Exercising Your Cat


Have you ever watched your cat exercise? Perhaps your kitty’s exercise regimen consists of a mad dash around the house – a furry bullet dashing from room to room. Or possibly it’s jumping up on horizontal (and even vertical) surfaces, tearing up the carpets and furniture, or attacking your feet in the middle of the night. Or maybe it’s stalking or pawing at some moving critter, like a fly or a lizard.

Exercise is as important to your cat as it is to you. Young cats as well as healthy adult cats need periods of exercise. Even our senior pets need regular exercise to maintain their health and well-being. 

We all know that exercise affects us both physically and mentally. The same is true for your cat. Your kitty can become depressed if not sufficiently stimulated. He may keep you awake at night if he does not receive enough stimulation during the day. Cats are wonderful athletes, but they generally like to exercise for brief periods only. A vigorous playtime at night may help you both get some sleep.


Organized play is important and one of the best ways to spend quality time with your pet. Play stimulates your cat mentally. When kittens play together they pick up social skills and self-sufficiency. They refine their stalking and pouncing, as well as coordination and timing required to make a kill. They learn about their environment by exploring and climbing, and they find the best spots to hide in and lie in wait for their victims. 

Adult cats, too, enjoy toys that allow them to simulate natural stalking and hunting activity. Commercially available toys are often inviting, but your kitty would probably be happy with anything that he can chase or pounce on. Here are a few things you can try:

  • Roll a table-tennis ball across the floor. Sit back and watch as your kitty chases, stalks and swats the ball.
  • Wad up a piece of paper, attach an old tie around it so that you can drag the paper around the floor. Soon your cat will launch an attack.
  • Get a tall scratching post, preferably one with "branches," that your cat can run up and down. Scratching posts assist your cat to flex his muscles and to shed old claw sheaths.
  • Provide a large paper bag or cardboard box for your cat to explore.
  • You can also buy elaborate gymnasiums for cats, which your cat might climb and explore. 


  • Never use string or yarn as a toy. Although your cat may enjoy them, these items can be deadly if swallowed and a portion becomes stuck around the tongue or in the intestinal tract.
  • Putting your cat outside is not a particularly good way to encourage exercise. In general, the most important thing you can do to prolong the life of your cat (in addition to kitten vaccinations) is to keep your cat indoors or confined within a controlled out-of-doors area. This keeps your kitty safe from injury, animals attacks, and the spread of deadly infectious diseases from stray cats. 
  • Daily exercise or playtime is recommended unless there is a medical problem and your veterinarian has instructed you to limit your cat’s activity.

The Importance Of A Recheck Examination In Cats

Delaying or not having a recheck exam can hurt your cat. A recheck examination is an appointment that allows your veterinarian to assess the progress and follow-up on your cat's disease or problem. Maybe you are thinking you can skip it because your cat is doing better? Even if your cat physically looks and feels better, he or she may not be completely back to normal. Some diseases can progress undetected.

It is often more difficult to treat diseases or conditions that have been going on for a long time or are not thoroughly treated the first time. Consider the possibility that recheck exams may actually save you time and money in the long run. Some chronic diseases can spiral out of control if not closely monitored for subtle changes. This could ultimately lead to more lengthy procedures, hospitalizations, trips back and forth to your veterinarian, and significantly higher veterinary bills.

The recheck visits to your veterinarian will depend on the medical condition your cat has. If the condition is chronic, they may require life long-term treatment.

Recheck exams are a worthwhile investment in your cat’s overall health. By taking your cat in for a “re-check” you are providing your cat the best possible care by allowing his progress to be professionally monitored. By finding, diagnosing and treating these problems early and thoroughly, your cat will live a much healthier and longer life.

Pros & Cons of Spaying And Neutering Your Dog


It’s time to start thinking about spaying or neutering your dog. But, maybe you are not quite sure if it is the right thing to do. If you’re wondering whether you should just leave your dog as nature intended, consider the positive and negative aspects of spaying and neutering before making your decision. 

First, what does neutering mean? Neutering is a procedure used to "de-sex" an animal. This procedure has been used to control animal population growth, reduce unwanted sexual behavior in pets, and decrease or eliminate the possibility of certain disease conditions later in life, such as pyometra or infection in the uterus. 

Castration is a term used to describe the removal of the gonads (testicles) in male animals. Spaying is a term used to describe the sterilization procedure of females. The procedure of spaying most often consists of removal of both the ovaries and uterus, which is called an ovariohysterectomy. Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia and both involve a surgical incision. 

Neutering is done most commonly at or around six months of age. However, many veterinarians perform this procedure earlier – as early as 8 to 10 weeks in some situations. Early neutering can be done safely and has a number of advantages, especially in cases of pet adoption.


  • Spaying removes the risk of pregnancy. 
    • Pet overpopulation is a serious issue and by allowing your dog to have litters, you are adding to the problem. Finding homes for your new family additions is not as easy as you may think. Even if you choose to keep the puppies, you now have the additional cost of vaccines, parasite control, toys and food for several pets. In addition to costs, the health of the mother can be in jeopardy during delivery. Some new mothers can have serious complications delivering puppies and can even develop health problems during nursing. All these potential problems can be avoided by spaying your dog.
  • Spaying makes for a cleaner, calmer dog.
    • Without the drive to mate, your dog may be quieter and not prone to an incessant need to seek out a mate. The spayed dog no longer attracts males and their annoying advances and serenades. Dogs won’t have a bloody discharge for several days while they are in heat. Without proper protective products, the discharge can stain sofas, bedding and carpets. Spayed pets are also easier to get along with. They tend to be more gentle and affectionate.
  • Spaying keeps your dog healthier.
    • A final positive aspect of spaying your dog is that spayed pets tend to have fewer health problems. Spaying is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Without these organs, ovarian cysts, uterine infections and cancer of the reproductive tract are no longer a concern. Studies have shown that dogs spayed before puberty have a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer than unspayed dogs or dogs spayed later in life. 


  • Spaying means sterilization.
    • Spaying will result in the sterilization of your dog, and she will no longer have the ability to become pregnant. In the era of pet overpopulation with thousands of unwanted pets being euthanized each year, this is really not so bad. 
  • Spaying may cause weight gain.
    • Some pets may gain weight after spaying and as they get older. Just as with people, to loose weight we need to either diet or exercise. Cutting back on food intake or increasing your pets activity will help reduce weight gain. 


  • Neutering removes the risk of pregnancy. 
    • Pet overpopulation is a serious issue and by allowing your dog to breed, you are adding to the problem. Although you may not own the female dog, and you are not burdened with finding homes for those new puppies, someone else is. Even if you accept your responsibility and choose to keep the puppies, you now have the additional cost of vaccines, parasite control, toys and food for several pets. 
  • Neutering makes for a calmer dog.
    • Another positive aspect of neutering your dog is that neutering can result in a calmer, and sometimes cleaner, home. Without the drive to mate, your dog may be quieter and not prone to an incessant need to seek out a mate. The neutered dog no longer feels the need to seek out and serenade females. He no longer has the stress of needing to mark his territory and urinate throughout the house and yard. Neutered pets are also easier to get along with. They tend to more gentle and affectionate. Neutered males tend to roam less and typically are not involved in as many fights with other animals.
  • Neutering keeps your dog healthier.
    • A final positive aspect of neutering your dog is that neutered pets tend to have fewer health problems. Neutering is the removal of the testicles. Without these organs, testicular cancer is no longer a concern and the risk of prostate problems is reduced. For those people who would like to sterilize their dog but do not wish to alter his appearance, testicular implants are available. 


  • Neutering is sterilization.
    • Neutering will result in the sterilization of your dog. He will no longer be able to reproduce, so if you intend to breed your animal, do not have him neutered. 
  • Neutering changes his appearance.
    • Your dog will look different because his testicles will no longer be present. If the absence of these organs is a cosmetic problem for you, discuss testicular implants with your veterinarian.
  • Neutering may cause weight gain. 
    • Some pets gain weight after neutering. Cutting back on his food or increasing his activity can help reduce the weight gain. 

Last year about 17 million dogs and cats were turned over to animal shelters. Only one out of every 10 taken in to the shelters found a home. This means that over 13.5 million had to be destroyed. The tragedy is that this is unnecessary. Much of the problem could be eliminated by simple surgery: Spaying and neutering operations are performed under general anesthesia and are quite painless. By neutering pets, owners can help lower the numbers of unwanted and homeless creatures.

Exercising Your Dog


Exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you. Young dogs and healthy adults alike need lots of it, and even senior pets need a regular daily workout to maintain their health. The type of exercise you choose depends on the age and fitness of your dog and your own lifestyle. Dogs are adaptable and are happy to play Frisbee in the park or take long walks in the neighborhood.

Exercise is one of the best ways to spend time with your pet. It's especially important for large breed, working, and active breed types. Dogs are wonderful athletes and most adapt to even strenuous exercise, provided they have had adequate opportunity to "train" and the environmental conditions are not too extreme. 


Daily exercise is recommended unless the weather is especially dangerous or a medical problem limits your dog's activity. If there is a medical problem, consult your veterinarian about exercise limitations. Keep in mind that obese dogs and those with heart and lung diseases may have a problem, and be sure to consult your vet before starting a new regime.

Be certain your dog has plenty of water available at all times, and provide a place to cool down out of the sun. When the temperature drops below freezing, exercise should be limited, unless your dog is really used to this weather. This will often vary with the breed and hair coat. If the wind picks up to more than 10 mph, be careful to prevent hypothermia or frostbite. If your dog is shivering, get him back indoors or in some form of warm shelter. If you live in an area that gets cold and icy, remember that road salt can burn your dog's feet. Don't forget: even in cold weather, an exercising dog needs plenty of water.

Almost all dogs, especially those with heart and lung problems and those with thick hair coats, are likely to have trouble with hot and humid conditions. It's better to exercise in the early morning or evening when the heat is less than 80 degrees and the humidity is less then 30 percent (avoid hot and humid conditions).