Do you remember your high school physical education classes? Some of us probably have fonder memories than others, depending on our love of volleyball, square dancing and ability to bring a “please excuse” note from home.

Most cats’ days are a steady cycle of eating, sleeping, grooming and physical activity. Oh, and judging us — let’s not forget that one. Because felines are naturally active to varying degrees, we think they’d have enjoyed our schooltime gym classes. Here are five physical education-type exercises in which they’d score high marks.

  1. Soccer

Cats would always be picked first for P.E. soccer teams. Seriously, who’s better at moving a ball across the floor, around obstacles and then underneath a major appliance? Any gym teacher would be impressed with their expertise in swatting and sliding. They’d be kind of cocky about their performance, though, and demand a World Cup-type trophy … filled with.

  1. Stretches

In school, we stretched by touching our toes. Cats take stretching to the next level and could move to an advanced gym class. Wait, does that even exist? If it does, they’d be there. The elegance in which kitties move their bodies while stretching is mesmerizing. Coming out of a nap, they never fail to extend their front and back legs, gracefully lengthening their spines. Sometimes, they even wake up mid-nap for a quick groom-and-stretch session. Overachievers!

©Illustrations by Annette Webb
  1. Obstacle course

This part of the curriculum was at least interesting, less so for us accident-prone kids. We’d move along a course, maneuvering our feet through tire holes. Then we’d climb nets, jump over blocks and walk across planks and beams. Cats have a field day (get it?) with these types of workouts. Often they’re combined with the extra challenge of zoomies. You’ve seen this activity many times in your home. Energized cats create their own obstacle course by running across surfaces (sometimes our bodily ones), launching off beds, leaping over furniture while knocking knickknacks onto the floor, bouncing off cushions and jumping straight up in the air. They might end the course by nailing a landing inside a box or laundry basket, in which they’d celebrate their accomplishments by napping.

©Illustrations by Annette Webb
  1. Running laps

We were sometimes instructed to run laps, which meant dashing around an outdoor field or indoor gym. This could have been part of the curriculum or simply as punishment for goofing off. Cats don’t need direction for this cardio workout — they can do it and sometimes goof off at the same time! If you’ve ever witnessed the zoomies, you know exactly what we’re talking about. In layman’s terms, zoomies are repeatedly racing around the home like a wild cat with no apparent destination. Some kitties partake in running laps directly after a litter box visit, and other times this activity appears randomly and without warning. Either way, A+ to you, cats!

  1. Climbing

Does anyone else remember waiting in line for your turn to climb the giant rope hanging from the ceiling? Some of us were more excited than others to use every muscle in our body to pull ourselves up that knotted beast. Oh, and let’s not forget the added feature of your entire class watching you! Cats are way better climbers than we are and have one advantage: claws. We may grow our nails and sharpen them to the finest point, but we’ll never match the climbing power of a cat. If they participated in our gym classes, this might be the most thrilling part for them. Whether trees, scratching posts, curtains or our legs, cats get the gold star in climbing. And they’d hope the whole class would be watching their performance.

©Illustrations by Annette Webb


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