The average duration of a cat’s life is about 16 years – sometimes even more. Every cat owner wants their pet to live as long as possible. Usually, when pets appear in our house for the first time, they are tiny playful babies with loads of energy.
The older a cat becomes, the more special needs it has. And you, as an attentive and caring pet owner, should be familiar with these needs in order to have a healthy and happy cat. In this article, you’ll find a list of the needs a senior cat has.
A Proper Diet
Older cats tend to gain weight much faster than young ones. Indeed, they move less than kittens and spend more time sleeping. Also, their metabolism is not as excellent as when they were younger.
You, as a pet owner, should take full control over your cat’s nutrition. Don’t let them eat too much and help them stick to the diet recommended by a vet. Remember that what your senior cat eats influences the way it feels.
It’s generally good to feed older cats a specially formulated senior cat food, as long as they have no underlying medical conditions and your vet has advised you otherwise. Senior cat food should provide a lot of protein and vitamin E.
Some cats have problems which chewing abilities while growing older. Small and soft pieces of food will help older cats digest meals, particularly for those animals with sensitive mouths that may have also lost a few teeth.
Remember to give your senior cat a lot of fresh and clean water. Always keep a bowl of it in the house, so your pet has access to it.
The nutrition of a senior cat also depends on its breed. For instance, you might need to consider checking the detailed information given in Pet Place regarding the proper nutrition of your cat and avoid waiting in the queue for a vet.
Some cats also tend to get very thin when they get older. This might be a sign of different diseases. Take your pet to a doctor is they started to lose weight very fast.
Older cats are less adaptable to changes and, therefore, they get less friendly. New things in their life always bring them a lot of stress. Maybe, a couple of years ago, you could take your lovely pet on a plane trip, and it was perfectly fine. But when your cat gets older, it’s better not to share such adventures with it. They won’t appreciate such an experience anymore.
If your cat, being younger, enjoyed attention from the people on the parties you organized in the house, don’t think those big gatherings of people will be beneficial to them now. The guests and noises in the house might scare a senior cat and make them stressed; therefore, if you’re planning a party, leave a cat in a quiet room or ask someone to take care of it.
If you have small kids, don’t let them disturb a pet too much. Let your children understand that a senior cat needs a lot of rest, and they cannot play with it too much, because this will make it stressed.
Grooming a Senior Cat
As cats grow older, they groom themselves less often. This leads to skin irritations, hair mats, and bad odors. Therefore, a pet owner should groom their senior cats regularly to keep them healthy.
Fist of all, you should pick a comfortable spot for doing this. Senior cats are frequently very nervous and anxious when you groom them. Make this experience as pleasurable and stressless as possible. You might even need to wrap a cat into a towel, so they don’t move too much. In order to make your cat feel more relaxed, you should pet it before grooming.
Use a correct brush and comb, which is made for cats only. Your choice should also depend on the lengths of the cat’s hair. Brush its hair from head to tail and untangle all the mats and tangles. Always reward your cat for being patient while grooming. Give them something tasty to eat straight after combing their hair.
You should do it every day, especially if your cat is older. It will help a pet have nice untangled hair and prevent skin irritations. A cat might be reluctant to be groomed initially, but after seeing that it will be rewarded in the end, a pet will love doing this.
The Bottom Line
A senior cat indeed has more needs than a young one. And you as caring pet owner should take the age of your cat into consideration. Remember that older cats need good nutrition; they tend to get stressed and irritated easily and require daily grooming.