As cats age, their needs change. Providing the right care for a senior cat can help them maintain good health and a good quality of life. Here are some tips on what to expect and how to help your elderly feline.
What Age Is Considered Senior for Cats?
Cats reach senior status at around 7-10 years of age, and geriatric status at 15+ years old. However, some breeds of cats, including Siamese and Burmese, may reach senior status at an earlier age.
Common Health Concerns in Senior Cats
Cats are masters at hiding any signs of pain or disease, so it’s essential to be watchful for any of the following signs:
– Increased thirst or urination
– Weight loss
– Decreased appetite
– Changes in grooming habits
– Loss of mobility or interest in play
– Bad breath or dental disease
– Changes in vision or hearing
– Changes in litter box habits
Some of the most common health concerns in senior cats include:
– Dental disease
– Kidney disease
Regular veterinary check-ups can help to detect and treat these issues early.
Nutrition for Senior Cats
As cats age, their nutritional needs change. Feeding your senior cat a diet that is specifically formulated for their age can help to keep them healthy. Some criteria for choosing the best senior cat food include:
– High-quality protein
– Low phosphorus and sodium levels
– High fiber content
– Added vitamins and minerals
Your veterinarian can help you choose the best diet for your senior cat.
Exercise and Enrichment for Senior Cats
Keeping your senior cat active and engaged can help to maintain their physical and mental health. Some ways to provide exercise and enrichment for your senior cat include:
– Provide plenty of toys to play with, such as puzzle toys or toys that promote exercise
– Encourage your cat to play with a laser pointer or moving toy
– Provide a scratching post to keep your senior cat’s claws in good condition
– Offer cat trees or window perches to provide a stimulating environment
– Take your cat on short walks or encourage them to play with a string or a toy mouse
Senior cat care is essential for maintaining the health and happiness of your elderly feline. By being watchful for any signs of pain or disease, providing the right diet, and supporting their exercise and enrichment, you can help your senior cat to enjoy a high quality of life. Regular veterinary check-ups can also help catch any health concerns early, ensuring that your senior cat receives the best possible care.