How to Keep an Aging Cat Healthy

How to Keep an Aging Cat Healthy

As your feline friend hits her senior years, use these tips for some special TLC.

Your cat has been a loyal and affectionate companion over the course of your special friendship, and you have done your best to return the love. But as your feline friend hits its senior years, it’s time for you to give your precious friend some special TLC to help it during this time of change.

Use these tips to give your cat the best “retirement years” possible!

The most important thing for cat owners is to be vigilant and observe your cat to be prepared to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments. Beyond your cat’s calendar age, there are other signs that it is aging.

“You can observe changes in behaviour, appetite, activity level and litter box habits,” says Dr. Jane Brunt, veterinary surgeon, executive director of CATalyst Council.

One of the biggest issues when keeping checks on your cat is that older cats are prone to specific diseases that can present somewhat similar symptoms.

“Kidney disease is very common, and one sign is increased urination, which is also a sign of diabetes and thyroid disease,” Brunt says. “Knowing what’s normal for cats — and for your cat in particular — will clue you in to problems associated with aging cats when any change is noticed.”

A proactive idea is to keep a diary of your cat’s activities in order to identify trends, but more importantly, to keep yourself conscious of observing your older cat closely. Your vet will also value you keeping this important information to help inform your cat’s treatment and care.

Older cats can benefit from foods that are specially formulated for seniors, too.

“Make sure your cat is eating the right food for her age, lifestyle and health status,” Brunt says. “Water and a balanced protein, vitamin, mineral and carbohydrate ratio in your cat’s diet are best for any problems your cat may have, even if the signs aren’t readily apparent. With any dietary change, it is important to check with your vet. Make sure that you discuss special senior cat food, which offers a balanced blend of all the nutritional requirements that will help keep your cat in good shape in these years.”

Lastly, don’t forget your cat’s teeth: Just as dental care can be become an issue for older people, your cat’s life can be made a misery by a range of dental issues.

“Aging cats can develop periodontal disease, which can lead to serious health problems like pain and infection that can spread to other parts of the body,” Brunt says. “Preventing oral disease or treating it in early stages will help keep them healthier and pain free.”

Just as humans need to have a closer relationship with their doctors, so too does your cat.

If your senior cat doesn’t have any serious health conditions, twice-yearly visits to the vet are recommended for a thorough physical examination. This will allow your cat to be in the best health as it celebrates its senior years and gives you both many more contented years together.

Your cat's senior years should be an enjoyable life stage for you both to share. A time of closeness and fondness. By taking the time to make these subtle adjustments, your cat will thank you and you will feel great knowing that you have done your best to facilitate your old friend's wellbeing. Happy, healthy “retirement!”


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My girl Molly is 12yrs old now and is not doing so good.She has Arthritis in one of her back legs and it makes it very difficult to do things she use to love so much.Our play time together is limited becauseshe tires so easily.She finds it difficult to walk and she can't jump up on my bed or chesterfield anymore.I have small step up stools around the house so she won't be limited to where she wants to go.she is on medication for pain and inflimation.I just love her dearly.My baby Molly.

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