We, as humans, know what it takes to take care of old people. We ensure they stay safe, pay regular visits to the doctor, take the right diet and use utmost safety precautions while walking through steps. Senior cats are no different. We need to follow similar methods to make sure the senior cats are safe. Let’s take a look at the top 10 methods to follow:
10 Methods to Take Care of Senior Cats
Regular visits to the veterinarian
Whenever cats reach the age of 10 years, it is recommended to visit the vet at least twice a year if not more. One of the main reasons is cats age faster than humans. Hence, this is the utmost priority a cat lover must have to ensure senior cats stay away from diseases and ailments.
It is advised to visit the vet much before cats grow up so that the vet develops a strong relationship with our kitty friend. By getting familiar with its behaviours, vets can easily understand the issues that cats communicate with their bodies. Regular checkups can prevent ailments related to teeth, lungs, eyes, skin and internal organs of a senior cat.
You can add more value to your cat’s health by preparing yourself even before you visit the vet. Maintain a daily journal for your feline. Note down what she eats, how much she eats, does she skip food, does she urinate and poop regularly, is there any abnormality in the cat’s behaviour, any strange things that you observed. If you can capture a few videos of the cat’s behaviour to show it to your vet, nothing helps more.
Staying indoors keeps your cat safe
Since the outside environment is more risk-prone, staying indoors is safer for cats, especially senior cats. This is because young cats are more active and can escape risky situations better than senior cats that are less agile.
Various vulnerabilities are present when a cat stays in an outdoor environment such as getting into accidents with vehicles, succumbing to injuries by other stronger and more powerful pets, contracting infections from other sources.
Balanced nutritional diet is a must
A balanced diet is recommended by vets not just for senior cats but all types of pets. In cats, feeding them without control leads to overweight conditions which lead to a host of other problems such as stress, joint pain, liver disease and diabetes. Being overweight also reduces the lifespan of cats.
There is an opposite condition that occurs sometimes. Due to old age, taste and smell might decrease and this might cause senior cats to avoid food leading to being underweight. Please consult your vet if you observe the above issues.
Stress-free and vibrant atmosphere
When your cat is happy and without stress, ailments can reduce. Keep your senior cat active, stimulated, joyful and play with it using various toys. Keeping it engaged and involved can improve the mobility of your cat and reduce problems
Grooming and brushing
Groom your cat regularly and it adds value to your cat’s health and cleanliness. Also, regular brushing of your kitty’s teeth will ensure there are no dental problems.
While grooming, you need to pay more attention to long-haired cats. Also, your cat’s nails tend to overgrow your cat’s paw pads and it will hurt. So, please trim it regularly to prevent pain for your cat.
Exercising is not just for humans
Being active necessarily makes your cat healthy. Young cats can keep themselves active whereas senior cats can’t do so. You need to pay special attention and provide therapeutic exercises on a regular frequency based on the vet’s guidance to senior cats. Such exercises increase the mobility of your senior cats and also help in treating arthritis issues.
Watch out for your cat’s pain
Cats are masters at hiding pain and they pretend to be active. With careful observation, you can tell if your cat moves slowly over steps, climbs slowly or rests more. Your cat might be suffering from arthritis or joint pains. Please follow the vet’s suggestion and alleviate the cat’s pain.
Pay attention to the cat’s mouth
Dental diseases are worse than you think. Please check for the hygiene of your cat’s teeth and ensure the dental examination is conducted regularly. If it isn’t taken care of, infection from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and there is a possibility that it can affect the internal system. Also, there could be other painful issues for your cat such as teeth decay, holes, gum disease etc.
Observe the cat’s excreta
As mentioned earlier where you can prepare notes of your cat’s behaviour in a journal before visiting the vet, please observe your cat’s excretory behaviour. Whether cat’s poop is regular, too solid or loose? Is your cat constipating? Is urine quantity normal or has it changed? Please take your observation notes to your vet and get them checked.
Improve senior cat’s living quality at home
Senior cats are not very mobile and they may find it difficult to reach high spaces. You can help your cats by providing ramps or steps as a pathway to top shelves or high spaces. Also, senior cats as mentioned above, suffer from arthritis and joint pains.
So, you can make it easier for them to access food, water and bed by providing food bowls, water bowls and beds at multiple locations dispersed in your home.
Senior cats need more attention than younger ones. Just the way we don’t like to watch our elders suffer, we don’t want our loved feline friends to suffer.
Observing their behaviours, visiting vets biannual on regular basis, keeping them happy and healthy will go a long way in maintaining and improving senior cat’s health. If you are interested to read more, you can check my other articles on how to clean cat litter box and what to do when kitten won’t use litter box.
Girish is the founder and chief editor of Kitty Cat Heaven. He wants to bring joy to the life of four-legged feline friends. His goal is to help cat owners. For this, he created well-researched guides on the web to improve the living experience of YOUR CAT!