30 Signs That The Family Cat Needs More Exercise

By Jessica O'Neil 8 months ago

They are sleeping more than usual

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Your cat is already a cuddle bug, but they’re spending most of their time with you snoozing away rather than looking for pets and making biscuits. Cats that are bored or in poor shape will choose to sleep rather than explore a world with no positive stimuli. Playing with them adequately throughout the day will keep them interested and active.

They are looking rotund

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Cats that do not get much exercise will gain weight, and you’ll notice they look wider and wider with time. Just like human, cats will store excess fat when their usual daily movement is reduced, so giving them reasons to get up and run around is crucial.

They are meaner than usual

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Bored cats with tons of pent-up energy are quick to anger. They will exhibit aggressive behavior if they are not properly stimulated. If you aren’t home often, find them toys they can easily navigate themselves, or automatic ones that spark interest and encourage a variety of play.

There are bald patches on their fur

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Stressed cats will lick at themselves obsessively as a way to soothe their nerves. Some cats that are confined to a small area cannot move or run around as much as they’d like, which can make them upset. Cats need open areas to explore, and forcing them to stay in a single room for days on end will little space to dart around can make them anxious.

They seem sad or depressed

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Your cat has valid emotions, and she can get sad just like you. An inactive cat may appear to be unhappy, refusing to purr, knead their paws, or relay any feelings of joy. If your cat is usually affectionate and you notice a change, it may be an underlying health issue, but it could also be a lack of exercise.

They refuse to join you in bed or on the couch anymore

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They stare blankly at you when you pat the space beside you and ask them to come up. This could be because they’ve gotten too heavy to comfortably jump, or decreased exercise has negatively affected their joint and muscle health. Keep an eye on your cat to gauge whether they’re struggling to reach their favorite places.

Their food bowls are rapidly emptying

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Cats with nothing else to do will frequent two things: the couch and the food bowl. Cats will overeat when they are bored, which leads to a variety of health issues and reduces their lifespan. Before spending money on water therapy or a kitty trainer, set up times for them to get some exercise in, like right before you go to bed.

Your favorite items are getting destroyed

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The couch is torn up, your favorite rugs are peed on frequently, and you can’t lead a piece of paper within five feet of your cat without it getting ripped to pieces. This is your cat's way of telling you they need a way to tucker themselves out and flex their muscles.

They meow a lot at night

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You’re settled into bed wearing your favorite pajamas and covered in a thick, soft duvet, ready to drift off to dreamland. But, there it is. The sharp, wailing cry of your cat, begging for a chance to hang out and wreak havoc on your house. This is a sign that they aren’t active enough before bed.

Their fur has knots

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Lazy or overweight cats will have trouble grooming themselves and can’t always get to hard-to-reach places like their lower backs. Keep your cat from having to go through this struggle and make sure they’re getting enough playtime throughout the day.

They’re fighting with their furry siblings

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Your dog or other cat can’t go a day without getting beat up by their sibling. You’ve had to keep them apart for weeks now, and you can’t seem to figure out what’s gotten into your formerly sweet Mr. Whiskers. They’re likely frustrated and looking for a way to eliminate some energy, and attacking other pets in the house is an easy way for them to do so.

They’re shying away from being pet

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When your cat slinks away from you as you reach to pet them, it could be because their skin is very sensitive. This can come from a lack of grooming due to weight gain or depression. One solution to this issue to to make sure you’re cat has the space and time to run around and go wild.

They stay in one room most of the day

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An isolated cat tends to be an animal that doesn’t commit to much movement throughout the day. This can also be a sign of a great issue, like illness or depression, especially if your cat used to roam the house freely. Promote exercise and activity by placing them in other rooms and giving them interesting toys to mess around with.

Their favorite toys don’t interest them

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They used to love the fuzzy squeaking snake you got them. You can even remember how excited they were the day you brought it home! Now, it sits collecting dust in the corner of the living room, begging to be played with. This could mean your cat isn’t playing as much anymore and requires a bit of a boost.

They have diabetes or are pre-diabetic

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Diabetes can definitely make cats inactive, and it can also be a sign of poor diet and exercise. Though diabetes can be managed with regular insulin intake, making sure your cat is active can benefit their quality of life immensely. Be sure to ask your doctor for any additional information regarding exercise and diabetes.

They refuse to play with you

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You couldn’t get them to follow a piece of string around the house if your life depended on it. Cats that appear to be uninterested in common feline activities should try to be encouraged in any way possible to get up and get active. Even if they don’t seem to respond to traditional toys, giving them a protected space outdoors to explore could help their unwillingness to play.

Other cats in the house avoid them

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Your cats’ siblings tend to avoid her, or run away when she enters a room. This is probably because the lack of exercise has turned her into a complete menace. She swats at them when they walk by, and smacks them away from the food bowl so she can get extra mouthfuls. An easy fix for this is physically engaging in diverse play with your cat every day.

When they go outside, they mostly remain on the front porch

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A cat that’s struggling with their weight or is committed to inactivity will not travel far when you let them outside. They will lounge on the front lawn or porch and stay close to the door. Cats know their limits, and they won’t stray too far from home if they don’t feel capable of protecting themselves to the fullest extent.

They’re having trouble nursing

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Exhausted cats with weight-related issues may have trouble producing milk. Cats burn a ton of calories from nursing, and if they aren’t gaining proper nutrients from the food they are eating, they will become weak and unable to move around as much. Be sure to feed your cat a protein-rich diet so they can resume activity.

They used to follow you around the house, and now they don’t

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Cats that are not getting exercise will probably refuse to travel alongside you like they used to. This can be due to physical pain or a nutrient deficiency, but either way, getting your cat up and about is crucial to their happiness and well-being. Try taking them from room to room by picking them up – even if they choose to go back to a different space, at least it’ll get them walking.

Playing winds them

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Your cat probably won’t visibly huff and puff, but you’ll notice when activity is unusually strenuous for them. If chasing a toy mouse around for a few minutes leaves them tired, you might want to consider increasing their daily activity or referring them to a vet for more insight.

They don’t eat as much

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A lack of appetite could be a result of a pretty unhappy cat. Miserable animals have been known to refuse meals and reduce their water intake. You should always make sure your cat is having fun throughout the day, even if it means chasing them around the house for a bit in your spare time.

They’re clawing at the furniture more

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Cats will claw at furniture for a multitude of reasons, like stress or excitement. It’s also a way for them to groom their nails or stretch their upper bodies. But, fi your cat doesn’t get much exercise, they will resort to this activity more and more to relieve any tension in their muscles and joints.

They wake you up often

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Cats like to know that you are alive and well. This is why they tend to meow loudly and paw at you when you sleep for too long. But, this could be an indicator of excessive boredom. There are plenty of toys that will get them moving independently and are automatically operated, so look into getting a few to keep getting your beauty sleep.

They beg to go outdoors

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They are scratching at the door and calling for your assistance to open it at every turn. You can’t even walk by the door without them running toward it and staring at you in longing. This is likely because they are restless and crave the space to move around freely, chasing birds and rubbing themselves against the pavement at will.

They attack the television

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Speaking of birds, have you ever had your eyes glued to the TV during a nature show, only to be interrupted by your cat leaping at the digital flying objects? Well, this is a huge sign of your cat wanting to interact with its surroundings and show off its predator skills. 

They have petting aggression

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Cats that nip at you or scratch you for petting them may have behavioral or trust issues, but did you know it could also be a sign of needing more exercise? When cats are overweight, their skin can be itchy and painful, leading to irritation and forcing them to swat you away.

Their fur or skin is dry

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Dry fur that feels like hay means your cat is not producing a sufficient amount of sebum. This largely has to do with their diet and surroundings, but not getting proper exercise can also lead them to develop issues with their skin and fur. Their comfort truly depends on you making sure they’ve had a decent amount of playtime during the day.

Their behavior is unpredictable

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One day your cat is sweet and kind, purring away and spending every waking minute with you. Other days, she could not be bothered with you. Avoiding your touch and hiding away from you and family members. They may be unhappy with a lack of activity and require a bit of variety and active attention to regulate their emotions.

They’re panting

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Panting is a huge indicator of an unhealthy, dehydrated cat. Animals that do not regularly exercise may be excessively tired when performing any sort of activity that exceeds a few minutes. To prevent this, be sure to feed them a nutritious diet with lots of fluids and designate a time for them to get up and run around the house.