Cats over the age of ten are considered seniors. Those over 15 years of age are geriatric. As they reach their senior years, they go through many changes, not all of which are easy to deal with. Just like humans, you will find your once sprightly kitten slowing down.
Many cats over the age of 12 develop arthritis or have mobility issues assisted by pain. If you see your cat jumping around less or hesitant to explore high shelves as much as they did earlier, you may know that your senior may be developing arthritis.
As they age, they need more care. Dental problems can make chewing hard food challenging. Change their diet to softer foods at this time. If your cat has lost a few teeth, a softer diet needs to be introduced earlier or inadequate nutrition can lead to weight loss and a rough, matted coat.
Obesity in Senior Cats
Diseases that your beloved senior may be susceptible to are kidney issues, thyroid problems, liver disease, heart conditions and weight loss. You may find them moving around less and less until they turn into couch potatoes, causing them to put on more weight instead. Obesity is an issue with most house cats. Encourage them to move around if you don’t have a yard. Overweight senior cats are more prone to diabetes, skin and liver disease or cancer. Make sure their diet is rich in nutrients, high in protein but low in calories. Keep them entertained and exercised with interactive toys. Take them for short walks with a cat leash to burn off excess calories.
Diet for Senior Cats
Avoid a diet that relies solely on vegan or vegetarian foods. Cats require nutrients such as taurine and arachidonic acid that are typically found in meat and fish proteins. If your senior has mobility issues, supplement their diet with DHA and EPA fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin that help with arthritis and joint diseases. Low sodium diets are recommended for seniors with heart disease while phosphorus and calcium-rich diets are beneficial for seniors.
Choose cat food that is suited to your senior’s age and health requirements. Cat dental treats keep their teeth healthy. Place litter boxes with lower sides for seniors who find it hard to climb over and leap down easily. Make sure they have their litter box, food and water close together.
Senior cats are more sensitive to cold. Make sure their coats are well brushed, to improve circulation and nails are not brittle by trimming them regularly. Add an extra layer of pillows and blankets to keep their resting space cozy and comfortable. Look after your beloved senior cat well and they can live long, giving much happiness along the way.
At any point if you feel your senior cat needs a vet, call Eglinton Hwy 10 Veterinary Clinic in Mississauga for an appointment. We offer a wide range of services and provide house calls to make sure your pet is well looked