Let’s be honest, getting old is challenging, especially if your feline is the one who is struggling hard to cope with the senior years in front of you.
As a cat enters his senior years, you might start noticing some changes in behavior, including his inability to pounce around the house as he used to when you got him as a cute little kitten. According to the vets, earlier cats were considered seniors after celebrating their 8th birthday. But thanks to medical science and improved nutritional products, today felines can live up to 20-22 years which means that their old age starts when they are 11-14 years old, which is basically 70 in the cat years.
So, being a cat parent, the responsibility of providing a comfortable lifestyle falls on your shoulders. But if you’ve never taken care of a senior cat before, we suggest you go through the article, and your feline will definitely thank you for it. Let’s get started!
Schedule wellness checkups regularly
After celebrating your kitty’s 10th birthday, it is really important for the parent to start taking regular trips to the vet. He/she would want to look for some early signs of unusual bumps and lumps and diseases related to kidney and even cancer. Even if you feel that your cat is healthier than ever, a trip to a doctor is never a bad decision. So, if you find any changes in vocalization, breath, or weight of your feline, run to a vet before it gets serious.
Provide easy access to his favorite places/toys
Older cats like to have their own space and enjoy their own private zone, just like when they were young and mischievous. But now they are old and weak; they might not be able to jump, leap or climb to their favorite resting place. And that’s just sad. Fortunately, you can ease their pain by getting some carpet-covered steps so that they can easily reach and relax at their all-time favorite spots. You can also consider getting some of them near your bed so that your feline can climb onto your bed for some snuggle time.
And if your feline is starting to lose vision, then try keeping the furniture at the usual spot so that he doesn’t have to burden himself to adjust to the new traffic pattern in the house. Also, try to place multiple feeding stations and toy baskets in the house so that your fur baby doesn’t have to travel very far to get his food, water, and toys.
Meet the nutritional needs
Providing quality food to the pet is one of the most important responsibilities of a parent. You probably already know that. Right? But when you have a senior feline in the house, meeting nutritional needs is definitely something you need to do without fail. This is because due to the lack of adequate knowledge, some parents end up overfeeding or underfeeding their aging friends, which is indeed a huge problem in the animal world. So, after your cat enters his golden years, make sure you consult the vet before changing the diet chart.
Also, you can consider using elevated cat bowls so that your furry friend doesn’t have to struggle or miss out on food just because he can’t reach it properly. This is because when your feline tries to reach out to the bowl placed on the floor, his neck and head are bent down, and he has to feed in an uncomfortable crunching position. In fact, gravity works against your fur baby’s digestive system, and bending to reach for a bowl lying on a floor can be incredibly challenging for a senior cat with serious joint issues.
Take a “cat’s eye view” at the litter box
As the cats start aging, they tend to have some accidents in the house then you should know that it is definitely a matter of concern. And the situation gets worse if your furry friend is diagnosed with arthritis. In fact, urinary infections and constipation are some of the major reasons that can cause your kitty to develop litter box issues over time.
According to a prominent vet, senior cats’ litter boxes should be large so that they don’t have to crouch or curl up to do their business. It is better to go for the one that is twice as long as your feline’s body.
Also, you can increase the number of boxes around the house so that your fur baby doesn’t have a hard time accessing them. And before getting a litter box for your kitty, make sure that it is gentle on the paws so that it doesn’t hurt in any way.
Try to keep the mind active
Just like humans, senior cats tend to lose their minds as they start to age, and that’s not healthy at all. So, as a pet parent, make sure that you stimulate your feline’s mind with the help of elevated cat bowls customized exclusively for your fur baby’s physical as well as mental abilities. You can either go for a puzzle toy that dispenses yummy treats. These puzzles are available with different levels ranging from easy to difficult. It is no surprise that hunting for food is a cat’s natural nature, and even senior cats would love to enjoy a few challenges that get them well-fed.
Remember, do not choose the puzzles and games that frustrate your fur baby. In the senior years, everyone loves to enjoy a little bit of fun and rewards without getting annoyed.
To sum it all up!
Apart from the tips mentioned above, if you have multiple cats in the house, then make sure that all the young cats know to value seniority and know who sits on the invisible throne. For this, it would be a good idea to feed the senior cat before the others.
Remember those good old days when you brought your kitty home, and you just can’t get enough of how cute and naughty he was. Well, your feline did give you some incredible memories to cherish; now it is time that you value your cat’s comfort in his senior age and make his golden years as safe and convenient as possible. You kind of owe it to him.
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