How to Keep Senior Cats Happy and Healthy
Cats are living longer than ever due to modern improvements in veterinary care and nutrition. Senior felines make great pets, but they can require a bit of special care due to physical and behavioral changes. Cats, like humans, often struggle mentally and physically as they age. Arthritis makes it difficult to get around, and changes in their brains cause confusion and behavioral issues.
Work with your veterinarian to create and maintain a healthy diet for your cat, and consider supplementing with omega-3 and S-adenosylmethionine, better known as SAMe. Omega-3 fatty acids promote cardiovascular health and fight inflammation, which can ease arthritis symptoms. SAMe helps to support healthy brain function, improves mobility and can support healthy liver function.
Senior cats can become disoriented, so confine your cat to a few safe and comfortable rooms if she seems to become confused easily. Make sure that she is confined to rooms that get a lot of use as your cat may become more affectionate than ever as she ages.
Be aware of areas in which she could become trapped, such as closets and other small spaces. Many elderly cats become more vocal, particularly in the middle of the night, when they are restless and confused. Try calling out to your cat in soothing tones if this behavior becomes a problem. Melatonin can also help your cat sleep, but be sure to keep the dose low for safety and to prevent daytime grogginess.
Older cats can develop litter box problems, but you can take steps to prevent bad behavior. Consider placing more litter boxes around your house so that your cat is never too far away from one. If you typically use high-sided boxes, switch to a lower one so your cat can get in and out more easily.
Don’t skimp on socialization and play just because your cat is sleeping more. Older cats need mental stimulation and physical exercise to keep them interested and fit. Try using food-based puzzle toys, wands with feathers or bells, or taking your cat for walk.
Regularly groom your elderly cat as she may not be as capable of grooming as she was in her younger years.A little bit of extra care can go a long way towards improving the health of a senior cat. Here are some reasons that adopting an older cat just makes sense.