Every cat deserves a cosy home and caring owners. But a senior cat requires extra tender love and attention as they spend the rest of their “nine lives”. It’s because, as your cat ages, their health, behaviour and needs also change. However, such behavioural and needs changes are harder to spot as your cat transitions from the adult to the senior stage, which usually start between 12 to 14 years old.
If you’re currently dealing with senior cats or have been wanting to learn more about certain know-hows to effectively attend to your ageing cat’s demands, we got you covered. Here, we have listed some of the best and basic pet care tips when it comes to dealing with ageing cats. Attend to your senior cat’s needs by reading through here:
Visit the veterinarian more often than usual
Paying regular visits to the veterinary clinic can be considered as the top pet care tip every senior cat owner should know. Unfortunately, only a few senior pets receive ample vet care. Vets are well-trained and educated about evaluating your pet’s overall health and wellbeing. They are also knowledgeable about making proper recommendations or prescriptions in maintaining your pet’s optimum health and other demands.
When it comes to handling senior cats, your veterinarian will help assess early signs of health problems, such as:
- Changes in your pet’s condition from previous veterinary visits;
- Eye and ear problems;
- Gastrointestinal, pancreatic or kidney problems;
- Heart and lung problems;
- Joint and muscle problems;
- Oral health problems (mouth, gums and teeth);
- Parasitic and infectious diseases;
- Skin and coat quality problems;
- Weight and body condition problems.
Detecting early signs of any of the health problems mentioned above will help prevent a more serious case in your senior cat’s health.
Practise proper hygiene and regular grooming
Senior cats may also develop different grooming needs compared to younger ones. Typically, they become less interested in self-grooming as a natural part of a cat’s ageing process. As a caring owner, make it a habit to comb their fur, especially if your senior cat is long-haired. That is to ensure your cat’s happiness, comfort and wellbeing.
Boost your cat’s mental wellness with CBD treats
CBD pet food may help support your senior cat’s cognition and overall wellness. CBD may assist some senior cats who might be dealing with various ageing signs, such as arthritis, decreased appetite, anxiety and lack of sleep, to name a few. However, it’s important to consult your vet first and ask for advice, assessments, and the proper prescription before using CBD products on your pets, especially the senior ones who might be more prone to sensitivities.
Be more mindful about your cat’s diet
One of the most significant things you should know as your cat transitions to the senior stage is the change in its dietary and behavioural needs. It is vital to maintain your cat’s optimum health and ideal weight as they reach old age. Consult your cat’s veterinarian first before deciding on your cat’s dietary requirements to ensure their safety. Your vet will help assess your senior cat’s ideal weight and will recommend the best choice of senior food, whether to gain, sustain or lose extra weight.
Address your cat’s oral health and needs
Paying more attention to your cat’s dental health and demands should be addressed as early as possible. In case you’re not aware, certain dental issues and diseases are more common in ageing cats. In case your cat is getting a little older, they may get painful holes in their teeth, which may affect their eating habits. Your cat may also develop a broken tooth, gum disease and oral tumours—factors that may impact their quality of life.
Addressing your cat’s dental health and needs is crucial since possible infections may take place. Certain infections may enter the bloodstream, which may gradually affect their heart, kidney, and liver, which may shorten your cat’s life. If you want to spot early signs of your cat’s dental health issues, visit your vet regularly. Having optimum dental health is essential for senior cats, as this may help boost their overall wellbeing and even prolong their lifespan.
Engage your senior cat in regular exercise and mental stimulation
As your cat ages, so is their quality of life. That’s why it’s crucial to consider having environmental enrichment for your senior cats. Cats require a place to hide, to climb, things to scratch, and a chance to hunt and play. These factors will help sustain and enhance your cat’s mental and physical stimulation. You may want to have a covered cat bed where your senior cat can get cosy and comfortable, a safe space for your cat to hide, carpeted cat ramps to scratch, or toys to get them to play.
Keep a close eye out for early signs of pain or discomfort in your senior cat
Cats are very good at hiding their aches. Most senior cat owners have no idea of their cat’s illness unless examined by a vet. That’s why it is crucial to notice unusual behaviour like excessive self-grooming or warning signs like blood in cat vomit.
Also, regular vet visitations are more important than you might think. Your vet can provide you with a long-term plan to help manage your senior cat’s pain with proper medication. They may also help reassess the right supplements and alternative treatments, including acupuncture, physical therapy and laser treatments.
Spend more time with your senior cats
Having pets at home requires your time, money, energy, and attention. For senior cats, see to it that you spend more quality time with them than you normally do. Make sure to attend to their major needs and let them feel all the love and care in the remaining years of their life. It is more crucial if your senior cat is now showing subtle signs of pain and discomfort. Staying beside them will make them feel that they’re not alone and that they’re loved.
The Bottom Line
Those are the basic pet care tips that owners should consider in handling senior cats. As a pet owner, you should understand that changes in the overall needs of your senior cat may also change. If you think that we missed a crucial pet care tip, or if you think that this is a helpful article for pet owners like you, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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