Earlier this month we found out that our cat Jackson needed to lose some weight, because he's carrying around the equivalent of 30 extra pounds.
The first thing we did was buy him some lower-calorie food. However, I know that weight loss works best if you use both diet and exercise, so we had to find some way to get Jackson more active. By nature he's pretty sedentary. Unlike his brother Pepper, who gets up from his naps to investigate every unusual sound, Jackson is content to lay sprawled on the floor, a couch, or the bed for large chunks of the day.
This afternoon I found another way to incorporate exercise. Jackson had to chase after his food before he could eat it! I sat on the floor in the kitchen and threw the kibbles out one at a time, waiting for him to retrieve and eat it before tossing him another.
The pieces were lightweight enough that they slid across the kitchen floor easily. Jackson's a pretty smart cat. If I threw the food too far he wouldn't go after it, but once three or four were in the same general direction he'd get and eat all of them. For variety I banked some of the food off the kitchen cabinets, so Jackson couldn't predict where it was going. I think he liked that too; he'd pounce on it like it was alive and finish it off.
When the food was about two-thirds gone, I decided to give him a break, and put the rest in the bowl. I think Jackson was thankful.