Cats are considered officially senior once they reach around 10 years of age and while they still need just as much care and attention their needs will be different to that of a younger cat. Here are some useful pointers on caring for your cat in its golden years…
Regular trips to the vet
A healthy cat should be seen by a vet at least once a year. Make sure you ask the vet to check your cat’s weight too. Overweight cats are more likely to suffer with a number of diseases, whilst weight loss can indicate underlying problems that need to be addressed.
Choose the right diet
Make sure the food you are providing is appropriate for your cat’s needs. Older cats may need less calories if they are less active than they used to be. Cats also need certain nutrients that are only found in animal sources and their bodies need more protein weight for weight than dogs. Avoid a vegan or vegetarian diet for your cat.
Consider supplementing your cat’s diet
If your cat is slowing down it could be a sign of arthritis or another underlying condition. Supplements like Joint Aid for Cats can be beneficial for supporting healthy joints and aiding freedom of movement.
Take care of your cat’s teeth
Ask your vet for advice on brushing your cat’s teeth – or consider cat dental treats that help keep the teeth clean. Dental disease can be painful and is also likely to affect feeding which could have a further negative impact on your cat’s wellbeing.
Create a comfortable environment
Food and water should be within easy reach and litter trays or beds should be easily accessible, especially for cats with reduced mobility. Provide soft bedding and somewhere familiar and cosy for sleeping.+
Stave off boredom
Toys are important for older cats too and some time outdoors can keep cats entertained. It will also help to manage your cat’s weight as well as providing some exercise to keep joints and muscles healthy.
Spend some time together
Setting aside some time for interaction with your cat will do him a power of good. Older cats can sometimes find self grooming more difficult as their flexibility and mobility reduces, so a gentle brushing session could be just what the doctor ordered – or some good old fashioned ear scratching.