Those lucky enough to have a cat in their lives get to have a family member with whom to share, hopefully, a decade or two of memories. But because cats age faster than we do, their golden years approach much faster than ours.
Here are some ways you can give back to your senior cat:
A Senior Food
As pets age, their nutritional needs change and they should transition to a food for senior cats. A diet formulated for their life stage may also help mitigate the risk of developing certain diseases and chronic conditions, helping your cat live a longer, healthier, happier life.
Although our cats’ bodies may slow down in their senior years, their minds should still stay sharp! Invite your furry family member to explore new boxes, solve new food puzzles, or watch birds out the window. Try to see the world through your cat’s eyes and give them new activities and challenges that make use of their natural instincts.
Watch for Subtle Signs of Pain
Cats are masters at hiding pain. As an evolutionary instinct, they will very rarely limp or cry for help. Body language cues indicating pain will often be extremely subtle, such as the position of their whiskers or the shape of their eyes. Regular checkups with your veterinarian at least twice per year are important for diagnosing and treating illness that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Monitor the Small Changes
Weight loss, urinating outside of the litter box, decreased appetite, or not enjoying the activities they used to can all be signs that something is not quite right with your kitty. These symptoms are often mistaken for regular signs of aging, but they can also be signs of disease. Age is not a disease in itself. With early intervention, many ailments are treatable… and worth treating!
A Little Extra Love
As our furry family members slow down, a little extra thought goes a long way. Consider putting water dishes on every level of the home, using lower-lipped litter boxes, and setting aside some time each day to help them groom any hard-to-reach areas.
Often, our senior cats have been a constant for us throughout so much change over the years. Whether you’ve had your little one since a kitten or adopted them later in life, these tips can help you reward their loyalty with the best “retirement” possible!
Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at danielle@NeighbourhoodPetClinic.com. Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.