Steps To Take When Caring For An Elderly Cat

If you have an aging cat as a pet, you are most likely concerned about their well-being as they become slower and more prone to health problems. An older cat will need to be monitored regularly so you know when to take them to a veterinarian should their health deteriorate suddenly. Here are a few tips to use to help keep your cat happy during its elderly years.

Limit Time Outdoors

If your pet goes outside regularly, consider stopping long stretches as they will be at risk for a variety of obstacles because of their age. An older cat will lose its ability to defend itself adequately, may be slow to get out of the way of oncoming traffic, and may lose their way if their eyesight is not as good as it was in the past. Instead of letting your cat outside, consider allowing it out on a screened in porch or set up a sunny area in front of a screened window where it can enjoy warmth and the smells of the exterior of the home without the risks of injury. If you still wish for your cat to spend time outside, make it a priority to go out with them so you can monitor their whereabouts.

Watch For Habit Changes

Cats are good at hiding pain or sickness from humans, making it necessary to keep a watchful eye for any changes in your cat's normal routine. Keep track of how much food your cat eats and how often it uses its litter box. Note whether your cat spends less time seeking attention from you and more time sleeping or hiding in strange places. If your cat deviates from the norm, it may signify an ailment necessitating a trip to a veterinarian for an assessment.

Keep On Top Of Hygiene

As a cat ages, it will tend to spend less time cleaning itself as it had when it was younger. This could be a result of difficulty due to arthritis or weight gain, or forgetfulness as the cat gets up in age. Make it a priority to help your cat by giving it routine brushing and bathing sessions. Clip your cat's claws, rub a wet cloth in each ear to remove debris, and attempt to brush their teeth with an appropriate cat toothpaste and brush if possible. During hygiene care, pay close attention to your cat's body parts to make sure there are no lumps, cuts, or areas with missing fur as these may signify health problems.

For more information, talk with a veterinarian locally or at Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital.