Give your Pampered Kitty a Workout with a Cat Gym

December 03, 2017
You spent a lot of money on couches, sofas, chairs, curtains, beds, rugs, and carpets, or even if you didn't they still cost a good chunk of change to repair or replace.  From your cat's point of view, your furniture is THEIRS!  If you are ok with that, you may stop reading here; you have officially become your cat's indentured servant.  Good luck with that life of servitude. There is an expression that every cat owner will agree to: "Dogs have masters, cats have staff".  If you are part of the staff, then your entire house is a kitty condo and this article serves no purpose.  If you are the master just letting your cat think she has a staff, (lets face it, those are the only 2 options!) then lets continue. 

Most kitty condos also serve as a kitty gym.  The main difference is that kitty gyms have more levels so your cat can jump around more.  They are completely carpeted so your cat can scratch to her heart's content, which is the best exercise for her.  Be sure to check around for the kitty condo of your choice. If you want a certain look or specific style, then a pet store will probably be your best bet. If a simple gym is suitable, then try a general shopping store that may have only a few selections but often will have better prices.

You don't need to spend a fortune on kitty gyms with special beds on them. If you let your cat talk you into it, you could be spending well over a hundred bucks on a kitty gym that does not serve the needs of your cat.  Remember, regardless of what your cat may tell you, YOU are the master.  Try not to forget that.

A kitty gym should have a perch or a platform on it that she can lay on, but not a bed.  You want to encourage her to exercise when on it, not sleep.  Get a kitty condo for that.  They are basically the same thing, but if she has one to play on, and one to sleep on, she won't get bored. On average cats sleep about 16 hours a day.  They spend about 2 hours a day scratching and the rest of the day annoying someone to pet them and caress them and feed them and just about anything else your cat has talked you into do by looking at you and purring.  A kitty gym will give them a place to scratch, the condo a place to sleep, and as for the rest, well I think you know your place.

One way to get your cat to start using this new gym is to walk her through what to do.  Your cat will think you are just playing, but she is learning what is acceptable at the same time.  Start by placing her at the base of the kitty gym.  Caress her and play with her a second to get her comfortable around the gym.  Then place her two front paws on the scratching post, squeezing slightly so she extracts her claws.  Run her claws down the scratching post very lightly.  You want her to get the idea that it's OK to scratch here, but you don't want to rip her claws out in the process.  Once you do this, you may just want to place her on a couple of the levels and just play with her on the gym.  You will get some personal time with her. She will get some exercise and get to figure out what the heck this contraption you brought home is.  Introducing your cat to her new tool like this is very good for you and her. 

After a week or so, you should see her play on it more often.  She will scratch it, lounge on it, and chase her toys on it.  You may even hide a treat or two on some of the levels to encourage her to jump around on it occasionally to look for treats.  A kitty gym will be a great investment for your cats' health and entertainment.

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