How to keep your cat active and happy during those long, dark winter nights...
Posted: 05 December 2019
Keeping your cat indoors when it’s dark is recommended by feline charities such as Cats Protection. Increased risks during night-time include road traffic injuries, harm from other animals and cat fights. However, if your cat is used to being active of an evening, cooping them up inside can make them feel restless and stressed. This is particularly challenging during the winter months when daylight is in short supply. The answer is to provide plenty of things to keep them occupied.
Burgess in-house vet, Dr Suzanne Moyes, advises: “Exercise is really important for your cat’s overall health. Movement, especially the kind that taps into feline hunting skills, can keep weight down and playing games can give your cat’s mental wellbeing a boost. If you have any questions or concerns about what exercise is suitable for your cat, your vet will be happy to help.”
Most cats love playing games, especially activities that tune into their natural behaviours. Examples include:
Try different toys. Just because your cat isn't playing with a certain toy doesn't mean they don't want to play. Try different kinds of toys. Toys that are interactive for both of you are best, as you can change the speed and pace to tap into their natural chase instinct and get them excited.
Play at hunting time. Cats are naturally more active at the beginning and end of the day as this is when they'd hunt in the wild. Try playing with your cat at prime hunting time and feed them after you play not before.
Dr Moyes adds: “Spending some time each day playing games is a great way to bond with your favourite feline and show just how much you love them.”
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Sources: cats.org.uk, pdsa.org.uk, petswebmd.com