What is a senior cat?
A simple definition of a senior cat would be any kitty over the age of eight. The fact is, however, that each individual cat has different life expectancy so it’s difficult to say whether your pet falls into the category or not. All cats are considered seniors once they reach their tenth birthday which is why veterinarians recommend getting regular check ups at this time. The best way for you to judge whether you have a senior feline friend in your home would be how he/she generally reacts to various situations and conditions.
Age-related illnesses are common among older felines but good veterinary care can help keep these under control while also ensuring that your pet remains comfortable throughout his final years. Some of the most common conditions that may affect your pet are kidney failure, heart trouble, cancer or feline arthritis. Pet parents should be aware of these and other problems in order to treat them properly and also avoid encounters in the future.
Here’s a list of simple steps that can help ensure your older cat lives a good quality life:
1) Regular visits to the vet – just like humans cats age much faster than we do. Keep up with your pet’s annual check-ups so you know if something is wrong early on and when it can be most easily treated. Work closely with your veterinarian so you know what tests need to be done when and whether certain procedures might need to take place such as teeth cleaning or blood. Ensure vaccines are up to date and look for telltale signs such as weight loss, vomiting or diarrhea which can indicate a serious illness.
2) Keep him healthy – cats are going to be what they are though some may have particular vices which include regularly licking their fur or nibbling on fabrics. I’m sure you already know that hairballs can actually cause choking in some cases so ensure your pet has a diet made especially for this issue. If kitty is overweight then work with your vet to find a feeding plan that works best for his needs. Also keep an eye out for excessive drinking or urination as these could be early signs of diabetes or kidney problems.
3) Exercise regularly but not too much – just like any other aging citizen, exercise helps older cats stay mobile and active. Ensure your pet has daily access to the outdoors but if that’s not possible then play with him inside, go for short walks or consider a cat wheel. Older cats may want to nap more than they did when they were younger so just let them do what comes naturally and don’t force things.
4) Be prepared – older felines can fall victim to many health problems which is why it’s smart to keep some emergency supplies in your home such as non-latex gloves (if you need them), gauze, towels, antibacterial wipes and peroxide. Also make sure you have plenty of wet cat food on hand in case he becomes unable to eat dry kibble. Remember that injury is common in senior pets so you should be able to treat common cuts, scrapes and burns.
5) Keep your vet’s contact information handy – emergencies can happen at any time of the day or night which is why you need to make it part of your daily routine to keep veterinarian’s numbers on hand. You never know when an injury might occur which means having access to the right equipment and proper care is vital for both you and your pet. Knowing what medications are safe (and how much) for use in cats is also important if kitty ever needs some extra medical attention. [ARTICLE END]