People mellow with age, and the same can be said for your feline furbabies. The only difference is that cats’ lives are shorter. Nevertheless, they require constant care which can be a problem for those who are not prepared to take on the responsibility of being a pet parent.
Our feline friends can live for up to 20 years. These cats experience many things in their lives and can change them. Some may be calm and patient, some playful and affectionate even in their old age.
If you’re a pet parent looking to care for older pets, then it’s important to learn these 5 crucial care tips for senior cats.
Take note of health issues
Just like how people have to take better care of their health as they age, older cats need the same precaution. Cats can hide their pain or discomfort, so it will not be easy to see symptoms immediately.
There are 3 common health problems to watch out for:
- Weakening of joints – This may be from arthritis or degenerative joint disease. If you see your cat having trouble climbing their cat trees or jumping from ledge to ledge, it might indicate something is wrong with their joints and muscles. One way to prevent this condition is to give them a diet that is enriched with Taurine and Glucosamine, which help promote healthy joints and muscles.
- Urinary tract infection – Your senior cat might also have trouble urinating and even cry out in pain. These symptoms may be a sign of blockages or bacterial infections. Giving your cat enough water allows them to flush out bacteria from their urinary tract, which is usually the best way to prevent infections. If your cat has blockages, taking them to a veterinarian to perform surgery can help address it.
- Hip dysplasia – If your senior cat is also a large breed like a Maine Coon, they might suffer from hip dysplasia as they grow older. This health problem is often inherited and may result in deformed or fractured hip bones. In this case, it’s best to have a surgeon or veterinarian do corrective treatments so that they can live long lives in relative comfort.
Know their quirks
As mentioned before, older cats have different personalities. It’s true that some are calm and may need little attention, but they need it nonetheless.
It’s best to spend time getting to know your senior cat if you adopted one. Some may like playing, some may be content watching out the window, others may want to cuddle and stay close to you for long periods of time. Try different things with them when you bond with your feline furbabies, and you’ll be sure to learn what they like doing.
If your cat has been with you since their kitten years, it’s possible that they may still keep their affection for you. If their behaviors change and they become more anxious or forget where their litterboxes or food and water bowls are, it’s best to provide them with extras around the house. Doing so helps lessen their anxiety and gives them a sense of security.
Take care of their teeth
Dental diseases and tooth fractures are things to watch out for in senior cats. One of these conditions is gingivitis, which results from a buildup of plaque in your cat’s teeth. This buildup can cause the gums to look red and swollen, eventually weakening the base of the teeth if left untreated.
Preventing gingivitis only requires regular tooth brushing, so buying a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste is a must. Keeping your senior cat’s teeth clean and strong can also prevent tooth fractures.
Make your home senior cat-friendly
Adding a few bits of furniture that feline furbabies love goes a long way to making your home senior cat-friendly. Aside from the regular food and water bowls, things like a scratching post and a cardboard box are some things even older cats love to have around.
Cats are masters at hiding even in their old age, but that simply means they want their own safe personal space. Ever felt like you just wanted to snuggle in bed instead of dealing with the noise of everyday life? Your senior feline furbaby often feels the same way in their old age. Giving them a cardboard box to hide in can provide that same sense of security. You can also invest in a heating pad as a bonus to keep them warm.
Other things like a cat perch or a window with a view outside can help relieve boredom. If your cat loves to watch things from above, giving them a vantage point can help them observe you as you go about your day. If you don’t have a cat perch but live in a place with a good view of the streets, you can let your senior cat watch the scenery.
Since they’re the type to stay indoors, seeing the world outside from a safe space gives a nice change of pace. Doing so also helps them de-stress.
Provide them with wholesome food
Taking care of your cat’s diet is crucial for them to enjoy their senior years. Giving them wholesome food without artificial preservatives or fillers is one way to do that. One brand you can try is Wishbone Pet, which uses a homestyle formula of premium, free-range New Zealand proteins and aromatic herbs. It’s also enriched with 8 Superfoods like Mango, Papaya, and Cranberries to promote healthy digestion and provide an immune boost.
Get it today at a store near you!