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
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
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.
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
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
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
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).