How quickly time passes by! If your kitty is over 10 years old he is considered old! You may be aware of this fact but what you may not know is how to care for your aging kitty. What are the best ways to keep your older cat healthy and happy as well as active during their later years? Some questions might arise such as, should I change the food I have been using? You might wonder how to keep your cat healthy through exercise? What about medical care?
When a cat ages, its body goes through much the same types of changes that we see in humans. Cat care becomes very important at this time. For example, there is a natural decrease in muscle mass, along with a coinciding increase of body fat. If you are not careful and take early action these changes can lead to an overweight kitty! Because the energy needs of the typical cat begins to slow around the ages of 7 to 9, changes in food intake and exercise must be made to prevent the cat from become unhealthy.
Nutrition is a very critical aspect of cat health and cat care. Strolling down the cat isle at the pet store will present a vast array of cat foods for every kind of situation. The elderly cat is not left out. It is very important that you choose a food designed for your cats age. Food for older cats will contain less calories and protein and more of the vitamins and minerals an older cat needs. A quick call to your vet can help you decide if you are not sure which one to pick.
Sometimes you may not be sure if your kitty is officially a Sr yet. There are some signs that you will want to keep an eye on. When a couple of these traits begin to be apparent you know its time to make some changes. Is your cat moving slower than the past, does he sleep more than years past, is your cat unable to jump up on things that use to be easy for him? These can all be signs of an aging cat. You may want to consider things that can make life a little easier for him at this time of his life. Pet steps can help a cat get up on a bed that is too high to jump on now. A comfortable, plush cat tree with a cat house can make for restful naps and a place to hide out in.
Arthritis in older cats is a big issue because as cats age the absorption rate of calcium into their bones becomes inadequate. A general rule of cat care is that arthritis becomes an issue for cats at about the age of 12, even earlier if the cat happens to be obese. If your veterinarian diagnosis your cat with the painful illness of arthritis, there are some steps that can be taken to minimize its effect on the cat. For example, this can often be treated with a combination of weight loss and medication. Sometimes its just a fact of growing old and the only thing we can do is make things a little easier for our old friend.
As your cats age progresses, cat care becomes even more crucial. When a cat becomes very old, it can suffer loss of sight and hearing, just like humans. And, just as with older humans, cat care becomes a little harder at this age. Care needs to be taken to make sure the cat is as comfortable as possible. The teeth of you cat can present cat care challenges as he gets older. As with all of us, the older we get the more dental problems we have. Be sure you are doing all you can to keep your cat’s teeth healthy. See our cat care article on cat teeth. One good way to help a cat keep healthy teeth is by feeding him hard cat food most of the time.
How old is your kitty compared to human years?
1 year = 20 years
2 years = 24 years
3 years = 28 years
4 years = 32 years
5 years = 36 years
6 years = 44 years
7 years = 48 years
8 years = 52 years
9 years = 56 years