As our cats age, their bodies change and their needs will start to differ. While they’ll always be our baby kitties, our senior cats are going to have some special needs. They become more sensitive physically and mentally, their bodies and minds start to change, and they will need some extra help living out their golden years in happiness and health. If you’re wondering how you can make life better for your aging kitty, consider these tips.
#1 – More Beds
Senior cats generally spend more time sleeping than their younger selves, so giving them some extra beds and blankets to lie on will be much appreciated. The softer the better, because as our cats age their bodies become stiffer with arthritis and hard surfaces will be painful to lie on.
#2 – Stairs & Ramps
Just like people, age brings stiff joints and decreased mobility. Our cats still want to be by our sides wherever we go, so helping them get up and down stairs and on and off of furniture will be greatly appreciated. Using a ramp or steps to help your cat get around will save their bodies and make being near you an easy task.
#3 – Diet Change
Just like people, a cat’s nutritional needs will change over time. Older cats need different amounts of certain nutrients than young cats and kittens, and they need less of others. Work with your veterinarian to decide which diet is best for your senior cat. You might not need to change your cat’s food, but you’ll likely change the amount you feed and any supplements you’re giving. Start by reviewing our guide to the top senior cat foods.
#4 – Keep Active
Just because your cat is old in body doesn’t mean they are in mind! Your senior cat will still want to spend quality time with your. They are often young and heart and enjoy playing all of the games they did throughout their earlier years and perhaps even some new ones too! Keeping your cats mind and body stimulated will keep them happy and healthy for many years.
#5 – Extra Comfort
As our cats age and their bodies change, these changes will bring about more sensitivity. Your cat will be more susceptible to hot and cold weather, so make sure you’re able to keep them cool during summer and warm during winter. Fans will help with heat while coats will help with cold. Your cat will need a little extra help staying comfortable, but it’s an easy task.
#6 – Mobility Assistance
As mentioned earlier, age often brings arthritis and other ailments. Keeping your cat active will help maintain their mobility throughout their old age. This keeps their muscles and joints used to moving and prevents atrophy and muscle fatigue. Supplements might also be recommended by your veterinarian to help with any pain your pup might be experiencing.
#7 – Increased Veterinary Care
As your cat ages, you’re likely going to be visiting your veterinarian more often. This is because so many ailments come with age. Joint pain and mobility issues, weakened immune systems and other age-related illnesses often set in during your kitty’s senior years. You’ll also want to switch to regular check-ups more often if your veterinarian recommends it, as certain ailments such as cancers and organ diseases should be detected as early as possible.
#8 – Weight Control
In the same way your cat will need different nutrients in their senior years, they’re going to need different calories as well. Weight change is very common in senior cats. They are either getting too many nutrients and calories and become overweight or are struggling to maintain a healthy weight because their muscles are weakening and they are becoming thinner. Work with your veterinarian to make sure your cat maintains the appropriate weight.