senior cats: common health complaints and how to prevent them

It can be hard to watch our beloved pets age and slow down. Aging is a natural and normal part of life for all living things, and cats are no exception. You may notice signs that your cat is aging, or it may not be noticeable at all. Regardless it would be best if you changed the way you care for your cat as they age to ensure that their later years are full, happy, and healthy.

Here are some of our top tips for caring for senior cats and some of the common health issues they can face.

When Does A Cat Become A Senior?

Many cats live well into their teens and even 20s nowadays, thanks to modern medicine and advances in veterinary care. That being said, cats become senior at the age of around seven despite their longer lifespans. It is crucial that you take steps to ensure the health and welfare of your cat at this age and beyond to ensure that the coming years are good ones.

Common Signs Of Aging In Cats

Signs of aging in cats can be hard to spot. Many signs are similar to those of an aging human: slowing down, smaller appetites, and sleeping more. You may also notice a change in your cat’s coat, with it being less glossy than it once was, bits of grey creeping in, or brown shades in black cats.

It is best to start treating your cat as a senior as soon as they reach the age of seven, rather than waiting for any visible signs of aging. If you are unsure, it could be a good idea to have your cat checked regularly by the vet after the age of seven. This can help ensure that any health problems are spotted early, giving your cat the best chances of treatment and keeping them happy and comfortable for longer.

Signs Of Arthritis In Cats

Arthritis is one of the most common issues in older cats. Just like humans, arthritis can make it hard for your cat to move around easily, and you may notice them struggling to jump and get to places they could previously reach with ease.

Preventing arthritis in your cat should ideally start well before they show any signs of the condition. You should consider feeding your cat food with vitamins and minerals that fortify bones and joints from the time they are kittens.

Arthritis is incurable, and sometimes no matter what we do, a cat will develop arthritis. If this is the case for your cat, you can ask your vet for advice and tips on how best to care for them. This could include putting in pet ramps so that your cat can get to high-up places easily and supplements and medications to ease any pain.

Keeping Senior Cats Active

One of the most important preventative measures you can take with your senior cat is to keep them active and to move. This can help stave off the worse effects of arthritis and joint pain and keep them mobile and healthy for longer.

You could consider getting a range of toys for your cat that is more suited to senior pets. Playtime is a must for cats of any age to keep their body fit and their minds sharp. You could consider investing in some toys that specifically aim to stimulate your cat’s mind, particularly if they are indoor cats or spend a lot of time alone.

Buying The Best For Your Senior Cat

You should always ensure that you buy your cat’s toys and food from a trustworthy source, particularly when purchasing online. Do some research into the different foods, toys, and other pet supplies you might need for your older cat, and ensure that the seller you choose is dependable, with high-quality products.

An excellent example of a high-quality online pet shop is Time for Paws. You can find everything your senior cat may need on the Time for Paws website, from pet food to treats, toys to litter, so you’ll never need to find another pet care provider.

Feeding Your Older Cat

Changes in eating habits are a common sign of an aging cat. If your cat loses or gains weight noticeably, this may simply be an ordinary sign of your cat growing older. However, it is vital to ensure that you get your cat checked out by a vet if you notice unexplained weight loss or gain at any age, as this can be an indication of something more serious.

You should modify your cat’s diet as they age, with advice from your vet. Many cats will benefit from food targeted to seniors, as this will include many of the nutrients and minerals they need to keep their bones, joints, and immune systems strong and healthy.

Treating Dental Problems

Dental issues are another common problem in aging cats. It could help to begin your cat’s dental care routine early to prevent any problems that can worsen over time.

There are specially designed cat toothbrushes and toothpaste that you can buy to make cleaning your cat’s teeth a little easier. Starting early with teeth cleaning can help your cat grow used to it and make the process a smooth one. You could also consider investing in treats designed to improve your cat’s dental health – though, as, with all treats, these should be given in moderation.

Regular check-ups at the vet can also help to prevent any dental issues, so you could consider making frequent appointments for your cat’s teeth to be cleaned at any age.

Final Thoughts

Our pets are valued members of our family. It can be upsetting to see them age, particularly for younger members of the family. Prevention and early intervention are essential to ensure that your cat’s golden years are healthy and happy. A combination of good food, regular vet visits, and health routines at home can help to ensure that your cat lives their best life for years to come.

Bonding is crucial for the happiness of any pet. As your cat ages, one of the best things you can do to ensure a good quality of life is spending time quality time with them, letting them know they are a loved and valued member of the family.