Indoor life, modern veterinary medicine, and quality nutrition have extended the average cat’s life. According to the AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), you can consider your cat senior once it turns 11 to 14 years old.
The cat’s age is not a disease itself, but it brings challenges to health and changes in habits that you need to pay attention to. While it is normal for a cat to become less active with ages, caring for a senior pet can help you keep it healthy and make its life less complicated. There are the best 7 healthy tips in 2020 you should follow.
Regular Vet Check-Ups and Care
The basis of caring for a senior pet is a regular visit to the vet and disease prevention. Take your cat for an ultrasound and blood work at least twice a year.
An experienced vet has no problem detecting symptoms you can’t notice. He or she will check the cat gums, teeth, and test the hearing and sight. Plus, you need to make sure your kitty doesn’t have an issue with vital organs, like the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Cats know how to hide their pain well, so it is necessary to determine whether there are early arthritis symptoms. Have the vet examine your cat for any changes in behavior, diet, or toilet habits that you find suspicious.
Keep the Senior Cat Active
As the cat gets older, it becomes less active and spends most of the day sleeping. You need to devote enough time and stimulate it to jump, run, and play.
The goal is not to exhaust your beloved furry friend to the point of fatigue but to make it exercise. Always keep in mind that your cat doesn’t have the same level of energy as it used to.
Get a large toy that the pet can hold with its paws when getting tired. That way, your senior can work the muscles and exercise the joints while enjoying playing.
Even the senior cat that lacks the flexibility and skills to jump and climb will enjoy wandering around the house and exploring. Place the box on the floor by laying it aside or use a paper bag to let it hide. Plus, its rustling is exciting to cats.
Provide Your Cat Comfortable Home
If possible, try to adapt the home to your senior pet’s needs by providing something warm, soft, and cozy. For example, you can add a folded blanket or your sweater to the cat’s sleeping area.
Cats enjoy looking through a window and from the terrace. So, you can add a small pillow, or mats on the window sill to make this experience more pleasant to it.
It is also an excellent idea to insert a step stool, ramps, or wooden boxes in the room where the cat stays. That way, your poorly mobile kitty can reach inaccessible places.
Don’t forget that the cat’s eyesight and hearing weaken with age. Make a habit of calling your pet first before reaching and picking it up. Plus, keep furniture changes to a minimum, especially in rooms with bowls with food and water, and a litter box.
Control Your Pet Diet and Weight
Nowadays, there is food specifically designed for senior felines enriched with necessary minerals and vitamins. You need to consult your vet to determine the right diet. There are cans and granules for cats with increased weight, chronic diseases, and weight loss.
Take care to pay attention to how much your cat eats. Feed it in several smaller meals evenly distributed throughout the day to help it digest food better.
Cat Oral Hygiene
Pay attention to symptoms of dental problems, such as drooling, chattering jaw, or bad breath. In such a case, take your pet to the vet to check its teeth, gums, and mouth.
The vet should also control the appearance of growths in the mouth and redness of the gums. That way, you will prevent possible pain and damage to the cat’s vital organs, including the heart and kidneys.
Routine Grooming and Trimming
Elderly cats tend to groom them less carefully. Brush your kitty daily to reduce creating the hairballs and prevent hair from tingling. With age, the hair layer on the feline skin becomes thinner, so be gentle to avoid hurting your senior pet.
The overgrown claws can stick in the cat’s pads or the carpet. So, make sure to trim them regularly to prevent your cat from hurting itself.
Prevent Toilet Accidents
Keep in mind that getting into the litter box can become a challenge for your senior pet. Switch to the model with lower sides and place a few extra litter trays around the house.
If your cat has bladder or kidney problems, it can control itself only for a short period. Help it by placing the litter box closer to its area and consider including more of them. Prevent accidents by placing pee pads around litter boxes.
Never punish your senior friend if it eases somewhere where it shouldn’t. The cause of urination in the wrong places is not disobedience but the inability to restrain. If your pet has a persistent medical problem, it is a good idea to consider cat diapers.
The senior pet needs all the care and attention. To prevent severe issues, visit the vet regularly, watch your cat’s diet, and adjust your home to its needs. Regular grooming, trimming, and oral hygiene will help your furry friend to spend a healthy and comfortable life.