Most kittens really enjoy a big play session with their owners. Kittens are full of energy, and they rely on you to give them toys to keep active. Older cats typically spend more time sleeping! However, this doesn’t mean that your adult cat doesn’t like to play. Keeping up regular exercise is vital to your cat’s health, no matter what age they are. Adult and even senior cats need vigorous and daily exercise to stay in shape, but also for mental stimulation. If your adult cat seems to have lost their zeal for playtime, it might be that they don’t have the right toys to engage them.
An adult cat has a few different options for getting their exercise. Unlike kittens, many have the option to go get some exercise outside of the house. However, some cats are indoor cats, they have different exercise needs. These pets will likely need some furniture to give them space for a bit of climbing and cardio, but what about playtime with toys? Playing with the right toys can help your indoor or outdoor cat stay healthy through vigorous activity. It is also a great bonding exercise for the two of you. If you use the right toys, it is also a chance for them to give them mental stimulation as well as physical.
When you’re looking for the right cat toys, you need to consider a few things. Safety and quality are important. However, you also need to think about how your cat likes to play. Adult cats can lose interest in toys, so you need to find those that appeal to them. This is what you need to know to find the right toys for an adult cat.
How Do Adult Cats Play?
If you want to find the right toys for an adult cat, you’ve got to think about how it is that they actually play. Unlike a dog, a cat usually won’t just chase something around for the fun of running. Most cats have a more specific style of play.
Cats usually play in a way that simulates hunting. They chase and pounce on toys then bite at them. In kittens, this helps them practise their hunting skills to start getting prey once they’re grown up. In adult cats, they do it more for fun. Even if your cat is an indoor cat they will naturally default to this type of play. While this is how a cat plays, it doesn’t mean they all have the same style of hunting. Your cat might hunt a toy differently to other adult cats.
Some cats specifically like to chase toys or pounce on them, others like to climb, or even solve puzzles for some mental stimulation. On top of this, you’ve got toys that don’t require you to be involved to keep your cat busy when you’re out, and toys that reward a cat with food.
Your cat might like any of these ways of playing. No matter how they play though, there are some toys that are available for them. It is important to think about this though since you can then get your cat the toys that you know they will enjoy playing with.
What Do You Need to Look for in Toys for an Adult Cat?
Your choice of toy for an adult cat depends on how they like to exercise and play. However, on top of this, there are some things you’ve got to think about when it comes to quality. These are some things to look for in a cat toy:
- Durability – An adult cat is going to go through a lot of toys in their life. However, their toys should be built to last. This is even more important than it is with kitten toys. Look for those that aren’t going to be quickly destroyed by a vigorous play session.
- Safety – You need to be sure that your toy isn’t a safety hazard. With cats biting on toys, you have to be careful that they can’t swallow any hazardous material. This includes toys that are too small and those with parts that can snap off and be ingested.
- Texture – The texture of your cat’s toys is quite important. Most cats are going to be using their teeth, which can be surprisingly fragile. If they’re going to be chewing on a toy you should make sure it is soft enough to not damage them.
Has Your Adult Cat Stopped Playing with Toys?
An adult cat seemingly giving up on actually playing with their toys is a common complaint. As cats get older, they can become happier to take a nap or generally chill out than to play and get some exercise. This is naturally worrying, since exercise is really important for your cat’s health. These are some tips to get an adult cat back playing:
- Check Their Health – An adult cat stopping playing isn’t necessarily the sign of bad health. However, if your cat is particularly resistant to playing it may be worthwhile to take them for a check-up. Sudden lethargy in otherwise active cats can be a sign that something is wrong.
- Change Things Up – Your cat might have become bored by playing if they have had the same routine since they were a kitten! Introduce a different type of toy to them and see if that provokes them into playing.
- Get Involved – Most cats are more likely to engage if you’re particularly involved with playing. While this isn’t helpful for keeping indoor cats busy when you’re out, more encouragement from you might be just what your cat needs to get up and about.
The Best Toys for an Adult Cat
With fun toys you should be able to get an adult cat back up and moving. However, finding them is difficult. There is a lot of choice out there. These are some of the best types of toy available for an adult cat at the moment. While not all of them will appeal to every single cat, you should be able to find some that will get your cat interested:
Cat teasers are a great choice for a toy for an adult cat. You can use teasers with different ends and experiment to find which one is right for your pet. These are fun for an adult cat since you can change around what it is that they’re chasing. The downside here is that a cat will get very little fun out of one of these without you there to waggle it around. However, for active playtime with their owners a cat teaser is a great choice.
Toys to Chase
A cat might not play fetch in the same way a dog does, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy chasing things. Small mice like these are great for this. A cat will chase and pounce on them as if they were prey, giving them a bit of a workout.
Toys for When They’re Home Alone
If your cat enjoys chasing and pawing at things, it can leave them with nothing to do but sleep when they’re alone without a human to simulate life in the toy. However, there are toys that work around this. Automatic toys like this are great for keeping your cat moving when you’re not around. This is also well reinforced, so you don’t have to worry about your cat chewing it open to find a battery.
Others like this are simpler, with things moving about on tracks. This lets a cat hit the ball to try and dislodge it, but with the track being set up to keep them working at it for quite a while. These toys are great for some hands-off play.
Toys Using Treats
If your cat needs the encouragement to get up and active while you’re not home, then toys using treats are a great motivator. Even without a human there to prod them into playing a cat is going to be active in trying to get a treat out from these toys.
A Kong is a solid choice here, dog and cat owners use these in pretty much the same way. You stuff it with treats, then your cat has to knock it around in an attempt to get the treats out.
Puzzles like this one are also a good choice for a cat. This will challenge them mentally to get at their treats.
Catnip Stuffed Toys
Toys like this that are stuffed with catnip can be great for motivating tired or lazy cats! The pets that might have some problems with getting up and active can often be motivated by a treat or some catnip. These toys work by encouraging your cat to hunt them. The extra bonus is that chewing the toy helps with exfoliating dental plaque build-ups to improve dental health. These are great for cats that might be on a bit of a diet that rules out treat related toys.
Playing with an Adult Cat
Those toys are all great choices for getting an adult cat back up and about. However, what is just as important as the toy is the way you interact with it. Playing with an adult cat is just as much fun as playing with a kitten. It is important to keep this quality time going, even when your cat grows up. An older cat doesn’t have the same motivation to play as their younger selves. However, a human actively encouraging them and getting involved can make the world of difference.