How to care for an older cat
It’s not always easy detecting the signs of old age in a cat but you might notice your elderly moggy starts to find everyday tasks more challenging than they did before, especially if they experience visual or hearing impairment.
Cats are known to like routine and as little change as possible. This is especially true in cats with brain ageing, who may find even the smallest of changes difficult to cope with.
Common symptoms of old age include: hunting less; spending less time outside; being less active and sleeping for longer periods; reduced or fussy appetite; less keen to play or groom; more vocal and more dependent on you; hearing and sight deterioration and change in sleeping patterns.
Thankfully, there are a host methods you can employ to help your cat cope with old age…
Read through our top tips:
- Keep a routine as this helps your cat predict what is going to happen each day.
2. Short interaction/play sessions to keep their brain active.
3. If changes are impossible to prevent, try to make them as slowly as possible.
3. Plug a FELIWAY Diffuser in the room your cat spends most of its time to reinforce their feeling of safety in the home.
4. Some old cats get easily disoriented and would benefit from living in a restricted area ( i.e having access to only a single room), which contains all they essentials: food, water, litter box, scratching post & sleeping den.
5. Be sure to schedule regular check-up appointments with your vet, ideally every 6 months, to keep an eye on your old cat’s well being.
Cats are very good at hiding pain. If you notice any changes in their day-to-day behaviour, be sure to get them examined by a vet. They will be able to check whether there are any underlying causes for these changes.
7. Ensure your older cat has easy access to their resources (food, water, litter box etc). If their safe haven/favourite hiding spot is high up, put in a ramp so they can still reach them.
It’s also important to make sure their litter box doesn't have high walls. This will cause problems for cats when they get older as they'll find it more difficult to get in and out due to arthritis and other painful conditions.
8. Keep dietary changes in mind. Be sure to introduce either a specific food or food supplement, which provides antioxidants proven to help protect the brain and increase memory and cognition, into their diet.
9. Self-grooming becomes more difficult as a cat gets older. They find it tricker to wash themselves and reduced activity can result in overgrown mini talons. It’s therefore important to make sure their coat and claws are groomed and trimmed on a regular basis.
10. Finally, be kind and patient with your cat as they get older.
Be sure to give them an extra helping of the normal care and commitment that you shower them with and make sure all of their old cat needs are met.
With the help of Feliway, and a few changes in their daily routine, you can easily improve the quality of your older cat’s life.