Knowing what to do is a huge relief in a situation, and when it comes to cats, there is a lot of information out there. How much you know about the care of your cat depends on how much time you spend with them. If you have been blessed with happy cat owners here’s some answers they may not have thought to tell you. Proper food and nutrition for cats is imperative in caring for an aging pet. In addition to that, if your elderly housemate has specific needs due to old age issues, be sure to read up before heading off to the store!
1) Know their diet
Older cats often need a different kind of food in order for them to digest it easier. For example: older kitties can have digestion problems and this is why they need their food to be low in magnesium. If you take them to the store, ask for such a formula.
2) Follow your veterinarian’s recommendation about special treatments
Heart problems, arthritis, diabetes and others are the types of diseases the elderly cats suffer from too. This means that their treatment should follow those guidelines as well; if your vet prescribed pills for them (don’t worry: usually they’re tasteless and odorless!) then make sure to give them as directed or your cat might end up with an overdose!
3) Keep them hydrated
Older cats may not be as thirsty as younger ones but this should not mean we should reduce water intake. Talk to your vet about how much water your cat should have a day and use a special bowl to make them drink it.
4) Keep their body active
Our furry friends may be older but that doesn’t mean they cannot do some physical activity to keep them fit! Look up the best activities you can introduce in their everyday life for example: play fetch, go on daily walks or run around the house. If they are not one of those cats who simply loves exercise, there are other types of games you can play with them too – did you know many cats enjoy playing with dangling strings?
5) Take good care of their teeth
Just like humans, flossing is an effective way to take out all the bad stuff stuck in their teeth, but it’s not all! They are likely to have some tartar too, so get them to the vet for a cleaning every 6 months. This will help you notice any changes in their health condition earlier.
6) Keep them confined
Falls are very common among elderly cats and if they end up with an injury then it can worsen their physical conditions which means more pain, less mobility and even more serious complications that may come up later on during the recovery period… Therefore never leave your kitty unattended on high areas of the house. If he is still active enough so he can jump onto roofs or tables etc., lower them down or get furniture with short legs – this way accidents may be prevented. You shouldn’t worry about them every time you leave the house.
7) Keep an eye on their weight
You may think this is not important, but it is! Your cat will be at risk for diseases like arthritis if he gets too fat so watch out what you’re feeding him. Obesity means putting them in danger of having tumors and diabetes as well, which is why it’s very important to keep your cat healthy through proper diet and exercise.
8) Get some help from Fido if needed
One thing that really helps during old age is when another pet comes into their lives; this way they can get some company while you are away. If they don’t like other animals (which’t happen often) then there’s always toys or new stuff to play with – many older cats like to bathe themselves too, so giving them a natural sponge and some organic shampoo can make them pretty happy!
It is our responsibility as cat parents to take good care of our furry friends throughout their lives. This doesn’t mean we should stay by their side all the time but it’s important we keep an eye on their diet and general health so that if something happens they will get the proper treatment right away. All this extra care doesn’t have to be expensive since you’ll likely already have most of these supplies at home 🙂
By following those few guidelines, elderly cats are more likely to live longer without experiencing too much discomfort due to old age related illnesses. If you’d like to know more about this subject, feel free to check out the following links:
Article written by Hazel May for Kidspot, Australia’s best family health resource on the web. Sources include Better Health Channel, NSW Health and Health Insite. Reprinted with permission from Kidspot. [ARTICLE END]