Toy Guidelines for Senior Cats

Think Safe — and Fun

Be careful when using any toy with string, ribbon, yarn, or rubber bands, as they are potentially deadly if swallowed. Even a senior cat can swallow these accidentally because cats have tongues covered with rearward-facing barbs that make it hard for them to spit out string, yarn and similar things. Such long objects, if ingested, tend to travel lengthwise along the intestines. They can cause the intestine to scrunch up accordion-style, even turning in on itself just like a sock. This is a life-threatening medical condition that usually requires surgery to correct. You can play with such toys with your cat, but always put them away in a safe place once your playtime is over.

Ping pong or practice golf balls (the ones with holes in them) are a good size and weight for older cats. Place the balls in a captive area, such as in a bathtub, for maximum fun. Or put one in an empty tissue box so your cat can fish for it.

Catnip toys appeal to many cats to various extents, whereas others get no kick at all from them. About half of all cats are affected by catnip, so choose another option if your kitty seems unimpressed.

Senior cats don't play for as long as younger cats do, but try to play with your senior at least once a day. Acting young will help keep him feeling young!

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