As cats age, they have different needs and requirements than when they were kittens or younger adults. If you have an aging cat, here are some things you should prepare for and consider:
• Increased veterinary care. Senior cats are more prone to health issues like kidney disease, thyroid problems, and other age-related illnesses. They will need more frequent veterinary checkups, blood tests, and other care to monitor for any health changes. Be prepared to provide and pay for this additional care for your senior cat.
• Changes in behavior. Older cats may display changes in behavior, such as sleeping more, being less active or playful, or showing signs of cognitive decline like confusion or decreased grooming habits. Be patient with any changes in your cat's behavior and talk to your vet if you have concerns. Provide lots of comfort and affection for your senior cat.
• Dietary changes. Your cat's metabolism will slow down as it gets older, so it may need fewer calories. It's a good idea to switch to a senior cat food formula that is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of older cats. The food may contain additional supplements for joint, kidney, or other senior cat health benefits. Always follow the instructions on the food packaging for how much to feed your cat.
• Mobility issues. Arthritis and joint pain are common in senior cats. Providing steps or ramps to get on furniture, orthopedic beds, and other aids can help your cat if it has mobility problems. If your cat seems to be struggling, talk to your vet about pain medication or other treatment options to keep it comfortable in its senior years.
Caring for a senior cat can be very rewarding. With love and proper preparation, you can keep your cat as happy and healthy as possible in its golden years. If you have any concerns about your senior cat, don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian.
Links that may help:
• ASPCA Virtual Cat: Senior Cat Care - https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-behavior/senior-cat-care
• Senior Cat Wellness Exams - https://www.thesprucepets.com/senior-cat-wellness-exams-4582433
• Nutrition for Senior Cats - https://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/nutrition/senior-cat-nutrition-guide
• How to Care for an Elderly Cat - https://www.purina.com/articles/cat/care/how-to-care-for-an-elderly-cat.html
• Mobility and Arthritis Issues in Senior Cats - https://www.preventivevet.com/cats/mobility-and-arthritis-issues-in-senior-cats