How to Look After an Old Cat

How to Look After an Old Cat? Cats are living longer. People are living longer. This is due to better food, lifestyle etc. That means more older cats. It might be useful to simplythink if there are any special things that we should do to accommodate an older cat.

Well, some people think that there are things we can do and I’ll list them. But they all really simply translate to being aware of our cat’s health and diminishing abilities and accepting that old age brings change. One of those changes is the coat. And another is being less active, which can mean a tendency to put on weight. But (and this is my personal viewpoint) we should not try and “shoe horn” an older cat into a young cat’s body. We change shape as we get older and so should a cat. It is natural.

Sometimes I feel that we tend to treat cats as robots and think of them as all the same. That said, being overweight is to be resisted. These are the conventional thoughts on how to look after an old cat:

  • Regular vet visits and blood work are recommended. This can pick up health problems early. Trouble is money doesn’t grow on trees especially at this particular time.
  • Be aware of our cats gradual change by making mental comparisons to the way it was.
  • Buy senior cat food. I am personally a bit skeptical about the benefits of senior cat food. It is more a marketing ploy but I am sure there is an intended benefit to the cat as well.
  • As usual always renew her water bowl. Water should be fresh and in a clean bowl.
  • Sometimes certain drugs can help such as glucosamin and chondroitin, which are good for healthy joints; plus non-steroid anti-inflammatories. I would always treat drugs with caution though. Minimize drugs for obvious reasons.
  • Getting older can mean that the cat becomes more nervous and this can mean more aggression that can be misconstrued by us.
  • Old age can bring on cognitive dysfunction syndrome. This is the same for humans e.g. Alzheimer’s. This might lead to symptoms such as disorientation etc. A vet can advise.
  • The coat becomes dryer making grooming (always important) even more important.
  • Play is also always important for mental and physical activity. Regular sessions are best but I realise that in practice finding time can be factor.
  • Maintain an interesting environment.
  • Watch for dental hygiene. My cat has good teeth (lucky) but some are predisposed to bad teeth.
  • Above all love her or him unconditionally and gently. This will keep them relaxed and feeling secure. That, bottom line, is how to look after an old cat.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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