Let’s get rid of those few unwanted kilos from winter by getting active with our pets. In this article, we give you a few examples of how you can get active with your cat or bunny – it’s good for their health and yours!
Hunting the string This exercise is so simple but can be so effective, especially if you have a playful cat. Most cats love boxes and playing with strings, and their natural hunting instinct will kick in if they are in a playful mood.
What you’ll need A cardboard box, a long piece of string and a pair of scissors. Instead of a cardboard box, you can also use a play tunnel.
What to do Cut two openings in the box – one each on opposite sides – to create a tunnel of sorts. The holes need to be bigger than your cat, so that she can crawl through them. Or, if the box is stable enough, you can simply open the folded and glued sides. Cut a long piece of string that will fit through the box and the openings, and stick out on the other side.
How to play Get your cat’s attention and let her follow the string. Once the game is on, let her follow you around the house and pull the string through the box to entice her to go through the ‘tunnel’.
Not only is she actively playing and moving, but she also has to get down to crawl through the box, and her mind is stimulated by the game too.
You can also pull the string over, through, around and under other furniture – like under the coffee table, over the couch and around the dining room table – a few times.
Add some fun You can make the string more exciting by tying on some extra toys, like feathers, foam balls or bells.
Digging for treats Bunnies love to dig, so give them the opportunity to dig for something they love – like treats.
What you’ll need A hard plastic kiddies pool or large area in the garden where your bunny is allowed to dig, hay or plastic balls in which to hide the treats, and some treats.
What to do You don’t have to do much. Fill the plastic pool or area with hay or plastic balls, and hide the treats under the hay or balls.
How to play If your bunny is quite tame and doesn’t mind being picked up, you can simply pick him up and place him in the pool to start searching and digging for the treats. Otherwise, lure your rabbit to the plastic pool with some of his favourite treats, and allow him to get into the pool by himself. This might take some patience and time, but once he is in the designated area or pool, and starts finding his favourite treats, it’ll be game on! Don’t force your bunny into the pool – you might frighten him so much that he won’t want to participate in the fun.
This game will allow him to act on his natural instincts to forage and dig for food, which will stimulate his mind at the same time.
Add some fun As your bunny starts to enjoy the game, you can also hide some of his favourite toys or extra-special treats – like pieces of carrot. Keep in mind that the sugar content of carrots is high and that he shouldn’t consume too much. Cut the carrots into small cubes or thin strips to occupy him for a while.