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Caring for Your Senior Cat

Posted July 28th, 2017 by admin

Our young kittens, don’t stay little forever – though perhaps we might like it if they did. They seem to go from playful, mischief seeking, high energy family members to middle aged and seniors in the blink of an eye. But, as pets go, our feline friends are easy to care for – no matter their age. Simply provide them with healthy food, a clean litterbox, regular veterinary care, and make time to play with them, and your cat will be there to keep you company for years.

However, as your cat ages, you will have to make some adjustments to make it easier for the mature cat to enjoy the quality of life they have always had. Some of these adjustments for senior cat care include:

  • As our cats age, they sometimes have trouble stepping into and out of the litter box. You may need to get a box with lower sides, or perhaps provide steps to make it easier for them. Also, if your home has multiple levels, you may need to put a litter box on each floor. In addition, pay attention when you clean the litter box. If there is more urine than normal, the stools are softer, harder or a different color then it can be a sign of high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or an over active thyroid gland.
  • As cats age, arthritis is often a problem. In fact, studies have shown that 90% of cats over age 12 have developed arthritis. Watch for signals such as your cat having trouble grooming himself, peeing outside the box because stepping into the box is too difficult, or seems stiff after standing up. Help care for your aging cat, by gently helping with the grooming.
  • Plan more frequent vet appointments – ideally, every 6 months – so that you can keep in the know about any changes or potential problems. Getting an early diagnosis of a problem gives you more time for treatments and often, more options.
  • Cats are great at hiding illnesses. Pay attention to changes in behavior such as loss of appetite, sleeping in a different spot, sleeping more or frequent hiding as any of these can be indicators of sickness.
  • Continue to provide mental and physical stimulation by petting, playing and interacting with your cat. It’s fun for you both, plus it helps you be aware of any physical changes.
  • Watch their nails. It is not unusual for older cats to have more trouble with overgrown nails which then affect their paws, and cause a great deal of pain.

Caring for your senior cat does not have to be difficult. Just make some minor changes, talk to your vet and be sure you note any changes in behavior or appetite.  Our feline friends have been there for us when we need to be consoled, do your part to make their later years as happy as the young ones. For questions or pet sitting, please be sure to give the SleepEazZ team a call.

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