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Fat Cats: Questions and Answers for Getting Your Tubby Tabby Back into Shape

How to get overweight or obese cats back in shape.
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Also, let them win occasionally. Put a tasty treat under the toy and let them pounce on it, eat it, and win.

I also believe if a kitten between 7 weeks and 12 weeks is given a lot of toys to play with, it will probably be more likely to play with toys when it gets older, although that’s just my opinion. Two great cat toys are ping pong balls, because they’re light and they go a long way if you whack them, and walnuts, because they make a little crackly sound, like a mouse scurrying away, and they roll irregularly, like a mouse would run.

A really good game is bathtub hockey. Give a kitten a ping pong ball in the bathtub and just watch what happens.

Q: How long should our play periods last, and how often should I have them?

A: As often as the cat will play, because a tired cat is a well behaved cat. But at least a couple times a day. And the best time to play is right before bed, so you can tire them out.

Q: Can cats learn tricks like a dog?

A: They’re not genetically very well equipped for this. Dogs are pack animals, and they’re always looking at their counterparts, seeing what they’re doing, and then changing their behavior based on what the other dogs in the pack do.

Cats, on the other hand, hunt on their own. If another cat comes around, they pay attention only long enough to drive them away. They’re not taking their cues from other cats. That doesn’t mean we can’t train cats to do things. They can learn simple, basic things. But it takes a lot longer than it does to train a dog to do a trick.

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Reviewed on December 16, 2011
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