Tiger is 9 years old which, in kitty years, qualifies him as a senior cat. He is set in his ways, has his favorite spots to sleep and to sit and watch the world outside. One year old Violet is always trying to engage him in a wrestling match or chasing game which Tiger, at times, will be a willing participant. Other times, when he thinks no one is looking, I will find him secretly playing with one of her toys.
Just because cats are no longer kittens doesn’t mean they no longer need or enjoy play. Cats who live outdoors have an unlimited playground with activities to keep their minds and bodies active. Indoor cats, with an often unchanging environment and limited activity tend to become sedentary and uninterested in the world around them.
When multiple cats of various ages live in one household the younger kitties will encourage their older siblings to play. This is a great benefit for all generations since it teaches sociability to the kittens while keeping the older cat’s minds sharp and bodies active. As with Tiger, having the kitten’s toys around will often bring out their playful side.
All cats have an inbred instinct to hunt and catch prey that indoor cats have virtually no need to use. Hiding treats in accessible but challenging areas for kitty to find is a great mind stimulating activity. Perch treats (or fun, inviting toys) on top of cat friendly places to encourage climbing. Providing a outside view with an ever changing “show” for entertainment will keep kitty alert and happy. The beam of a flashlight on the floor of a darkened room will be sure to bring out the playfulness of cats of all ages. Keep a selection of large pompoms, fuzzy mice, and other similar objects available at all times for the shy kitty to play when no one looking.
Your cat’s age is just a number. Play is important at every age to keep their minds sharp,active, and young at any age.