My Cat is Getting Old, How can I Help?
Here are essential tips when caring for your senior cat.
ALL BLOGS FOR CAT PARENTS
How to Care for your Senior Cat
Taking care of an older cat can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. Continue to provide physical and mental stimulation by petting, playing, and interacting with your cat in your special ways.
While aging is a natural change for cats, the health conditions related to this factor can often be controlled when detected in the early stages. Even though you may see several senior cats suffering from physical complexities, you can still make sure your pet lives the highest quality of life by preventing those conditions from becoming life-threatening.
Having said that, it’s also crucial to realize that the changes you see in your cat’s behavior are not always associated with old age. So, always take your kitty to the vet for annual check-ups, to be sure everything is normal.
In any case, keeping an eye on your cat's behavior, health and growth is what will help you be a responsible pet parent and prevent issues that could have otherwise been controlled. Here’s what you can do to help your senior cat remain healthy and active:
1- Give Proper Nutrition
Weight control becomes harder with age. Most cats gain weight as they grow old. On the contrary, some may lose weight and become way too thin, which is also reason for concern. Both conditions are an indication of medical problems, including kidney failure. If that’s the case with your cat, we suggest asking your vet to recommend a balanced diet that can help restore your cat’s normal body condition adequately. Giving plenty of water and enriching your cat's diet with ingredients rich in fiber, is a great way to start.
2- Relieve Environmental Stress
As cats age, they become increasingly stressed when in unfamiliar situations and conditions. For example, moving to a new place can heighten their anxiety level and may even be concluded as a traumatic experience for most senior cats. However, you can alleviate the environmental stress by giving your elder cats more attention and affection, as well as a safe space to hide and retreat in. A safe cat space is an area where your cat will not be disturbed or exposed to stimulants, such as a window. Moreover, keeping as many familiar objects within their sight, like their blanket or toys, can help make a ton of difference in such circumstances.
3- Offer Daily Grooming
By grooming, we mean brushing your cat’s fur to remove the loose hairs, so they don’t swallow the forming hairballs. Not to mention, brushing your cats can also stimulate their blood circulation, which further results in healthier coats, preventing skin conditions. Moreover, most senior cats tend to use their scratching posts more often, making it necessary for pet owners to check their nails regularly and trim them when necessary. If you cat also has trouble cleaning themselves, you can use skin-friendly wet wipes or dry shampoo to help remove dirt from your cat's coat.
4- Promote Oral Hygiene
Oral diseases can be one of the most painful things senior cats can suffer from, and it can even put them into life-threatening situations at times. To prevent your pet from dealing with any dental issue, you should get cat-specific toothpaste and a brush to maintain good oral health. While most cats allow their owners to brush their teeth regularly, it’s still advisable to build up the habit slowly, so they don’t resist this effective routine. Alternatively you can use special dry, dental cat treats that can help maintain healthy gums and remove plaque.
5- Don’t Skip on Routine Veterinarian Check-Ups
Lastly, you must never skip the regular veterinary examinations since the professionals can help detect any major diseases before your cats begin to suffer from the symptoms. During the medical check-up, the veterinarian evaluates your cat’s organ system, checks their weight, and compares the current results to the previous assessments to make distinctive notes.
You can significantly help your senior cat remain healthy by following the given instructions in this article while promising them a longer and healthier future ahead! You can find more support in the icatcare community, regarding elderly cat care.