Once your lovely cat reaches a certain age, there will be a number of things that you need to think about to keep them healthy. A cat is considered senior when it reaches around 8 years and older. Their bodies can deteriorate in different ways – so it’s important to monitor certain things carefully to prevent them from leaving you too soon.
- Take them to the vets twice a year when they reach 8 years old
Ask your vet to give a body evaluation at each visit so that they can see whether your senior cat is over or underweight. They will also check their overall physical health, and know what to look for. They can recommend any supplements or senior cat medicines that can help soothe any age-related ailments.
- Ensure they have a senior appropriate diet
Senior cats need an age appropriate food, designed with their specific health requirements in mind. They will need food that is higher in calories to prevent them from becoming too thin, they’ll also need the right levels of protein and extra vitamins to promote healthy organs.
- Keep up the preventative measures and checks
Regularly check their ears, eyes, mouths and paws for signs of any illnesses or wear and tear. You may need to brush them more regularly than before as they will become less able to do so themselves. This is also true for nail clipping – they may use their scratching posts less as their energy levels diminish, so this is something you and your vet can help them with.
- Mobility, activity and comfort
Older cats can still run the risk of becoming overweight as they become less active with age. Obesity in cats brings a higher risk of heart problems, kidney and liver problems and many other issues besides. Alter their food portions to make up for their reduced activity to stop them from becoming obese.
As they become less active and mobile, they will need lots of warm comfy spots around the home to relax in, so be sure to get a few more cat beds dotted around the house. They will also probably need an extra litter tray to access as their mobility decreases, to avoid accidents on the carpet.
Arthritis is a big problem in senior cats and will also greatly reduce their mobility. It’s thought that 90% of cats over the age of 12 will get arthritis.
Keeping them as comfortable as possible in their later years is so important if they suffer from arthritis, as joint pain will make it difficult for them to move about as freely.
- Love them with all your might
Just because they are old cats, does not mean they require less interaction and affection. Their reduced mobility will make it harder for them to actively jump around so playing with them every day will go a long way in keeping them active and happy.
They still need a lot of interaction and love, to soothe them in their advancing years, so be sure to continue to dole it out in plentiful quantities!