Senior Cat Care Tips: The Basics
As your kitty gets older, you might notice some changes in behavior, weight, and overall health. Here are some of the simple things you can do to help an older cat feel comfortable, safe, and happy.
See the Veterinarian for Checkups and Advice
When your cat was young, they didn’t have any problems getting around, and they probably impressed you with their ability to run fast, jump high, and land on their feet. But as your pet gets older, you might notice that they move more slowly or aren’t able to jump as well as they used to.
It’s a good idea to have your pet checked by a vet regularly to be sure they aren’t in pain and don’t require any medical support to feel good. Also, consider talking to your vet about your pet’s dietary needs. They might recommend a high-moisture diet or advise switching to a different food that’s more appropriate for your kitty’s health and weight.
Help Your Cat Get to Their Favorite Things
Once you know what your senior cat needs, it’s time to work on making everything easy to access. One thing you might not realize is that your senior kitty might have some trouble seeing, and this could be particularly hard for them at night when it’s dark. Plugging in a few nightlights may help your kitty get around with greater ease.
Other things to consider adding to your home:
Multiple bowls and litter boxes
In addition to making sure your cat has easy access to multiple food and water bowls, it’s worth getting extra litter boxes that you can set up in different areas of your home. That way, your cat won’t need to walk far to get to the box when they need to use it. And you might also find that switching to a different type of litter box, such as one that your cat can get into and out of more easily, is necessary too.
Cozy places to rest
If your cat is used to sleeping on your bed or couch but they’re having trouble jumping onto it lately, consider getting pet stairs or pet ramps to make it easier for them to still nap where they wish. And it’s a good idea to add more cat beds throughout the house, such as near a window that your kitty likes, so they can be warm and comfortable whenever they want to rest. You could even buy some orthopedic pet beds that provide extra support.
Encourage Playtime and Snuggle Time
Even though a senior cat might sleep more than they used to, try to encourage them to stay active. Sure, your feline companion may not jump as high or have as much energy to play, but they may be excited to unleash their inner hunter. There are many types of toys, from those for interactive play to those for solo play, that can prevent boredom and entice your pet to get some exercise.
Your senior companion might also want to spend more time with you, whether that means sitting next to you on the sofa or napping on your lap. Give your kitty the attention and affection they crave so they won’t feel lonely or stressed.
Help Your Cat with Grooming
Senior cats might not be able to groom themselves as well, especially when it comes to hard-to-reach areas like their back. Help them maintain a smooth and healthy coat by brushing them often.
Remember, taking your senior kitty to the vet for checkups can help you stay on top of their health. Your vet can also answer questions to ensure you’re able to provide everything your pet needs in their golden years.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. An advocate for better treatment of all animals, she enjoys producing content that educates others, helps them understand animals better, and inspires them to help, whether that means volunteering at a shelter, fostering strays, or simply giving their own pets a safe and happy home to live in.
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