When your cat’s whiskers begin to get a little gray, most cat owners begin to wonder how they extend their cat’s remaining nine lives. Providing your senior cat the best is care is the easiest way to enhance your cat’s life. If you want to make the most of your cat’s senior years and create a strong foundation for better wellbeing, all it takes is a little planning, awareness, and dedication. What do you need to do to care for your senior cat?
🐱Be Aware of the Most Common Age-Related Issues Senior Cats Experience
When it comes to caring for your aging cat, it’s important to know what issues may arise. Knowing what to look for can help you be more vigilant and prevent a minor problem from becoming life-threatening. As cats age, they become more at risk for:
- Gum disease
- Dental issues like broken teeth
- Urinary Issues
- Kidney Disease
- Parasites leading to anemia or malnutrition
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
💊Do Not Skip Veterinary Visits
As cats become older, their immune systems tend to weaken, which means health issues can quickly become quite serious and more difficult for your cat to fight off. Because senior cats are more vulnerable, you want to provide yours with the best chance for recovery. Early diagnosis is key to a better prognosis and more simplified treatment.
Once your cat reaches 11-years-old, you want to increase vet visits from once per year to twice per year. Your vet can recommend more visits should a health issue arise. You may also want to ask your vet about joint supplements as well as skin and coat supplements.
🥑Pay Attention to Nutritional Needs
Older cats do not have the same nutritional needs as younger adult cats and kittens. First, your cat’s metabolism slows. Most mature cats can reduce their diets by 20% to 30% of their calorie intake. This will reduce your cat’s risk of becoming overweight or obese--and in doing so reduce joint pain from carrying around excess weight.
Secondly, you also want to reduce your cat’s phosphorus and sodium intake since these contribute to kidney disease and hypertension.
🧸Fun, Exercise, and Mental Stimulation Still Matter
Even if your cat wants to lounge all day, it’s still important to encourage some play and exercise daily. This will keep your cat’s muscles strong, help burn some calories (and nervous energy), and encourage better mental health. Mental stimulation can ward off dementia, depression, and anxiety for older cats. So, try to give your cat twenty-to-thirty minutes of playtime every day.
You also want to give your senior cat quality time and attention.
🧬Monitor Changes in Behavior and Overall Health
You know your cat better than anyone else. If you notice a sudden change or gradual but dramatic change in your cat’s behavior, it’s time to schedule an appointment to see your vet. For example, if your cat seems lost or begins vocalizing through the night, they may have the onset of dementia. A change in appetite or bathroom habits are also causes for concern.
Additionally, you will want to monitor your cat’s physical health. If you notice a sudden drop in weight, changes in coat condition, or lethargy, you will want to bring your cat to the vet.
🧼Good Grooming and Hygiene Are Cat-Care Musts
As our cats age, they tend to lose track of their personal grooming. If your senior cat seems to be bathing a bit less, you will want to invest in some kitty wipes to help keep them stay clean and fresh. You will also want to brush your cat’s coat and gently trim their claws.
Caring for a Senior Cat Is Pawsibly the Most Rewarding Experience
As your cat gets older, you will find your bond doesn’t weaken. While you will want to handle your cat a bit more gently, they are still the beloved feline you fell in love with. Your cat will repay your kindness with purrs, kisses, and years of unbeatable memories.
— Meow for now —