Caring for your older cat

Just as older people have specific needs, older cats — those ten years or older — may require special care to keep them healthy and happy. By paying attention to both the physical and emotional needs of this feline population, cat companions can minimize and possibly avoid some of the complications of old age.

  • Notice the changes. By observing your older cat closely, you may notice subtle physical or behavioural changes that signal the onset of a health problem.

  • See your vet. Schedule an exam with your vet and request comprehensive testing be done (blood panel test, serum biochemical profile and urinalysis). That way you’ll have a baseline for assessing your cat’s health as she ages.

  • Monitor your cat’s weight. Weigh your cat weekly on a scale that indicates ounces. A weight loss of more than a few ounces signals the need for a visit to the vet.

  • Watch your cat’s coat. It’s often a barometer of feline health. A cat that feels ill will often stop grooming, resulting in a dull, matted coat.

  • Keep litter boxes clean. Senior cats may need to use the box more frequently. Keep litter as clean as possible, so they’ll continue to use the box.
    ARM & HAMMER™ Cat Litters clump hard and fast for easy removal of all waste and the Baking Soda neutralizes odours. If your senior cat is arthritic, purchase a box with lower sides for easier access.

  • Pampering is good for the soul. Stimulate your older cat’s appetite by warming the food in the microwave for 10-12 seconds before serving. Always check food temperature before serving. Ease your senior’s achy joints by warming towels in the dryer and giving them a daily massage.

Related pages:

Grooming: more than vanity

Keeping your cat amused

Raising a social cat

Tips for introducing a second cat to your home

Keep your home sweet home smelling that way