Just like with human beings, aging in cats is a different process for each individual cat. One may have an old cat that does not slow down with aging. On the other hand, you could be having a geriatric cat that can hardly move.
Once a cat reaches eleven years, it is considered elderly. Above fifteen years the cat is geriatric. The
good news is that today cats are living much longer because of better home care, veterinary services, and improved nutrition.
In fact, it is very common to see cats above the age of twenty years. We are going to explore how to help an aging cat in this article and help you through this transitional phase.
Some of the Signs that Your Cat is Aging.
- The cat may no longer be jumpy as she once was.
- The cat’s appetite may reduce significantly.
- Starts to sleeping more hours.
- Changes in their play habits.
- Loss of weight.
- Losing its ability to use the litter box.
Aging cats deserve special care and one should pay extra attention to their health. As the feline’s owner, you should make sure that cat gets more veterinary care and make the necessary changes to the everyday care of the cat.
The following tips may help you in making sure that your aging cat gets the best care possible.
The Diet of an Aging Cat, The Senior Solution
If the cat is not experiencing any symptoms that may require dietary changes then the veterinarian may recommend that the cat stays on its current food program. Once there is a diagnosis of any medical issues, you will have to switch to a senior formula. We have created a list of Senior Cat Food that we recommend Here!
Most cats like to feed on fresh or canned foods that have high protein content and fats. Manufacturers of pet foods are almost the same in the USA in terms of their
Some veterinarians recommend that the aging cats be fed dry food. Dry cat food does not contain
chemicals that can cause hyperthyroidism. It also does not have the smell like canned food, and it lasts longer.
The choice of the type of food that one should feed the geriatric cat should depend on the health condition of the cat and the nutritional needs. Both the dry and the canned foods have their own pros and cons.
Some cats may start losing weight as they age, therefore make sure that the cat gets all their minerals
and vitamins from supplements. Loss of appetite in cats may also make the cat lose their weight. Your vet can recommend the best solution for this issue. Make sure that you leave several water dishes around the house because senior cats are likely to have dehydration. Let the
cat have frequent meals throughout the day, instead of serving large meals.
Help with Grooming
Cats start to neglect their personal grooming habits as they age. In such situations, they need help from their owners. You can help by brushing the cat’s fur to help in the distribution of natural oils on the cat’s coat. Some cats enjoy the brushing session but others do not.
Generally, cats love scratching on hard or soft surfaces. As they age they may not be
interested in scratching posts anymore, thus the need for trimming their claws. The nails of an aging cat start to get brittle and they often need regular clipping.
Old cats can get mats on their armpits and around their groin areas. The skin under the mats gets inflamed and painful for the cat. Use a matting comb and a soft brush to remove the mats. Give some excellent grooming services to your cat several times a week to avoid the mats getting out of hand.
If your cat has long hair, trim it as much as possible to prevent the cat from ingesting the hair. Hair
that is ingested during grooming or when the cat is scratching makes a hairball that may cause constipation. There are supplements that may stop hairballs in cats.
Dealing with Health Issues
One of the best practices for maintaining proper health care for an aging cat is by having regular
veterinarian visits. Senior cats should have a vet examination after every six months. Even with the regular checkups at the vet, you should keep checking the cat for any symptoms that may be a threat.
If you notice any of these signs, visit your veterinarian immediately
- Weight loss.
- Loss of appetite.
- Loss of urine or poop control.
Keep up to date on all vaccinations and treatments. A decreased immune system may make the cat susceptible to infections. Some medical conditions such as arthritis may require pain medications, as they are very painful.
Maintaining the Cat’s Oral Health
Dental care is important to every cat, but it is more vital as the cat ages. Dental diseases in cats are
gradual degenerative conditions. To prevent dental pain, brush the cat’s teeth every day. If brushing the teeth looks like a stupid and impossible activity for you, then let your veterinarian recommend
an oral hygiene spray. The American Vetenarian Dental College states “Daily brushing is best”
Play Activities for the Senior Cat
Encourage the elderly cat to continue engaging in play activities appropriate for its age. Regular physical activities can help the cat if it has stiff joints. Besides, it also helps in improving the quality of life.
Modify the Environment, Keep Your Cat Happy
Place the litter box where the older cat can easily access it especially cats that have cognitive dysfunction. Leave the litter trays open, and chose to have litter boxes with low sides. If your cat has loss of litter box training, you can help it by increasing the number of litter trays in the house.
Provide a comfortable bed for the aging cat. If you allow your cats to sleep on the sofa, you can provide it with a warm blanket. Senior cats should be encouraged to sleep on soft and secure surfaces to prevent injury.
Finally, identify possible stressful situations that can affect the cat so that you can reduce the cat’s
exposure. For instance, old cats may find crowds or noisy gatherings unpleasant. Therefore, provide a secure and quiet room that the cat retreats to, to avoid exposure to stressful conditions. We have provided a recommended list of Senior Cat Food you should check Here!
If you have any feedback or experiences with aging cats (or questions), I would love to hear them. Post a comment in the box below and I’ll get back to you.
Founder of LoveEachPet.com