Pet Parenting
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5 Ways My Cats Improve My Daily Exercise Regimen

I reach for cat treats, repeatedly lift bed covers and tote kitty poo to stay in shape. Jealous?

Angie Bailey  |  Feb 8th 2017


In the past six months or so, I’ve started regularly exercising in my apartment building’s fitness room. I don’t do any kind of crazy weightlifting or anything — just a mile or so on the treadmill, and some time on machines that work my legs and arms. I’m feeling stronger than I ever have, and — I have to admit — a little like a badass. I might be able to do some kind of fake kickboxing move and actually hurt someone. This move would come in handy only if I was getting mugged or someone was trying to take the last bite of my donut. I know, I know — donuts and exercise don’t always go hand in hand, but I’m all about balance. And also badassery … obvies.

Aside from my awesome workout in the fitness room, I also find myself accidentally exercising while I do cat-related activities. Accidental exercise might be the best thing ever, by the way. Here are five ways my cats make me get buff and work that cardio.

1. Reaching for food and treats

The view from the floor. I know -- impressive, right?

The view from the floor. I know — impressive, right?

I keep the cat food and treats in a high cabinet above the kitchen sink. I’m not sure why I chose that spot, but it works. In order to grab a can of noms or treat packet, I have to stand on my toes and reach for them. It used to bug me, and I sometimes wondered why I chose that spot. Then I remembered that I couldn’t remember, and decided to consider the reach-n-stretch an exercise opportunity. I should probably have to work for my own snacks, too. (Okay maybe not.)

2. Lifting and lowering the bed cover

cats-exercise-cosmo-covers

Decisions are hard.

Cosmo’s the the king of indecision. Well, I suppose that kingdom is inhabited almost exclusively by felines. One of Cosmo’s favorite ways to practice his uncertainty is when he goes to bed with me at night. He sometimes spends three to five minutes wondering whether it’s more favorable underneath the cover or on top of it. He has to test each option several times, which means I’m constantly lifting and lowering my blanket. Look out, biceps! Hey, I know the cover is not that heavy, but repetition, man. Repetition.

3. Lint-rolling my clothing

Phoebe covers me with hair and then ignores my removal efforts. I suppose I should thank her.

Phoebe covers me with hair and then ignores my removal efforts. I suppose I should thank her.

If you’re reading this, you probably have a thin (or not-so-thin) layer of cat hair on the clothes you’re wearing. It’s next to impossible to get away with cat-hair-free clothing when you share your home with a kitty. That rolling back-and-forth action is a quick way to get some arm exercises in every day. You might start noticing that people who have long-haired cats have some fairly large guns. It’s no accident, people.

4. Toting the litter disposal system

Cosmo looks like he wants to compare guns. Good luck with that, son.

Cosmo looks like he wants to compare guns. Good luck with that, son.

If you have a litter disposal device, you know it can get heavy with kitty poo very quickly. I carry it between litter boxes every day, collecting clumps like some kind of weirdo gold-panner. That’s work. Then, when the sucker is full, I have to carry the bag of clumps to my apartment’s garbage room. Me = Body by Cat Turds.

5. Retrieving cat toys

And reach, and stretch. And reach, and stretch.

And reach, and stretch. And reach, and stretch.

Cat toys: They get lost. Kitties are quite fond of swatting them across the floor and then into the mysterious abyss called the “furniture underbelly.” When it’s time to sweep (and I want to move furniture) — or when all the kitties’ playthings are missing — I find all sorts of goodies underneath the sofa, bookcase and bed. It’s like the lost-and-found of cat toys. Let me tell you, it’s sometimes not an easy task to climb on the floor and blindly reach for crinkle balls and catnip mice. You have to be flexible and have the the stamina of a weirdo gold-panner to make this happen.

How does your cat make you exercise? Tell us in the comments!