Caring for a Senior Cat

Caring for a Senior Cat

Is your kitty entering her golden years? Our feline friends generally age gracefully, but you may need to make some minor adjustments to Fluffy’s care as she ages. Below, a local Boulder, CO veterinarian offers tips on caring for senior cats.

Comfort

Believe it or not, your cat may sleep even more in her senior years. Fluffy could nap up to 20 hours a day! While cats are generally pretty capable at finding napping spots, your furball will enjoy a comfy bed or two of her own.

Litter Box

Your cat may find a litter box with low walls easier to manage as she ages. Keep an eye on Fluffy’s waste, and watch for any changes that could indicate health problems.

Feeding

Ask your vet for specific recommendations about your cat’s diet, including when to switch to senior formula cat food. Supplements and vitamins may be beneficial to aging kitties, especially those with bone or joint problems, such as arthritis.

Play

Playing is great for our feline friends. A few short daily sessions will keep your kitty active and provide stimulation, and can help keep her mind sharp. Don’t worry about overexertion: if Fluffy gets tired, she’ll just stop playing.

Confusion

Just like people, kitties sometimes experience a decline in their cognitive functions as they age. Fluffy may meow more, or forget where her litter box is. Keep night-lights on to make it easier for her to navigate dark rooms and halls.

Mobility

Your furball may become stiff and sore as she ages, and have difficulty climbing stairs or getting on the sofa. If your house has multiple stories, put litter boxes and water dishes on all levels, so Fluffy doesn’t have to deal with stairs as often. Consider getting pet ramps to help her get on and off furniture.

Grooming

Senior kitties may find it challenging to keep up with their beauty regimens. Brush your cat regularly to help remove dead fur from her coat.

Health

Be sure to take Fluffy to the vet at least once a year, and watch closely for any signs of illness. Changes in appetite, thirst, or behavior; vomiting; diarrhea; weight loss or gain; hiding; and poor grooming are a few warning signs of sickness in kitties. If your kitty shows any of these signs, or just doesn’t seem like herself, contact us, your Boulder, CO veterinary clinic, immediately.

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