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As your cat starts to approach their first double-digit birthday, it’s a great idea to update your cat’s toys. By switching out less appropriate ones for new toys that are better suited to their years, you can make sure you’re keeping your cat in the best of health. We know it can be hard to choose which type to select, and because there are so many different toys to decide between, it can soon become overwhelming.
Before you know it, you’ve got 20 different toys in your online shopping cart but are still no closer to knowing which one will catch your cat’s attention. That’s where we come in.
Our team of faithful feline companions has helped us review and test the nine best toys available to suit older cats. Our reviews are designed to make it easy for you to navigate your way through all the different choices. We’ve also included plenty of tips for how to work out which sort of toy will suit your cat’s personality best.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 9 Best Cat Toys for Older Cats — Reviews 2020
1. Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy — Best Overall
As the best overall toy for older cats, the Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy is an easy pick. This track quickly clips together and includes both covered and open sections. Your cat can lie in the middle or sit outside and swat the balls as they come through the open pieces of the track. This is great for engaging your older cat’s hunting instincts without asking them to run or jump.
The flashing, motion-activated ball will catch the eye of even the most laid-back of cats, helping trigger their hunting instincts. They won’t be able to resist this! If you prefer, it’s possible to remove the top sections of the track, making it even easier for your cat to catch the ball. The only thing we don’t like about this toy is that the batteries in the balls can’t be replaced. You can buy replacement balls, but we’d prefer if the original ball could have new batteries installed or that it would last a little longer before the lights run out.
2. Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy — Best Value
Our cats loved the Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy, and we definitely think this is one of the best cat toys for older cats for the money that we’ve seen. It’s made up of three levels, each of which contains a brightly colored ball. As your cat bats these balls, the track allows them to rotate and spin around each level.
This is a great choice for keeping your older cat’s attention, with the bonus that they don’t need to run to catch the balls! While we love this toy, the balls aren’t quite as engaging as the flashing version included with our best overall choice.
3. SereneLife Automatic Laser Cat Toy — Premium Choice
Our Premium choice is the Serene Life Automatic Laser Cat Toy. If your older cat loves playing with laser beams, then they’ll be mesmerized by this laser toy that will keep them guessing by tracing unpredictable patterns on your floors or walls. Compared to most of the toys we reviewed, this one is on the more expensive end, but it is well-built and durable.
The one downside of toys like this one is that your cat, of course, can never physically “catch” the laser. Depending on your cat’s personality, that can sometimes lead to a sense of frustration. We like to counteract this by being on hand to offer our cats a soft mouse or kicker toy when they do finally set their paws on that elusive laser.
4. SmartyKat Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy
The lightweight SmartyKat Electronic Concealed Motion Cat Toy will keep your kitty entertained for hours, thanks to the eye-catching movement of the toy attachment that whizzes around the base. We like the fact that there are two speeds, and we would recommend the lower one for senior kitties.
This is a great toy to encourage your cat into independent play, and they’ll love seeing if they can catch the toy. If your cat is particularly keen on catching the attachment, they may be able to tear holes in the fabric cover, so it’s probably best to limit the use of this toy to short sessions.
5. Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy
The Frisco Cat Tracks Butterfly Cat Toy is a great combination of ball track and wand toy, all wrapped up into one bundle! There are three levels, each with an integrated ball that your cat can bat around and around! Once they grow bored of that, they can play with the cute butterfly attached to the top of the tower.
This is an excellent toy to encourage independent playtime without your elderly cat needing to run and jump anywhere. If your older kitty is particularly enthusiastic, they might be able to knock this tower over. At that point, the butterfly might meet a messy end, but don’t worry, this toy also includes one replacement butterfly.
6. SmartyKat Feather Whirl Electronic Motion Cat Toy
If your older kitty still thinks of themselves as a perfect predator, then the SmartyKat Feather Whirl Electronic Motion Cat Toy will keep them on their paws. The weighted base is designed to roll erratically, which causes the feathers at the end of the central wand to flutter back and forth in a motion that’s designed to catch your cat’s eye and engage their natural hunting instincts.
Because this toy doesn’t roll too fast or too far, it’s a great choice for older cats. They can still practice their stalking without the need to run fast. You might find that once your cat has got hold of the feathers a few times that they start to look a bit tatty or even get destroyed! Luckily, you can buy replacements.
7. Yeowww! Catnip Pollock Fish Cat Toy
Some senior cats just love a classic catnip-filled toy, in which case, the Yeowww! Catnip Pollock Fish Cat Toy is the one for them. If you like modern art, then the Jackson Pollock-inspired paint splatter decorations on this toy is a nice touch that makes it stand out from your average catnip-filled soft toy. This is filled with 100% organically grown catnip, and the tough cotton twill outer can stand up to plenty of attention from your older kitty.
Unfortunately, this toy can’t be refilled, so the catnip will eventually lose its scent. We place catnip toys like this into a Ziploc bag when not in use (stored somewhere your cat can’t get to, of course), and this helps them stay fresher for longer. You can also add loose catnip into the bag and let the fabric take up the scent.
8. OurPets Catty Whack Electronic Motion Cat Toy
While your older cat may not run around the house with the “zoomies” anymore, the OurPets Catty Whack still lets them have a fun game of hide and seek without wearing out their legs. This static toy includes a hidden feather that pops out of six mouse holes at random, sure to keep your cat guessing. We like the automatic shut-off feature, which stops this toy after 15 minutes, preventing your senior kitty from getting too tired.
Once the catch-the-mouse game is over, there’s also a carpeted scratching section on the top that is perfect for a stretch. The manufacturers suggest that this toy makes a “RealMouse” sound, but our older kitties weren’t convinced about that! From a human point of view, it’s pretty noisy too.
9. KONG Kickeroo Cuddler Cat Toy
The KONG Kickeroo Cuddler Cat Toy is a cute plush with three different textures that are designed to encourage your older cat to play. The soft and fluffy tail has an erratic movement, which is sure to catch the eye of your older kitty. The tough burlap section gives cats a great grip with their hind legs, while the soft plush top is easy for them to hold onto.
As if that wasn’t enough, KONG has also filled this cuddler cat toy with premium catnip sourced in North America. Most cats love catnip, so you might find that your older cat is encouraged to play with this once it gets a sniff! A word of warning, though: Some larger and stronger cats have been known to tear the seams of this toy, so be sure to check those regularly.
As cat owners, most of us have a home that’s full of a selection of different toys for our furry friends. From jingly balls to catnip mice and even electronic toys, there’s nothing better than bonding with our cats over playtime.
As your cat becomes older, their preferences for certain toys will likely start to change. Now is a great time to reassess the toys that you offer your golden oldie and consider treating them to a few new versions that will still allow them to show their playful side but offer a little more protection and consideration for their greying whiskers.
At What Age Is My Cat Considered Senior?
Cats are considered to be “senior citizens” when they reach 10 years of age. While your older cat may still love playing as much as they did when they were younger, when they reach 10, it’s a good time to adapt their play routine to better suit their current needs.
As cats age, they naturally become more interested in sleeping and less keen on playing. If your older cat isn’t getting sufficient exercise, it can put them at risk of becoming obese. This can put them at risk of developing medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
That means it’s doubly important to make sure your older cat is getting enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight. If it seems like they’re not engaging as much with their regular toys these days, it could be a great time to invest in a few new age-appropriate toys to capture their interest.
What Sort of Cat Toys Should I Buy?
If you’re lucky enough to have had your senior cat since they were a tiny kitten, then you’ll likely already have a good idea about the types of toys they love to play with. Here are questions to get you thinking about what your cat already loves:
- Do they love catnip or not?
- Do they enjoy crinkly, jingly, noisy toys?
- Do they enjoy stalking, hunting, and chasing?
- Do toys that dangle from a height catch their attention?
- Will they play independently?
- Do they like laser pointers and toys that light up?
- If you have multiple cats, how do they play together?
Once you’ve figured out the answers to those questions, you can start thinking about how to adapt your cat’s play routine to include more toys specific to their age.
If you’ve rescued your older kitty, then you might not have a good idea of what type of toy they like to play with, if they even like to play at all. If that’s the case, then check out our suggestions for age-appropriate toys.
Age-Appropriate Cat Toys
As your cat ages, you might start to notice that they’re less keen on jumping or climbing. Bear in mind that just like us, they can start to develop arthritis in their joints, meaning they won’t be as keen to run around. It’s still a great idea to play with your older cat, it just means adapting some of their toys to suit them better.
For instance, we wouldn’t recommend using a toy with an older cat that will require them to jump and run excessive amounts. They might indulge themselves and not be able to tone down their hunter instincts, but it probably won’t do them any good in the long run. Examples of toys to avoid would be those that dangle of cat trees at a height, wands held high in the air (dragging these along the ground is fine), or throwing soft plush toys or balls too far and too fast. We’d also include laser toys that move quickly or are pointed on a wall outside your cat’s natural reach.
On the other hand, toys that work well for older cats are those that still engage their predator’s brain but don’t require them to move excessively fast or risk damaging their joints by jumping too far. Within this category, we’d include ball runs and towers, slow-moving lasers (pointed at the floor), and soft catnip-filled toys that your cat can play with when the mood strikes them. Any of the toys we recommend above will fit the bill perfectly!
Let Your Cat Win
It’s important to let a cat of any age feel like they’ve won when they’re playing with their toys. This is an important part of their satisfaction cycle, which includes “hunt, catch, kill, and eat.” By not letting your cat “catch and kill” their toys, they won’t feel like they’ve done a good job as a predator. That can lead to frustrations, including behavior like furniture scratching.
So, when your cat plays with a toy like a laser or even a ball within a run, try to be on hand to throw them a soft toy or a treat when they do make contact with the other toy. This will help them stay happy and satisfied cats!
After testing out popular toys for older cats, we selected the Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy as the best overall. This fun toy is specifically and intelligently designed to capture your cat’s attention and engage their hunting instincts. Best of all, when it comes to looking after our older cats, it does this without your elderly kitty having to put extra strain on their joints by needing to run and jump.
As the best value toy, we recommend the Petstages Tower of Tracks Cat Toy. Once again, your older cat will love playing with this toy, chasing the three balls around the multiple levels and trying to catch them as they roll and spin around. There’s no need to worry about these balls getting lost under the couch either, as they’re safely secured within the toy itself.
We know that it can be tricky to select a new toy for your older cat from the huge selection out there. But with that said, we’re confident that out of the nine different toys included in our reviews, one of them will prove to be a winner with your older cat.
Featured image credit: Catit Design Senses Circuit Cat Toy , Chewy
Roland has been an animal lover all his life, with cats holding a special place in his heart. He is owned by three felines: Wheely, KitzKitz, and Nugget (all rescues) who bring all the laughter and mischievousness one can expect from the feline master race. As the creator of ExcitedCats, his mission is to assist in the search for the best gear to help improve the health and wellbeing of cats everywhere.