Keeping your recently adopted a senior cat, or longtime kitty healthy as they get up there in age takes some special care. Luckily, there are a few ways you can help your senior cat feel as comfortable and happy as possible.
What does it mean to be a healthy senior cat in the first place? According to the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, a healthy aging cat can be defined as one that doesn't exhibit any unhealthy "DISHA" signs often described in pet dogs. These worrisome symptoms include: disorientation, interaction changes, sleep and wake disturbances, house-soiling, and other unusual changes in activity.
While those types of changes are definitely a sign to go to the vet, it's worth keeping in mind that you should expect other changes to happen naturally. For example, Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine reports that it is totally normal for aging cats to not be as active or playful as they used to be when they were younger. Much like aging humans, senior cats might also struggle to reach their favorite spots on their own. Weight loss or gain may also occur as your feline gets older.
That said, it's crucial that you don't brush off major health or behavioral changes as being synonymous with old age. As Cornell professor Richard Goldstein, DVM, emphasizes: "Growing older is not a disease." (Hey, we couldn't agree more!)
In order to keep your sweet senior cat happy and healthy, experts suggest scheduling regular appointments with the vet every six months. But on a day-to-day basis, it's also important for you to do whatever it takes to keep the kitty warm and comfortable.
It's good to think in terms of accessibility: If your cat is struggling to reach a favorite item, move the item closer to him or her. If your pet is having trouble reaching the litter box on time, install more litter boxes throughout your home to give more options. Remember: A 15-year-old cat is 78 in human years, so be as gentle with your furry family member as you would be with an elderly person.
And don't forget to keep your cat happy. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, happiness is a major factor in keeping your kitty at optimum health. Keep interacting with your pet and give the little darling as much attention and love as you possibly can. Goodness knows that they deserve it.
Let's lend them a helping paw!
Next, see some adorable two-faced cats that'll make you do a double-take in the video below: