Caring for Mature Cats

The lifespan of cats can be quite varied, their average life expectancy is 15 years, although in rarer cases they may even survive into their twenties. Recognising that your cat is moving into their final years is important, so that you know when to start catering for their changing needs.

The most obvious sign that you can look out for is that your cat will move considerably less. Their mobility will decrease, meaning that access to areas they may have previously favoured, e.g. on top of a cupboard or on the window sill, will no longer be possible. You may also find that your cat sleeps a lot more than they once did. As a result of these two symptoms of ageing, you may notice your cat start to gain weight.

A further result of maturing is the slowing down of the digestive system. It is important to alter what they’re eating to ensure they’re comfortably getting everything they need from their diet. The quality of the food being fed to pet cats is important throughout their lives, but in their more senior years when their digestive system is slowing down it is even more so than usual. High quality, easily digestible meat content is essential, without any waste ingredients.

As well as a high quality diet, additional vitamin intake is advisable to help with their slow-moving digestion. The vitamin intake can also help support the immune system which can decline in older cats.

The coat of elderly cats can become dull and dry. The AniForte Omega-3 Salmon Oil provides a number of health benefits for animals, it promotes strong bones and good constitution and can even prevent loss of fur. A healthy nutritious diet should show itself in your cat’s fur.  Salmon Oil promotes a glossy coat, which can help improve the appearance of ageing cats.

Ageing can take its toll on the teeth and gums of our feline companions. Inflammation can occur and will need dealing with before the problem worsens. Look out for mouth odour and redness or bleeding in the gums, in more severe cases cats may even suffer from a loss of appetite

If any of the above symptoms are recognisable in your pet, it means that their age is starting to show and their joints may well be suffering as a result. Just like humans, old cats can suffer from joint wear and tear and arthritis and should be treated accordingly. It is best to do so with natural remedies, the AniForte Joint Perfect Devils’ Claw consists of 100% natural African devil’s claw. It supports the metabolism in ligaments, tendons and joints, improving the overall joint mobility and movement.

As well as the above, there are a number of conditions that your cat may encounter as they get older. Most notably blood sugar disorders and issues with the thyroid. As a general rule, it is key to pay attention to whether your cat’s water intake has increased, if their eating habits have changed and whether they are suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting. By being observant and spotting any issues early on, you can give cats the best chance of living out their later years in comfort.

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14 thoughts on “Caring for Mature Cats

  1. May I add a few tips ? my baby is now a week from 22yrs 5 months old and this is what I have noticed :

    * Food : she now eats during the night. Since she’s gone blind, her sense of smell has gone more delicate. Therefore I feed her tiny portions at a time so the food does not smell unattractive. She has adapted menus but we also giver her her two favorite : a spoonful of plain yogurt in the morning and melon in summertime

    * she still has most of her tooth, but she finds it difficult to chew soft food (don’t ask, she will lick it!) therefore I’ve bought a baby mixer and I mix her wet vet food. She still enjoys her catisfactions though!!

    * she drinks a LOT… when she thinks of it.
    one should not hesitate to sollicitate the aging cat with fresh water. As for me, she has mugs on my bedside and nearby every place where she sleeps

    * she still uses the litter box. She has 3, plus her travelling one. In order for her to find them easily (especially the days there are fully cleaned and “odorless”, I keep a tiny carpet in front of them. She sees through her whiskers and through her paws, so when she steps on them, she know the litter box is there!

    * she cannot clean her full body all by herself. She does her front paws and bottom (she sits in the shower). I use a lukewarm wet facecloth to do the rest of her body (and I comb her also)

    * NutriBound has saved her life: it s full of nutriments and hides her medication, this liquid is fantastic

    * One thing to absolutely watch carefuly : nails grow faster and thicker. They can grow into the paw. Even though Zibou still goes on her claw-carpet, it’s not strongly done enough to have any effect. Sp we must watch over her “pawticure”

    * If you cat collapses or has weakness moments, try and take his temperature. Chances are it is too low (just like for human beings). Cats can absolutely wear small dogs sweaters. Zibou now has 4 that she wears anytime I see that she is cold (for instance if the sun IS up but she tries to cover herself undert the quilt) or during cold season, when she l be warm in her special bed but cold when wandering in the house

    * last but not least : they sleep a lot, but they still enjoy walks, cuddle sessions and interation…. our love keep them well!

  2. Very interesting and appropriate for Kali. She is 15 and has slowed right down. When she is with it, she is curious and bright eyed. She adores her walk in the stroller where she can see the neighbourhood.

    Jean

  3. This is very good advice for our lovely senior felines.

    Just as an addition, as they enter their geriatric years, like us, cats can experience some decline in cognitive function and may become easily disorientated. Also their worlds tend shrink, so placing resources such as food, water, litter tray, scratching post etc near where they sleep will help them feel safe. Low voltage heated pet pads are a must-have as elderly cats don’t tend to have as much fat as younger cats. They can also help ease aches and pains in elderly joints.

  4. Another interesting post. We estimate one of our girls to be around 18 yes old. (She was my partner’s nan’s cat, and had at least one other owner before that, so her exact age has got confused alon the way). She’s slowing down now. We’re having to brush her more as well, because she’s not keeping her coat in great condition. I believe hyper-thyroidism is a common illness in older cats. Thankfully Sweepy shows no sign of anything like that currently.

  5. Another ailment to watch out for is kidney disease. My baby will be turning 17 in October and is currently in stage II kidney insufficiency. When he started drinking a lot more water, I knew something was up. He is currently being managed with medications to slow the disease progress. Great article.

  6. It is heartbreaking to see our pets age.. We see humans age but the change is so gradual that we accept it. But with our pets, it is different because they age much faster.

    I was so sad when I experienced this for the first time with my first cat. When she couldn’t jump on the counter anymore or be energetic when I open can of food.. But she always loved me and I loved her. Regardless of her age she curled up with me on a sofa all the time and would greet me anytime she saw me.

    I would also recommend keeping your cat well hydrated as she ages. Water is always important in cats but as they age their chances of developing failing kidneys increases so by keeping your cat well hydrated you will reduce these chances.

    Also, make sure to have regular vet visits. Even when your cat doesn’t display any symptoms. It is important for your senior cat to remain healthy.

  7. Always curious about what type of litter, as so many are dusty even though the say dust free. Natural ones too often scented One my Siamese was getting quite lethargic

  8. I can also recommend acupuncture to anyone who is able to take advantage of it! There are not enough vets who can reliably perform this art, but it was wonderful for my Apricat Beezler
    https://sledpress.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/the-best-cat-in-the-world/

    He suffered from arthritis, the usual kidney decline, and awful skin allergies every pollen season, and the acupuncture treatments helped all of it. The vet worked on house call which is really the only thing that will do for cats. His first needle placement was always to quiet the kitty, then there was a twenty minute or so interval with all the other needles in place. Apricat would get restive at about that mark and we knew the day’s treatment was done. For the last two years of his life, no arthritis pain or horrible itch (he would scratch himself bloody) — if I had only known earlier! Ask your vet if there is anyone who can do this for you.

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