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As cats age, it’s important to make sure they stay mentally and physically stimulated through their senior years. Playtime is an important part of caring for older cats and can help keep them active as they age. Not only can playtime provide physical benefits – for example it can help to maintain muscle mass, and coordination, and prevent obesity – but it can also have mental benefits, such as reducing anxiety and boredom, which can be real issues in older cats. In this post, we will share some of the best toys for senior cats to help keep them entertained and active. Whether your senior cat is still a kitten at heart or a more laid-back companion, we’ve got some toy recommendations that are sure to make their golden years fun and active.
Types of toys for senior cats
When it comes to choosing toys for senior cats, there are many options to consider. Here are some of the main types of toys that can be especially beneficial for older cats:
Interactive cat toys for senior cats
Interactive toys a great option for older cats because they can help to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. As cats age, they may become less active and have less energy, which can lead to boredom and a decrease in their activity level. Interactive toys can help combat this by providing a challenge for your senior cat to solve in order to get a reward – usually some sort of food reward. This can help keep your cat’s mind active and engaged, and can also provide physical benefits by encouraging them to move and play. Interactive toys can be especially beneficial for senior cats that may have mobility or health issues, as they can provide a low-impact way for your cat to exercise and stay active. If you have a food-motivated cat, interactive toys are a great way to encourage them to stay active.
Puzzle cat toys for senior cats
Similar to interactive toys, puzzle toys challenge your cat to think and solve problems in order to get a reward. These can include toys that hide treats inside or require your cat to push levers or turn knobs to reveal a treat.
Soft cat toys for senior cats
Soft, plush toys can be a great option for senior cats that may have more sensitive teeth or gums. These toys can be cuddled with or batted around, providing a good way for your cat to practice their natural hunting behaviors.
Laser cat toys for senior cats
Laser toys can provide endless entertainment for cats of all ages, and can be especially helpful for senior cats that may have trouble chasing more traditional toys. Just be sure to never shine the laser directly into your cat’s eyes, and to always supervise playtime.
Top toy recommendations for senior cats
Now that we’ve covered the different types of toys for senior cats and their benefits, let’s look at some different toy recommendations.
Interactive toy: AOSUI Cat Treat Toy
This treat dispenser toy helps to engage your cat’s natural hunting instincts and problem-solving skills by providing a fun challenge for them to try and get the treats inside. This can help keep your senior cat mentally stimulated and reduce boredom. Additionally, the toy’s durable construction and food-grade material make it safe for your cat to play with and chew on. The toy is also easy to clean, making it a convenient choice for busy pet parents. If your cat is food motivated, this would be the perfect daytime toy. Just be careful about overfeeding your cat – seniors can easily become overweight, so you don’t want to overfeed them.
Puzzle toy: Catit Design Senses Play Circuit
This toy combines a puzzle and a track for your cat to follow, making it a multi-sensory experience. This is the perfect toy for any cat you feel like is too smart for its own good – the type of cat that can open doors or cupboards. The toy includes a ball that your cat can bat around and chase, and it can be adjusted to different difficulty levels as your cat gets better at it. This is also a fun toy for multiple cats to play with at the same time. If your cats tend to fight over toys, that won’t be an issue with this one.
Soft toy: 20 Pieces Catnip Toys for Indoor Cat
This toy set includes a variety of different shapes and designs, which provides plenty of variety to keep your senior cat entertained. Additionally, the inclusion of catnip in the toys can stimulate your cat’s senses and encourage play. The soft, plush material of the toys could also be gentle on older teeth and gums, making them a good choice for senior cats that may have more sensitive mouths. If your cat likes to cuddle and rub against toys, these would be a wonderful and affordable option.
Laser toy: PetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat Toy
This laser toy has adjustable settings so you can control the speed and pattern of the laser, making it suitable for cats of all activity levels. It also has a built-in timer that shuts off the laser after 15 minutes of playtime, ensuring that your cat doesn’t overdo it. It’s recommended that you supervise playtime with this toy for your cat’s safety.
These are just a few examples of the many great toys that are available for senior cats. Keep reading to learn more about factors to consider when choosing a toy for your older cat friend.
Factors to consider when choosing toys for senior cats
When picking out toys for your senior cat, there are a few factors you should be considering.
There are a few things you can do to ensure that your cat’s toys are safe:
- Inspect toys regularly. Look for any loose or broken parts that could be ingested by your cat. Discard any damaged toys immediately. This includes stuffed toys that are tearing and have stuffing coming out. Swallowing stuffing can cause intestinal blockages.
- Choose high-quality toys. Look for toys that are made with non-toxic materials and have a durable construction. Avoid toys with small parts that could be easily swallowed or chewed off. I’d avoid buying toys from sites like Aliexpress – they often don’t meet safety recommendations. Amazon, Chewy, or your local pet store are better places to shop for toys.
- Supervise your cat’s playtime. Monitor your cat’s playtime to ensure that they are not swallowing or choking on any toys.
- Store toys properly. Keep small toys and parts out of reach when not in use to prevent accidental ingestion.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your cat’s toys are safe and enjoyable to play with.
It is important to find the right-sized toys for your senior cat. Felines are natural hunters and they need toys that are similar in size to their prey. This engages their innate hunting instincts. Toys that are too small for them may be swallowed or cause choking, while toys that are too large may not be able to be manipulated easily by the cat. Large toys can also be difficult for an arthritic older cat to deal with or carry around. Cats also need mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy and happy, and having a variety of appropriately sized toys can help provide this stimulation. By choosing toys that are the right size for your cat, you can help ensure that your cat stays safe and entertained.
Just like people, cats have different interests. A toy one cat might love another might not be interested in. There are a number of ways to gauge your cat’s interest in different kinds of toys without wasting a lot of money:
- Observe your cat’s behavior when it’s playful. Pay attention to what your cat naturally plays with or shows interest in. This could be toys that mimic prey, such as small balls or stuffed animals, or objects with movement, such as a laser pointer or a string.
- Offer a variety of toys. Try offering a selection of different types of toys, including those that make noise, those that can be chased or pounced on, and those that can be batted or scratched. This can help you determine which types of toys your cat enjoys the most. Observe your cat for a longer period of time – sometimes cats will have an initial interest in a toy but lose interest quickly. In that case it could just be the novelty of a new toy they’re excited about, not really the toy itself.
- Watch your cat’s body language and behavior when they play with different toys. A cat that is visibly excited or engages in prolonged play is likely interested in the toy.
By taking these factors into account, you can help ensure that your senior cat has a safe and enjoyable playtime experience.
Playtime is an often overlooked part of caring for senior cats. Frequent quality playtime can help keep them mentally and physically stimulated, which greatly improves the quality of their lives. There are many types of toys available for senior cats, so it’s important to consider your cat’s individual needs and preferences when choosing one. Interactive toys, puzzle toys, soft toys, and laser toys are all great options for older cats and can provide a variety of mental and physical benefits. When selecting a toy for your senior cat, be sure to consider factors such as safety, toy size, and interest to ensure that your cat has a safe and enjoyable experience. By providing your senior cat with the right toys and plenty of playtime, you can help them live a happy, healthy, and longer life.