All cats deserve our love and care, however, there are some among them that might require special attention. This is the case for senior cats, especially the ones who might have certain health issues that make them more vulnerable to injuries or becoming sick. Much like humans, their health requirements change as they age. It is our duty, as their family, to take these things into consideration and make sure life is comfortable for them.
What age is a cat considered to be a senior?
The term “senior cat” applies to felines that are between the ages of 12 and 14. However, do note that some veterinarians might make use of a different timeline.
Common problems that senior cats have:
Whilst regular visits to the vet should help you avoid most of these, it still pays to know what to expect when you have a senior cat in your home. Not only will you be more observant of changes, you’ll also be able to detect early on if they have serious health problems that need attention as soon as possible.
- Skin and coat quality problems
- Weight and body problems
- Thyroid gland problems
- Ear and eye problems
- Pancreatic, gastrointestinal or kidney issues
- Heart and lungs problems
- Joint and muscle problems (one of the most common issues they develop)
- Parasitic and other infectious diseases
- Any other changes in their overall condition from the previous vet visit
Taking care of a senior cat can be a challenge and you might experience difficult days. However, there are certain habits or routines that you can develop that will help lessen the issues you might face. That said, here are some tips to help you in giving the best senior life possible to your cat:
- Make sure that you schedule trips to vet at least twice a year. This is the average, even for younger cats, but is even more important for one who has reached the senior age.
- Be observant. This also applies to younger cats, but must be given emphasis when it comes to a senior cat. Do your best to research common issues and their symptoms so you know what to watch out for.
- Their eating habits would have changed as well. To help them digest properly, try feeding your cat several meals a day instead of giving them one big serving.
- Do avoid overfeeding them. It might be tempting to do spoil them but doing so can lead to obesity and even shorten their lifespan.
- Even senior cats need exercise! Choose an easy routine that they can do regularly to help keep their bones, joints, and muscles strong.
- Always check their dental health. Brush it at home and if advised by your veterinarian, you can opt to get it professionally cleaned as well.
- Vaccinations are still important so follow the vet’s advice.
- Always keep their surroundings and resting areas clean. This is to keep germs and fleas away.
- Because of their inactivity, their nails are likely to grow out. Always trim these regularly.
- Last, but certainly not least, always give them love and attention. A happy cat is bound to live a fulfilling life.