Last Updated: 5 months ago

If you have a lazy cat, I bet you’ve asked yourself, How do I get my cat to be more active and do some cat exercise?

While some cats are energetic by nature, others have what we call the Garfield complex.

They like to laze around all day, moving only to use the litter box and groom themselves!

So, today we’re going to talk about six ways to stimulate your cat to move around.

How To Make Cat Exercises

Cat Exercise: 11 Tips How To Get Your Lazy Cat Moving And Active

It’s a well-known fact that cats often spend the better part of their day sleeping and napping in ridiculous positions. Nevertheless, they still need exercise to stay healthy.

Outdoor cats would often nap during the day, patrol their territory, meet with fellow cats, and hunt, among other things.

However, indoor cats don’t have the same opportunities, so when they are bored, they prefer to sleep. Unfortunately, inactivity leads to weight gain, which is a risk factor for diabetes in cats.

Cats are a little like children in some ways—the best toys in the world will get boring if they’re all you ever play with.

The good news is that there are lots of alternatives; the bad news is that it might take some trial and error to find what works for your cat.

Cats love to chase things, and trailing toys can satisfy their hunting needs quite well. Playing with “string,” however, should always be supervised, as it can have devastating consequences for your cat if ingested.

So, if your cat is lazy, here are some suggestions on how to get it to be more active.

1. Offer a Variety of Toys

cat playing with toys

In the beginning, you would think that your cat would enjoy all toys. You’ll realize that you were wrong.

What I’m trying to say is that cats have preferences. So, you might not have found the right toy for your cat.

You should experiment with:

  • Toys that make squeaky or chirping sounds
  • Something fluffy and soft that the cat can sink its teeth into
  • Fishing rods with features
  • Toys filled with catnip (contrary to popular belief, not all cats like catnip)
  • Laser toys, which most cats find irresistible
  • Food puzzles
  • Hand-made toys from wine corks

The other thing is that you have to offer new toys from time to time because a cat will get bored if she has to play with the same one over and over again.

Fortunately, nowadays there are plenty of interactive toys specially designed to suit the tastes of the most capricious cats.

Interactive Toys

It’s good for both of you in terms of activity, mental stimulation, and bonding.

This is where interactive cat toys such as feathers on a stick, boas, crinkle balls, or soft foam balls that you can throw for them (cats can be great at fetching) come in handy.

Squeak Toys

Toys that squeak or chirp when picked up; battery-operated toys that move around on their own.

Toys that look like something moving under a blanket and ones that light up in response to movement or sound are enticing to cats as well.

If you are leaving toys out for your cat to play with, make sure you check them frequently for wear and tear to ensure your pet’s safety.

2. Add Cat Shelves And Trees

shelve cat bed

Well-placed platforms, scratch pads, tunnels, and toys create a playground for your cat that they won’t be able to resist climbing, jumping from, and generally exploring.

This holds true for cardboard boxes as well; some days the best toys are the least expensive.

Cats love to climb. Either indoor or outdoor cats will often sprint through the garden and climb up the apple tree until they reach the highest possible branch.

An indoor cat doesn’t have access to real trees, but you can change that. Add cat shelves to your walls, several cat trees, such as a blue cat condo, and tunnels to create a playground.

In this way, you’re going to encourage your cat to jump, climb, and exercise. She will also have a safe place to hide from other pets or children when they are bothering her too much.

It’s also an excellent idea to add a scratching post if you don’t have one already.

It’s true that a cat prefers to sharpen her claws on the couch, but it’s worth the time to teach her how to use the scratching post.

3. Spend More Time With Your Cat

cat and blanket in lap

Some cats are not going to play with toys if you’re not around to engage them. So, one of the ways to make your cat more active is to spend time playing with her.

For example, when I use the laser, I often move the dot beneath the furniture to awaken Kitty’s stalking instincts.

You can also:

  • Throw toys into a box to encourage your cat to jump inside.
  • Drag a toy around so that the cat can stalk it.
  • Throw a small ball around as far as you can so that the cat will run after it.
  • Get a leash and go for a walk with your cat outside.
  • Place treats somewhere high to encourage your cat to climb.

One thing that a number of vets recommend is a food ball, a hollow ball that you fill with your cat’s dry food or treats.

Your cat will have to push the ball around the floor in order to coax the food to fall out.

They may be resistant at first, but as they figure out that this is where their food will be coming from from now on, they will become more motivated to work for it.

4. Get Another Cat

kittens playing

If you’re still not satisfied with the level of activity of your feline, you can get another kitty to keep your cat company.

It will take time for the two cats to get used to one another, but it’s an excellent solution for dealing with lazy cats.

The more active one will initiate the playing sessions and force the lazy one to move around.

What’s more, when you have two cats, they won’t be so bored when you leave them during the day.

Even an older cat can respond positively to a new addition if the introduction is done properly.

Whatever you do, do not force the two to meet face-to-face immediately; this could damage their relationship permanently or at least set back their integration a long way.

5. Change The Food

kitten eating cat food

What kind of food do you feed your cat? Some brands are low-quality and don’t contain the necessary ingredients to keep your cat healthy.

As a result, your cat might not get all the nutrients she needs to be active. The best cat foods are grain-free and list meat as the main ingredient, not meat byproducts.

So, read the labels carefully or take a look at some dry food for cats. A lazy cat is not always a problem.

However, if you notice that your ball of fur has gained significant weight, it might be time to switch to better food and engage Taby in more activities.

Also, speak with your vet because the cat might be ill or in pain.

6. Use YouTube

I’m going to surprise some of you by saying that you can stimulate your cat by playing her some YouTube videos.

There are ones specially made for cats with tempting animal sounds like birds squeaking or squirrels dashing around.


Exercise is important for your cat’s cardiovascular, joint, and respiratory health, but it doesn’t have to feel like gym class. Make it fun for both of you, and you’ll both benefit in the long run.

What do you think about these tips on how to get a cat to be more active and do some cat exercise? Do you have anything to add to this list? Then don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

Cat Exercise: 11 Tips How To Get Your Lazy Cat Moving And Active

Hi, I’m Tamsin. I’m a serious animal lover and dog behaviorist and trainer. In fact, I live on a farm with nine rescues! So, I love writing about and creating awareness around the health and wellness of all animals.