What Does my Cat Need as it Gets Older?
We all want to provide the absolute best care possible for our pets. It is a lot easier to care for the younger, more active animals. But as they get older and time begins to show on them, how do their needs change?
In cats, this can be especially difficult to determine. Cats have an independent streak more fierce than any teenager. They are so used to bathing themselves, taking themselves to the bathroom, and keeping themselves entertained that the subtle changes they experience as they become older often times escape our notice.
Compassion is Essential
It is really important for us to all remember that like our human family, growing older is not a disease. It is simply a reason to pay closer attention to them and help out more with the things they do that they can no longer do for themselves. This can be one of the most beneficial practices for ensuring that all of these are covered.
Careful with Infections
More senior cats, though, do suffer from a weakened immune system, so they can become sick more often. In addition, their skin is thinner than a younger cat’s, eye-sight might begin to deteriorate, as well as their olfactory senses. Some of the more common conditions to be watchful for involve their teeth.
How to Help
So what can you do? To keep its mind engaged and help slow mental decline, keep it active and engaged with toys, attention, and sometimes puzzles such as a treat hidden within a toy. Exercise will significantly improve its quality of life in many areas. As it is with humans, exercise keeps the body young. Finally, brush its teeth often. Since an older cat has obviously been alive for longer than its younger counterparts, it has had more time to accumulate plaque and with its weakened immune system, it is more susceptible to infection. Regular care of its teeth and gums will help prevent a potentially life-threatening disease by keeping the cat’s defenses sharp!
Our pets need love in their old age just as much as they did in their youth. They have helped see us through our best and worst and deserve to have us faithfully by their side when they start needing a little extra care. If you live in the Fort Collins area and have questions about an aging pet, talk to your fort collins vet for more information.