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5 Methods to Keep Your Senior Cat Active

5 Methods to Keep Your Senior Cat Active 2

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The kitten you once welcomed into your home has grown up. Your beloved furball is getting older, and you notice that they are moving much less than before, which understandably worries you about their health.

It’s important to know that as cats age, their sleep needs increase, and it’s not concerning if they sleep for 16 to 20 hours a day. However, helping them stay active and maintain regular physical activity is crucial.

Good Pets Corner provides you with 5 foolproof methods to awaken the instinct of your senior cat.

5 Methods to Keep Your Senior Cat Active

Method 1: Food Play

“Stop playing with your food!” You must have been tired of hearing that phrase from adults when you were a child. Well, now is the time to take revenge by encouraging your feline friend to move!

Cats are primarily carnivorous animals. In the wild, they mainly feed on small animals like mice, voles, shrews, birds, amphibians, or fish.

Of course, we’re not suggesting giving them live prey. Instead, find out which protein sources they prefer. Provide them with multiple bowls of fresh products such as chicken, salmon, and beef. It’s highly likely that they will love it.

After a few hours or days, you’ll discover what attracts your senior cat the most, and they may even enjoy all the meat options. To get them moving and add variety to their taste buds, incorporate their “rewards” into an educational feeding puzzle or a treat-dispensing ball. They will quickly get used to this routine and eagerly await this moment of the day, guaranteed success for lip-licking!

Method 2: Create a Meal Course

Your cat is undeniably a food lover, and we’re going to use that to create a meal course that will encourage them to move throughout the day. Your cat needs their daily ration of kibble, but you can challenge them and play the role of Hansel and Gretel.

Instead of placing their food in one location, gradually change their habits by scattering their kibble in strategic spots around your home, taking into consideration their abilities.

Get several small containers and place a few kibbles in each. The total amount should naturally cover their daily needs, neither too little nor too much. Distribute these containers wherever you please in your house or apartment.

To establish a routine and facilitate the maintenance of your living space, always place the mini bowls in the same location, as long as the spots remain accessible to your cat 24/7. Your cat will quickly learn where to find their food.

Consider their age, vitality, and any potential arthritis issues. If your cat is full of vigor and can still jump without difficulty, place the kibble at elevated locations. Otherwise, the floor or low platforms will suffice.

Method 3: Awaken their Hunting Instinct

Cats are natural predators, capable of observing their prey for hours before pouncing at lightning speed. Your aging cat may not be able to perform all the acrobatics they used to, but reviving their hunting instinct will help them get back on their feet.

It’s essential to build a bond with your companion by creating moments of play. However, keep in mind that your feline friend may have their own preferences and be a bit temperamental, so it will take time and attention to find their favorite toy. Don’t get discouraged, and you will be pleasantly surprised.

First and foremost, before spending a fortune, make use of what you have at home. A ping pong ball, a cork, an old sock filled with catnip, or crumpled aluminum foil can do the trick and make your cat completely hooked.

In stores or homemade, “fishing rods” or feather wands often bring joy to our cats and promote interaction with their favorite human. So, don’t hesitate to share enjoyable play moments with your senior cat.

5 Methods to Keep Your Senior Cat Active

Method 4: Invest in a Cat Tree

If you don’t have a cat tree in your home yet, it’s time to build one if you’re handy, or buy one from a pet store to give your whiskered friend some exercise.

To encourage them to climb the tiers and reach the higher platforms, you can place a few treats in the elevated hideouts or sprinkle some catnip if they love it. At the top of the cat tree, try placing their favorite blanket.

If your cat is indeed too old for this type of exercise that requires agility and balance, you can simply rearrange some furniture to make their daily life easier while still encouraging movement as they find their spot to observe.

Typically, cats have a favored spot they particularly enjoy for resting while feeling safe. Observe them, and you’ll quickly identify their favorite spots. It could be a sofa, a radiator, a bed, or even a shelf on the bookcase.

Set up platforms for easy access using cardboard, wooden crates, ottomans, or any other suitable items. You will undoubtedly make them happy while subtly encouraging them to move.

Finally, a scratching post will also be appreciated by your cat to mark their territory and allow them to stretch. Plus, it might (hopefully) spare your couch. So, don’t hesitate!

5 Methods to Keep Your Senior Cat Active

Method 5: Shower Them with Affection

Your cat is feeling old and tired. Despite all your efforts, towards the end of their life, they may simply not feel like playing anymore and settle for minimal movement. It’s important to accept this, as you can’t go against nature.

Now is the time to provide them with all your affection to make them feel loved and cherished—they simply need you. And you need them. So, the best way to extend their life in the best possible conditions is undoubtedly to show them the unconditional love you have for them.

And what if the happiness of your senior cat depended on a few purrs and shared cuddles under a cozy blanket?

mahatma gandhi portrait

- Mahatma Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”