When your cat enters the senior years of its life, it becomes your responsibility to take care of old cat, just like the way you take care of your elder ones. Because after all, you have been life partners for such a long time, so giving them a gift of healthy and happy last years is a must.
Unlike humans, cats have a really short lifespan of approximately 18 to 19 years. So when a cat enters the 7th year of its life, this is where it is considered as a senior, and hence need extra care and love.
So if your cat has also started the journey towards old age, then you must consider the following caring tips for senior cats so that you can give it the love it really needs at this age.
Schedule Regular Visits to Veterinary
As your cat ages, it gets more prone to health issues and develops higher chances of getting life-threatening diseases. Therefore, once your cat starts to get older, schedule regular visits to its vet and try not to skip any of it in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle for your cat. Vet visits can be costly but can be more affordable with pet health insurance. Moreover, make sure that your cat is getting its annual vaccination regularly as this might also help ease the last years of its life.
Keep Track of Eating Habits
The more the cat gets older, the lesser its hunger gets. That’s why you might have noticed that elder cats eat far lesser than younger ones. However, this doesn’t mean that it should skip its meals. You must choose the right diet and keep feeding your cat three times a day, even though decreasing the quantity of meal, yet not let it stay hungry for long. And must keep track of its eating routine, if there is any change that you notice, consult the vet right away.
Keep an Eye on the Stools
As already said, older cats are more prone to health issues, especially diseases related to the stomach and digestive systems. Therefore, it is important to make sure your cat has a healthy digestive system, the best way to do this is to check its stools regularly.
As long as the stools are in the right shape, there is nothing to worry about. Stools that represent a healthy and happy cat are dark brown in color, have a definite bullet like shape, are not too hard or too soft, and do not smell too much foul.
Don’t Let her Out, but Not Confined from Nature
As the cats get older, their memory also declines and they can easily forget the way back to their home. Therefore, when your cat enters its senior years, you must keep it from going out as much as possible. Put fences on the boundaries of your house if you don’t have any and seal all the loopholes which you think might serve as a way out for you cat.
However, doing so can even lead to depressions because of their instinct to be close to nature. So for this, you can make a comfortable place for your cat near a window or allow its access to the balcony from where it can easily watch the outside world.
Make Sure to Provide Complete Comfort
The most important of all is to provide your cat with utter comfort in the last years of its life. The older it gets, the more aggressiveness is added to its mood. So to keep your cat from getting aggressive, you have to make sure there is nothing that discomforts it. You can make a place for it in the coziest and calmest corner of the house and putting an older cat bed there to make it more comfortable.
Make sure to reduce its interaction with kids as its tolerance for kids might also decrease in the old age because of their mischievous nature. Find good quality cat beds made of aged cats by reading asking circle and reading different reviews online.
Maintain Regular Exercise Routine
The more the cat ages, the lazier it gets. Stimulation is important for cats, especially when they are getting older because older cats develop higher risks of stiffed muscles and joints and their metabolism also slows down. Lack of physical activity makes them prone to many other health related issues.
Therefore, to keep their metabolic system functioning and maintaining their overall health, it’s important that you schedule a proper exercise routine for your elderly feline partners to give them the best gift of healthy life in their last years.
Look Out for Weight Changes
Any change in weight of your older feline, either loss or gain is a warning sign. In the elderly years of their lives, cats often develop an unusual appetite. They either start to eat too much or completely back off from their meals, both the conditions are extremes and severely affects the weight of your feline partner which eventually gives rise to many other health issues. So make sure your cat is maintaining a normal weight, and if you notice even a minor change in its weight, promptly consult your vet for professional advice.
Pay Extra Attention to their Dental Health
Older cats develop increased risks of dental issues as compared to the young ones. An old cat is more likely to get prone to gum injuries, teeth weakening, bad breath, etc. and as you know, if anything happens to the mouth of your cats, it’s potentially going to affect its eating habits. So pay extra attention to the dental health of your old cat, if you notice any issue, take action right away to ease your cat from discomfort.
Don’t Let Them Fall Into Depression
As the cat gets older, it becomes lonelier. It starts to spend more time alone, staying away from people which makes them fall into depression and eventually leading towards death due to the reason that they even stop eating or drinking because of being under the pressure of anxiety.
So, when your cat get older, make sure to spend quality time with it and make it happy.Don’t let it feel lonely and make it realize how much you love it so that it avoids going in depression.
Stop Being Aggressive and be More Gentle
Cats become more sensitive in the last years of their lives, they can easily sense your mood and will also give a sudden response to it. If you are being too aggressive with your older cat, the possibility is that it might become aggressive in response or can also feel a lot of stress and depression.
Try to be as gentler as possible, and avoid jerking yelling at the cat.
Practice Good Hygiene
Cats have natural cleaning and grooming instincts, that’s why there hardly feels any need for giving them a bath when they are young. However, as they get older, their stamina decreases and they even losses their strength of grooming themselves which is why you might have noticed most of the senior cats lying on their beds lazily, barely moving at all.
As your cat enter its senior years, it’s going to need your help for regular grooming and cleaning, otherwise they might get lice and ticks which not only will be irritating for them but will also cause problem to their health. So make sure to maintain a good and healthy hygiene routine, give your senior cat a bath once in month, brush or comb its coat every day and clip the claws every 20 to 30 days to keep it clean and tidy
Check Out for Abnormal Swellings
The risks of cancer increases by age in the cats, which means that older cats can easily develop cancerous tumors any time. So you have to keep checking if there is any kind of abnormal swelling on your cat’s body or any irregular lumps and bumps that causes it pain.
The earlier you take action regarding these tumors, the better, otherwise you’ll be left with regret once your furry friend will have to go through this painful disease.
Keep an Eye on Sight Issues
Older cats are also likely to develop eyesight issues which can cause partial or complete blindness. So make sure to save your cat from complete blindness by taking preventive measures at the right time. As your cat can’t explain it to you that there is any problem with its eyes, so you’re going to have to look for the signs.
If you have noticed your cat acting in a strange way, like bumping on the walls suddenly, couldn’t find its litter, can’t find its way back home and walking with its head down near the floor, then these are the warning signs that your cat might be developing sight issues. So as soon as you notice such changes, consult your vet immediately.
The Bottom Line
No doubt, giving your life-long feline partner a sense of love and care in last days of aged cat brings eternal joy for both, you and your furry little friend. So make sure to make these few years of your cat special and happy ones by considering the above caring tips.