Senior cats : How to take good care of them ?

Published : 03/01/2017 12:00:00
Categories : Cat life

Senior cats : How to take good care of them ?
Did you know that cats age at a different pace from ours ? Their growth is much faster in the early days of their lives. Thus, at age 2 they have the equivalent of 25 years in "human age", and each additional year is then equivalent to what would be 4 years longer for us. And for our cat friends too, life expectancy has increased considerably. And this is also reflected in the increased symptoms and diseases associated with ageing. Here are some tips to allow Kitty to age in the best conditions.

Be sure to properly watch your ageing cat

As for us, cats age at a different rate according to individuals. However, they are considered to be entering a "mature" age from the age of 7, then becoming "seniors" between the ages of 11 and 14, before entering a phase of great age around 15 years old. As soon as they enter maturity, their health must be monitored so that any condition can be treated as soon as possible and treated effectively.

You will have to be alert daily to any change in rhythm or behaviour of your cat that could translate a possible disease. Several symptoms should be monitored as a priority: more frequent or abundant urine (which can be due to kidney problems or diabetes), lack of appetite or weight loss (problems of teeth or digestion, tumour, hyperthyroidism ...) Or loss of mobility (osteoarthritis, heart failure, etc.). If in doubt, bring Kitty to the veterinarian. It is also advisable to organise regular check-ups (at least once a year) if you have an elderly cat.
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Care for your elderly cat

Your senior cat deserves special treatment! Dental problems (tartar, gingivitis, teeth sagging ...) are very common in older cats. Also be sure to preserve his oral hygiene. The ideal is to be able to brush his teeth regularly but, if he is not cooperative, other solutions can be advised by your veterinarian (spray, descaling in his cabinet …).

With age, your cat will also have more difficulty in taking care of his washing. Take the time to brush him daily: this will avoid the problem of hairballs and allow you to examine him closely (to detect any skin problems or tumours). Finally, be sure to give Kitty a proper diet. With age, cats can lose their sense of smell and become difficult with their food or, on the contrary, overeat which exposes them to a risk of obesity. They may also have deficiencies that require specific nutrient intakes.
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Setting up a proper environment

With age, Kitty can lose his agility. Also, take care to create a comfortable environment. Most tips for catifying your apartment remain valid for older cats. You can also make the areas where your feline is used or in need of access more accessible : by choosing a wider and lower litter, by installing a horizontal scraper rather than a vertical scraper, or by installing a "ramp" so that he accesses more easily his favourite perch.

In addition, your senior cat can become more susceptible to external "aggressions". Make sure that he does not get cold, avoiding situations where he stay too long outside in winter. Keep the stresses of your cat as limited as possible: keep a quiet room in case of agitation (visitors, fireworks ...), avoid traveling or adopting a younger animal. Finally, do not let him become a "couch-potato" cat. Continue to play with him regularly and to cuddle him: this will help him to stay agile both physically and intellectually !
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