Your senior cat may be newly adopted or has been your companion for a large part of your life, and you want to make sure your kitty is as comfortable as possible during the golden years. It’s hard to see your cat suffer in pain and struggle to move around the home. Follow these five tips to make sure your senior cat is happy and comfortable for the remaining time in life.
Set Up Soft Spots Around the House
Your feline friend likely wants to spend time with you wherever you are but may feel pain sitting on hardwood or linoleum floors. Even thin carpeting can be hard on arthritic cats.
Set up kitty cushions around your home in areas where your senior cat likes to follow you. You might place a small cat bed and blanket in your office, kitchen, and den so your cat can join you in multiple parts of the house. This ensures there are comfortable spaces everywhere so that kitty can continue to be a regular part of the family.
Make Sure Kitty Doesn’t Have to Jump
A young cat might not have a problem jumping onto a counter or shelf to access food and water, but your senior cat might not be able to make it. As your cat gets older, move more items closer to the ground. This includes food, water, litter, and toys.
Also, make sure your cat doesn’t have a high barrier to get into the litter box.
Invest in Ramps and Kitty Steps
Just because your cat is older doesn’t mean the drive to explore has gone away. An older cat just might not be able to get where he or she wants to go.
Buy or make a few padded ramps or steps that make it easier for your cat to snuggle with you on the couch or explore the outdoors on the window sill. You can also attach steps along the way to create a highway for your senior cat to walk along. This gives your cat elevation without risking a bad jump and subsequent painful fall.
Change Diet As Your Cat Ages
Talk to your vet about your cat’s dietary needs as the cat gets older. Softer food or treats with extra nutrients might be needed to protect aging bones. Your vet should be able to recommend brands that accommodate senior cats to make chewing and digestion easier.
You should also ask about portion sizes. Your cat might need to eat less as activity slows, and proper dietary consideration can prevent obesity-related health problems.
Increase Your Regular Vet Care
Younger cats only have to visit the vet annually for check-ups and shots, but older cats benefit from seeing a vet more often. Ask your vet about scheduling appointments twice a year as your cat ages. If your vet can catch any problems early on, the treatment should be less involved and have a greater chance of success.
All cats have unique needs as they age. With regular care and adjustments in your home, you can make sure your senior cat lives a healthy, comfortable life.