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Caring for a Senior Cat

Is your kitty beginning to get old? Our feline friends tend to age gracefully and gradually, but as your kitty ages, her needs may change slightly. In this article, a Newmarket veterinarian offers advice on caring for an aging cat.

Grooming

Fluffy may need some help with her coat as she ages. Brushing your kitty regularly will help her by trapping fur in the brush, which will cut down on the amount she swallows. Cats become much more delicate as they age, so be very gentle!

Diet

Fluffy’s diet plays a huge role in her overall health. Feed your furball the best food you can afford. Certain supplements, such as Omega-3 fish oil, may be beneficial to some cats. Ask your vet for recommendations, and for advice about when it’s time to switch to senior formula cat food.

Mental Health

Just like people, kitties sometimes experience a decline in cognitive function as they age. Fluffy might forget where her litter box is, or get lost between the kitchen and bedroom. Some kitties become very vocal in their golden years. Playing with your cat, and keeping her on a set routine for meals, will help keep her mentally stimulated.

Physical Health

Our feline friends may suffer hearing and/or vision loss in their golden years. Others may develop specific medical conditions, such as diabetes. Watch for any sudden changes in your furball’s behavior, and keep an eye out for signs of sickness. Hiding, changes of appetite or vocalization, and unkempt fur are a few common indications of feline illness.

Mobility and Comfort

Senior kitties sometimes have difficulty jumping on and off furniture. Pet stairs will make it easier for Fluffy to navigate getting on and off beds and couches. Your furball may also find it easier to get in and out of a litter box with low walls. If you have multiple stories, keep litter boxes and water dishes on each floor, so your kitty doesn’t have to deal with the stairs as much. Also, be very gentle when picking up or holding a senior cat.

Above all, make sure that Fluffy feels comfortable, safe, and loved. Your furball is still a kitten at heart, and that little motor of hers will still rumble for you when she’s happy.

Do you have questions about caring for your aging kitty? Please contact us, your local Newmarket vet clinic!

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