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Ask Lyle – Feel the Burn

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Ask Lyle is our weekly cat-to-cat advice column from Modern Cat (and ridiculously outspoken gentleman), Lyle. Submit your questions to, and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the questioning cat so that we can post it with the advice!

You can also follow Lyle's adventures on Twitter and Instagram,@lylestagram

Dear Lyle,

Why does my human say I need to go on little walks around the outside yard?  Doesn't she know that the outside scares me?  And that I don't do anything on command? Perhaps I have put on a little extra weight lately, but outside? No, thank you! Are there other ways I could "feel the burn"?

-Less than Noble Elmo

Hi Excited to Exercise Elmo!

Thanks so much for writing in! It sounds like your human is concerned about your health, for sure. I probably don't need to tell you, but there are a lot of health problems associated with an overweight kitty. If you don't like going outside, I certainly understand that. While I am the sort of cat who bolts into life without looking first, you sound like a more reasonable sort who is cautious about the world around you. When that world is opened up from the home you know to the big outside, it is probably very, very frightening.

The good news is that there is a tonne of stuff you and your human can do inside to help you get a little more exercise. One of my favourite ways to get active is for my Momma to play with a wand toy for me. She dangles it, whips it around, and sometimes hides it in blankets or the couch (oh my gosh, it drives me absolutely bonkers when it is hidden!). Because I am a big active guy who loves to play, she will often move it from one room of the house to the other, so that I chase it all around. If you are new to indoor play, it is a good idea for your human to try out different types of toys and different techniques for enticing you. One of my brothers is, I am afraid to say, a little bit dim. He isn't a strong hunter like me, so my Momma just lays the toys in front of him and twitches them until he gets excited. It is painful to watch for me because it is so obvious where the toy is, but ol' dumb dumb (who I love very much) just doesn't pick up on it. 

Another thing I love is when my Momma puts treats or food into one of my toys, and then I get to figure out how to get it out of there. In my house we have the PetSafe Slimcat Interactive Feeder, but there are other good options available. If you love treats, this is a fun way to get some exercise AND a little snack. 

I think it is just great that your human wants to keep you healthy and happy, and you might find you enjoy some of the things she comes up with for you.

Best of luck with the new exercise regime!


Need more cat-to-cat advice? Check out previous columns!

I Think My New Mom Made a Mistake! – from Hyacinth

Why Does My Human Leave Me to Travel? from Cordelia

Why Do the Humans Laugh at Me? from Dorian

Why Can't I Scratch on the Couch? from Nibbles

A Cat's Sixth Sense from Elroy

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