Ageing is inevitable and at proverbial life number 7, 8 or 9 – your fabulous felines may just be ready to relax and retire.
Just like us humans, bodies change and sometimes special considerations need to be made.
So here are 8 common problems in senior cats and how to help your infinitely fabulous felines enjoy seniorhood to the max.
WHEN DO OUR FUR-CHILDREN TURN INTO FUR-SENIORS?
Cats are usually considered to be old at 7+ years.
COMMON PROBLEMS IN SENIOR CATS AND HOW TO TACKLE THEM:
1. LOSS OF HEARING
So hearing loss is a rather common problem in senior cats – ai.
Signs usually include small things like loud meowing, lack of response when you call their names (especially at dinnertime) or being startled when you approach.
When you start to notice any of these changes – PLEASE do consult your vet.
Hearing loss can also occur due to inflammation, nerve damage and/or inner ear problems in all aged cats.
2. LOSS OF EYESIGHT
Also such a normal part of ageing. You may first notice there’s a visual issue, when you place a treat in front of them and it goes unnoticed.
AGAIN, do consult your vet.
Some diseases, like diabetes, can cause blindness too.
3. NUTRITIONAL NEEDS
As our cats get older, they often pick up weight due to their metabolism slowing down and don’t we all know what that’s like – cringe.
Feeding them a SENIOR DIET is a stellar idea. These diets usually have added joint benefits, more protein, slightly less calories and less fat. Yes, indeed formulated to fit those special senior needs.
If their teeth are diminishing, then invest in some lekker SENIOR WET FOOD.
Once they become very old though – they often need to go back onto kitten food to maintain their muscle mass. Talk to your vet, as they’ll have to run a senior health check first.
4. SKIN AND COAT
Coats do tend to become thinner and duller with age. Bring back some of the dazzle and shine with fatty acid supplements like MIRRA-COTE OIL . Omega 3’s from fish also help restore some of the luster to the coat. Why not give these mouth-watering NANDI FISH cat treats a try – they’re uber fishy and adored by cats.
And don’t forget BRUSHING! Ag this is truly such a great way to give some extra attention to your golden oldie. It’s also a stupendous way to help reduce those horrific hairballs from forming.
5. DECREASED MOBILITY / ARTHRITIS
Encourage your senior cat to get a dash more exercise. Invest in a CAT WAND to get those senior limbs moving whilst you binge a bit on your favourite series.
Arthritis can very much occur in older cats. If arthritis has decided to call your cat’s joints their home – you’ll notice they may have difficulty going up and down stairs, or jumping through their favourite bathroom window.
Be a legend and place chairs, tiny ladders or even this amazing AXEL PET STEP in front of those popular vaulting spots (i.e. windows, counters or beds) to help them still reach their desired destination and safely.
HIP AND JOINT SUPPLEMENTS can be beneficial to oil squeaky hips, creaky joints and proverbial wheels.
Cats have a distinct sensitivity to many anti-inflammatory medications – so DO NOT give your cat anti-inflammatory / pain relief medication UNLESS prescribed by your vet – if prescribed, follow dosage instructions very carefully.
6. DENTAL DISEASE
Dental disease is one of the most common problems in senior cats. It’s important to understand that significant dental disease may develop into life-threatening complications, meaning it’s really more serious than one yellow tandjie here and there.
So have a look at our ORAL CARE range and tackle teeth trolls, bad breath and gingivitis head on.
Regular dental checkups and professional cleaning is NEVER a bad idea either.
Inactivity, drinking insufficient amounts of water, arthritis and the fact that the muscles in their colons just don’t contract as well as they used to, are but a few causes of recurring constipation.
8. SENSITIVITY TO TEMPERATURE CHANGES
Cats definitely NEED MORE warmth as they age. Those who were able to handle cold temperatures when they were young, may not be as able to deal with the chill now.
Invest in soft BED, cosy BLANKETS and make feline-furniture adjustments like moving their beds closer to warmer areas in your home. They say change is as good as a vacation, sooo maybe your living room will thank you?
Monitor your senior cat closely, and do not disregard changes in their activity or behaviour. Cats are NOTORIOUS at hiding weakness, so when in doubt – consult your vet.
Always remember – vets love animals and they’re here to help. Never feel like you’re being paranoid – after all – your cat will understand. William S. Burroughs once said, “ like all pure creatures, cats are practical ”.
AN ADDITIONAL READ
November is Adopt A Senior Cat Month – so DO have a look at this incredible feel-good LINK.