How can you meet the needs of your senior feline?
July 12, 2012
It may seem like just yesterday when you found the perfect cat at a New York animal shelter, but as your feline gets older, you'll have to go the extra mile as a cat parent to ensure your companion's good health. Ideally, these changes should start as your cat reaches middle age, and you can maintain an improved standard of care that can be carried into your feline's golden years. Here are a few ways to get started on improving your senior cat's quality of life and help your furry friend have many more enjoyable years with you.
1. Does your vet make house calls? According to CatChannel.com, bringing your cat into the vet regularly is necessary to maintain his or her good health. However, getting in the car and the whole experience of being in the vet's office can be a stressful time for your feline. Instead of putting your cat through the ringer, ask your vet about house calls. This may be a bit more expensive, but you can skip the harrowing process of putting your feline in a carrier and enduring a noisy drive to the vet!
2. Water consumption. As a cat ages, kidney and bladder function can become big issues, so it's important to give your feline a steady supply of water throughout the day. This can effectively flush out the kidneys, keeping your cat well-hydrated and supporting a variety of physiological functions. Consider investing in a motion-controlled pet fountain that will encourage your feline to drink more often.
3. Grooming. While cats are known as meticulous groomers, they can become a bit forgetful in their old age, and you may have to step in to help. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine suggests brushing your feline at least once a day to remove any stray hairs and tangles from your cat's coat. This is also a good time to trim your feline's nails, as senior cats don't use scratching posts and cat trees at the same frequency as younger pets.
Last but not least, playtime and plenty of exercise are essential to help your feline fight weight gain in his or her golden years and remain mentally stimulated. Your cat can still enjoy many productive years with you, but your responsibilities as a pet parent will surely expand as you try to make your feline's last few years as comfortable as possible.