Senior citizens of every species have special needs that must be met in order
to provide them with a healthy and happy lifestyle. Most of the adjustments needed are easy to make and
simple to maintain. Your cat will appreciate these changes as its body becomes older.
1. Up the number of exams to twice a year. This will help you and your vet keep on top of
any conditions your cat may be hiding from you. Cats are masters at keeping pain or sickness a secret;
often the only way to catch something early is to make sure they visit their vet regularly. Ailments such
as arthritis can be caught early by such exams and changes in food and lifestyle can help ease the pain
of joint stiffness before it causes serious problems.
2. Make sure you keep your cats dental appointments! Those teeth cleanings and checkups,
often done with the regular exam, can keep abscesses and other dental problems in check before nasty
extractions or other painful procedures are necessary. Remember, if it hurts to eat your cat won’t; this
leads to weight loss and other serious difficulties that a senior cat may struggle to recover
3. Help your cat groom. If you have a breed that you’ve never really needed to groom,
consider helping them now that they are older. A gentle brushing is a great way to let your cat know you
love them, and it helps them stay clean. As our cats get older, they struggle to reach certain areas and
your help in keeping them well groomed is certainly appreciated.
4. Keep your senior playing. Getting your cat up and active is a great way to give them
some enjoyment, get stiff joints moving, and help you recognize when pain levels or other difficulties
may be starting. Cats love to spend time with their owners and play time serves a dual purpose by keeping
them healthy and happy.
5. Make your home senior cat accessible. Make sure litter boxes are easy to get to, that
they have easy access to perches and bed. Your cat will begin to suffer depression if they can’t get to
their favorite spots and if they begin to have accidents because they can’t get to their litter box.
Consider also giving a couple extra litter boxes, most older people know the trouble that comes with
getting older and having trouble holding it.
6. Make sure your cat is getting the best nutrition and supplements for their age. A good
senior cat food, and the proper supplements, will help keep your cat at a healthy weight, their
joints moving smoothly. It is important to watch your seniors weight, as a drastic change up or down can
signal a serious problem.
7. Be aware of sensory failures. As cats age they may become deaf or blind and as their
owner you need to be aware of these failing senses and make adjustments for them. You will want to create
as stable an environment as possible so that cats hard of hearing aren’t started by something coming
around a corner, and those that are going blind aren’t frightened by loud noises.
8. Keep your environment as stress free as possible. Avoid adding pets, if possible, or
making big moves. The more changing that goes on, the more your senior will struggle to adapt. Cats
prefer routines to ever changing schedules and this only worsens as they get older.
9. Provide heating pads and warm beds for them to rest in. Warmth helps keep joints and
muscles loose, as well as providing a nice place for your kitty to rest. They’ll wake up feeling
refreshed and far less achey than if they sleep without it.
10. Provide lots of fresh water. As your cat ages, kidney function may begin to diminish
and it is important that your pet stay hydrated. By having multiple options for water, and keeping them
all fresh and clean, your cat will be more inspired to drink up and stay healthy.
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