If your cat is looking more like a furry ottoman, it's time to get him or her up and moving to stay fit.
Cats appreciate an interesting toy as much as dogs do. Kitty condos, which often have several elevations and platforms to climb, sit on and hide in, are excellent choices.
Vertical hiding places and sanctuaries are very important to cats since they seek these out in the wild, notes Victoria Wells, senior manager for behavior and training at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' adoption center in New York City. Look for upholstered versions in kneadable micro plush, or carpet remnants.
Scratching posts made of sturdy jute will save your furniture, and can be purchased or made at home. A feline version of the mouse exercise wheel is available at catwheelcompany.com.
Other homemade cat toys include toilet paper rolls filled with catnip or treats, which the cats release by batting the toy around, and wands made out of rulers, rubber bands and feathers, Wells says. And would you believe ice pops? Fill 3-ounce drink cups with cat food and chicken or beef stock and then freeze, Wells says.
An interactive family toy might be the Abo Cat Tunnel: Kids and pets can chase each other through a nylon tube. Or try the Bergan Catnip Cyclone, which has a circular track on which a cat spins a ball filled with catnip; the more twirls, the more catnip aroma released. A feathery teaser can be attached.
The Cataction Magneticat provides a magnetized bug on the end of a wand that bobbles around while your cat tries to catch it (petco.com).
At catchannel.com, find tips on making your own versions of wand, tug and climbing toys out of boxes, paper bags and other household items.