Keeping your senior cat active is important. Playing provides the much needed exercise, and helps prevent stress and health issues in general. As your cat gets older, you will see it lounging around more often than playing but it still requires activities that stimulate it. There are however a few things that you need to take into consideration while playing with your senior cat.
Senior cats don’t necessary stop playing because of age. There might be underlying health issues that prevent them from playing and it is important to uncover these as soon as possible. A cat that is suffering from heart issues will prefer not to exercise and should not be doing rigorous activities. Take your cat for regular vet visits and make sure it gets enough nutrition to keep it healthy. You can also ask the vet what kind of games are suitable for your cat.
The same toys won’t keep your cat interested as it gets older. They will develop their own preferences and in general, it is a good idea to rotate toys every few weeks to keep the cat motivated. Some cats like toys that resemble mice or other small ground prey. Toys that roll on the floor and allow your cat to chase are good for these cats. Other cats like to play with toys that mimic birds. These toys are colorful and usually have strings attached that the owner can manipulate.
Catnip and brain teasers are also great for older cats. Catnips can affect cats and make them more motivated for playing. Brain teasers like food balls will also keep your senior cat tantalized. Puzzles are also available for this purpose.
Household items can also be turned into entertainment methods for your cat. Cardboard boxes, paper bags, scratch posts, fleece strips etc all make for great cat toys. Set cardboard boxes clumped together – some upright, some sideways and some upside down – and cut openings in the sides. You have an instant kitty paradise to entertain your cat for days. Bathrobe belts, soft socks and similar materials are great for the cat to pull at and play with.
No matter how you chose to entertain your cat, safety should always be a priority. Toys that have strings and ribbons need to be put away once done with as they can be swallowed accidentally and lead to major health issues.
If you know that your cat has serious medical, avoid making it run around excessively. This can compound issues and lead to more. medical illnesses. As your cat gets older, keep an eye on it while it’s playing.