Admittedly, this free advice is relevant all the time — not just during the pandemic. After all, you should always help your pet get some exercise each and every day. Cats and dogs have different needs, though, and so completing this task might be dependent on which type of pet you own. But if you notice the family furballs gaining weight during the coronavirus pandemic, here are a few boxes you might want to check off.
You can absolutely train your cat to walk with a leash (start them young!), but dogs are far more likely to be taken for that much-needed walk. Don’t worry. It’s okay to keep your cat indoors. If you do try to leash train your cat, there could be resistance, or perhaps your feline friend will start acting up when confined indoors because he wants out — those are good reasons to keep him indoors. Especially since cats are natural serial killers once you let them out into the wild on their own. Be careful.
You can make your living space more cat-friendly, though. Purchase a few bookshelves (without the intention of putting books on them), and space them out evenly along the wall, creating a pathway for your cat to climb up platform by platform. The last should be very close to the ceiling, but with enough space for your cat to sit. Cats like to be high! Creating platforms (or even a hanging bed) will give them more space to act out their predatory fantasies.
Cats and dogs only need to eat once a day, but if your pet continues to approach you for food throughout the day, then try splitting their meals into smaller portions doled out twice a day. And ignore them when they come to you. Half the time, cats will puke up one big portion anyway. But consult an animal care provider if you have doubts or questions.