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How Much Exercise Do Cats Need?

how much exercise does my cat need?

How Much Exercise Do Cats Need?


According to experts, cats should spend an average of 30 minutes doing some sort of moderate exercise per day. Giving a cat playtime throughout the day which includes jumps, pounces and a little chasing is ideal. This can be all together for thirty minutes or in ten minute increments three times a day.

Each cat is unique and, thus, their requirements for exercises also vary from one another. Usually, this depends on their health or age. For example, if your cat is old or has health problems, it will be a great deal for your cat to exercise regularly. Every cat should get adequate activity based on her own health, age and willingness to exercise (let’s face it, some kitties would rather nap then anything). This post answer the question, “How much exercise do cats need?”

how much exercise do cats need?

The consensus is that most indoor cats do not get enough exercise, while street cats tend to get in a sufficient amount. This is probably due to their prowling around the streets, hunting for food and trying to stay safe. They are more likely going to find situations they need to climb, jump and run in than a typical house cat will. This is why it is important cat owners keep their cats active. Without proper toys, playtime and stimulation a house cat can get very lethargic.

How much exercise does my indoor cat need daily?

In short, at least thirty minutes a day your cat should be very active. This can be tricky if you work away from home during the day so perhaps 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening works better for your schedule. Cats tend to be early morning creatures and lovers of the night so incorporating a routine around both your schedule and her natural instinctive nature is ideal.

Cats are much different then dogs and if you are a pet owner, you know this well. Dogs are people pleasers to the extreme, while a cat tends to make her own decisions, not always lined up with your preferance.

So bottom line, you cannot force your cat to do anything that they do not want, unlike dog breeds like labradors or golden retrievers that are very obedient. Generally, cats are less inclined to exercise than dogs. Thus, you must put some effort for your cat to move at least from one place initially or get them enclosures and cat trees to engage in activities. This is where playtime that is fun for a kitty cat will be super helpful.

Best Toys For Cat Exercise

Having pet supplies that are interactive will give you an edge on your kitty cat. He will be more interested in his toys if they are fun and if you are playing with him. Here are some toys we have found to help you get your cat up and moving!

Da Bird is a highly interactive, engaging toy that cats love! This will encourage your feline to jump, run, chase and chew. This is a highly recommended toy on Amazon. You and your cat will love this toy.

CoolCyberCats also makes a rod toy that has little fuzzy creatures to attach. Kitty cats go nuts over this because the fuzzy varmints resemble small mice. Your cat will chase this all around as you drag it across the floor.

Use the fuzzy animals as standalone for a fun game of fetch to get your cat running.

Jackson Galaxy also has a rod toy for cats that has a worm to attach to the end. The worm squiggles all around, which drives your cat crazy! (in a good way) Enjoying playtime with your cat by walking around your home with a rod toy and this will definitely generate some activity in your feline.


Kittens need to sleep for 18 to 22 hours per day. It means you cannot expect them to be active like other cats. You should still try your best to encourage them for daily exercises by giving your kitten her favorite toys.

If you are about to adopt a kitten, it might make sense to adopt two. Kittens have a lot of energy and getting a playmate will help your kitten fight of loneliness and give him someone to buddy around with. It will also relieve you of constantly being available to play.

10 Kitten Adoption Essentials

Indoor Cats

Indoor cats do not get so much space or do stunts like outdoor cats. So you must encourage them to do some physical activities at least for 30 minutes each day. You can also bring their favorite soft toys like ropes, balls, or feathers to encourage them to play.

Building your indoor cat a catio can also be a way your cat gets active outside in the sunshine. When you build a catio, you can include tall cat trees, climbing ramps and scratchers for her to use in the fresh air.

Outdoor Cats

Outdoor cats are usually active. They get enough exercise and are physically healthy. They have every type of space or structure required for a good workout. They can roam freely around yards, scratch their claws on surfaces and climb up on fences and trees. Also, they have plenty of other things like leaves and bugs that encourage them to do little stunts. So the best way to incorporate exercise everyday for your cat is to give him supplies that mimics the great outdoors. Cat scratchers, trees and interactive toys can be used throughout your home to provide a safe way for your cat to be active.

Adult Cats 

Adult cats must exercise every day for at least half an hour to keep them healthy and fit. Cats love to hunt. It helps to engage them in physical activities. They can observe their prey at first sight and plan its moves for an immediate attack. Playing and exercising help them to practice these abilities.

Thus, you must make time for your cats every day. Ideally, spend an hour a day playing with your cat. The benefits will pay-off tremendously. You will bond with her, help her burn off carbohydrates and calories to keep her fit and use up excess energy from being inside most of the time. All of these will also help her sleep better.

The more playtime you can give, the better for your cat.

It is necessary to choose the best time to encourage your cat to exercise regularly. Cats are most active during dusk and dawn. They are most sleepy during the days, in fact sometimes 20 hours a day.

However, you can still encourage them if you get them their favorite toys. Then, they will find more interest as well, and you do not have to worry so much. Another advantage that you can take is to make them play during the sunsets for hours. At that time, they will be playful and energetic.

As you cannot take your cat for morning jogs or walks, there are several other ways for making them do enough exercise.

How To Get Your Cat To Exercise

  • Animal Toys: Cats are usually very observant, and they can distinguish from real-life stimuli. Toys like real animals do not make them exciting anymore, for example, birds, mice, and bugs. To make it more interesting, you can use strings to make the toys somewhat lively. It will make the playtime challenging as well.
  • Chasing Laser Lights: Cats become very enticed when they see a fast-moving object. You can use the laser light to make your cat respond and tease. To encourage them to participate, make them play with the laser light as if a bug, mouse, or a real object would move.
  • Cat Food Exercise: Mealtimes can be very tempting for cats when you give them wet food to eat. You can also give dry foods or any preferred food to your cat and make them exercise. As your cat realizes when you are preparing food for them, they will follow you everywhere you go. Thus, this can be a good trick to make them chase you all around and burn their calories while your cat is chasing you.
  • Ball Duo and Bathtub: When the bathtub is dried up, you can toss a ball inside and allow your cat to play freely inside your bathtub. As you know that cats do not get bored often, so you can let them play if they want.
  • Wands and Ribbons: You can tie a string or a ribbon on one end of the wand and let your cat chase it all around the house. While ribbons or strings are the favorite toys for cats, you need to be extra careful. You must make sure to keep them away after their playtime. 

Thus, cats need to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. Indoor cats need more time to exercise and become healthy. Outdoor cats need less time to exercise since they have access to various stimuli and the natural environment. How to get your cat to exercise can be challenging, but once you get in a routine, it will be much easier and pleasurable for both you and your pet.

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