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Caring for an Aging Cat

June 1, 2014

Has your cat been with you a long time? Perhaps you’ve recently adopted an older cat from a shelter. If you’re curious about the aging process and would like to know more about caring for an older cat, read the following advice from your Thorold vet:

When Are Cats Considered Seniors?

Most cats are considered elderly when they’ve lived to about 12, although age-related changes can begin occurring before this age. You may noticed reduced vision and hearing and more frequent sleeping in your cat, and some cats’ hair even turns slightly grayed. Of course, older cats will simply start to slow down a bit, perhaps having more trouble doing activities they once could.

Should I Put My Cat on a Senior Diet?

An older cat’s metabolic rate and nutritional needs are different than that of a kitten, and many senior cats can benefit greatly from a specially-formulated senior cat food. Most of these diets have more protein and less fat than normal foods. Check with your veterinarian to see if a senior diet may be a good choice for your older cat, and ask about the proper way to switch from old food to a new type.

Can I Help My Older Cat be More Comfortable?

Absolutely. There are many ways to help your older cat become more comfortable around your home. Try helping your cat groom, since she may have trouble reaching all areas of the body. Set up plenty of warm blankets in your cat’s sleeping area and favorite spots. Consider putting multiple litter boxes around your home so your cat doesn’t have maneuver up and down stairs to use the bathroom. Raise food dishes on a platform so your cat won’t have to bend the neck to reach food and water.

How Often Should My Cat See the Vet?

Since veterinarians recommend that all cats see their vet at least twice a year, this rate or even more frequent visits are great for older cats. Since preventative care is always easier and cheaper than treatment, regular wellness screenings and check-ups are essential for the good health of your older feline. Set up an appointment with your Thorold veterinarian today!