elderly cat care

Age eventually takes its toll on all of us. We, humans, have various methods for assisting our aging pals, but it is not always clear what is going on with our elderly cats.

It isn’t easy to see aging cats suffer.

You may notice some signs of health care concerns for aging cats, and even decreased hearing and vision may make your senior cat disoriented. You may see them finding ordinary tasks more difficult than before. You may look for some ways to help you ease it, but we know it is not a pleasant experience for you or them.

Now, worry not, as this page will unveil several guidelines for elderly cat care!

What is considered old age for a cat?

Cats are around four human years older than humans. This is why frequent checks are so vital! In four human years, a lot can happen. 

Cats are considered ‘seniors’ when they are 11-14 years old, similar to a human ‘senior’ when they are 60-72 years old. Cats over 14 are called ‘geriatric’ and identical to humans aged 76-100 years or older!

How do you take care of a senior cat?

Helping your cat flourish as a senior pet is the most excellent approach to keeping your relationship strong and long-lasting. Because elderly cats are more prone to health problems, they may need more regular vet visits than younger cats. 

In addition to the suggestions above, keep your cat up to date on routine health checks and immunizations, and consult with your veterinarian about additional ways you may help your cat age gracefully.

elderly cat care | Dr. Ruth Roberts | Senior cat running

Here are five (5) tips for making sure that your cat will live its senior cat life to the fullest:

  1. Make time

Your cat may seem to spend endless hours resting or prefer relaxing over playing like a kitten, yet the contrary is true. Even as they age, cats need playfulness, exercise, and mental stimulation. Provide cat toys and treats, and try to spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with your cat; this allows your cat to connect and bond with you. Playtime, regardless of age, will keep her youthful at heart.

  1. TLC or Tending Loving Care

When everything is said and done, one of the most effective strategies to help your cat age gracefully is to lavish your kitty with affection. Your cat, regardless of age, appreciates your companionship, presence, and devotion. Keep enough of all of the aforementioned on hand.

  1. Adjust things for them

Cats, like people, become less mobile as they age and may benefit from a smaller living environment, such as one room in your house, much like humans.

This snug hideout should provide everything they need: food, drink, a litter box, a scratching post, and places to relax and hide. Remember to keep the litter box and food as far away as possible – your cat will appreciate the extra effort.

  1. Lend a Hand

Grooming in senior cats is typically slowed by arthritis or weariness; this makes them uncomfortable since cats are fastidious creatures that like feeling clean. Help to groom time for your cat every day, including combing hair and cutting nails, to make her feel good about herself.

  1. Don’t forget to brush!

While your cat is comfortable, gently raise her lips to inspect her teeth. While checking your cat’s teeth, consider the color of her gums and her hydration – a well-hydrated cat will have wet pink gums, while a dehydrated cat may have gums that feel sticky and pale.

How do I make my senior cat happy?

Treat the Fur

Your senior cat deserves to be treated once in a while, and some special treats are exactly the thing! It’s a bonus if these sweets are also nutritious. Dr. Ruth Roberts The Complete CrockPET Diet Starter Kit for Cats is ideal for your senior cat’s total body support!

Care for their Joints

Joint discomfort is common in senior cats and might interfere with their evening activities. However, recognizing your cat’s joint pain might be challenging for cats over twelve with degenerative joint disease. Reluctance to move, diminished activity, changed grooming, and a change in mood are all symptoms of joint discomfort. 

Giving your cats a joint supplement formulated to promote and preserve joint health and function is a fantastic method to keep them active. Soothe Joints™ is helpful for older dogs and cats experiencing occasional joint stiffness, soreness, and tenderness associated with everyday activities, especially in cold, damp weather. By supporting the structural integrity of joints and connective tissues, Soothe Joints™ promotes cartilage development and joint health.

older cats behavior | Dr. Ruth Roberts

What is normal behavior for an elderly cat?

Cats’ behavior varies as they age, frequently as a direct consequence of physiological changes. The senior cat adjusts to these changes gradually, and it may not be evident unless you are primarily seeking symptoms of aging. Older cats hunt less, spend less time outdoors, are less active, and sleep for extended periods. They may have a smaller or pickier appetite, be less eager to play or groom, and be more outspoken. They also grow more insecure and hence may be more reliant on you.

Other behavioral changes might directly affect sicknesses, such as increased thirst or appetite or pain-related hostility.

Why do older cats yowl?

Senior cats adopt strange mannerisms, such as yowling at night, for no apparent cause. Constant wailing, meowing, screaming, and howling may be upsetting, particularly if you don’t know why your cat is agitated.

An elderly cat’s yowling is a long wail caused by pain, misery, or sadness. It’s often caused by medical disorders, including hyperthyroidism, hypertension, sensory loss, or cognitive impairment. Cats with dementia, in particular, are more prone to yowl at all-night hours owing to forgetfulness and bewilderment.

Nonetheless, cats, like humans, have varied health requirements at different periods of their lives. They thrive on toys and attention as kittens to give additional stimulation and excitement. 

As your cat develops into maturity, paying close attention to diet ensures that it gets the proper nourishment for its stage of life. Moreover, assisting cats to age as gracefully as possible throughout their senior years may maintain a good quality of life for as long as feasible. 

Dr. Ruth Roberts has supported thousands of dogs and cats to overcome health hurdles like kidney disease, GI Illness, allergies, cancer. Her natural approach to healing creates a gentle yet effective path for your pet to take on their journey to wellbeing. 

Dr. Ruth will help you to develop a health plan for your pet via one-on-one consultation, e-learning, & videos on a range of health topics.

 

-Dr. Ruth Roberts, DVM, CVA, CVH, CVFT, NAN