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Senior Cat Care: Keeping Older Cats Happy And Healthy

May 1, 2024

Is your feline companion beginning to show signs of growing older? Like any other cat, Fluffy must have nutritious food, a clean litter box, regular vet visits, and, of course, plenty of affection. However, there are a few aspects of her care regimen that may require some fine-tuning as she gets older. A local Mapleton, UT vet offers some valuable tips on how to properly care for your furry buddy senior cat in this informative article.

How Do I Keep My Kitty Healthy As She Ages?

Elderly cats can experience similar health issues to those commonly seen in aging humans. These include things like obesity, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, kidney disease, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, cancer, vision impairment, hearing impairment, and dental problems.

Your pet may need to visit the veterinarian more frequently. Follow your vet’s recommended appointment schedule.

Keep an eye out for symptoms of illness during the breaks between appointments. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you observe anything unusual.

How Can I Tell If My Senior Cat Is Sick?

Your vet is going to be the ultimate authority on this. Keep up with your kitty’s appointments!

It’s also important to keep a watchful eye on Fluffy at home. Cats can be quite secretive about their health issues. Pay careful attention to any alterations in Fluffy’s appearance or behavior. Watch for warning signs. Some of these include hiding, withdrawal, lack of proper grooming, vomiting, drooling, weight management, respiratory problems, discharge, fever, lethargy, litterbox problems, changes in food and water consumption, and unusual behavior.

Unusual vocalizations can also be a cause for concern. If Fluffy is typically calm and composed, but suddenly becomes clingy and inconsolable, there may be an underlying issue.

Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these symptoms.

Do Older Cats Need Larger Litter Boxes?

You might want to think about getting Fluffy a litterbox with lower sides. Elderly cats may experience stiffness and discomfort, so your kitty might find it a lot easier to get in and out of something that has a broader and shallower design, as opposed to being narrow and deep.

Does My Elderly Cat Need Grooming?

Fluffy may need a bit of help with her beauty regime as she ages. As cats get older, they might feel stiff and sore. Your cat may struggle to bend and stretch adequately to clean her entire body. Brushing your feline friend gently can be helpful. When brushing Fluffy, avoid applying too much force. Senior pets have extremely delicate skin. You don’t want to hurt your furry buddy companion!

Most cats don’t require regular baths, though you can bathe your pet if you like, as long as your Mapleton, UT vet doesn’t object.

Why Does My Old Cat Look Messy?

Senior cats’ skins may also create more oil than younger cats’. This can also give her coat a greasy appearance.

Untidy fur can sometimes indicate that your cat is not in good health. If your cat’s fur is quickly becoming disheveled and/or you’re noticing other concerning signs like withdrawal, contact your Mapleton, UT veterinarian for assistance.

Can I Play With My Senior Cat?

Definitely! Playing with Fluffy is truly beneficial for her well-being. Running, pouncing, and jumping are excellent ways for kitties to stay active. In addition, this provides mental stimulation. That’s especially crucial for senior cats. Just like people, pets may experience cognitive decline as they get older. Your kitty’s mental agility will be put to the test when she starts chasing that elusive red dot. That’s great for her brain!

Of course, this will only work if Fluffy is in a playful mood. If she prefers to indulge in another nap, she will simply wander off. That’s absolutely fine. One thing that is certain about cats is that, unlike dogs, they do not go out of their way to please us. There’s no need to be concerned about your furry pal overexerting herself.

Does An Older Cat Need Special Care?

As Fluffy gets older, her requirements will change. One thing that is very important is making sure that she has convenient access to her food, water, and litterbox. It’s a good idea to have litter boxes and water stations on every level, especially if you have a large house or multiple floors.

By the time your adorable pet enters her golden years, she will be an expert at napping, able to sleep for up to 20 hours a day. As you can probably imagine, giving your sleepy pet lots of comfortable places to hang out is one of the best things you can do for her.

We’d also recommend turning on a night light for your cat. Fluffy’s vision in the dark will not be as sharp as it used to be. She also occasionally becomes forgetful, and may lose her way while heading to the litterbox.

Another way to assist your furry buddy pet is by providing pet ramps or steps. Footstools are also a great option. Consult your veterinarian for further details.

What Makes Old Cats Happy?

More than anything, the answer to that would be love and affection. Our feline pals are very emotional little furballs. Fluffy needs to feel affection, security, and a sense of ease. Make sure to spend ample time with your feline companion. Offer her plenty of attention and a cozy spot on your lap. Senior cat purrs are truly special!

Of course, your feline pal won’t outgrow her fondness for boxes, catnip, and treats, either.

Why Are Older Cats More Vocal?

It’s quite common for older cats to become a bit outspoken. There could be several factors contributing to this. One possible explanation could be cognitive decline. Elderly felines may experience lapses in memory and become disoriented. They don’t know what’s going on or why, and this can make them upset. Fluffy may also appreciate some extra love and affection. Alternatively, she might be reacting to a feeling of unease. Consult your veterinarian for further details.

Is It Safe To Leave My Older Cat Alone?

Ultimately, Fluffy’s age and health will be the determining factors. Many of our feline pals can be left unattended for a day or two, as long as they have food, water, and clean litter, and someone periodically checks on them. When it comes to older cats, however, especially those in their golden years, it’s not advisable to leave them alone for extended periods of time. In most cases, boarding is a better choice.

Keeping An Older Kitty Safe

You’ll need to stick to the same basic petproofing protocols as you would for a younger cat. Fluffy might not be as energetic as before, but she could still have a go at your houseplants.

Another key part of keeping your aging kitty safe? Keep your furry buddy pet indoors. We actually recommend keeping all cats indoors. However, older cats are particularly susceptible. Not only are they extremely delicate, they may struggle to evade potential dangers. In addition, there is a concern that Fluffy may lose her way back home.

Reach Out To Your Mapleton, UT Pet Clinic

Do you need any information or advice regarding the care of senior cats? Feel free to reach out to us, your Mapleton, UT pet hospital, at any time!

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