There are times when I tote our 20-lb. tabby, Trip, up the stairs that I regret not having put on a hernia belt beforehand. Every time, it’s a mini-workout.
On Muscle Beach in southern California, Tara Brown has taken it one step further and incorporated her cat, Lucky Cat, into her fitness routine.
It all started when Lucky Cat would scurry between her feet whenever she used the barbells, and was all over her when Brown did her stretches and yoga.
Brown’s own mother often exercised with her cats and LC’s behavior convinced Brown that she should do the same.
“I like to use light weights anyway for the bicep curls and twists, so I use my cat,” Brown said. She’s quick to point out that it’s not just a workout, but a way to bond with LC.
Lucky Cat sits on Brown’s lap during yoga sessions and intently watches birds flying nearby. When Brown does leg lunges, stomach crunches and abdominal twists, Lucky Cat comes along for the ride. Brown twists side to side to work her abs, with added weight — her cat perched on her shoulders. Lucky Cat emits an occasional meow and flicks her tail. Their weekly exercises are chronicled on Brown’s blog, catworkout.com.
“You’re using the cat as a weight, so you can do biceps, abs and they’re getting attention,” Brown said. “Obviously if the cat gets cranky, don’t stress them out or anything. They’ll let you know if they’re ticked off. That’s when you need to stop.”
If your pussycat is pudgy, your workout can be designed help work your cat out as well.
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who has trained actresses JLo and Cameron Diaz, has produced workout videos for people and their pets. He suggests tying a toy around dumbbells, so when you do bicep curls, the cat will chase the toy.
Brown exercises Lucky Cat with a laser pointer and Silly String.
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Even if your cat doesn’t help you become fit, furry friends still produce therapeutic benefits for people. Studies have shown that pets have a calming effect and soothe people who suffer from depression and loneliness.