HomeGeriatric CatNovember is National Senior Pet Month: At What Age are Cats Considered Seniors?

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November is National Senior Pet Month: At What Age are Cats Considered Seniors? — 1 Comment

  1. Samirah has her kitty condo by the window. I elevated her food dishes so feeding would be easier on her neck. She has easy access to both her litter boxes. I can coax her into playing with Da Bird, but she doesn’t jump around like a kitten. She’s good for maybe 5 to 10 minutes a day. Some days she’ll just sit on the toy and look at me like she’s thinking “Not today.” I can still get her going with catnip and her toys. Some days she just likes to play on her own. She’s being treated for minor arthritis and hairballs. Even at the age of 15 she insists on grooming herself. The vet recommended that I restrict her dry food, since she put on a little weight. She seems slimmer now. I’m keeping an eye on her and her litter box.

    I keep a close eye on her daily behavior. I realize that she lived with her previous owner for 12 years, and a lot of her habits are the result of that. Hiding underneath the bed is still a habit of hers. It’s her safe place, especially when the maintenance people come in. But she stays out more than she hides, even to the point of napping on my bed or just lounging there to watch me work on the computer. She still seems nervous around me, but that doesn’t last long, minutes instead of days or weeks.

    Her last senior wellness exam surprised the doctor. She’s extremely healthy so far. I think it’s because she feels safe. And I’m slowly convincing her that it’s okay for me to brush her. Cleaning her ears and clipping her claws is a routine now, and she doesn’t get upset like she did before. She’s not a cuddle cat and probably never will be, but when I pick her up she doesn’t push me away anymore.

    She’s still not that thrilled with the cab rides and the vet visits, but she doesn’t freak out like she used to, because now she knows I’m not going to leave her. I replaced her hard plastic cat carrier with a soft-sided Sherpa one. Samirah likes that better. In the cab she’ll press up against my side, as if she’s comforting herself.

    I think it’s different when adopting a senior cat, different as opposed to having a lifelong companion reach the senior years, because you have to learn the cat’s personality and behavior. Different, not more difficult. I wish more people would adopt senior felines.

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