It’s easy to look after an older cat and keep them happy and healthy once you know how. A cat is considered senior from around eight years. And just like humans, a cat will change over time. She’ll spend more time sleeping (yes, it is possible) and less time playing. Her appetite may diminish and her metabolism will slow.
Food for thought
A senior cat is less active so her diet will need to change. Food containing high quality protein that’s easy to digest will help maintain a good overall body condition.
It’s best to switch an older cat to food that’s specifically formulated for seniors. One that’s in small pieces, which is easier to chew. Soft textures like FANCY FEAST Royale Broths and FANCY FEAST Gravy Lovers varieties are a good way to complement your cat’s diet. And, as with any change in diet, mix a small amount of the new food with the old then increase the new food gradually.
At this age, it’s important to keep an eye on your cat’s weight. Less activity and a slower metabolism can add up to unwanted kilos.
If your cat has gone off her food, keep in mind her sense of smell has probably faded. Try serving her meals at room temperature, which will enhance the aroma and stimulate her appetite.
Make an appointment with your vet at least yearly for a checkup to ensure everything’s OK. Prevention is always better than cure.
Senior cats and dental disease
Dental disease is one of the most common and painful illnesses to affect older cats therefore prevention is key. As well as regular vet visits, if you see any signs of your cat in pain or having trouble eating, make an appointment straight away.
If you can manage to brush your cat’s teeth you are very lucky. This could help prevent years of painful procedures and expenses. You’ll find special pet toothbrushes and toothpaste at your local vet or pet store. Never use human toothpaste on a cat.
Dental treats for cats are a good alternative, which you’ll also find in pet speciality stores.
Cat proofing your home for your senior cat
Senior cats will have less mobility and be prone to arthritis, so it’s worth doing a check around your home. Is her litter still easily accessible? Do you need to move things down so she doesn’t need to jump too high? Is her bed still comfortable? Little things like these could make a big difference to your cat’s comfort, now and into the future.