As they age, cats begin to walk slower, jump more carefully, and play less. While these behaviors are common in older cats, they are worrying for their owners. One way to ensure that your cat does not lose her vitality is to encourage her to exercise to keep her mind and body active and agile. Let’s find out how to play with the old cat.
That kitten you brought into your home a few years ago has grown up and it’s up to you to ensure its physical and mental health. Since you cannot direct your cat to the gym, the animal will need to be helped with constant training to maintain the cat’s musculature. Want to know what’s the fastest way to keep it active?
Spending time with him every day to play, but how to play with the senior cat? In the next few paragraphs, we’ll find helpful tips. Cats are independent pets and some don’t like the idea of exercising, especially if they’re cats who have arthritis. However, if you confuse it and hide the exercise in the form of a game, it will perform the daily activity you need without realizing it.
Spend time playing with the senior cat
There are many ingenious toys that help senior cats exercise more, and you have options small, large, inexpensive and expensive. Start testing slowly, as your cat may like some more than others. In pet stores, you’ll find endless options, but be sure to choose toys and tools that are appropriate for his age.
A few examples of small and large toys you might like:
- A feathered wand for your cat to chase
- Interactive toys / puzzle-type delivery prizes
- A tower or cat tree
- A cat wheel (yes, just like hamsters)
Exercises for older cats
Cats love to climb, but older cats with arthritis can start to have a hard time doing this, especially if they don’t exercise regularly. Change the furniture so your cat can jump from the floor to a chair or footstool and from there to the sofa, before getting on everything to take a nap.
If you have a cat tower, encourage him to keep using it by hiding healthy treats at different levels, so you have to jump off of them if you want to eat them. And if you don’t have it, it might be a good idea to get one or design something similar that allows your cat to exercise and climb. Do you have cat grass at home? Use it and fill it with an old sock.
Even better: sew a string to the sock so you can drag it across the ground from a safe distance and have the cat chase you down the path. Take a look around the house and look for things your cat might play with. Do you have old fabrics that you can sew into a ball? Try this – your cat will hit him and chase her around the house.
Of course, it is advisable to avoid balls of wool, as they could swallow the threads or become tangled in them and injure themselves. Attention the cat could vomit after ingesting a foreign body. And how about some empty paper bags or cardboard boxes? Or take a stick and a string and make a rod or “fishing rod” with which to have your cat hit or catch what you put at the end of the line.
If your cat likes to spend the afternoons on the windowsill, sunbathing and observing nature, install a bird feeder outside the window. As if it were a cat television, that feeder will draw new and enticing visitors into its field of view.
This way he will jump to see the birds, who will be more than willing to entertain your cat in exchange for food. Do you have more than one cat? The likelihood of multiple cats playing with each other is greater than a single cat playing alone. Handing out toys is your best bet and one of them is very likely to encourage the other to start moving.
Playing with the old cat: mental exercises
Older cats also need to exercise their minds, and one way to help the cat maintain a kitten’s mental sharpness is through games where food is involved. First, instead of giving the cat a large amount of food once, it hides small amounts throughout the house. He places food kibbles at different heights, so you have to try a little harder and encourage him to find them.
Another way to stimulate your mental acuity is through competitions. These games consist of completing a small puzzle or any activity and then having the prize. Always remember to leave additional food in an easily accessible place to make sure that regardless of whether he finds it or not, he is still receiving optimal nutrition.
Choose nutritious foods for rewards too
Nutrition plays a very important role in making older cats stay healthy and active. Before making any changes to your diet, always consult your veterinarian to make sure the foods and treats you provide are adequate to meet your physical and mental needs. According to scholars, a diet supplemented with antioxidants, fatty acids and prebiotic fiber is beneficial for older cats.
If your cat likes puzzle games, you will need to make sure you have “prizes” at home that you can put inside. You can use kibble or cans of his favorite food. One last tip: don’t let too much time pass to introduce play and exercise into your cat’s daily life. The earlier you start, the healthier and happier he will remain for the rest of his life.