Equipment Recommendations

Introduction

We use equipment in feline fitness for several reasons, including encouraging good alignment with the exercises, promoting weight shifting, or challenging stability.

My Recommendations:

A Little Extra:


Low Level Target(s)

I like using something long/wide that is low to the ground (and non slip!) for beginning feet targeting.  

I recommend the target having a length/width of at least 2x your cat’s shoulder width, with a height below 1/2″ an inch.

Examples include: 

  • Bath mat
  • Foam puzzle mat
  • Yoga mat 

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Adjustable Stool(s)

I LOVE these for feline fitness! 

With the style I like, the stool legs can be tucked in and used as a feet target or sit platform, and the height is adjustable to alter difficulty/weight bearing.  I like the adjustable height option, as we can make them tall enough for the cat to crawl underneath too!

Example Stool

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Rubber Feed Bowl

These are rubber feed bowls that can be purchased online or at many farming supply stores.  I really like the circular shape for doing “Pivots”.

The size my cat is on is 5 quarts with a 10″ diameter.  I added yoga mat on the bottom to make it non slip.

Example Feed Bowl

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Here are some additional items that I have used throughout the course, but are considered “extra” and not essential. 

Please note that the workouts at the end of the course do include use of the Mini Fitbones, Paw Pods, and Cavaletti’s, but those lessons are completely optional.

Remember that just like in human and canine fitness, we always start exercises on stable props before progressing to adding instability.


Mini Fitbones

I love the Mini FitBones a lot for smaller dogs and cats, as these have less tendency to tip (compared to the Regular FitBones) and offer a great balance challenge with one side having a nubbed surface beneficial for proprioceptive feedback.

Note how I added traction tape to the “smooth” surface of the mini Fitbones, to make them nonslip.  

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Paw Pods

Paw pods are inflatable half balls that the cat can place their individual feet on.  The convex surface of the paws encourages engagement of the muscles along the cat’s feet and carpus/tarsus.  My recommendation for brands are below, in order of size (smallest to largest):

  1. Flexiness Paw Stackers
  2. Totofit Smooth
  3. Totofit Nubby
  4. Bosu Balance Pods

I highly recommend avoiding all other products which have the tendency to be too large, too slippery, and/or too spiky.

For my cat, I have used the “Totofit Smooth” (a smaller pod) for targeting all 4 feet to the paw pods, and the “Bosu Balance Pods” (a larger pod) for working in an adducted stand.

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Cavaletti’s

I’d honestly say these are pretty unnecessary for the majority of cats, but I do have some demo videos on how to use them if you already have a set!

We always want to use an even number of cavaletti poles, with the highest height set below the cat’s point of hock.   For my cat, I used a height of about 1/2 the height of his point of hock.

These can be DIY’d using cones/pylons with holes drilled into them, and placing broomsticks or PVC pipe through the holes.

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