If you go by cat years, our kitty, Charlotte is the oldest member of our household. At 13 years old, she may not have the same spring in her step that she once did, but she still has the same playful spirit. In most cases, a cat is considered senior when they are between 7-10 years old. But just because cats are getting older doesn't mean they still can't enjoy an active quality of life. With just a few small changes, you can keep your older cat active and loving life. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.
If you are a cat lover, then you are probably familiar with Morris the 9Lives cat. He is known for being sassy but not snarky, fun and never boring. He is most famous for his love of 9Lives cat food. I have fed 9Lives to all of my cats. As a child, my first cat was a black and white beauty named Morris. He was named after the iconic 9Lives cat since he was quite finicky and would turn up his nose at all food besides 9Lives. Since then, I have given 9Lives to all my cats, including my older cat, Charlotte.
As she has gotten older, keeping Charlotte active has become more important. I have come up with some clever ways to do so and even incorporated activity into her 9Lives feeding time. If you have an older cat who is in good health and free of any nagging injuries, try these simple tips to keep them active.
How to Keep Your Older Cat Active
A little bit of catnip always brings out the kitten in my cat. Sometimes we give her a toy filled with catnip and sometimes we just rub a bit of catnip on her favorite toy. Once she gets a whiff, she starts rolling around on the ground, sniffing and batting around her toy. While not all cats react to catnip the same way, it is worth a try to see if catnip helps your older cat feel a little frisky. We added some catnip to some old toys that my cat had been ignoring and all of sudden she started playing with them again.
An older cat will sleep more than their younger counterparts, and this can result in them being around less and receiving less attention. At any given point throughout the day you can find my cat Charlotte sleeping. The only thing that changes is where she chooses to nap.
Despite increased sleeping time, older cats still want and enjoy attention and having a set petting time each day can keep you from forgetting this important bonding time. It may not seem like petting is something that would keep your cat active, but she will be moving as she comes on over and jumps on the sofa to receive her cuddles.
Though cats are creatures of habit, a change every once in a while can be good for them. Buy a few new toys for kitty and see which one she prefers. Our cat loves toys that crinkle and make noise, so we bought her a new peacock toy. Maybe your cat is more of a chaser, and chasing a new ball would get him moving. Think about the toys that your cat most often plays with. This will give you some insight into the kinds of toys your cat prefers. Remember, you don't have to spend a lot to give your cat some fun toys. A large grocery bag or ball of rolled up aluminum foil can offer up lots of fun for cats.
Work for Treats:
If your cat enjoys an occasional treat, make them work to get it. A treat ball is an inexpensive cat toy that will encourage your cat to be active. Simply place a treat inside a treat ball and watch as your cat chases it around the house and swats it around trying to get the treat. Not only does this encourage the cat to move, it also challenges the cat's brain and helps to keep them mentally stimulated.
Making Food Harder to Get To:
Nothing motivates cats more than food. Especially when it is 9Lives Protein Plus. Morris the 9Lives cat will do anything for 9Lives Protein Plus and my cat is very similar. To take advantage of her love of 9Lives Protein Plus, we have moved her food bowl upstairs. My cat rarely spends time upstairs unless it is night time and we have all gone to sleep.
9Lives Protein Plus has been inspiring my cat to make that trip up the stairs more often. It is made with wholesome, tasty ingredients that Charlotte loves.
You love your kitty and want to give them the best. You'll feel good giving your cat 9Lives Protein Plus because it is packed with:
- 33 grams of high quality protein (per 100g of food) to help support lean muscles and provide energy
- 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats with antioxidants for healthy immune support
- Delicious flavors of chicken and tuna that your cat will love
9Lives Protein Plus provides your cat with taste, nutrition and variety. It is available at Walmart, which makes it so convenient. I can just pick some up whenever I am doing my grocery shopping. Of course, Walmart has such a well- stocked cat area that I can never resist also picking up a fun toy for my cat as well.
Cats change a lot throughout their lives, but one thing that doesn't change is your love for your pet. Getting older may slow your cat down a bit, but it doesn't mean they are no longer sassy and fun. You may have to work a little harder to see that side of them and keep them moving and engaged, but it is so worth it!
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Those cat treats work so well our cats love them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Luckily my cat entertains itself, he usually goes outside for like 2-7 days at a time and only comes back to sleep and get food however there is lots of cats in my neighbourhood so that could be a reason why he goes outside so much
Thanks for the recommendations. My kitty is no longer a baby and I will certainly pay attention.
Sounds like a cat. lol!
I'm not a huge cat person, but I feel like some of these tips could even be used for our pups and as they get older, I want to be sure to keep them as healthy and lively as possible for as long as possible !
Thanks for the useful tips! Our cat is about 5 - 6 years old and all he does is to sleep all day, and he doesn't even want my petting 🙁 I guess I'll have to bring home more interesting toys for him
My in laws could use this! They have an older cat that refuses to do much of anything until he wants to. lol
We're huge cat lovers at our house and have 3 of our own, ranging in ages from 7 to 13. I work from home, and one of them is always hanging out with me. A few of their favorite toys are the twisty ties from things like bread bags .. and also laser lights. Ten minutes of chasing the little red dot and they're definitely ready for their afternoon nap! x
Bites for Foodies
I don't have a cat but I can relate because I have a dog. He's 13 but I have to say he is very active! If it weren't for his grey hairs people would think he's a puppy!
These are such great tips!! I think it's so important to keep attention on your pets, especially as they get older. Extra petting time never hurts!! Love it!
Charlotte is a beautiful cat! I'm sure all that extra protein in 9Lives Protein Plus gives her some extra spunkiness. The catnip probably helps too 😉
Our oldest cat made it to around 15 human years. I'm not sure what the average lifespan but I felt that was pretty long. Great suggestion on food!
I remember when my friends had older cats, they still had a pep in their step and kept doing everything possible to keep them healthy. This is a great post!
Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen
Your cat looks so healthy and pretty. I've never had a cat very long as an adult, so this post is very informative. It would never have occurred to me to keep a cat busy and active as they age. These are some great ideas!
NYC Single Mom
you have provided such great ideas to keep an older cat active. But think this works for all cats, they all need to stay healthy and active to live their best lives and keep companions for their owners.
My daughter has wanted a cat for a while. However, I am allergic to them. I let her go over to her grandparents house to visit and play with the cat. It is an older cat, but she loves him.
These are great ideas. We had a cat that lived to sixteen. She was such a good, well behaved cat, but really slowed down around ten. We worked hard to keep her active, and I think that helped her live to sixteen.
This is a great post. We have two cats. One is only 3 and one is 12 years old. Sophie is our old lady and we love her but I agree, we have to keep her healthy and active.
I know so many people with older cats and they have a hard time keeping up with their health issues. I love the recommendations you made for older cats - they need just as much love and care. Petting time is so vital to make them feel secure and loved.