Good Recommends For Your Older Cat – I Hate The Term Senior
13 December, 2011
My cat, Sammy, is turning fifteen this year. He is in great health, but I realize that as he gets older, I will have to treat him with even more care as I want him to live for a very long time! I did some research to find out the best way to help our older cats feel well and live longer.
ENCOURAGE PLAY TIME
It’s easy to forget to play with older cats, since they sleep most of their days away and don’t seem like they want to play. But it’s worth trying. Use their favorite toy and some catnip, and see what happens.
In addition to the quality time you’ll spend together, the activity will help keep the cat in better physical shape, and you’ll be in a better position to tell when the cat is lethargic, which could be a clue to a health problem.
Play time, really??
SCHEDULE DENTAL VISITS
Cats mask discomfort and pain, and it’s often hard to tell if your cat has dental problems unless his or her breath is horrific, or her face swells from an abscessed tooth. Regular dental checkups and treatment can save her months of discomfort, and keep her from losing weight. Keeping your cat’s weight up is important in a senior cat.
BRUSH OR HELP GROOM YOUR CAT
The benefits of grooming extend beyond keeping your cat’s coat clean. Senior cats tend to clean themselves less than younger cats and usually end up with a lot more loose hair leaving them vulnerable to hairballs. Grooming your cat daily will help you learn your cat’s body to such a degree that you’ll be able to recognize tender spots or lumps early on. And it will give you invaluable bonding time…time that you won’t have together once she’s gone.
MAKE SURE YOUR CAT IS WARM
Older cats feel the cold more and appreciate a warm place to sleep. You can give them a heating pad which they usually love.
MAKE IT EASIER TO ACCESS THE NECESSITIES
Consider providing a litter box with lower walls, and raising the height of her food and water bowls. Easy access helps them keep all their normal functions in check.
TRY NOT TO CHANGE THEIR ENVIRONMENT
Change is difficult for a lot of cats, especially as they get older. For example, adding a kitten to the household may be difficult for an older cat, especially if he or she’s been your only cat.
SWITCH TO A SENIOR CAT FOOD
Talk to your vet to determine if your cat might benefit from one of the many senior formula cat foods on the market. These foods typically provide an optimal balance of appropriate protein, fat, calories, vitamins and minerals for older cats.
PROVIDE A FUN OR EASY ACCESS TO WATER
Cat fountains are very popular with cats, and may encourage your senior cat to drink more. Keeping your cat well-hydrated is especially important for proper kidney function and overall health.
If you follow all of the above, this will only help you (and me) provide a longer, comfortable life for our feline friends.