The 7 Best Cat Toys For Older Cats

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While enticing your kitten with toy mice and feather wands is part of the fun of having a new pet, older cats still enjoy playtime, too. Your senior cat may snooze more nowadays, but there's no reason to give up playing altogether. The best cat toys for older cats don’t require lots of running and jumping, so they’re easy on kitties with limited mobility, and they come in a variety of styles so you can find one that’ll interest your cat.

Even as cats age, playtime is highly recommended for their mental and physical health. The staff at Vetstreet noted, "It's often too easy to assume an older cat is satisfied with a day of leisure, but that's not fair to your cat, who may just be waiting for you to entice him to play." And the right combination of toys can help older cats stay alert, active, and happy well into their senior years.

The key is to find toys that are the right shape and texture for more fragile teeth; free of anything that can cause a stomachache; and tame enough that your kitty won't hurt itself while playing. It's best to keep toys soft (yet stimulating) and within a contained space if possible.

Though laser lights and ping pong balls aren't the best for aging felines, here are great cat toys for older cats that are just as fun and adhere to the guidelines listed above. Your cat will thank you later!


The Best Teaser Wand Toy

Cats of all ages love wands, but a lot of them are made with prickly ribbons or fabric that can irritate the soft gums of older cats. Earthtone Solutions' teaser mouse wand is made of organic sisal and contains zero stomach-irritating dyes. They're super soft and won't hurt your cat's jaw. Plus, they come in a convenient set of three, so you can easily replace them as you notice tears in the fabric. On top of that, the elastic string is 16 inches long — aka the perfect length to play without wearing out your kitty.

According to a reviewer: “My cat Jack is 13 years old, and he loves this toy [...] Jack had become rather sedentary and has been bored with most of the toys I've gotten him, but he immediately engaged with this toy.”


The Best Roller Ball Toy

Toss a ping pong ball down a hallway, and there's no doubt just about any cat will rocket past you to find it. While older cats also love playing with balls, too much movement can trigger feline arthritis or sore muscles. Luckily, this track tower toy is perfect for cats that love the chase but can't quite like they used to. With a four-level track and colorful plastic balls contained within the rings, your senior cat can still bat his heart out without budging. It's made with heavy-duty plastics, so it's sure to hold up to claws and teeth without showing wear and tear. Because this toy has no choking hazards or small pieces and there’s a safety bar on top to protect paws, your cat can keep himself entertained while you're away — no worries.

According to a reviewer: “My 7 year old cat loves this toy. She plays with this toy every day and at all hours of the day. She loves balls, but she bats them under furniture and then they’re lost [...] This toy keeps balls safely confined where she can play with them to her heart’s content.”


The Best Hunting Toy

Toy mice and birds are pretty much a staple of any cat's collection, but SmartyKat's electronic sound toys are sure to trigger your older cat's attention. In addition to being extra soft and easily chewable, this tiny chickadee is soft-touch activated. As soon as your cat gives it the gentlest tap, the toy begins to chirp, providing your senior cat hours of entertainment without a ton of effort. The filling is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled materials, and it comes with a small removable pouch of organic catnip to boot.

According to a reviewer: “The kitty loves this!! [...] I have not seen him swat a toy around like that in a long time and he's 18yrs. old..... It's darling!”


The Best Hiding Toy

Every cat loves to snuggle into small spaces (mine loves a good cardboard box), but as cats age, they tend to prefer softer, comfier spaces. They also tend to sleep closer to the ground than younger cats, making this floor tunnel perfect for hiding away and napping. It’s made with faux fur material and has two "peek holes" so your cat can rest comfortably and still watch what's happening outside. It's spacious and can be connected to other tunnels to create a fun maze, and there’s a dangling ball at the entrance for kitty to swat at. The best part is, the whole thing can be folded up when it's not in use.

According to a reviewer: “This tunnel is pretty well-made. It has endured lots of scratches and bite marks from the inside and has never ripped. It is also large enough for my 15 lb eight year old cat to zoom through easily.”


The Best Grooming Toy

Treat your senior kitty to Catit's wellness spa, specifically designed to help cats groom all over without all the bending and reaching. The spa provides a variety of textures to massage and groom your cat's head, neck, face, and torso. At the top, for instance, there's a silicone brush for your cat's head and neck. And there are wavy ridges on the sides for hard-to-reach spots in the shoulders. Plus, of course, no kitty spa would be complete without a plush napping pad and small catnip portal. If your cat isn't into catnip, however, you could always place some treats in the portal for the ultimate pampering experience.

According to a reviewer: “I debated on getting this for awhile but my senior Siamese loved it right out of the box and uses it every day. She hasn’t ripped off the little green nub at the top despite pretty aggressive playing which is great. It’s easy to clean.”


The Best Scratch Toy

“We’ve tried fancier options for our 15-year-old kitty, but he always prefers a simple cardboard scratcher to stretch his muscles and keep his claws healthy,” says Cristina Sanza, BDG Associate Commerce Editor. Sold in a three-pack, these extra-large scratchers are made from recycled cardboard and are comfortable for cats of all sizes to use. Plus, the scratchers are reversible, so your cat will get plenty of use out of each one.

According to a reviewer: “These are fantastic!! Our cat is an older cat and doesn't scratch furniture but we noticed her scratching an outdoor rug we had brought in but had not put away yet. So we thought maybe she would like something like this since she paid no attention to her scratching post. Yep... they were a total hit! [She] scratches them to shreds!!!”


An Editor-Recommended Cat Toy

“It’s really tough to get my senior cat to play, but these donut toys always catch his attention. They’re soft, filled with catnip, and make a crinkly sound that my cat finds irresistible,” says Cristina Sanza, BDG Associate Commerce Editor. “We also tie the large donut to a string to create a DIY wand toy.” The donut toys come in a set of three, and you can also opt for a variety of other styles, including stars, an avocado, and strawberries.

According to a reviewer: “I don't know what magic strain of catnip these have in them but all three of our cats are OBSESSED with these. I have now bought three sets just so they don't fight over them. Seriously, best toys ever.”