The Senior Cat
Maintaining your senior cat can present you with some special considerations. We all get older and as we get older our bodies and temperament changes. The same thing happens to our cats. Cats between 12 to 14 years are considered older cats. My Alexis is turning ten years old this year and is showing no signs of slowing down. Her coat is nice and she loves her wet food. We have found that if she is over fed she will vomit. I think this is due to eating very fast. We now have improved the quality of our cat food and with Alexis we feed her smaller portions. Her bowel movements are good with no signs of any health problems. Remember the litter box is the key to your cats health and a cat owner should take interest in what is in the litter box.
Alexis is a long haired cat. As she gets older her coat may deteriorate and not be as pretty. This means that brushing and clipping may need to be done more regularly. Remember to clip up the back of the legs and bum. This will save your a lot of work. When cats gets older their ability to groom themselves will become difficult. We may have to bathe more often and regularly wash the bum to prevent hair being matted with feces. Our vet sold us an oatmeal based shampoo to prevent dry skin and itching. AMAZON sells several cat shampoos and I will provide examples. Please click on the shampoo pictures for more information. I have never used dry shampoos. Please consult with your vet as what to use.
Old Age Issues
Maintaining senior cats is not that hard. It is as when we get older we have to reorganize our lives a little.
With vision and hearing deterioration it will help your kitty to keep things easy to find. The water and food bowls should be kept in a familiar spot. Try not to sneak up on your kitty as with any older person we don’t like to be surprised and have little patience for tricks. Place a night light so that the older cats can find their way around at night. If there is decreased mobility due to some form of arthritis it will be important to keep litter boxes and favorite sleeping areas easy to access. Older cats will appreciate a warm place to sleep. Keep beds away from drafts.
I mentioned arthritis and decreased mobility. Diet will be an important issue as kitty gets older. Ask your vet at each examination for diet recommendations and supplements for not only dealing with arthritis, but dealing with overweight problems and reducing other medical issues such as kidney problems. We have put turmeric in our pets food as a natural anti inflammatory supplement to help with healthy joints. Some cats may not like it. Start with small amounts and mix it in to the wet food.
This the area where I personally have the biggest problem. It is recommended to brush your cats teeth regularly. I have tried different products with limited success. I put additive in the water to prevent plaque build up, but the cats could smell it and would rather drink from the toilet. We tried a spray to apply directly in their mouth. When they see me coming they take off, it is the same with the tooth brush. I am going try another supplement that is put in with the cat food. I will do a report on this after a trial period. The next option is to go to the vet for regular dental cleaning. This requires an anesthetic and as with my dog it takes a couple of days to get over it.
Dental care is important as your own teeth. Gum disease, tooth loss and infection will accompany poor dental care. I have watched a good video on dental care and brushing on the Cornell University, College of Medicine website. Due to copyright I did not include the link.
Internet medical advice does not supersede the requirement to go to a proper veterinarian. If you have any concerns see your veterinarian.
Adopting Older Cats
Older cats that are at the shelters are ready for a new home. Through no fault of their own the have been removed from a comfortable environment and placed in a stressful situation. When you go to the shelter please don’t overlook the older cats. They will be great companions. Even if it takes a year to become comfortable, remember you have saved a life. Lacy and Alexis both took months to be totally comfortable with their new home. The same applies to blind, deaf or physically handicapped cats. Adopt don’t shop. This does not mean I am against buying a special breed cats. I love all cats, I will not support mills. At Cat Care we love dogs too. This whole post applies to dogs as well.
Thats my story for today. If you have any questions or comments please do so below. Now hug a kitty and do something green for the environment
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