After only a short time in your home, a cat can become a beloved member of your family. Even though this will make you want to help your cat in any way you can, you might not realise that their needs will change as they get older. Elderly cats, or cats that are 11 years old or older, have different needs than younger cats. If you know more about how a cat’s health changes as it gets older, you can give your cat a better quality of life for longer.
Adapt To Dietary Changes
Since a cat’s metabolism slows down as they age, they have different dietary needs. This means that if you keep feeding them the same food and the same amount, your cat will gain weight and get sick. Talk to your vet about switching your cat to food that is made especially for older cats.
Senior cat food is made to give cats more nutrients without giving them more calories. You should stop feeding your elderly cat just once or twice a day and instead give it small amounts of food at different times. This will make sure they get the nutrients they need without giving them a chance to eat too much. Also, make sure your elderly cat always has fresh water to drink. If older cats don’t drink enough water, they are more likely to get kidney disease and other problems with their metabolism.
Pay Closer Attention To Health Changes In Your Elderly Cat
Since cats can’t talk, it’s up to you to tell if your cat is in pain or suffering. Especially, it can be hard to tell if your cat’s joints are hurting from arthritis. Most of the time, a pet that moves more slowly or wants to be left alone is hurting or sick, so if its behaviour changes, you should take it to the vet. If your elderly cat moves more slowly or shows other signs of arthritis, you can help them by making changes around the house. Get them a litter box that is much bigger or new bedding that is easier to get to. Talk to your vet about what else you can do to make life easier for your older cat.
Keep Your Elderly Cat’s Teeth Healthy
It’s always important to take care of your cat’s teeth, but as your cat gets older, it’s even more important. Cats that are older are more likely to get tooth decay and gum disease than cats that are younger. They are also more likely to get cavities or tumours in their mouths. Also, if you have an infection in your mouth, bacteria can get into your bloodstream and cause infections in your liver, kidneys, or stomach. Follow a good routine for cleaning your cat’s teeth to take better care of its health as it ages. If you’re not sure how to take care of your cat’s teeth, ask your vet.
Physical And Mental Stimulation Is Essential
Physical and mental stimulation will make your cat happier and more active, but their physical fitness requirements may alter as they age. This may need relocating cat toys closer to the floor. Hang toys over your cat’s bedding so that they can play as they rest. Carpeted cat ramps may also assist your elderly cat in getting to locations that are now more difficult for them to access. Reposition food and water bowls if they are already on a cat tower or other high location. Look for more methods to make playtime more enjoyable for your cat.
Take Your Elderly Cat To The Vet Twice A Year
In the past, you probably only took your cat to the vet once a year for a checkup and booster shots. When your cat gets older, he or she will need to go to the vet more often. Unless your vet says otherwise, you should take your elderly cat to the vet every six months. This will help the vet figure out if there are any health problems coming up. When liver disease, tumours, and other conditions are caught early, there are more ways to treat them. The treatments you choose for your senior cat will also work better if you find the problem early.
You should give your cat good food, water, and exercise, but don’t do too much. Remember that an older cat isn’t as active, and they may be sore all over, which makes them less likely to play. You’ll give your cat the quality of life it needs if you pay attention to what it tells you and let it rest when it needs to.