How To Care About Senior Cat – Step By Step Guide
Are you worried about caring for your senior cat? If so, worry not because this guide has got you covered. Read on to learn about the best tips on living with a senior cat.
Cats do get old, and no matter how much you love your feline, the moment will come when you will have to say goodbye to your little ball of fur.
However, cats are known for living longer than we expect, especially if they aren’t allowed to wander outside.
So, when your favorite feline is aging, you need to know how to address that period of her life and help her live longer and healthier. Not long ago, cats were considered to be seniors at eight years old.
Today, veterinarians know better, and we know about cats who lived up to twenty years.
Thanks to indoor living, improved and better nutrition, and progress in veterinary medicine, cats live longer.
Today, cats are considered to be older at 12 to 14 years.
You should also know that growing old isn’t a disease; it’s a natural process to whom everyone reacts differently.
Some senior cats may not change a lot at all, while others have mild or severe different health conditions.
The truth is that senior cats tend to be less playful and active, and they could sleep longer or even lose or gain weight, and even have trouble jumping and reaching their favorite places.
Senior cats often experience changes in dental problems, which is something that should be discussed with your veterinarian, and they might need more check-ups and more medicine.
Feline-owner tends to focus so much on medicine and veterinarian visits, setting to second plan senior cat diet, water access, and litter box issues.
Aging cats have difficulties living as they used to years ago, and what was normal before, may seem challenging and impossible now, which is why it’s up to you to help your feline enjoy her golden years. Here is how.
1. Keep Your Senior Cat Inside
People have been arguing for centuries on should cat stay all the time indoors or freely wander outside.
There is no wrong and right question because many factors are usually included.
For example, if you have a backyard and a fence tall enough, without trees, your cat should be fine staying there or not?
As you can see, its not something that can be easily determined. Yet, everyone agrees on one thing, and that’s that the cats who wander outside live shorter.
Another thing is that in order to keep your senior cat happy and healthy, she should stay indoors. Your senior cat might hurt outside, and she may not have enough strength to come home.
Plus, senior cats can really be satisfied with indoor life as long as you provide enough indoor activity and spaces to spend some quiet moments.
2. Take Care About Nutrition
What you eat matter, right? When you eat healthier, foods rich in fibers, and food rich in specific vitamins, you definitely feel pumped up, right?
Like you have more energy, you can conquer the world and be more productive, right? The same applies to feline – proper nutrition to their age and condition is everything.
If your feline is overweight, talk to your veterinarian on how to help her lose weight, or if needed how to weight gain is she refuses food for some reason.
Know how much you should feed your senior cat and what type of food works for her the best.
Obesity in pets, especially in cats, is a rising problem in the States, where 58% of domestic cats are overweight or obese.
As you probably know, both in humans and cats, obesity can lead to diabetes, liver problems, and joint pain.
So, from day one, feed your cat a balanced diet in the proper amount that will help her maintain her body weight.
3. Regular Veterinary Visits
Prevention is everything, especially when you a responsible pet owner. You may provide the best food, proper vaccination, enough love and exercise, and you still might miss on a few things, and that’s expected because you aren’t a veterinarian.
When you have a pet, the veterinarian is your best friend. So, start from day one, taking your kitten or adult cat to the veterinarian office to get her used to being handled.
Health screening is the best thing you can do to keep your feline healthy. Did you know that senior cats should be examined by a veterinarian every six months?
This is an optimal period for your veterinarian to know if something is abnormal.
Cats are champions when it comes to hiding disease, pain, and any underlying problems.
So, regular check-ups can actually prevent various diseases and result in easier disease management and a better – and more extended quality of life.
Having a senior cat means a greater focus on early detection, prompt reaction, and prevention of health problems, like:
- Weight problems
- Body condition problems
- Skin quality problems
- Coat quality problems
- Ear problems
- Eye problems
- Heart problems
- Lungs problems
- Joint problems
- Muscle problems
- Parasitic diseases
- Infectious diseases
- Thyroid gland problems
4. Prevent Infectious Diseases
Again – prevention is everything. Talk to your veterinarian about future vaccinations, tips for a safer and sounder lifestyle of a senior cat, and if there are any laws and regulations that you should know about.
Knowing the geographic region and local regulations can save you time and energy, and some vet bills when you know what to avoid.
5. Maintain Alert, Active Mental Health
Try to keep your senior cat stress-free. Good mental health can do wonders for physical well-being.
Have you ever heard about that saying – A healthy mind, a healthy body? Well, its the truth.
If you keep your mind fresh and stress-free, everything is probably more comfortable, and life challenges are minor moments. A similar philosophy applies to cats as well.
In general, cats are sensitive beings, and they love to have a piece of their own.
Keeping your senior cat stress free may sound like a lot of work, but in reality, it’s easy when you know the final goal.
If you feel like you need help with implementing stress reduction techniques, talk to your veterinarian.
Always Learn About Yoru Cat Habits
In different stages of life, cats will need different care and needs. A kitten and an adult or senior cat would never have the same need.
As you probably know already, cats are masters when it comes to hiding illness.
Changes in cats are often subtle and frequently missed. So, if you notice any difference in behavior, don’t ignore it.
It may be common for your feline to shows strange sounds or to search for dark and hidden places, but if you notice sudden anxiety, constant teed to be hidden, loss of appetite, vomiting, excessive sleeping or any other unusual behavior talk to your veterinarian.
Tell your veterinarian about any changes in your cat’s behavior, even if they seem minor.
After all, no one knows better your cat’s routine than you. Any weight change is an alarm that something is wrong.
Ensure that you serve your senior cat proper food for senior cats and provide enough space and calm moments because senior cats are basically slowing down.
In senior cats, arthritis is often present, but proper treatment can keep your cat engaged and active.
When your feline reached those senior years, you need to look at her litter box more often.
You need to track your cat’s stool and see if it’s softer, harder, or changing color.
Constipation is common, although often an unrecognized sign of dehydration in senior cats.
Urine color and the amount are also important because it can show signs of diabetes or an overactive thyroid gland to kidney disease and high blood pressure.
Your Cat Will Change
As your cat ages, she will change, and you will have to make specific adjustments to support her new needs.
Moreover, you will have to make some adjustments in your household for your aged cat.
As cats grow older, they often need extra warmth, padding, and comfort. Provide enough soft sleeping and resting places, and make them easily accessible with ramps, stepping stools, and other assistance.
Talk with your veterinarian about the cat’s nutritional needs. Monitor her food intake to know for sure just how much feed your feline intakes – you don’t want her to eat less.
Enjoy Your New Bond
Every bond with a cat in special, but there is something really unique in bonding with senior cats. Senior cats rely on us as much as we rely on them.
You should know that senior cats crave much more attention than kittens. Provide enough care and love. Continue to pet your cat every day and play with her.
Interact with your feline in a safe and fun way. Help your senior cat groom herself by regular brushing or coming, and keep her nails in order with regular nail trims.
Talk to your veterinarian about any unique food guides, exceptional care, and any special needs.
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