Tips for caring for your senior cat – A guide for older kitty owners

It is safe to say that they are by far one of the most popular animals on the planet, adored by young children and adults alike. Of course, the animal in question is a kitten!

They are soft, adorable and love playing at 3:00 AM when you are trying to sleep! However, that small kitten will soon turn into a cat, which will soon become a senior cat, who will require slightly different care from the young Siamese kitten that you brought home eight years ago.

So, if you have a senior cat, it is best to have an idea of what is required to help keep them as healthy as possible, and this article will guide you. Enjoy!

the right cat for the family - ginger cat

Vet Checks

The first thing on the list is to make sure that your senior cat has scheduled regular veterinary checkups. As with humans and all animals, older cats are prone to age-related issues, and so, you should be visiting your veterinarian at least twice a year so you can monitor your cat’s overall health and catch any potential issues early. At these routine checkups, there is likely to be blood work, screenings for common conditions as well as checking their teeth. If you have recently gotten a cat, it is best to invest in lifetime pet insurance, so you can have as many of these issues covered in advance.

Adjusted Diet

Just like people, as cats get older, their nutritional needs will change, and you should always be flexible when it comes to what they eat. Older cats are prone to suffering from digestive issues, as well as arthritis, and of course, becoming a bit chubby! So, senior cat foods are aimed to help manage weight, as well as the digestive process, and often include added oils to help with joint health. You will always need to make sure that they have access to fresh water and keep an eye on how much they’re consuming, as too much water consumption can signify an issue with their kidneys or the onset of diabetes.

Comfort

It is likely that your older cat is not going to be bouncing around as much as they did when they were kittens. You will need to ensure that they have a safe and comfortable environment to nap and cuddle you in. You’ll also need to check that their little boxes, their food, their water, and all their resting spaces are easy for them to access. This may involve you needing to put in ramps and provide soft bedding in warmer areas of the home. There are even cat beds that can be hung over a radiator, which is ideal for older cats to nap on in winter.

Exercise and Stimulation

Just because your cat is older, it does not mean that they are willing to stop engaging with you! It is worth encouraging gentle play sessions with your older cat, which can involve puzzle toys, scratching posts, and even the good old-fashioned mouse toy. If they like catnip, it can also be worth investing in this for them to get them excited about play. Of course, make sure that any of the activities that you offer are within their physical capabilities.

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