Did you know that 8.1 million Canadian households have a cat as a pet? As people spend more time in their homes, a pet can be a great comfort in uncertain times. But when your feline friend reaches its twilight years, do you know how to care for it?
In this guide, we’ll help you learn about the physical and behavioral changes that you can expect from your kitty, as well as everything you need to know to be a great caregiver.
Read on as we discuss senior cat care.
One thing to pay attention to in a senior cat is dental issues. As cats get older, their dental health may show the symptoms of ageing in the form of teeth breakdown, gum disease, or bad breath.
If left unchecked, cats may avoid eating altogether as decay sets in. Common problems that occur because of this can be periodontitis, and it can even lead to liver, kidney, and heart disease. Cleaning can be done by scheduling a regular check-up with your vet.
Check Their Weight
Obese and overweight cats are more prone to suffer from a range of health problems. Mainly, the extra weight can place unnecessary strain on their bones and joints, resulting in arthritis. If your cat is overweight, helping it shed some pounds can give it more energy and increase its health.
This can be done through careful portion control. There are also many high-quality, low-calorie cat foods available on the market designed for aiding weight loss. Keep in mind you should always consult with your local veterinarian before changing your senior cat’s diet.
Adapt the Environment
One way of caring for a senior cat is by adapting your environment to suit them. This can be done by making all of the areas your cat often uses more accessible. This means creating access to the litter box, food, and outdoors easier.
Ensure they also have a comfortable, private sleeping space.
Monitor Their Diet
In addition to maintaining their weight, it is just as important that your cat gets proper nutrition. A pet over seven years of age is considered an ageing cat, and at this point, you should consider improving the quality of their meals.
Look for foods that are fortified with vitamins and minerals. There are many types of foods that are specifically designed for mature cats, providing them with the nutrients they need to support a healthy immune system.
As your cat gets older, their ability to groom themselves may also wane. This means that the task falls on you. Trim their claws and use moist cotton wool to wipe around their eyes and nose.
Make sure you brush them regularly. You can purchase a specialist cat fur brush from most pet stores. If they are thin, then be gentle as you brush over their shoulders, ribs and joints. You can also contact your local animal hospital and get professional grooming services for your senior kitty.
Senior Cat Care
Now you know how to tackle senior cat care, get prepared. Start monitoring your cat's diet and get the items to adapt your home to ease their movement.
Cats are a long-term commitment, and many people choose to adopt an older cat as a companion. Helping your older cat maintain a healthy and happy life as he or she ages requires a little work, but the rewards are great.
If you would like to learn more about how to provide the best care for your cat, we invite you to contact our animal hospital in Toronto. Here at Kato Animal Hospital, we put your pet first. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.