All cats have to reach seniority one day or another. It is an emotional experience to see your cat go from a kitten to a full-grown adult. We see them explore everything. We see them experiencing life. As cats age, we need to realize that their needs, demands, and patterns will change. Thus, we should also work on improving ourselves and provide more comfort to our senior cats.
What determines the life span of a cat?
Typically, cats live for 15 to 20 years. Some cats die at a younger age due to a fatal disease. We cannot control this. But we can control the diet and fitness of our cats. It helps in prolonging the life of our cats. The breed of your cat will also play a huge role in defining the life span of your cat
Signs that your cat is aging
Some people think that cats only age when they get older, but they are wrong. Cats can age before getting relatively old. Therefore, you should know the signs and symptoms of a cat aging. Following are the most common signs of an aging cat:
- Dental diseases
- Heart and respiratory conditions
- Unusual behavior
Tips for caring for your senior cat
Pets Uniq has prepared a list of things to comfort your senior cat. It will help you take better care of her. Follow the guidelines below:
Your senior will tend to sleep more. Her desire to dose off will double. Therefore, she will need warm and comfortable places to snuggle up in. Some cats develop joint issues, and it becomes hard for them to jump or move much. Therefore, provide them a comfortable bed that they can easily get into. The bed should stay warm, clean, and in a quiet place. Make sure that the bed never gets wet.
Change the location of their food bowls and litterbox. Move it near their bed. The water bowl should be very close to your cat as this will encourage your cat to drink more water. It will prevent kidney and urinary tract infections. Senior cats avoid drinking water just to avoid walking to the bowl. Therefore, it is an excellent way to keep your kitty hydrated. Having the litterbox nearby will save her from the effort of walking to the litterbox.
Cats are very possessive about their things and conscious of their territory. Therefore, once they develop likeability for a place, they spend the rest of their lives there. All cats have a favorite spot. They love to sleep and stay there for hours. This spot is usually at a height, but a cat cannot reach that spot during seniority. It causes them to become a little depressed. Thus, being a good cat owner, you should make that spot reachable. Do this by installing steps or stairs to reach the spot. You can add more spots with lesser height nearby. In this way, your cat will climb by gradually climbing the nearby spots.
Activity and exercise
The activity level of cats drops as they grow up. They become less and less mobile. Therefore, you will see your cat cozying up at one spot all day. It could lead to your cat gaining extra pounds. Your cat might reach the scale of obesity. Therefore, you should carefully re-evaluate everything in your cat’s diet. You can do this by lowering her calorie count. Switch to healthier food options. You can also control portion sizes for your kitty.
Cats do not require runs and walk to keep them healthy, but they still need some sort of physical stimulation. Thus, you can use a toy to keep your cat moving. Buy toys for her that would not make her jump or cause pain in her joints.
Cats like to stick to their routines. Therefore, by the time your cat gets old, she will have a defined routine. Thus, do not do anything to change that routine. It will make her angry and anxious.
As your cat will age, she will likely suffer due to her failing senses. It is common for old cats to lose their sense of smell or sense of sight. Therefore, do your best to provide her comfort. Provide her ease by understanding her. Be mindful of her needs. Try to assist her in daily tasks such as eating, defecating, and walking around.
A cat reaching seniority might be a small change for you. But it is a massive change for cats. Cats experience all sorts of changes in their bodies. They get cranky and moody when they are unable to understand themselves. It is hard for them to get used to medicines, vet visits, and their changing bodies. Thus, they might be confused and overwhelmed. Therefore, provide her emotional support. Be there for her all the time. Do not let her feel lonely or petrified.
As your cat ages, her needs will change. Cats become senior from age seven onwards. These changes are often reflected in all parts of their lives. Therefore, you should change it in the parts that you handle. For example, if you notice that your cat is lazier now and spends less time moving, reduce her calorie count. Feed her less heavy food. Take her weight into account and revolve all of your efforts around it. It will save your cat from issues later in life.
Loss of appetite
Older cats might eat less, but abandoning their food altogether is never a good sign. If you notice that your cat has started resisting food, there is something up. Lack of appetite is usually an indicator that your cat has a severe underlying issue. Thus, immediately talk to your vet to find the root cause. It will save you from fatal diseases.
Cats need regular check-ups throughout their lives, but older cats need more as they are prone to diseases. Senior cats can develop several diseases, some even fatal. Thus, regular check-ups will make any diagnoses and treatment easier.
You cannot control your aging cat, neither you can stop her from aging. Therefore, accept that your cat is aging as soon as you can. It will save you and your cat. You should be more present and more responsive to your cat’s needs. Other than that, consult your vet to figure out everything according to your cat’s breed.
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