Cat Exercise

My sister loves to run. My husband loves to run. My friends love to run. I hate to run. I like to breathe, and it’s hard to breathe when I run. I also get sweaty. If the sun is out, I have to slather myself with sunscreen, which then runs into my eyes when I get sweaty. It burns. My running gear (aka old t-shirt and sweatpants) doesn’t match my running shoes. That burns too. So I don’t run. Instead, I work out in my unfinished basement, beneath the dangling cobwebs – forever alone.Then I read an article in Prevention about exercising with your pet.

According to the author, you can turn your cat into an enthusiastic workout partner. I must admit, I was skeptical. My cats could take home gold medals if sleeping, butt cleaning or kicking litter all over the bathroom were Olympic sports, but they don’t really get into the whole CrossFit, kickboxing, P90X scene. Still, I’m game for anything involving cats, so I gave it a try.

We began with “light abs.” Per the author’s instructions, I did sit-ups with flashlights in both hands. I didn’t have mini flashlights, so I had to use giant Maglites. This resulted in a bonus arm workout. Each time I sat up, I waved the flashlight beams wildly against the wall. In theory, the cats were supposed to scamper madly about, chasing the beams. One of my cats yawned. Another went to have a snack. The third disappeared upstairs for a nap.

I proceeded to “light cardio.” It involved miming jumping rope while holding the flashlights. Again, cat scampering was expected. Horrified by the sweating and grunting, my cats turned away in disgust. I put down my invisible jump rope and gave “curious cat curls” a try. For this exercise, you tie a toy on a string to a dumbbell. Your cat is supposed to jump after the toy as you do bicep curls. Mine looked at me as though I were insane.

You can find all these exercises, as well as some ideas for dog exercise, on the Prevention website.

Give them a try and let me know if your pets were more cooperative than mine. In the meantime, I think I’m going to go for a run.

Julie Perkins

About Julie Perkins

A self-professed "crazy cat lady" and slave to three furry masters, Julie loves all things fuzzy. Throughout her life, she has been owned by cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, fish and even a hermit crab. A freelance writer who has perfected the fine art of typing with one hand (because there is a cat on top of the other one), she lives in Colorado with her husband and a menagerie of critters.

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