How to Care for Older Cats?

How to Care for Older Cats
How to Care for Older Cats

How to Care for Older Cats?

When to call a cat “elderly” is a matter of debate but, generally, older cats than twelve years qualify from a medical perspective. Proper health care and a loving home are two factors that contribute to the long life span of most house cats.
The attention you give your cat throughout its life should not stop once the cat has become old. In fact, this care should actually increase.

Feeding Your Older Cat

Older cats have nutritional needs that differ from those of younger cats. Since cats age at different rates, you should familiarize yourself with your cat’s behavioral and eating changes.
When cats age they frequently become thinner and their appetite often decreases. Elderly felines have special dietary needs that you should consider when preparing their meals. As with other cats, always check with your veterinarian for mealtime tips and diet plans.
To provide your elderly feline with the best possible nutrition, search for a high-quality ration with high digestibility. Pay attention to kibble size and appropriate fat and protein levels. Offer your cat small amounts of food two to three times daily.

How to Care for Older Cats?
How to Care for Older Cats?
Older CatAvoid poor quality, generic foods. Make sure your diet of choice contains quality ingredients and is fresh. Low price brands may reflect lower quality ingredients or less rigorous manufacturing standards. Look for cat food produced by companies that perform research, conduct controlled feeding trials, and follow good manufacturing procedures and quality control.
The following tips should help you better prepare foods for your aging feline.
Provide high quality, highly digestible diet.
Provide fresh water to prevent dehydration.
Pay special attention to your cat’s ability to chew her food as dental problems often accompany old age.

Common Ailments of Older Cats

Elderly cats suffer from various health problems. Regular health exams can identify potential problems before they become serious. Establish a relationship with your veterinarian so he or she is familiar with your cat’s history, and take your cat in for an annual check-up.

Kidney Problems

You might notice increased thirst and weight loss. Kidney function is usually lost gradually over time and then appears as a “sudden” illness. See your veterinarian for treatment.

Tooth Decay

To prevent tooth loss and decay, clean your cat’s teeth on a regular basis. For a fee, your veterinarian can deep clean your cat’s teeth.

Metabolic Problems

Like people, cats can suffer from a variety of problems such as diabetes and thyroid disorders. Don’t assume that changes in behavior are the result of aging. Your cat may be uncomfortable or in pain.
If your elderly cat has begun to resent the presence of children or younger pets, have a safe haven where she can rest comfortably. Postpone any purchase or adoption of new pets. Making new friends isn’t usually high on an elderly cat’s list of priorities.

Steps to take in Caring For Your Older Cats

Cats are the most pet animal you can have in your home, so this is some helpful steps for taking care of your older cats:
  • Step 1

Make sure that your cat always has a supply of fresh water, as kidney function can deteriorate in older cats and they can be more prone to dehydration. Always provide a well-balanced diet too, that includes the correct nutrition and the right amount of calories for an aging cat – if in doubt, contact your vet for more information.

  • Step 2

Arrange for your cat to have regular check-ups with the vet – this will help to ensure that any problems are detected early on.

  • Step 3

Older cats may not be able to groom themselves as well as younger ones and may need to be groomed more frequently to remove any matting – especially where longhaired cats are concerned.

  • Step 4

Older cats are more prone to arthritis and may develop less control over their bladder and bowels. To assist them, it is advisable to have more than one litter tray in the house and provide ramps, boxes, pet steps, or such like, to help your feline get up to their favorite places, like a windowsill, sofa or chair.

  • Step 5

As your cat gets older it may sleep longer too, so it is a good idea to provide a warm and comfortable place for it away from drafts.

  • Step 6

Like many older people, older cats tend to dislike change and prefer to stick to a regular routine. Some may also need more love and affection from their owners, whilst others may prefer to be left alone.

Tips For Keeping Your Aging Cat Happy and Healthy

How to Care for Older Cats?
How to Care for Older Cats?
  • Try plugging in a night light during the evening if your cat’s eyesight appears to have deteriorated, as this will help it to see a bit clearer.
  • If your cat’s hearing appears to be impaired, always approach it from the front to avoid startling it.
  • Remember that growing old is not a disease, so as long as your cat is being well cared for its quality of life should not be affected.
  • Whilst grooming and stroking your cat, keep a check on any changes in the condition of its skin and check for any signs of lumps, etc.

What Not To Do In Caring For an Older Cat

  • Don’t be tempted to feed your cat more if it is exercising less.
  • Keep your cat indoors to avoid the dangers of traffic, dogs, and other potential problems.
  • Don’t be tempted to get a kitten as a young company for your aging cat, as the exuberance of a kitten may be too much for an animal that wants to wind down a bit in life.
  • Try not to leave your cat alone for very long periods of time.

Things Your Elderly Cat May Need

  • A well-balanced cat food – suitable for aging cats
  • Extra bowls for water
  • Extra litter trays
  • A good brush/comb
  • A ramp, box or pet steps
  • A calendar – to make a note of regular check-up appointments
  • Plenty of love, kindness, and patience

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