Just like people, cats go through different stages in their lives. And just like people, cats may experience some health problems as they age. That’s why it’s important to know how to keep your senior cat healthy and happy. Although cats are independent creatures, they still need regular veterinary checkups, proper nutrition and exercise, and plenty of human love. Here are some tips for keeping your senior cat healthy:
Keep Their Diet Steady
As cats get older, they may start to experience digestive issues. This is because their digestive systems become less efficient as they age. Ensure your senior cat eats a balanced diet specifically designed for older cats. It should have plenty of fiber, fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals. A consistent diet will help keep their digestive system on track and minimize potential problems.
Keep Their Weight in Check
Obesity can be a problem for cats of all ages. Still, keeping an eye on your senior cat’s weight is especially important. Overweight cats are more likely to develop diabetes and other health problems. If your cat is gaining too much weight, talk to your vet about a diet plan. Weight gain could indicate an underlying medical issue, such as hypothyroidism, so a veterinary checkup is necessary.
Keep Their Litter Box Clean
A dirty litter box can cause stress for your cat, which can lead to health problems such as urinary tract infections. It’s important to keep the litter box clean and change the litter sand at least once a week or more frequently if needed. To make cleaning easier, try getting an automatic self-cleaning litter box. Senior cats are more prone to urinary tract infections, so keeping the litter box clean and fresh is important.
Monitor Their Mobility
As cats age, they may start to experience joint pain and arthritis. This can make it difficult for them to move around. If you notice your cat having trouble getting around, it’s important to take them to the vet. Your vet can evaluate your cat and determine the best action to manage joint pain. They may need to start a medication or supplement regimen to help improve their movement.
Get Them Checked Up Regularly
It’s important to take your senior cat for checkups with the vet at least once a year. This way, you can catch any health problems early and treat them before they become serious. The three most common diseases of senior cats, which can be diagnosed through blood and urine tests, are diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease. Regular checkups can also help you spot any behavioral changes in your cat that could indicate an underlying health issue. Spotting potential problems early can help you treat them quickly and effectively.
Provide Plenty of Comforts
Cats need comfort as they age. Ensure your senior cat has a comfortable bed they can curl up in and plenty of soft blankets or towels to snuggle into. Put the bed near a window, so they can look out, and provide plenty of toys to play with. Adding snacks and treats for cats will also help keep them happy and give them something to look forward to daily. You can give these to them as a reward when they are behaving well or just between meals. They deserve it!
You may not often feel it, but cats enjoy cuddles and their humans’ affection. Make sure your senior cat gets plenty of love and attention from you.
Keep Them Active
Just because your cat is getting older doesn’t mean they don’t need exercise. Getting some daily exercise will help keep them healthy both physically and mentally. So try incorporating some playtime into your daily routine with your furry friend. You can try getting some interactive toys that move and make noise and play with them, or take them outside on a harness for some fresh air. You can also try basic agility exercises, like going through a tunnel or jumping over obstacles. This will help keep them active and mentally stimulated.
Give Them Some Space
As cats age, they may become more independent. They may only be interested in cuddling or being around people sometimes. So it’s important to give them space when they need it and respect their wishes. Senior cats may also sleep more than usual, which is normal. Just ensure you are eyeing them for any signs of illness or discomfort.
Regular grooming is important for keeping your senior cat healthy. Groom your cat daily with a brush to keep their fur soft, remove any mats or tangles, and stimulate the skin. You can also use a flea comb to check for parasites. Regular brushing will help reduce hairballs, which can be dangerous if they get stuck in the stomach. Keeping your cat groomed will also help keep its skin healthy by removing dirt and debris.
These are just a few tips for keeping your senior cat healthy and happy. If you have an aging feline at home, put these into practice to help them enjoy their golden years.