Your ten-year-old orange tabby Roxie might be the most pampered feline in town. You’ve given this spoiled-rotten girl a cushy senior bed, rhinestone collar, and handcrafted bowl. You’ve set up a TV in the family room for her favorite “Animal Planet” shows. Roxie dines on a top-quality senior food prescribed by your veterinarian. Because a sedentary lifestyle could cause unhealthy weight gain, your vet has recommended a regular exercise program. Besides working her muscles and joints, daily playtime sessions will help to prevent boredom and stress that could trigger behavioral problems.
Your vet will evaluate Roxie’s health, providing her with an updated physical exam if necessary. Based on his findings, he’ll recommend body-friendly playtime activities. If she manages a chronic medical condition, he’ll take that into consideration.
Your senior cat’s playtime activities, and her daily workout schedule, might differ from your younger cat’s exercise program. For example, the vet might recommend shorter and less intense interactive play sessions that you initiate more frequently.
Every self-respecting cat — even dignified little Roxie — appreciates good-quality toys. You probably already know her plaything preferences. Consider toys that roll like mice or feathered wands that act like birds. If she reacts to catnip, rub her toys with this intoxicating herb. Show her a secluded cardboard “hide box” that provides a comfy place to play and relax.
While you’re assembling your cat’s toy collection, include at least one treat puzzle. With your vet’s approval, stuff the device with appealing kibbles or permitted treats. When she moves the toy a certain way, or releases a latch, she’ll access her prized morsels. If she’s a clever girl with good problem-solving skills, buy more complicated toys that will challenge her mind. Rotate your cat’s toys every few weeks so she doesn’t become bored.
Because your inquisitive cat can bite off and swallow small toy parts, closely watch her during playtime. Don’t leave her alone with toys containing wires or strings, as she could become tangled and hurt herself. If she removes and swallows the string, she can experience serious medical issues.
When Roxie next visits your veterinarian, she’ll be a contented senior cat who enjoys her regular playtime sessions. To provide your older feline with beneficial exercise, contact us for expert advice.