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Toys can help reduce pet obesity

Challenging pet toys may play a role in reducing obesity in cats. Dr. Lee discusses some exercise options with a concerned cat parent.

Toys can help reduce pet obesity

Q:My indoor cat, Mulligan, is becoming obese, so my veterinarian recommended I exercise him with a laser pointer. For several minutes, he chases the laser spot, bats at it and pounces on it, but eventually he grows bored and ignores it. How can I keep him motivated to continue playing?

A:The laser spot is masquerading as a mouse, and cats love to chase, capture and play with mice before they kill and eat them. The key word here is “capture.” If you’re constantly moving the laser spot, you’re not letting Mulligan capture it. It’s no wonder he gets bored.

The next time you play, occasionally run the laser spot to a place on the floor or furniture where you’ve hidden a small cat treat. A treat is more practical than a mouse, and it’s still a tasty reward.

To keep Mulligan’s exercise sessions fun, vary the play routine to incorporate cat dazzlers and feather toys.

Editor’s Note: Pet toys can be more than just fun. Here are five practical dog toys that can build agility and challenge mind.

Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at

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