As any animal lover will tell you, the toughest part of having a pet is knowing you will outlive them. And when we say outlive, we mean by a lot. It’s a heartbreaking experience to go through. Time goes by fast and it doesn’t seem like too long ago when you brought your best friend into their new home. When it comes to your cat getting older, it’s important that you are prepared with the resources they need.
Crossing into senior status can be challenging for any creature. It brings on changes with the body and mind, with new assistance needed in the day-to-day. For cats, any cat that is 7-10 years or older is considered a senior cat. Some may show aging signs at seven years, others closer to 10. The important part is that you recognize when your best bud is getting up there in age and you provide them with exactly what they need for their later years. Here are some tips for what you can do for your senior cat.
1. Switch Their Food
As cats get older, their bodies change in a number of ways. This includes the way they digest food. There are a number of food options out there for senior cats. These kinds of foods will have small, easy-to-chew kibble that will accommodate your cat’s changing teeth and gums, making it easier on them. Older cats also absorb protein differently than younger cats, according to Doctors Foster and Smith. Since protein is essential in immune function, you will need to give your cat food that can help him/her receive adequate protein.
2. Monitor Their Weight
Like any species, extreme weight gain or weight loss can be a warning sign. If you have not changed your cat’s diet and you notice the same amount of activity in their day-to-day lives, your best bet is to take your cat to the vet. There could be something bigger than diet going on in your buddy’s body.
3. Bump Up Your Vet Visits
Because your cat is getting older, they are at a greater risk for health issues. To make sure you catch those issues and have them under control, start taking your cat to the vet more frequently. Before you start looking at your online banking and panicking, this doesn’t have to be monthly visits. If your cat is in relatively healthy shape, you will just need to add on an extra visit per year to make sure all your cat’s health needs are met as they get older.
4. Take Care of Their Teeth
This is something that should be done throughout your cat’s life. Caring for their teeth at the very beginning means they will have less problems as a senior. There are many different and natural ways you can care for your cat’s dental health. Some of that includes homemade treats, as well as adding coconut oil to food to attack gum disease-causing bacteria.
5. Watch How Much They Drink
Older cats are not only prone to dehydration, but an excess in thirst can mean health problems as well. It’s hard to differentiate between dehydration due to old age or kidney failure, which many senior cats face. An increased thirst is a symptom of both of these, so it is best to take your cat to the vet if you notice this particular symptom.
6. Make Getting Around Easier
Like many senior citizens, your senior cat has some worn-in joints that make it a little more difficult to get around. In order to make life easier for them, provide ramps up to beds or sofas, so they can get to their favorite spots easier.
7. Spoil Them
Your cat is in their last few years, so make them their best. Give them comfortable arrangements, special treats and lots of love.
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