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Two months ago I took in my grandmother's cat after she passed away. He's a 13 year old tomcat who has been rather spoiled - my grandmother would feed him by hand - often 'luxury' stuff like prawns and ham! So he's quite large.

He settled in with us very well despite our lifestyle being very different - two busy working people (but home every evening) and an 8 year old boy. He used the litter tray straight away with no problems, ate well, played nicely with a scratching post, etc. He goes outside for a few hours in the evening and comes back late for supper. We feed him a little less than recommended for his age in the hope he'll lose some weight. He's lost a little but is still quite fat.

However, he is very sedentary. He likes going outside but doesn't often range too far. We've also bought him several different toys, which he ignores. For a while he did play with a small white bunny (which he stole from the boy's room!) but now just ignores it. He rarely plays with any of the others for more than a few seconds before losing interest. He would much rather just sit on your lap and fall asleep, which is lovely, but we don't always have time for this and it doesn't help him lose any weight!

What can I do to stimulate him? I'm worried that he is bored at home all day, and even more worried that he's not moving around very much and not losing any weight.

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Seeing as your cat isn't into traditional cat toys, you might consider an interactive feeding toy. This has the benefit of forcing the cat to work for his food, this will both cut down on eating out of boredom and also motivate the cat to exercise/play to get fed.

Here are some options which may work well for you:

  1. Fill a small Kong with your cat's regular food (if it's dry food you can seal the top with some canned tuna to keep the kibble from falling out).
  2. For dry food only use a more open feeder like this one: Catch Interactive Cat Feeder. Your cat has to work to move the food around with his paws or mouth.
  3. A laser pointer does this trick for most cats, you could give this one a try.
  4. If you haven't tried any catnip filled toys, here is a good option: Kickeroo Catnip Toy
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