As cat parents, it’s hard to face the reality that our cats will someday grow older. Some cats will age with relatively no issues, while others may develop other medical problems you need to watch out for.
Nowadays, cats are considered to be seniors once they reach the age of 12 to 14 years. With significant advances in technology and veterinary medicine, it is possible to keep your cat living a long and healthy life. Some cats may live well into their twenties!
They will still need regular check-ups with your vet to detect any problems early on. Having to care for senior cats can have added challenges, but we are here to help break down some tips on what you can do to help your older cat.
1. To Care for Senior Cats, Schedule Wellness Check-Ups!
As your cat grows older, they may be prone to more illnesses and diseases. Scheduling wellness check-ups with your cat’s veterinarian every six months will keep you both on top of any changes that occur in your kitty. Pay close attention to their dental health during these wellness checks. Dental diseases can be catalysts for future health issues. Wellness check-ups should start once your cat becomes a senior, starting at age 11 or 12.
2. Be Aware of Any Changes in Behavior
Cats are great at masking any illnesses. If you are a long-time cat parent, you should be able to notice subtle changes in their behavior. If your cat is sleeping more than they usually do, or if they begin hiding from you, then do not hesitate to contact your vet. Also, look out for any changes in their bathroom habits. If they’re missing the litter box or soiling the house, this could indicate a health issue.
3. Keep Your Senior Cat Inside
On average, indoor cats usually live longer than outdoor cats. This is because they are not exposed to the environmental dangers of being outside. If you are going to let your cat outside, make sure they are supervised. Never leave them unattended! If your cat is used to being outdoors, you can slowly transition them to living indoors by providing them with an enriched environment.
4. Keep an Eye on Their Nutrition
The key to a happy, healthy life starts with a good diet! This, of course, goes for both humans and their feline companions! Keeping your senior cat at a healthy weight can help foster good health. Weight gain and weight loss are both issues that should be addressed. An overweight cat is at risk of developing diabetes, liver problems and joint pain. This can be very problematic in their old age. To keep your older cat on a good diet, feed them balanced meals every day. You may even want to measure out their food to feed the appropriate amount based on their weight.
5. Stay up to date on vaccinations.
Keep your senior cat up to date on all their vaccines to prevent infectious diseases. Your cat may not require all recommended vaccines as it depends on their lifestyle, environment, and, most importantly, your local laws. Core vaccinations that should be given every one to three years are feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, and rabies.
The special bond that you have with your aging cat is instrumental in maintaining their mental health as well as yours. While your geriatric cat might not be as spunky as they used to, you can still continue to provide them with much-needed mental and physical stimulation. Your cats love to interact with you! So don’t skip out on petting, and playing with them.
Having pet insurance is a great way to keep your cat covered in case they require any procedures in the future. Look into insurance companies such as Trupanion or Pet Assure who are ready to help get your pet covered based on their current needs.
If you need help caring for your senior cat, Cosmic Home N Pet is here to help! We can help you take care of your senior cat when your schedule gets busy. Check out our pet sitting services to find out how we can help today!