As cats start to age, they need exercise to stay healthy. Since the ultimate goal is to get your cat moving, using toys is often the best tactic, particularly the fishing-rod-type toys or small items your cat can chase. If you don’t have those cat toys, try using common household items for supervised play time, such as string. Always monitor your cat with toys to ensure they do not swallow objects or get tangled up in string or wool as this could pose a strangulation risk. These should be supervised games and toys should be safely secured away. Discard toys that show wear and have potential for losing small pieces that could be swallowed. Read our tips on how to exercise your senior cat and how to keep them active.
Activity Ideas for Senior Cats
Here are a few games and toys you can make at home:
- Leave a large paper bag out for your cat. It just might keep them busy for hours.
- Play with the laundry basket. Let your cat jump inside. Then stick a toy through the holes in the side and play.
- Play hide-and-seek. Hide and let your cat find you. You’ll be surprised to find that they’ll catch on quickly to the process of “tagging” you and then running away for their turn to hide.
- Why not recycle a cardboard box? Lay the box on the side and your cat will use it like a cave, battling the sides with its paws and have great fun biting and playing with it.
Add an Extra Incentive
If these tricks don’t do it for your cat, try motivating them with food such as healthy treats:
- Fill a plastic bottle with dry cat food; leave the lid off or cut a small hole in the side to allow the kibble to fall out during play.
- Place dry cat food in a brown paper lunch bag and loosely roll the end closed.
- Hide food in a paper towel roll.
- Place food under an empty laundry basket.
- Hide food in crumpled pieces of paper.
If you decide to motivate with food, remember to feed your cat a little less during regular mealtimes. Follow the feeding guidelines on the package to keep your senior cat feeling fit and at a healthy weight.