Encouraging A Lazy Cat To Exercise

The iconic cartoon character Garfield comes to mind when thinking about a lazy cat. And plenty of real-life feline companions are the same way — they’d rather eat and sleep than get exercise. This is especially a problem with indoor-only cats.

Lack of exercise can lead to obesity and other health problems that can literally take years from Fluffy’s life. The good news is there are some ways to encourage even the laziest cat to get some exercise — and have fun while doing it.

Use Lots Of Toys

Keeping lots of toys around is a great way to encourage your cat to have fun and exercise. When possible, toss some toys around yourself. Contrary to popular belief, many cats enjoy dog-like activities such as playing fetch or tug of war.

Encourage Healthy Scratching

Scratching is excellent physical and mental exercise for feline companions. Encourage healthy scratching by keeping at least one scratching post around. 

Nowadays, there are plenty of scratch-friendly items that don’t look like the classic scratching post. 

Cat Furniture, Cardboard Boxes, And Climbers

Keeping cat furniture and cardboard boxes around can also encourage a lazy cat to jump and hide.

Cat climbers and cat trees are even better sources of physical and mental activity for your beloved pet.

What About Catnip?

Catnip is another tried-and-true way to get furry friends to do what we want them to do. However, some cats don’t react well to catnip.

Use catnip sparingly as a reward and don’t give it before a stressful situation such as fireworks or a trip to the vet. If your cat seems more aggressive after this treat, cease using it.

Taking Your Cat Outdoors

If your cat is well-trained and responsive, you can walk them with a leash and harness just like you would a dog. Again, this might not be ideal for every cat — but it’s well worth a try.


By making exercise fun, you’re more likely to have a happy and healthy cat rather than a lazy and grumpy one.