How do I care for my senior cat?
In our clinics we see older cats with a variety of problems on a daily basis. The most common aging complaints are often well known to their owners: kidney problems, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, diabetes, obesity, etc. It is important to keep watching your older cat’s behavior. Is it fair to say, “My cat is already 16 years old, that’s why he doesn’t play anymore”? We don’t think so!
Old age in itself is not a disease, but it is true that older cats are more likely to contract certain diseases. Therefore, we have listed a few practical, simple tips for you to keep our dear cats as healthy as possible. If you do think your cat is feeling less well than usual, feel free to contact us!
Senior check on your cat
Take your cat to the veterinarian regularly for checkups. Cats over 7 years old already have an increased risk of high blood pressure, and cats over 10 years old are true seniors. Senior cats should be seen preventively by the veterinarian once or twice a year to keep them as healthy as possible. For this purpose, we have developed the senior check. This is a thorough examination of your cat where we check him/her for the most common ailments of aging. The earlier you detect an illness, the greater the chance of recovery.
In-home tips for your senior cat
Cats love warmth, so provide nice warm spots. Also make sure that the senior cat can easily reach these places. This can be done, for example, by making walkways to reach high places. We must also make it as easy as possible for these cats to meet their basic needs. By this we mean: provide multiple eating and drinking bowls scattered throughout the house. Provide different types of food bowls (saucers, wide trays, etc.) that again are easy to reach. And don’t forget the litter box: most older cats get difficulty getting into the litter box. Provide an easy or low step into the litter box. Also, the litter box should be in a place that is easy for your cat to reach.
Older cats do not like changes in their living environment. Therefore, try to change as little as possible in the house in terms of furniture or other living conditions. Should your cat be visually impaired, turn on a light at night and make verbal contact before picking up the cat.
The (good) grooming of the coat by the cat itself will decrease as the cat gets older. Especially in long-haired cats some problems may arise from tangles because of this. Try to comb the coat carefully and regularly so that there are not too many tangles in the coat. After all, tangles hurt. If the coat is very felted, we can shave or cut the coat for you.
Keeps older cats kitten-free. Kittens are often much busier than older cats are. However, this does not mean that an older cat should not play. In fact, playing is incredibly important and good for older cats. But try to take it easy when playing. You can do this by quietly encouraging play with a stick or toy, walking around the house or with cat treats.
We are sure you are taking the best possible care of your senior cats. Hopefully these tips will make it a little easier for you.
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