Senior Cat Tips

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November 11, 2011
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I brought my cats to the vet yesterday. They are 14 years old and needed an annual checkup. Because of their age, I also had a blood test done for both of them and the results came back today. One of my cats has a hyperthyroid, which explains why she had started losing weight this summer. My other cat is in great shape overall, although he got a little pudgy.

Taking care of senior cats requires a bit more attention because health problems arise as they age. They are sturdy and can live well into their late teens. Indoor cats sometimes make it to be more than 20 years old with good nutrition and regular checkups. However, it’s important to look for signs of discomfort, health changes, and other problems that come with older cats.

Here are a few tips to taking care of your senior cat:

1: Know the routine of your cat. If you notice a change in it consult your vet, as it may be a sign of an underlying issue.

2: If your cat is having a harder time getting to the litter box move it to a location that’s easier. Some people keep the litter box in an upstairs bathroom or down in the basement. If your cat is starting to have problems climbing, jumping, or is hesitant to do so, consider moving it to a level of the house where she can easily get to it.

3: If your cat uses a pet bed make sure it’s not in a drafty part of the house. My cats tend to sleep on my bed and love when there is an empty box. I will leave a box on the floor for them for a few weeks before it gets recycled and keep it away from the windows and doors so they don’t get chilly as they snooze in it.

4: Older cats still need play time. If your cat has a toy she really enjoys, use it and keep her stimulated.

5: Brush your cat to help keep her clean. There are spots they can’t always reach and it reduces hairballs and promotes healthy skin. Grooming your cat also cuts down on dandruff.

6: Know when to leave your cat alone. As much as an older cat may become more dependent and want more attention, there will be moments when she wants to be left alone. Let her be and keep her agitation level low.

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