It is important, even vital to realise that as our cats grow older, their needs will alter in a number of ways. Once we are aware of this fact and the ways in which their needs change, we can put into place the changes required.
Firstly, as those who know me are aware I advocate always checking over your cat each morning, for by doing so we can see instantly if there is a mental, emotional or physical problem, and put the appropriate measures in place, to ensure your cat is brought rapidly back to full health.
Next, it is even more important with a senior cat that they are groomed everyday, for by so doing we can identify any lumps, bumps, sore places etc, and deal with them immediately, as older cats do not heal as quickly as in their earlier years, and ailments can escalate rapidly, with often, tragic results.
Grooming our cats daily helps also to dramatically reduce the risk of “hair balls”. This is more important in seniors, due to the fact that as their system ages, it becomes more difficult for them to deal with hair balls, potentially leading to serious blockages.
Furthermore, if you love your cat you naturally want to see him looking sleek and shiny, both looking, and feeling good, which in turn gladdens our own hearts.
Onto feeding now. Contrary to popular belief, cats do NOT necessarily need less food as they age, so never never withhold food on this (false) pretext alone. Your cat will let you know just what he needs and when he needs it, so listen to what your cat is saying to you, hear it and act upon it.
There are many feeds which are formulated specifically for senior cats, and I urge you to utilize them, as they are easier on elderly cats’ digestive systems, whilst giving them the correct balance of foodstuffs, vitamins and minerals for their age and stage.
Do ensure your cats are wormed regularly (3 monthly), and flea treated regularly (monthly), bearing in mind that along with the other factors mentioned it is even more important for older cats, as dealing with worms and fleas is a bigger strain on an ageing system. (Do of course ensure that cats of any age are regularly worm and flea treated.)
Regular vet checks (six monthly unless you identify a problem in between) are essential for your senior cat; even if he appears happy and healthy, appearances can be deceptive, therefore to ensure that your senior is in full health, or to deal with any ensuing problem quickly and effectively, and not put his well-being in jeopardy, do please make sure that you undertake these essential regular health checks.
If you follow these simple guidelines, your senior cat will have a happy and healthy lifestyle, and you will be safe in the knowledge that you are doing the absolute best for your feline friend.