Taking Great Care of Your Senior Cat and Beyond…
It is imperative to care for your cat in a comprehensive manner especially as he begins to age. Cats that are 7 – 10 years old are considered mature, while cats 11 – 14 are categorized as senior. Once your cat turns 15 they become geriatric.
That does not mean that your cat can’t enjoy themselves and live their feline lives to the fullest. Cats are known to live to 20 or 21 years of age. Hill’s Science Diet has gone on to name it’s senior cat food “Age Defying”. With proper health maintenance you and your beloved feline can defy the odds together.
If your cat appears to be healthy – that is they are maintaining seemingly healthy daily activities including getting around without difficulty and eating normally, they can stick with their yearly veterinary visit. In additon to a regular check-up ask your veterinarian to perform a body condition check to make sure your feline is at a healthy weight. The yearly visit will include special checks for health problems that befall cats as they age:
- Dental diseases – if you notice your aging cat suddenly prefers soft food or is eating poorly it may be due to a dental disease. Dental disease occurs quite often in felines and often happens in younger cats as well. Cats suffer from periodontal disease, cancer of the oral cavity, stomatitis, tooth resorption, fractures, bad breath, infections, and malocclusions. Making certain that you employ proper dental hygiene early and often may help prevent these common maladies. Bringing the cat in for regular veterinarian checks can help to identify a problem early before it progresses.
- Arthritis – some cats may begin to gain weight because they are not getting around as well due to arthritis and pain in their joints. Older cats may just not have the same energy and tend to put on extra weight due to lack of activity.
- General Diseases – the older they get the greater his chances of developing kidney, thyroid, liver and heart diseases. Many people neglect taking them to the vet because they deem the cat to be healthy. This is a poor attitude to hold. Even indoor cats need regular veterinarian visits to make certain they are not developing a problem.
What You Can Do to Assist Your Cat in Avoiding Common Problems of Old Age
Be creative with your pet’s activity. Try to incorporate new and interesting physical activities that your pet can get involved in. You may want to take them out with a leash to encourage exercise for a sluggish feline. Maybe a new pet toy or game may peak his interest and help keep him active.
If your cat is showing signs of developing a disease ask the doctor for a special diet to curtail it. There are foods that will help your cat ward off diseases and add nutrients that may have been lacking.
Your older feline needs you now more than ever to protect his health and well being.