Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On The Run

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. 

Jackson now has an aerobic program he unwillingly participates in twice a day. In the afternoon and evening we make him run circuits through the house--from the kitchen to the family room, through the living room and the dining room--before he's rewarded with kibbles in his bowl.  Depending on how much Jackson will put up with, he does somewhere between three and six laps.

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.


  1. Or you could borrow a puppy... ;-D

  2. How about a battery operated mouse?

  3. interesting, just like people these cats are. different personalities and many of us need diet and exercise.