 16
Nothing wears my kitten out faster than Da Bird! (It's a feather teaser). Even my lazy sleepyhead 1 year old cat will interact with that toy (nothing else will get her up, except food).
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. Those cat trees on ebay look like fun. As for laser pointers, i was gonna get it from petsmart.. so hopefully it will be the correct kind. It's great that there's four of them, so they can chase each other all around the house.
post #10 of 16
Obviously, it's not safe for cats to free roam. The aforementioned Da Bird is pretty great according to my cat. My only complaint is the annoying split pole that can easily be separated, but of course, that could be glued or something.

I have no idea what a "safe, cat-specific" laser pointer is. AFAIK, there is nothing safer about the lasers sold at pet stores than the cheap, low-power lasers sold everywhere else. Ideally, a "cat laser pointer" would have a constant on/off mechanism, but the lasers I've seen in pet stores don't even have that function.
post #11 of 16
I have tall cat condos all over the house, have various pole toys like Da Bird, catnip toys everywhere and do things like placing their food and water bowls in various places in the house on raised counters so that they have to jump to get at them.

Be creative. If you have a 2 story house, put their favorite things on each floor so that they have to climb the stairs all day long to get to them. The condos make them climb to get to good spots.
post #12 of 16
I have seen peoples houses where they've built ramps all around the walls for the cats to climb with platforms for them to see the world go by from above. One couple even made openings between the rooms.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice. I figure, we'll put their food downstairs in the basement (Where the litter boxes are) since there's nowhere comfortable down there for them to lay. I'm gonna go buy 3 or 4 of those cat dancer toys and a laser pointer this morning. I'll have to discuss with the rest of the family about getting a new, large play structure.

For 5 years, the cats free roamed. It was probably about as safe as it gets, just short of having acres and acres of property. We live on a street that goes no where. 25mph speed limit, and the only reason to drive on it is to get to the houses on it. Unfortunately, it looks like someone recently put poison out for something. My neighbors cat and mine both fell victim to it It's a very very hard transition on the cats, but we're all willing to do whatever it takes to keep them safe and healthy inside.
post #14 of 16
Things to climb and places to hide are always good. If you can't get a real cat tree, you can use your existing furniture - just clear off a few spaces where the cats can be up high. Empty paper bags or cardboard boxes lying on their sides can be fun, and you can make tunnels out of open ended boxes connected end-to-end.

Furry catnip-scented mice, lasers and wand toys are good for playing with your cat, but shouldn't be left out. Please don't leave string, or toys with string/ribbons attached, where the cats can get to them while you aren't watching. I almost lost a cat to one of those toys when she swallowed the string.
post #15 of 16
Another cheap, easily replacable toy that I've never seen a cat not go for is Cat Dancer.
For around $5 you can get the complete kit, which includes a mounting 'paw'.
My 6 including my 14 year old, will play with that thing for hours on end, I actually have to put it away once in a while
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, i went to petsmart and picked up Da Bird, and another similar type toy. 2/4 will play with da bird.. One of them likes the other one with no attachment on it (just a string :p) and the last one likes the smaller attachment so she can hide and fly at it goin full speed through the living room. It took the first one a while to play with da bird. I tried it with him, he didn't react so i showed it to his sisters. When i got to his second sister he was ready to play, and couldn't keep his eyes off it.


and we'll find a nice place to store the toys while the cats aren't playin =D
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