I have a cat named Isaac who is currently tipping the scales at around twenty pounds. In an attempt to control his weight I feed him light cat food (Science Diet, to be exact), and give him the absolute minimum he will let me get away with.
A number of people have suggested getting a laser pointer. Kitty sees the red dot on the ground and goes a little crazy trying to catch it, thereby getting his heart rate up and burning a few calories. So I finally got around to buying one. Brought it home. Isaac greeted me at the door (he’s very sweet). Pulled out the pointer and tried it out. Bright red dot appears on the floor a few feet from him. Let the excitement begin!
Oh, he saw the dot. His furry little head tracked it as I moved it back and forth. If I got it close enough to him he even thrust out a paw. But no chasing and basically no interest at all.
My other cat, Emily, was a little more interested. She followed the dot around for a few seconds but quickly lost interest. I would suspect that she understood about futility, except that she still occasionally chases her tail.
Anyone need a laser pointer?