What To Feed Your Older Cat
As your cat gets older, its a good idea to feed them a diet made specifically for senior cats. Many popular brands provide special food for elderly cats, tailored to meet their precise nutritional needs, including higher levels of good quality protein. Your vet can advise on the correct diet for your cat.
You might notice your cat has less of an appetite as over time, their sense of taste and smell can diminish. Because of this, they might appreciate a little encouragement from you.
Here are a few things you can do to encourage your cat to eat:
- feed little and often Four to six small meals a day is a good starting point, if they seem reluctant to eat their usual food its worth trying different flavours to tempt them
- warm it up Try gently warming food as this can make it more appealing to your cat
- try different consistencies – If your cat has dental issues, they might prefer softer food in jelly or gravy to hard biscuits, you could also try adding a small amount of water and mashing it up with a fork
- spend some time together Your cat might like to make an occasion of it with you, sitting with them and talking or stroking can encourage them to eat
- make mealtimes fun Puzzle feeding is a great way to help your cat feel younger by keeping their brain active!
Telltale Signs An Old Cat Is Dying
Recognizing the signs a cat is dying of old age can help you make the best choice for your pet. Weight loss, an unpleasant odor, and other symptoms of aging can indicate your cat may be approaching the end stage of its life, but the severity of the symptoms can help you determine how much time is left.
Taking Care Of Your Senior Cat
The graceful lifespan of a cat is approximately 15 to 20 years, with the average around 15 or so. Advances in veterinary treatments and prescription diets together with an incline to the indoor-only rule has contributed to this greater life expectancy. Cats over the age of seven to eight years of age are considered senior. As they age, a cats dietary, exercise, and healthcare needs will also change, so its important that you monitor these changes closely.
Greencross Vets recommend that healthy older cats be examined by a veterinarian twice a year. Pets age much faster than we do and six months for a senior cat is similar to about three years for us, which is a significant amount of time for health problems to develop. Taking your cat to the vet for regular check-ups will help to detect problems earlier, resulting in a happier and healthier feline friend.
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Reasons To Adopt A Senior Cat
Imagine an animal that knows exactly who they are in their kind and what they are capable of. They are comfortable in their own coat, feel confident, and dont demand too much time or attention. And also they are professionals in appearing out of nowhere to give you a lot of love. Sound like impossible? Not for senior cats! They are among the most loving and lovable pets around, and they all deserve a home. If youve wondered if now is the right time to adopt an older cat, we have some information to help you reach a turning point.
At What Age Is A Cat Considered A Senior
It can be hard to recognize signs of old age in cats as they dont get fine lines and wrinkles like humans do. Changes in your cat are most likely to start on the inside as they approach their golden years, and they will gradually age as we do. Read on to learn at what age a cat is considered a senior and what signs of ageing to look out for.
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More Bad Days Than Good Days
Another big thing that people with older cats will notice when their cat may be ready to cross the rainbow bridge is if there are noticeably more bad days than good days. If you start to see that your cat is uncomfortable or in pain more than he is his normal happy self, it may be time to talk to a vet about what options you have.
Does My Cat Need Its Teeth Cleaned
All cats need help cleaning their teeth. Cats are skilled at grooming, but they cannot brush their own teeth. This leads to plaque and tartare. This, in turn, leads to painful gum disease. Cats can be skilled at masking pain. Your cat may be hiding dental issues from you.
Gum disease is not simply restricted to themouth. It can spread to the cats internal organs, leading to a range ofissues. Warning signs that your cat is living with gum disease include:
- Reluctance to eat or groom
- Pawing at the mouth and face
- Foul breath
- Black gums or red, inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
Senior cats start to lose their teeth with age. It is a mistake to believe this means you can let nature take its course.
When cats lose teeth, it is often a result of gum disease. This could spread to elsewhere in your cats body. Look into cleaning the remaining teeth.
If your cat loses its teeth naturally with no sign of disease, its not a problem. Senior cats can thrive without teeth. Youll just need to moderate your cats diet appropriately.
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When Is My Cat Considered A Senior
Cats are technically considered a senior around 11 years old. We tend to do a little bit more care and follow up after the age of seven, though, because a lot of times we can detect early changes as they age, and we want to trend things. So, even though 11 is considered senior, we should be doing at least annual but hopefully biannual as they age over seven years of age.
Senior Cats: The Basics Of Proper Care And What To Expect
How old is old? With cats, as with people, it varies by individual. Some cats act old and crotchety when theyre seven or eight years old, while others still act like kittens when theyre twelve or 13.
Most cats, though, start to enter their senior years when they are eight to ten years old. The signs of aging set in when cells start to deteriorate faster than they can repair themselves. It often happens so gradually that we dont notice at first.
Cats seem to stay young, or at least middle-aged, for a long time, but eventually the signs of age creep forward: the fur isnt quite as glossy, the eyes begin to dim, the skin hangs more loosely, and the pace slows to a stately march.
Aging doesnt mean your cat isnt long for this world far from it with proper care. But it is a clue that its time to start watching for the health problems and diseases that sometimes accompany old age.
Heres what you should know about senior cats and a few tips for giving them the care they need.
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Signs Your Cat Is Becoming A Senior
Its easy to miss some of the signs that a cat is slowing down. Engage your senses of sight, smell, and touch to help you assess your cats well being.
You might notice that your cat moves a little more slowly when they stand up, that they feel a little bonier when you pet them, or that their breath could use a little freshening.
Other signs of increasing age are dry fur, flaky skin, and a thinning coat.
They might be less active than in the past, and maybe they dont come running anymore at the sound of the can opener possibly because they cant hear it as well.
When you trim their nails, they seem more brittle.
Beds Suitable For An Older Cat
Caring for an elderly cat often involves allowing them to rest and relax as needed. Its well known that older cats sleep more, so your cat will appreciate having a variety of cosy, well-padded beds in places that are easy to reach.
The best cat bed for elderly cats is one that is warm, comfortable, and placed somewhere quiet in your home for optimal snoozing. Hammock-style radiator beds are especially warm, which older cats may appreciate.
Another option is the Hide & Sleep, a dual purpose product that allows elderly cats to sleep as well as giving them the opportunity to hide which research suggests reduces stress.
The Hide & Sleep also gives a slightly raised platform for older cats with mobility issues, making it easy for them to reach while still allowing them to survey their surroundings!
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How To Tell Your Cats Age In Human Years
07th March 2019
For their size, cats live quite a long time. Generally, an animals longevity is proportional to its size .
A tiny mouse has a short lifespan, a rabbit somewhat longer and a dog between 7 and 20 years depending on its breed or size, its activity, or both. Cats arent much bigger than rabbits, but whereas the rabbit may live about 8 years, a cat will live on average about 1214 years, and its not unusual for cats to reach their late teens or even their early 20s.
Best Senior Cat Food: 5 Top Brands For 2021 Revealed
When you welcome a kitty into your family, there’s one hope you probably have above all else:
That she’ll have a long, healthy, happy lifeas close to purr-fect as she can get.
And trust us when we say we want that for your cat, too!
And for good reason: by the time your sweet feline reaches her senior yearstypically, around 7 to 11 in human yearsit’s all you can do to not swoon over her every day. After all, there’s something so special and sweet about animals in their golden age and we want to provide them with the best care we can.
But you may be wondering something:
Does my older cat have different dietary needs compared to her younger siblingsor even compared to when she herself was younger?
The answer is almost definitely yes.
In this review, Best Senior Cat Foods, we’re going to talk about the unique nutritional needs of your senior feline, things to consider when choosing the best senior kitten food, what senior cat food is exactly, and which food brands are the best of the best based on price, customer reviews, ingredients, and of coursekitty feedback.
Here at FelineLiving.Net we have a dedicated mission to provide cat owners like you with well-researched information so they can provide the best care and nutrition to their cat.
Our readers rely upon the cat food reviews, articles and recall alerts that we research and publish. We also routinely update and review our own reviews ensuring that any changes by manufacturers are brought to your attention.
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Increased Vocalization And Disorientation
Other behaviors to watch out for as cats get old are increased vocalization , especially at night time, and acting confused or disoriented. In geriatric cats these are common signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome , a condition similar to dementia in humans.
While there is not yet a specific treatment for CDS in pets, certain diets, supplements, and prescription medications may help to reduce the symptoms. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
At What Age Is My Cat A Senior
In most cases, a veterinarian will deem a cat to be a senior when she is 7-10 years of age. By the time your cat is 10 years or older, a common term you might hear your vet use to describe your cat is geriatric.
This term also is used in human medicine to distinguish people who are of advanced age and require special care. If your vet classifies your cat as geriatric, this simply means that to promote good quality of life and longevity, you need to give your cats health special consideration.
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Unresponsive To Medical Treatments
When a cat is getting older in life and needing medical treatments to help with any health conditions it might have, there is the chance that it may become unresponsive to medical treatments. Your cat might also start getting mad when you give him or her medicine.
If this is the case, you will notice that your cat no longer seems to be getting better, and his health may even start declining even more.
What Is A Senior Cat
Cats go through four life stages as they age:
- Mature Adult
Cats are considered senior when they are 11 years old, which is about 60 in human years! Like people, cats needs change as they get older. Its important to understand the physical and emotional changes your cat will go through as they age. Cats age more rapidly than people the lifespan of a cat is five times shorter than of a human. You and your veterinarian can work together to meet your senior cats changing health needs and provide a good quality of life.
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Your Senior Cats Health
Consider the impact of a new cat on your senior cats health. If you have an elderly cat who is ill, I do not recommend bringing another cat into the home until your resident cat has passed. The stress of a new addition to the family may aggravate your older cats condition, and could actually shorten his life. But even seemingly healthy senior cats may be dealing with underlying health issues that havent manifested yet. A 3-year study at the Ohio State University found that stress has a considerable impact on a cats health. Many senior cats are what I call tightrope walkers, says Dr. Tasi. As long as the rope is taught and the cats environment is stable, they do just fine. But if even one thing changes, they may fall into catastrophe.
Best Water Fountain For Senior Cats
The free-flowing water stream from PetSafes Drinkwell Pagoda Pet Fountain encourages aging cats to drink more. Cats need to stay hydrated so they get the proper amount of water every day. Since this fountain holds 70 ounces of filtered water, your cat can drink as much clean, cool water as she desires. This PetSafe fountain is quiet, non-disruptive, and entices cats to enjoy a fresh drink day or night.
- Constant circulation inhibits bacteria growth at the bottom of the bowl
- Perfect for anxious cats who dont like noise or disruption
- Includes a replaceable carbon water filter to remove foul tastes and odor
- The attractive design looks beautiful in any home or apartment
- Easy to clean and top-shelf dishwasher safe
Things to Consider
- Fountain should be cleaned at least once every two weeks
- When cleaning the pump, the filter should be changed as well
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End Of Life Decisions For Your Cat
Partnering with your veterinarian through your cat’s senior years will make the final decisions more gradual and gentle. End of life decisions are always difficult but when you feel supported by our veterinary team, you will feel more comfortable and accepting of your choices.
At Sylvan Veterinary Hospital, our compassionate and supportive veterinary team is here to help you in any way that is in the best interests of you and of your feline companion. We understand this is a very difficult time regardless of the situation. You have lived with your cat for a long time, you have a strong bond with your cat and the grief process is real and should be taken seriously. Please contact us for information about end of life services including grief support.
Will Bringing In A New Cat Help A Grieving Cat
Cats are, by their nature, territorial animals, and while slow and gradual introductions are the best way to ensure that two cats get along, theres never a guarantee. Additionally, most cats are inherently wary of strangers, which also contributes to challenges with new cat introductions.
Accepting a new cat can be even more difficult for senior cats, especially when the new cat is a young cat or kitten. Cat guardians often think that bringing a kitten into the family will make the old cat act young again. However, from the senior cats perspective, the disruption of his familiar routine may create a significant amount of stress.
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Health Issues Affecting Older Cats
Elderly cats are more vulnerable to a variety of age-related health conditions. Cats are known to hide pain, so you will need to be alert to subtle clues that your cat is not right. You may notice things such as changes to their movement, a loss or increase in appetite, excessive thirst, or problems sleeping or toileting.
Some of the most common age-related illnesses are:
- kidney issues
Catching problems early can help you minimise suffering and could extend their life for years to come. If youre concerned at all, you should contact your vet.
As your cat reaches old age, theyre also more likely to require regular dental care. As part of your grooming routine, check regularly for any signs of dental disease. Things to watch out for include any growths in the mouth, redness in the gums, bad breath, drooling, a loss of appetite or your cat pawing at their mouth.