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Physical exercisec for cats under lock and key

Physical exercises are essential for all animals to feel themselves well and stay in a good physical and physical form.

Many cats live in municipal apartments having no opportunity to go out. As a result, they are bored and try to dispel their ennui by a destroying activity (they tear, scratch and gnaw everything around) or by gluttony or by the first and the second altogether.

Perhaps cats would be glad to do some physical exercises, but there's no possibility to perform this in our small flats. And to let the cat walk close to a highway or in a crowded street is to loose it for sure.

That's why owners themselves must care about lively and cheerful pastime for their pets, which are locked up. From early years one should involve his kitten in active games and do this daily to make the game become a habit. In this case your cat will stay healthy and cheery under your mere efforts.

Sometimes one can make a cat run and jump with a help of toys or any other things - substitutes for toys. As for such breeds like Oriental, or Russian and the rest Blue is concerned it's easy to walk with this cats on the lead. And the owner gets a chance to have a stroll too.

Gymnastic apparatuses and toys

Searching for gymnastic equipment for your cat first of all one should look in a neighbor pet-shop. There you'll find a wide range of toys and equipment for jumping, climbing and claw sharpening. Some of them are worth investing; others are just wasting of money. The apparatus for claw sharpening is the most necessary acquisition - of cause if you want upholstery, coverlets and curtains to be safe. These are exposed to the locked up cat's attack in first turn. The damage is used to be huge.

Claws extraction in some countries is prohibited (for example, in England), in another is permitted. This operation performed under anesthetic includes ablation of claws and the phalanges of a cat's paw. In England this operation is regarded as a needless brutality towards animals for the sake of inanimate things. Claws are vital for a cat - with them it fights enemies; by claws extraction one makes his cat defenseless.

The usual apparatus for claws sharpening is a stub upholstered with sackcloth and put upright. The form doesn't matter. (Perhaps it can be many-stored. This will allow your cat to imaging it is climbing tree) The only aim is to draw the cat's attention away from your property and to reduce the damage by cat's claws.

Hand maded

Such a stub can be made by your own. This will cost less, besides if you know your cat well, the construction will turn out to be even better then what is sold in a pet-shop.

Find some unnoticeable corner in your house - the place where the cat likes to sit is preferable. Fasten there a small board (18-24 in. lengthwise), and nail or glue on it a bit of sackcloth, or better, a piece of thick leather. Cats especially appreciate the leather - holders of leather furniture will confirm this for sure!

The simplest gymnastic apparatus for cat (as well as for other animals) is an empty box you can get in every store or nearby. Give this, opened beforehand, box into your cat's possession, and soon it will become the cat's favorite toy: cat can get in and out, can chase the box shadow, and the one who is invisible and hides in the box.

To make cat's life more interesting cut a hole in one of sides in the box, as small as the cat can hardly get in through it and close the top tightly and watch your cat exploring this "cave". You can turn it into the Aladdin's cave by putting some tasty food inside so as the cat will not be able to just grab the dainty and run away.

About the constructions for climbing

All cats like to scramble and clamber up. The cat that never budges from the house should have such an opportunity too. A common construction of wood slats bolted is easy to make with one's hands. This structure will amuse your cat for long hours. If this construction is easy enough (of cause it must be safe for the cat), then it should be refashioned from time to time changing its shape, height and size like meccano. A bit of food put on a one of "brunches" rouse cat's interest to the gymnastic apparatus.


Bolls, toy-mice, small sacks filled with Nepeta, will bring your cat much pleasure; they are not expensive, easy to buy or make. In the latten case take care of a 100%-safety of this playthings - bar from sharp angles, toxic materials, and tiny size to prevent sticking in cat's mouth or throat.

Empty bobbins stand high in cats' favor. The pieces of wood remained after you have build a "tree for climbing" are also proof. Ping-pong bolls, bolls for tennis and golf out of use will bring your cat in to real delight.

Try to experiment with new things of different color and shape. Watch what your cat will prefer. Toys will make cat's life more pleasant and provide it a good health and fit. And the cat in its turn will make you glad and will save big money, which otherwise you'll have to spend on a visit to a vet.

Translated by Tatiana Karpova (Moscow)
(MSU, Biology faculture, Dep. zoology and ecology).