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Fluffy’s Golden Years: Tips for Caring for Your Senior Cat

May 1, 2024

Is your feline buddy beginning to show signs of aging? Cats are typically considered seniors around age 11, but these days it’s becoming quite common for them to live well into their teens or even their twenties. Fluffy may have a long retirement ahead of her! As your furry friend grows older, you’ll probably observe slow, gradual changes, rather than sudden ones. A local Louisville, KY vet offers tips on how to properly care for your beloved senior cat in this informative article.

Do Older Cats Need A Lot Of Care?

Cats are very easy keepers. Your feline pal will probably spend most of her time sleeping. Fluffy, like any other animal, requires certain essentials to thrive: high-quality nutrition, a hygienic litter box, regular veterinary check-ups, and, of course, lots of affection. However, your kitty’s care requirements will evolve slightly as she ages.

One of the biggest things is to just make sure that your kitty has convenient access to her food, water, and litterbox. If your house is big or has more than one floor, put litter boxes and water bowls on each level. This allows your furry companion to avoid extensive stair climbing.

Beds are also important. Fluffy will somehow find a way to sleep even more than before, and will be able to sleep for up to 20 hours a day. Making sure that your drowsy pet has ample cozy spots is very important! You can buy beds or make your own. You can also fold blankets up and put them in boxes or baskets or on chests or ottomans. Place some of these in sunny spots or in front of windows with beautiful views for extra purrs.

Think about buying a night light for your kitty. Fluffy’s vision in the dark may not be as sharp as it used to be. She may also become forgetful and lose her way while heading to the litterbox.

One more way to assist your beloved pet is by providing pet ramps or steps. Footstools are also a great option. Consult your Louisville, KY  veterinarian for further details.

How Do I Keep An Older Kitty Happy?

Older felines often have similar preferences to their younger counterparts. The most important thing for Fluffy is that she feels loved, safe, and comfortable.

Keep that little motor going! Provide your feline companion with ample attention and lap space. Your pet may also be more snuggly. Just take care to always handle your kitty with care when lifting or setting her down.

How Can I Keep My Aging Cat Healthy?

Elderly cats can experience similar health issues to those commonly seen in aging humans. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Arthritis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cancer
  • Vision Impairment
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Disease
  • Hearing Loss 
  • Dental Problems

It may be necessary for your furry friend to make more frequent visits to her Louisville, KY pet clinic. This is a great opportunity to get up-to-date advice on Fluffy’s diet and care!

Keep an eye out for any indications of illness during your breaks. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you observe anything unusual.

How Will I Know If My Feline Pal Is Sick?

Cats can be quite secretive when it comes to hiding any signs of illness. Pay careful attention to any changes in Fluffy’s appearance or behavior.

Here are a couple of things to keep an eye out for:

  • Hiding
  • Withdrawal
  • Lack Of Proper Grooming
  • Vomiting
  • Weight Changes
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Discharge
  • Ever
  • Lethargy
  • Problems In The Litterbox
  • Salivating
  • Limping
  • Alterations In Eating Habits

Unusual vocalizations can also be a cause for concern. If Fluffy is typically calm, but suddenly becomes very vocal, there may be an underlying issue.

How Can I Keep Fluffy Safe?

Stick to the same basic petproofing protocols as you would for a younger cat. Fluffy won’t be as energetic as before, but she might still have a penchant for nibbling on your houseplants.

We also recommend that you keep your beloved pet indoors. We actually advise that all cats be kept inside, but older cats are particularly vulnerable to danger. Not only are they more delicate, but they may also struggle to evade potential dangers. Additionally, there is a concern that Fluffy may forget the way back home. Play it safe, and keep your furry pal happy, healthy, and purring indoors.

Do Senior Cats Need Larger Litter Boxes?

You might want to consider getting a litterbox with lower sides for your feline companion. Elderly cats can experience stiffness and discomfort, making it challenging for them to navigate objects with tall barriers. She might find it easier to deal with something that has a broader and shallower nature, as opposed to being narrow and deep.

Should I Groom My Senior Cat?

You may notice Fluffy looking messy. There could be several factors contributing to this situation. As cats get older, they may struggle to bend and stretch adequately to clean her entire body. Senior cats also tend to produce more oil on their skin compared to younger cats. This can also give Fluffy’s coat a greasy appearance.

However, it’s crucial to understand that unkempt fur can sometimes indicate that your cat is unwell. If you’ve observed that your cat’s fur is becoming disheveled and you’re also noticing other concerning signs like withdrawal, it’s important to contact your veterinarian for assistance.

Brushing your feline companion can be a great way to provide some extra care. Cats generally do not require regular baths, although some people may choose to bathe their feline companions. Ask your veterinarian for specific recommendations.

Do Senior Cats Like To Play?

Definitely! Playing with Fluffy is truly beneficial for her well-being. Pouncing and jumping can provide excellent exercise for our feline friends. In addition, this provides mental stimulation. That’s crucial for older cats. Similar to humans, pets may experience cognitive decline as they get older. Focusing on catching the red dot will also exercise your cat’s intellect.

Why Do Older Cats Meow A Lot?

It’s quite common for older cats to become a little more vocal. There could be several factors contributing to this. One possible explanation could be cognitive decline. Elderly felines may experience lapses in memory and become disoriented. They may become upset as they don’t truly know why or what’s going on. Or, Fluffy may be craving some extra love and affection. Try to comfort your cat. If she seems extremely distressed and/or sick, contact your pet hospital right away.

Is It Okay To Leave My Older Cat Alone?

Fluffy’s age and health would be the determining factors here. Leaving cats alone for a day or two is generally acceptable, as long as the kitty is provided with food, water, clean litter, and someone comes by to check on them. For older cats, especially those in their golden years, it’s not recommended to leave them alone for extended periods of time. Consider boarding instead.

Make An Appointment At Your Louisville, KY Veterinary Clinic

Do you need any information or advice regarding the care of senior cats? Feel free to reach out to us, your neighborhood Louisville, KY pet hospital, at any time!