CARING FOR YOUR OLDER CAT: AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Thanks to finer dining options, improved vet care and the loving attention of their owners, cats are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. The average domestic cat now lives to an age of 15.1 years. But eventually every kitten matures into a classy older cat: wiser, more beautiful but no less discerning or refined in their tastes. Here’s how to make your senior cat’s golden years the best ones yet.
Signs your cat is mature or senior
Of course, your cat isn’t going to tell you their age — that’s a secret. But in addition to more candles on their salmon-flavored birthday cake, these signs can indicate that your cat is getting on in years:
Sudden weight gain or loss could signal that something is amiss with your older cat’s eating habits. Cats often curtail their eating as their senses of smell and taste fade over time.
Lethargy and listlessness
Cats luxuriate in their much-deserved naptime. But if you notice they aren’t as interested in playing, aren’t climbing all over you while you’re trying to do yoga or lack the energy to reach their favorite sunning spot, it might be a sign of aging or arthritis.
Check your older cat’s teeth and gums more frequently for any changes in appearance. A loss of appetite or pawing at their pearly whites might point to a health issue. Check with your vet if you’re concerned.
Make these their golden years
Here are some secrets to help keep your senior cat comfortable and happy for years to come:
Elevate their cuisine
An older cat’s palate is even more refined than when they were younger, and a DINE® meal will always make for an exquisite dining experience. Packed with nutritious quality ingredients? Check. Fresh every time? Double check. Soft in texture for easy chewing and digesting? You know it.
Give them the easy life
Make sure their regal real estate changes with their needs by making it easier for them to access their favorite spots. Consider adding steps or ramps near the sofa or other high spots so they don’t have to jump as much. Can they get to their food and litter box easily? Speaking of their bathroom time, you might want to consider keeping a litter box on every floor or switching to a lower-sided design to prevent accidents.
Help them age in style
Older cats may have more difficulty grooming themselves. You can help them look their best by gently brushing or combing them more often. Don’t forget regular nail care, too. You know you’ll both love the quality time together.
Share the warmth
Senior cats can’t just jet off to winter in Palm Springs — even though they want to. Easy access to sunny windows, heating vents or a warm lap will feel like a tropical getaway.
Schedule more frequent exams
Six months to a cat is about two human years, so a lot can happen in that span. Twice vet visits can help keep your older cat living their best life.
Stay the course
Your grand dame or stately gentleman is used to getting their way. Now is not the time to adopt a new kitten or drastically change your pet’s daily routine. A predictable schedule helps keep them calm and reassured that they still rule the roost.
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