Do you have an aging or senior cat? Caring for a senior cat is not like taking care of a young kitten. Sure, she no longer has boundless energy and she doesn’t require as much attention anymore, but aging cats do require special attention still.
Senior Cat Care: Help out with the grooming
Cats are clean creatures and don’t like to be dirty. Aging cats with arthritis or mobility limitations may not be able to reach every part of their bodies, and they may need help cleaning up at times. Every day, you should brush her fur (this will also help you bond with her). Clip her nails once a month and keep following your normal grooming regimen with her.
Senior Cat Care: Move your cat’s bed out of drafts
Cats love warmth. And as they age, they catch chills more quickly. They also need to take more naps. Make sure her bed is in a warm area of the house, away from drafty windows and doors, to help make her nap times more comfortable.
Senior Cat Care: Place water bowls around the house
Water is a necessity for cats, just as it is for people. They depend on us to take care of them, so we should be able to provide this necessity and have it accessible whenever they get thirsty. Place several water bowls around the house for old Betsy, especially if you have a large house with several levels. After all, it can be a lot of work for an aging cat to climb up those stairs just for a drink of water.
Senior Cat Care: Place the litter box in an accessible area
Senior cats may need to eliminate more often than younger kittens, since their bladders may not be as strong. Keep the litter box in a central area of the house where your elderly cat will easily be able to access from wherever she is. Consider placing it near the hangout where you are most likely to find her.
Senior Cat Care: Keep your cat active by placing food dishes higher up
This may seem contrary to all my previous advice, but older cats need to watch their weight (and their health). If your Betsy likes to hang out near the food dish and pig out all day, consider placing it up higher. This way, she will have to work for her dinner and she may not be tempted to eat as much. If she has arthritis, though, keep it down low, feed her measured portions, and engage in low-key activity several times throughout the day.
Your aging cat may no longer be a young kitty with boundless energy, but she still requires special attention. It takes good care to keep your senior cat happy and healthy, and she may have certain needs to make life easier. Make sure that her last few years are comfortable by following the advice above.