15 Ways to Exercise Your Indoor Cat (And Why It's so Important)

ways to exercise indoor cats

Exercise your cat. We know, that seems almost an oxymoron! Cats are naturally energetic, curious creatures, however, when they spend their days indoors, they can get a bit (or a lot) lazy. As you likely know, it is not recommended to let your cat explore the outdoors on their own. Though this is how they would normally keep fit, there are plenty of ways to get your indoor cat the exercise she needs.

Check out these 15 ways to exercise your indoor cat- one or more of them is bound to become your kitty new favorite activity! 

15. Consider a Catio

Whether you buy one or build it yourself, what is known as a catio, is a great way to get your indoor cat some exercise as well as some much-needed sunlight.

14. Make it a Routine

By making exercise a part of their daily routines, cats are more likely to adapt to it. Try to always give at least an hour before and after eating, before beginning exercise. 

13. Kitty Cat Pinata

Oh yeah, it is a pinata. for. your. cat. and it is filled with catnip! Fluffy is not only going to have a blast with one of these, but it will also help her exercise and stretch her muscles.

12. Present Him with an Empty Box

An empty box is literally the cat equivalent of the PS4. Seriously, he will find hours of fun within the confines of those four cardboard walls all the while getting some kitty exercise as well. Make him the coolest cat on the block by upgrading to a Cat Amazing. It doesn't get much better than a box with holes ready for his favorite toys and treats!

11. Use a Puzzle Feeder

There is no shame in making a lazy, house cat work a bit for his dinner. There are plenty of types to choose from, including our popular Cat Amazing Sliders. A puzzle feeder is also great for slowing down fast eaters for healthier digestion and weight control!

ways to exercise indoor cats

10. Change It Up

To keep your cats’ interest piqued in his exercise routine, you should switch it up a bit as they can get bored fairly easily. And not unlike humans, when they are bored, they tend to eat more.

9. Build an Indoor Kitty Recreation Center

You can use a number of different things, most that are already lying around the house, to make a cool indoor kitty recreation center.

8. Get a Large Outdoor Enclosure

Many experts recommend keeping cats indoors due to the dangers outside, cars, people, other animals, etc. Luckily, there are options that make it possible for your kitty to come in contact with the fresh air of the great outdoors, safely.

7. Leash Training + Walks

Yes! Cats can absolutely be leash trained. These are cats we are talking about so they might not be too thrilled with the concept, at least in the beginning. This is why there are several different styles available, including a harness.

6. Offer Some Incentive

When all else fails, bribe him. Cats, like dogs, learn by conditioning. Basically, they see things in a cause-and-effect type of light. “If I do this, then Mom gives me a yummy treat”. Associate the exercise routine with positives.

5. Interactive Toys

There are dozens of different interactive toys for cats. The majority of these toys are made specifically to encourage physical movements, such as puzzle toys and wands. Get a variety to mix it up and keep it interesting. Cat Amazing Sliders is a shifting interactive treat maze that is sure to keep kitty entertained for hours.

best ways to exercise an indoor cat

4. Hide and Seek with Treats

If you have a chunky butt in the household, you sometimes have to get creative. My friends cat pawsitively adore her kitty treats, however, it can be a challenge getting her to actually work for it. This does not bode well for her figure so we decided to make a game of it. Hide your cats’ favorite treats around the house and let them run around. It's also great entertainment during quarantine!

3. Make a Game of It

Laser pointers are fantastic for this purpose. Your cat will naturally find the urge to chase that little red dot, keeping him entertained while also providing a decent amount of kitty exercise. Be sure to get him moving!

2. Create a Kitty Exercise Station

The exercise station is going to be different than the kitty recreation center, as it is focused more around staying active, as opposed to strictly for entertainment purposes. Get a cat wheel, a climbing tree, there are so many options and combinations. Get creative with it.

1. Adopt a Playmate

One of the very best ways to ensure that your indoor cat is getting enough exercise is to pair him with a like-minded playmate. Always make the introduction slowly and do not leave them alone for long periods until they are fully acquainted.

Why it is So Important

The majority of overweight cats will not live as long as they would have, had they been at a healthy weight. Weight gain is the cause of many serious medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes (among other things). It can also cause breathing difficulties, as well as put undue stress and strain on hips, joints, and knees. Bottom line, being overweight greatly reduces the quality of life, and the life expectancy, of your pet.

While you have made the right decision by keeping your beloved feline indoors, it is imperative that he gets the appropriate amount of daily exercise. We want our pets to be by our side for as long as possible. We can ensure a long, happy, life simply by keeping them active.


  • very good and it kept us playing all day

  • Great article. I love that it suggests creative ways to keep indoor cats active and happy. The importance of exercise for indoor cats was clearly explained.

    Cat Exotica
  • Ty


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