Bored Senior Kitty

daftcat75

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It seems like all she does is eat or sleep. And when she’s not sleeping. She’s usually wanting to eat. What can I do for her (besides getting a playmate—not ready for another cat) to give her something to do between eating and sleeping. As a senior kitty with arthritis, she doesn’t seem to go for many toys anymore. She likes scratching things and rubbing her face against things.
 

FeebysOwner

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I am not sure what you can do - Feeby (14+ yo) is pretty much the same way. I talk to her, brush, and pet her a lot. She likes all of that and looks forward to it, and will even come out from hiding while sleeping if I call her to come get pettings. Feeby has arthritis and doesn't play much either. Occasionally goes after some strange 'not a cat toy', but that is about it - and it lasts for literally less than a minute.

I even tried a sock full of cat nip, and she sniffed it for about a second and that was that. At first I thought the cat nip was losing its 'oomph', but I gave the stray cat, who is being taken care of - along with her babies - by a neighbor, a sock of the same stuff and she went wild. Perhaps, Feeby's 'ole sniffer' ain't what it used to be either...

Get Krista some crazy cat scratching posts maybe? If her sniffer is better than Feeby's maybe rub some cat nip on them? There are even cat scratchers that can be affixed to wall corners that some cats like to use to 'brush' themselves with.

I have even gotten out some large paper bags recently for Feeby to try to crawl into, and she certainly does try. So, at least that entertains her for a minute or two. I also get out all kinds of cardboard boxes for her to sniff and/or get into which also works for a minute or two. She also loves to sit on shoes/flip flops right after they have been outside somewhere - she will come running (amazing for her) to get a long drawn out cuddle/sniff session. Just anything to peak her interest.

I am also going to continue to look into solutions for her arthritis, in the hopes that her stiffness is part of her problem. If the Glyco Flex continues to bomb with her, I might try the Adequan shots. :sigh:
 

neely

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What about an artificial fish tank/aquarium? We had one for our last cat when she entered her senior years and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Here are several examples:
 

Furballsmom

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Can you take her for walks, either with a harness or even in a buggy? The mental stimulation is very important and can help with increasing motivation for greater activity :)
 
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daftcat75

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We got about 90 seconds of play with the laser pointer. She really just stalked it for most of the time and pounced a couple times. And at about 1:30 (I was timing it because you can’t manage what you can’t measure), she lost interest in the red dot. So let’s see if we can incorporate a few 90 second play sessions even if it’s just her hugging the floor and stalking the dot for one or two pounces. I feel like we’ve been working so hard on internal health issues for so long, that I’ve been neglecting play and exercise.

But mostly. This is what she wants to do if she’s not eating and when I’m done with my workday.
AC136B02-4416-4ED1-9B50-C4CB3A0630B9.jpeg
 
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daftcat75

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Can you take her for walks, either with a harness or even in a buggy? The mental stimulation is very important and can help with increasing motivation for greater activity :)
To be honest, her system, her butt, gut, and ears, are so sensitive that I worry what flea and worm control might do to her. If we get over that, I’d love to walk her on a leash or build her a catio.
 
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daftcat75

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What about an artificial fish tank/aquarium? We had one for our last cat when she entered her senior years and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Here are several examples:
I got her a bird house to watch from her favorite tree. I call it her cable TV. But I’d love to get her an artificial aquarium if she’d enjoy it.
 
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daftcat75

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I ordered modular cat tree pieces (Katris) for her birthday and they’re taking their sweet time to leave a warehouse. I want to build her more vertical spaces. Maybe if she has more kingdom, she’ll have to survey it more fully.
 
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daftcat75

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In case you haven't seen this?
17 Best Toys For Lazy Cats
I have that one bookmarked from before actually. She’s not interested in most of those.

We actually had another short play session on the bed with the laser.

Then we went into the kitchen for her next meal and she had her tail in the air. Most of the time she looks so mopey like, “okay. I guess I can eat again.” (“But you were just pestering me! This was your idea.”)

After meal, she had a short play session on her own. So we’ll just work on more smaller play sessions. It definitely seems to boost her mood longer than the session itself.
 
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susanm9006

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In addition to the birdhouse, try setting up a birdbath. Water draws all kinds of creatures and is great entertainment for a cat.
 

FeebysOwner

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To be honest, her system, her butt, gut, and ears, are so sensitive that I worry what flea and worm control might do to her. If we get over that, I’d love to walk her on a leash or build her a catio.
I don't know where you are located, but we have a screened in patio here in FL and Feeby spends a lot of time out there, and I have never treated her for fleas/etc. So, perhaps, a catio would be a good idea, without the worry of flea/worm control.

Feeby gets to watch the birds on the bird feeders and at the watering hole I've created that both birds and squirrels use. She will still try to go after lizards that crawl the screen - that is the one side of her 'kitty' self that is still there. The squirrels have to come up very close for her to get excited over those, as she knows there is no way to actually get them. But, overall the patio is probably her favorite spot in terms of self-stimulation.
 

CatLover49

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It seems like all she does is eat or sleep. And when she’s not sleeping. She’s usually wanting to eat. What can I do for her (besides getting a playmate—not ready for another cat) to give her something to do between eating and sleeping. As a senior kitty with arthritis, she doesn’t seem to go for many toys anymore. She likes scratching things and rubbing her face against things.
How old is ure kitty??Cause my cat Snowball is almost 11 yrs in July.And he pretty much sleeps alot too when hes not eating.Ive researched it and cats at senior age do pretty much that(sleeping).But i dont know how old ure kitty is.
 

CatLover49

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I don't know where you are located, but we have a screened in patio here in FL and Feeby spends a lot of time out there, and I have never treated her for fleas/etc. So, perhaps, a catio would be a good idea, without the worry of flea/worm control.

Feeby gets to watch the birds on the bird feeders and at the watering hole I've created that both birds and squirrels use. She will still try to go after lizards that crawl the screen - that is the one side of her 'kitty' self that is still there. The squirrels have to come up very close for her to get excited over those, as she knows there is no way to actually get them. But, overall the patio is probably her favorite spot in terms of self-stimulation.
So u live in Florida??I live in North Carolina.Me n Snowball live in an apartment so im limited to what i can build up for him.But he has lots of toys n tree house at window so he can watch birds n other things.
 
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daftcat75

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Krista turned 15 this past Sunday.

She’s had such a rough go of the last year with IBD, pancreatitis, cholangiohepatitis (hat trick!), ear infection, ruptured eardrum, Horners Syndrome, and several rounds of teeth extractions (resorptive lesions.) Its been a long haul to find what works for her mouth, her gut, and her butt. I can definitely see that she’s lost a step for all the wear. This past year she has shown her age.

I’m making progress on getting her meal portions back up and understanding her sensitivities a little better. Now that her digestive health is improving, I want to do more for her mental and emotional health. I don’t want her to just eat and sleep the rest of her life. I also think that exercise will help with some of her digestive issues. It should improve her digestion and encourage motility to pass hairballs instead of bringing them up. Exercise should also keep those tired stiff joints lubricated and limber. My own chronic pain and stiffness feels better when I’m more active. And it should help with both appetite and weight gain.

So I’m not subscribing to “this is just what senior kitties do.”

In the past couple of days, I restarted interactive play with her instead of simply buying a new toy and tossing it on the ground for her. The laser pointer gets her attention but her attention span for the laser is short. She likes wand toys. She definitely prefers air murder to ground murder. And with her crazy mismatched teeth, I’d rather her batting than biting anyway. She really likes Da Bird. But I have to be patient and understand that watching her prey is just as important as killing it.

Like her portion sizes, I think these sessions will get bigger and better the more we do them. I already noticed that she was more interested in play today than yesterday. I also see improvements in appetite and mood. I guess even simulated murder gets her juices flowing.
 

She's a witch

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I don’t have older kitties but ones that require constant stimulation, and I thought I’ll mention two simple things that I do with my cats that weren’t brought up yet that I think would be suitable for a senior:
- furniture moving. Even simple and small change in my apartment motivates them to investigate the change, sniff it, check it out. I often simply move a chair to unusual location. Or even better - I put it upside down. It can keep them busy for 15 minutes. Moving their cat tree is like a big adventure for them.
- weird things that I do around them. So I practice some yoga at home and they absolutely love to check it out and actively accompany me (meaning get in my way). The weirder it gets, the better, but even simple leg lifting and easy stretching get their attention and observation at least.
 
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daftcat75

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I bought her more of these Katris pieces for her birthday. They finally left a warehouse and I should have them Fri or Sat. I can’t wait to build her some (more) wall paths.
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