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How To Help Your Cat Age Gracefully

How To Help Your Cat Age Gracefully

Eventually age gets the better of all of us. But us humans have all sorts of ways of helping our elderly friends. But when it comes to our beloved cats it's not always obvious what is going on.

It's not easy to see an old friend struggle. Declined hearing and eyesight can leave your aged feline confused, and you may start to notice them finding everyday things more challenging than they did before - not a nice experience for you or for them.

Thankfully, there are a host of methods you can employ to help your old cat age with a little more grace!

1. Senior routine

You know how you like things structured and organised? It gives you a sense of comfort.

Your aging cat is no different.

As you probably already know, your feline enjoys having a (not always productive) daily routine. Sticking to this routine only becomes more important as they get older. Your cat's senior brain isn't what it used to be and, as a result, they can easily become confused by change. Keeping a structured routine will help them easily predict the day ahead, which will leave them feeling relaxed and happy.

 

ginger cat in bed asleep

 

2. Life transitions

No one likes change!

Some changes, however, are unavoidable - much to your feline's dismay. House moves, new family members, travels to the vet - all things that can disrupt your elderly cat's familiar and safe routine and leave them feeling unhappy.

Make sure any changes - big or small - are made slowly. Don't rush it. It's like putting a fish in a new bowl, you have to ease them in, let them get used to the new temperature.

Your cat is the same, but instead of temperature it's all about new surroundings, sounds and people they may be encountering.

Cat asleep on a book

 

3. Comfort in a diffuser

As humans we have things that bring us peace of mind. Maybe it's your favorite mug to have coffee from, maybe it's a comfortable jumper that you snuggle up in. Cats, as we all know, LOVE a little creature comfort.

FELIWAY can help you create a loving and comfortable environment for your old kitty. All you need to do? Plug a FELIWAY Optimum Diffuser in the room your cat spends most of their time to reinforce confidence and make them feel more safe at home.

4. Move into a smaller place

Just like humans, who may downsize as they get older, cats become less mobile as they age.

Your cat may benefit from a restricted living area i.e one room in your home. This cozy hideaway should contain everything they need: food, water, a litter box, a scratching post, resting and hiding places. Just remember to keep the litter box and food as far apart as possible. Your cat will be grateful for this little attention to detail.

 

cat eating from bowl

 

5. Easy access

Your senior cat has the same daily needs but may find it more difficult to get to their resources.

You should therefore make sure they have easy access to everything - food, water, litter box, etc. They shouldn't have to scurry up the stairs unless they want to - not even to nap!

Remember to also make sure the walls of the litter box aren't too high as this is often a problem when cats get older and have difficulties to getting in the box in, due to arthritis or any other painful condition.

cat in litter box

 

6. Active body, healthy mind

Even in old age people like to have fun. Your kitty is no different. Experts recommend daily play sessions with your older cat to keep their brain and body active and alert.

Be sure to keep play activity simple and safe i.e nothing too difficult - your feline isn't a kitten anymore!

 

cat lying next to a toy

 

7. Regular health checks

Just like in people, as we age our health can deteriorate. But our beloved pets will instinctively try to hide discomfort because in the wild they are mostly solitary and need to protect themselves from other predators. 

This means small changes to your cat’s normal routine or behaviour could indicate more serious problems than they are letting on. Older cats are more likely to develop kidney disease, an overactive thyroid and high blood pressure.  

Annual check ups with your vet are important to keep your kitty in tip top shape. If your cat is over the age of 7, it's recommended to get their blood pressure checked regularly. Yes, that's right, cats can get high blood pressure too!

Often the effects of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) are mistaken for signs of aging. But a quick visit to the vet can help identify problems or serious diseases and get life-saving treatment started as soon as possible. 

A blood pressure check for your cat is simple, quick and totally painless - in fact it's very similar to how we pawrents are checked using a cuff.

Remember, your cat might be getting old but that doesn't mean they are not still your beloved best friend. Follow these tips and you can ensure you and your cat live happily together for as long as possible.

Are you interested in learning more about cat health? We love hearing from you so please don’t hesitate to get in touch! You can also stay informed with our latest information on our new appeasing product FELIWAY Happy Snack, as well as further tips, by signing up to our newsletter.

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