How To Care for Your Senior or Geriatric Cat

July 1, 2022 12:00 am Published by

It is important to give your cat some additional tender, loving care as they age. Cats were once considered seniors just at eight years old, not too long ago. However, it is not unusual for vets today to have feline patients in their twenties. This is mainly due to advances in veterinary medicine, improved nutrition, and living indoors. Cats are now considered seniors at 12 to 14 years of age. If you want to know how to care for an older cat, there are some tips you can implement into your daily routine with your cat.

Caring for a Senior or Geriatric Cat

Taking care of a senior cat means knowing they tend to be less active and playful. Additionally, they may tend to sleep more, gain or lose weight, and have issues reaching their favorite places.

Make sure that your older cat has easy access to things they enjoy or need. This is extremely important. While you may remember to give them their medication, you may forget about addressing water, food, and little box issues.

Additionally, you should remember to visit the vet often. To help your cat enjoy the golden years, schedule regular vet exams to enhance their well-being. Every six months is perfect for geriatric cats. For healthy cats, you can go a year in between exams.

Always think warm. Cats like to find warm places to rest, so make sure that their resting place is not drafty and is nice and soft. Too much heat can burn a cat that can’t move so quickly, so think warm, not hot.

Provide easy access to basic needs. Cats are more prone to developing arthritis as they age and may not have full control over their bowels and bladder like they used to. Put their litter boxes on every floor, so they are easily accessible.

If your older cat can no longer jump on his favorite windowsill, create box steps or ramps to help him safely reach that spot.

Remember to gently groom your older cat. Older cats can use more frequent hands-on help if their self-grooming starts to wane.

Did you know that nightlights can help older cats with poor vision or eyesight problems? Consider adding nightlights to help your cat navigate during the night. If your cat is blind, keep its environment as consistent and stationary as possible.

If your cat is deaf, you should always approach him or her from the front rather than from behind to avoid scaring or startling him.  

Finally, don’t forget the basics. Good food and fresh water are important for cats of any age but may be even more essential for older ones. Your vet can help give you some advice to choose the right diet that can provide the right amount of nutrition and calories for your older cat. Older cats need easy access to clean water due to kidney function that tends to deteriorate as they age.

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