Cats live much longer now than 20 years ago, thanks to better nutrition, and home and veterinary care.
In recent years, the ages and stages of feline life have changed, older cats are considered to be those between 11 and 14 years old and geriatric cats 15 years and older.
Cats reach old age with fewer ailments. But this is not a reason not to make your daily life more comfortable. In fact, with age, some gestures that were so simple before now require considerable effort …
If your older cat is over 11 years old, here are some tips to make his life easier.
Provide your cat with a softer bed
Cats when they get older are more likely to suffer from osteoarthritis or arthritis . This chronic degenerative disease causes inflammation of the joints , causing severe pain to our cat friends. They have trouble moving, jumping, or even going to bed.
If this is the case with your cat, it is highly recommended that you offer him a nice and comfortable place to prevent his limbs from being too stiff when he wakes up. A soft cushion, even warm , can make your life much more comfortable.
A litter box as accessible as possible
At a certain age, your cat will most likely not be able to control his bladder as before or may not be able to get to the box in time. Therefore, to avoid those little ones, it is safer to have more than one sand in the house.
Put the boxes close to where you spend the most time so you don’t have to walk a lot.
Also, make sure the litter boxes have low enough edges .
More regular brushing and hairball control
As your cat gets older, the act of grooming becomes more and more difficult for him. In fact, you will have pain and stiffness that will prevent you from turning in all directions as you did in your youth.
Therefore, it is advisable that you do not neglect your daily brushing. This is particularly important for long-haired cats who are uncomfortably matted. Gentle brushing or combing removes loose hairs and stimulates circulation and secretions from the sebaceous glands, restoring shine to the coat.
Hairballs are a common problem in older cats, as they tend to have slow digestions and hair ingested during grooming can cause complications such as chronic vomiting or constipation.
You can buy supplements or special foods to help with hairballs.
Check your cat’s nails weekly. Older cats have a hard time retracting their claws and can get caught in furniture and carpets. They can also grow too large and dig into your pads.
Regular trimming will be necessary to avoid stressful and inadvisable feline declawing .
Regular health checks
Your vet will recommend the frequency of health checks that best suit your cat, taking into account its age and general health. While it is good to know that your cat will be examined regularly, you should also be a little more alert at home for any signs that something is wrong.
Regular dental checkups
You should check your cat’s teeth regularly for signs of red gums or evidence of dental disease. The halitosis (bad breath), drooling, loss of appetite can be signs of dental disease; if in doubt, ask your vet.
Ramps or steps for easy access
Make sure their water, food, and litter boxes are easily accessible. To do this, do not place them in height . Likewise, don’t force your cat to climb stairs to reach them.
Regarding your cat’s favorite places, such as the bed, the sofa or the cat tree, it can now be difficult for him to access due to his sore joints. Create steps, ramps, or buy pet stairs that allow him to safely reach his favorite places on his own. This also works for a cat that wants to reach for a favorite chair or sofa.
Minimize possible stress on your cat
You should bear in mind that when your cat ages, he is less tolerant of the effects of stress. Try to avoid possible stressful situations in your environment. For example, if you have a lot of company, it would be best to put the older cat in a separate room where it is quiet. In a household with multiple pets, be careful that he is not the target of aggression or that he is being thrown out of his favorite areas for nap.
Monitor your cat’s temperature
As cats get older they tend to become more sensitive to changes in temperature. Your cat may like to sit in a window to view the street, so watch for drafts in winter.
If your cat uses your bed, chair, or sofa, you can provide a thermal blanket that is warm and washable.
Create a calm and quiet space
As your cat ages, it needs more sleep, but also more peace of mind . In fact, if an elderly cat is enduring a lot of noise and is constantly disturbed, it is very likely that he will become anxious and irritable.
To avoid this, create a quiet and quiet corner completely dedicated to your cat. It can be a closet or even a room. The goal is for you to have access to a corner where you know you will never be disturbed.
Be tolerant and compassionate towards your cat
Birthday is not easy for anyone: human, cat or dog. As your cat ages, he may have poor “aim” when in the litter box, be less tolerant of things that he used to willingly accept, may not have the best table manners when eating …
Be careful when picking up and holding your cat, as she will have arthritic pain or stiff joints. If he has experienced a decrease in the senses, do not startle him as his vision or hearing will have deteriorated.
Help him in any way you can and be tolerant of the things you cannot change. With your help, your older cat can have a wonderful and comfortable life .
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