Did you know that cats become seniors around age nine? Fluffy ages gracefully, so you’re more likely to see minor changes taking place over time than sudden, drastic ones. However, your furry pal will need some extra attention as she grows older. Here, a local vet offers some tips on keeping a senior kitty happy and healthy.
Keeping your cat comfortable is very important! Fortunately, this is pretty easy. Start by offering your kitty lots of beds to snuggle up in. In winter, your furball may enjoy thermal beds, or soft blankets folded up and put on ottomans. (You get extra purrs for putting some of Fluffy’s napping spots in sunbeams.)
We recommend that all cats be kept indoors. This is particularly important with older kitties. Fluffy may not be quick enough to escape a predator. Or, she could get confused and forget how to get home.
Your feline pal may have trouble using a litterbox with high sides. Get her one that was made specifically for senior cats. These have low walls, and are often much easier for older kitties to manage.
Cats are very clean, but they sometimes have a hard time bending and twisting to clean themselves as they age. Brush Fluffy gently to help get dead fur and dander out of her coat.
Fluffy will benefit from more frequent appointments as she grows older. Your vet can recommend an appointment schedule. In between visits, watch for signs of illness, such as withdrawal, weight loss or gain, poor grooming, respiratory issues, vomiting, diarrhea, and litterbox issues. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss.
Cats sometimes experience a decline in cognitive functions as they age, just as people do. Regular play sessions can help quite a bit with this. Timing those tricky pounces offers your furball beneficial mental stimulation, just as doing a crossword puzzle does for us. Fluffy might also forget how to get around sometimes, and may meow in frustration. Just gently comfort her when this happens.
Keeping that motor going is also important. Pay lots of attention to your kitty, and make sure she feels warm, safe, comfy, and loved. Talk to her, pet her, and play with her. Senior cat purrs are really very special!
Do you have questions about senior cat care? Contact us, your local veterinary clinic in Hudson Valley, NY, today!