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Caring for Your Older Cat: A Guide

Some people choose to adopt a cat because they make fantastic companions - they can sense when you need comforting. For many others, though, it could be because they are easier to look after. It is true that they don’t need as much attention as other pets, such as dogs, would require. With cats, owners don’t need to be concerned about leaving them home all day, as many like having alone time. As long as they have an enriching environment, fresh food and water, and you have the time to give them attention when you get home, leaving your cat home all day is perfectly fine. However, as your feline friend starts to get older, the care that you provide will have to be stepped up a notch, and not everybody knows how. Here is how you can care for your cat as they get older.

Watch out for signs that your cat is in pain

You need to be cautious that as they get older, they could be suffering from a number of different injuries and conditions, such as arthritis. Still, without watching out for signs that they are suffering from these, it can be easily missed for a period of time.
First look out for the physical signs, such as:

  •  Limping
  • Lack of self-grooming
  • Being reluctant to move
  • Difficult in jumping up or down
  • Licking a particular area of their body

Then watch out for changes in their behavior. They might:

  • Growl
  • Groan
  • Play less
  • Hide
  • Experience mood changes

Keep them from being in pain 

If you have noticed that they are showing several of the above signs, then this is the time to take your little feline friend to the vets. They will be able to confirm what is wrong and diagnose the problem. Once you do so, you can start to help them recover or manage their condition at home. You can then even start to research solutions to help them and order the right medical aid they need. For those who have arthritis or who are recovering from an injury, which has resulted in them limping for an extended period of time, then you should purchase glucosamine for cats.

Increase your cat’s access to water

As cats get older, they are more likely to experience constipation and develop kidney disease if they do not keep hydrated enough. Therefore, you need to increase how much water they have access to. Provide more options for drinking at various spots around the house, ideally lower (if they can’t jump).

Encourage them to keep moving

If you provide them with the right pain relief, your cat should be able to move better, so you now need to encourage them to keep moving; after all, their environmental enrichment plays an important part in their quality of life. Purchasing scratching posts that are slightly easier on their joints but still encourage them to move is one clever one of keeping them active.

Change their diet

You need to keep an eye on your cat’s weight as they get older to maintain their health. They should be eating smaller but more frequent meals. Your vet will always recommend using senior cat food over adult food.


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