As with people, cats slow down as they age. They may want to exercise less, they may begin to gain weight and their personality may change. Some cats become friendlier and want to spend more time with their owners. Others become more grumpy and do not like to be touched. Many cats sleep more and go out less.
But nevertheless, personality changes can be a sign of pain or illness, so it is worth consulting with your veterinarian. Don't forget that older cats still need a regular vaccination, a flea and antiparasitic treatment.
How does old age affect cats?
Aging affects the skin and it becomes less elastic. The coat loses its shine and white hairs may appear. Hearing and vision deteriorate and your pet's memory may be affected. Sleep patterns often change as many older cats sleep more, although some wake up at night.
Muscles and bones become weaker and the immune system doesn't work so well, so your cat becomes less able to fight an infection. Internal organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys can deteriorate. Other changes make the mouth dry and feeding can be more difficult.
However, improvements in medicine mean that there are treatments available to help reduce the worst effects of old age in cats. Age is not a reason to accept health problems and even old cats can lead happy and active lives. Keeping your cat mentally active can help him feel young: try new toys, just like kittens, older cats like to play.
Feeding an old cat
Over the years, you can lose teeth, so you can not chew as well as when you were young. When that happens, it is highly recommended to give it wet feed, because it will be so much easier to eat it. In addition, this type of food is much more fragrant, so you will be very attracted to it and eat it all without hesitation.
Taking care of your hair
A cat is an extremely clean animal, which devotes much of its time to grooming. However, when he gets older, he gradually cleanses less, and his hair will lose brightness. To avoid it, we have to take care of him, brushing it daily and wiping it with a cloth or small towel dampened in warm water to remove dirt once a month.
Visits to the vet
As is the case with humans, over the years the body weakens. Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, kidney problems, arthritis, among others, can affect our friends. Therefore, it is essential go to the vet once a year for a complete review. This way any problem can be detected in time.
With these tips, your cat, even if he is old, will remain very happy, sure seguro.
Caring for your mouth is essential
The lack of appetite It could be due to the formation of dental plaque that causes a painful gingivitis to our cat and prevents him from chewing his feed. Tooth conditions are common in old cats and are often accompanied by bad breath.
Also discover in ExpertAnimal tips to remove tartar in cats. Of course, in severe cases your elderly cat may need a veterinarian intervention, this should be done blood tests as it requires a general anesthesia, intervention incompatible with high levels of urea or creatinine.
If you notice that he does not eat feed, try to stimulate him with wet food that in addition to being tasty and easy to ingest, contains a large amount of water, perfect for older cats.
In addition to what has been mentioned above, it is important that at this stage of life we pay more attention to our pet by offering extra attention. To encourage our cat to be healthy and active even in this stage of old age it is important that we avoid the apathy of our pet playing with her and catching her attention on a regular basis. Toys, caresses or long massages They are perfect options to keep you active and healthy.
Another specific care of elderly cats is the attention to sensory related problems such as blindness or deafness. As they get older they can start to disorient themselves within the same home and lose abilities that we must discover through observation. Do not forget to pay attention to him to spend his stage with the best possible person, that is you.
Do not forget brush regularly hair to remove dead hair that could be swallowed when cleaning. During this ritual we can take the opportunity to control the state of your skin, that of your hair and also share a good time with it. It is also advised to clean your eyes and ears regularly with a soft paper soaked in water or sterile gauze.
With age, our cat is less active and its claws wear less and become more fragile: the solution is to trim its claws, it also allows us to check that our cat's pads are in good condition. To all this we add the pampering: give attention and love Our cat is very good for him, he loves petting and being pampered, and it makes him even happier as he gets older!
Veterinary follow-up of the elderly cat
During old age, health problems begin to be more frequent than in other stages of the cat's life. We must be informed and attentive to any physical change that we observe: hair loss, appearance of tumors, tortuosity when walking etc. Before any symptoms it is important to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible, so, the treatment to be applied will be more effective. We should also notify our veterinarian of any behavioral changes such as lack of appetite, increased thirst, abnormal aggression or if our cat seems depressed.
Depression or prostration can be signs of illness and we must take them seriously. Lack of appetite and increased thirst can be the signs of several disorders: kidney problems, liver problems, gastritis. These problems are more frequent when the cat ages, so it is recommended to do blood tests regularly from 8-10 years. Being able to make an early diagnosis is the key to a successful treatment in the problems of the elderly cat.
Although we do not observe any signs of disease in our cat, it is also highly recommended go to the vet every 6 months approximately to make an analysis and a general review. We will discard in this way anemias or allergies that may have gone unnoticed by us.
Rest and rest
Rest is a fundamental part of the life of an elderly cat. From the age of 8 we will begin to observe how you need more hours for rest and it's normal, we shouldn't get upset. For that reason, buying a new fluffy bed or various cushions is a highly recommended idea. We will favor you rest in comfortable places that will not cause resentment.
Whenever you are resting or resting, we will provide a calm environment without disturbing or disturbing you. In addition and as extra advice, if we see that it is difficult for him to climb the stairs we should help him and take him in our arms. It is also advisable to place pillows near the radiators so that our cat can curl up there. Everything we can do to make life easier And simple to our old cat is good.
The importance of moderate exercise
Although obviously your cat is no longer as agile as years ago, it is important that you continue to be active to avoid being overweight and helping keep your muscles active, activate blood circulation and strengthen your joints.
Although you will notice that every time he needs more and more hours of rest, it is highly recommended to play with him some 15 minutes daily, an excellent option to keep it active. The various intelligence or hunting games will stimulate you physically and mentally. In addition to physical exercise
Not exercising it can never lead to a serious obesity problem, something that reduces your life expectancy. If this is your case Expert Animal explains how to exercise an obese cat easily and simply.
If you want to read more articles similar to Complete care guide for elderly cats, we recommend that you enter our Geriatrics section.