As your cat gets older, they may outgrow some of their kitten habits such as constant zoomies around the living room or clawing at your toes. But, we know they’re unlikely to let go of their love for all play and toys. In the wild, cats are constantly stimulated by new smells, environments and hunting. Domesticated cats, particularly older indoor cats (5+ years), don’t experience as much natural stimulation, so it’s up to you to enrich their lives with play and toys to prevent behavioural problems and promote their overall well-being.
Today we’re going to dive into some of the incredible benefits of playing with your cat, as well as listing off the 7 best toys for older indoor cats, to get your cat purring in no time!
Benefits of Playing with Toys for Indoor Cats
Before we delve into the best toys for older indoor cats, you better know exactly why you should be playing with your feline friend.
Some cats are super playful, whilst others can sometimes appear uninterested in toys, making it difficult for the owner of an older indoor cat. However, it’s important to persist with your fussy feline as there are so many wonderful benefits of playing with your cat and providing them with toys.
Here are a few of the main ones:
- Increased Physical Activity: cat obesity affects over one-third of British cats with older indoor cats at the highest risk due to naturally reduced exercise levels. Playing with your cat provides them with essential daily exercise to help maintain their slender feline figures.
- Stimulation: Playtime and toys stimulate older indoor cats, preventing boredom and destructive behaviour.
- Maintains Oral Health: using dental toys or chew toys, can help remove plaque and tartar buildup on your cat’s teeth.
- Owner/Cat Bonding: playing with your cat can be just as fun for you as your feline bestie and helps to strengthen the bond between you and your cat by creating positive shared experiences and trust.
So, now that you know why it’s so important to play with your cat, here are our 7 tried and tested cat toys your older indoor cat will love.
High-Quality Catnip Toys for Your Older Indoor Cat
Catnip is a natural and safe stimulant for cats that can tempt even the laziest of them to play, making it one of the best toys for cats! Most cats love to roll, chew and play with catnip, making catnip toys a great way for cats to self-play.
Look for toys that contain a high-quality form of catnip such as catnip leaf as opposed to infused catnip, as this will provide a stronger effect to your feline friend. Often these toys aren’t sold in high street shops, however, marketplaces like ETSY host independent sellers who handmake excellent catnip toys. Here at Gus & Bella, the cat and human subscription box, we love to include these brands and regularly have high-quality catnip toys in our subscription boxes. This may be just what your cat needs to embrace their inner kitten!
Catnip Tip: catnip is one of the best toys for older indoor cats, however, it’s a great idea to use it in short bursts and put it away in a drawer after use. This will keep your cat interested for longer and prevent boredom.
Wand toys are one of the best toys for indoor cats as they excite their inner hunting instincts. They may not be as agile as they once were in their prime, but older cats still love to express their inner desire to stalk, jump and pounce. Make sure you find one that is lightweight and easy for senior cats to play with such as one with a feather or plush toy attachment.
You'll find an irresistible teaser toy (with a suction cup attachment, so it can be fixed to the floor to encourage self-play) in March's 'Best Cat Mum' Gus & Bella Box.
Laser Toys: One of the Best Toys for Older Indoor Cats
Laser toys are another way for your cat to satisfy their predatory urges. They’re one of the best toys for older indoor cats to get much-needed kitty cat exercise. Limit use to 5-10 minutes per day to keep your cat engaged and stimulated.
We all know cats love to play hide and seek, constantly searching for the best cupboard or amazon box in the house to hide in. Cat tunnels provide a safe and interactive space for your cat to satisfy these urges. You can find collapsible ones that can easily be stored out of the way like the 3-way tunnel from our February 'Love Cats' Box.
Placing your cat’s favourite kibble inside a cat treat ball for them to seek out is a purrfect way to combine play with mealtime. These toys dispense treats as your cat plays with them, encouraging them to move and self-play.
Bonus Tip: Even playing “fetch” with your cat's kibble and throwing one piece out at a time can give your cat a boost of energy as they run to retrieve the treat, enticing even the biggest couch potatoes to play.
Maintain Your Cat’s Pearly Whites With Dental toys
Dental toys and dental treats are the best toys for cats to combine play with dental health. Crunchy textures of dental toys and treats help to rub off plaque and tartar from your cat’s teeth, reducing the risk of them developing dental and gum disease.
It’s important to have a variety of toys on the go and to mix things up at play time to prevent boredom. We know the struggles of keeping an older indoor cat engaged with play and toys, that’s why we created Gus & Bella, to provide cat parents with a range of original and unique cat toys each month plus a few treats in there for their human-bestie!