Great Britain’s summer of sport is now over, and there has been much talk of the ‘legacy’ that each Olympic Games leaves behind. This international sporting event has the power to inspire men, women and children to get fit, take up a new sport or eat healthily, but there is another member of the household that can benefit too: Your cat!
If there was a similar sporting event for cats, the challenges and games that to take centre stage could include high jump, kneading competitions and mice catching. It may sound silly, and although the Feline Olympics doesn’t exist (yet!), there are lots of ways you can incorporate sport into your cat’s diet and exercise.
If you want a champion sports star in the family, the first thing you need to do is make sure your cat’s diet is bursting with nutrients. Look for wet or dry food with as many natural ingredients as possible and avoid giving your feline too many snacks between meals, or letting them eat food from your plate – champions need to have a good muscle to fat ratio to support their bones! Snacks should only make up 10% of their daily calorie intake.
You could even try making your own cat food if you wanted to make sure your cat is eating only the best.
Once you’ve smartened up your cat’s diet, it’s time for kitty to get toned. Just like humans, cats need regular exercise and play to maintain a healthy weight and keep their brain and body stimulated. Cats don’t need to train like Olympians to stay fit, but you can incorporate sporting events into their daily play sessions.
Turning your living room or garden into a (temporary) assault course for your cat will provide hours of fun for you both. You could try creating a circuit that features tunnels and teasers, or dig out your cat scratching post for your kitty to enjoy climbing. In the garden, place small treats under rocks and on top of walls or fences, to encourage them to use their sense of smell and jumping/climbing skills.
If you’ve been inspired to take up jogging or power walking, your cat could even join in on this fun, with a leash and harness of course.
Arguably, it’s easier to train a young kitten to walk with a leash and harness but older cats can be trained too and this way you both get exercise!
If you’ve got any other ideas for Olympics-inspired fun with your cat, I’d love to hear!
Louise Blake is an animal lover and blogger who spends her days writing about cat nutrition, animal welfare and her own four legged friend, Harley. As a new mum, Louise is looking forward to educating her child about the wonders of animal world.