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Improving Your Elderly Cat’s Quality of Life

As nutrition and health care for pets improves, cats are living longer and longer—what was once considered a senior cat is now middle-age, as cats are living to be 15 or even older. Even so, elderly cats need special care and attention that younger animals might get away without. Here, your Carmel veterinarian offers tips for improving and maintaining your elderly cat’s quality of life.

  • Try a senior diet. Pet food manufacturers are making specially-formulated kibble for older cats that contain different types and amounts of nutrients than general food for younger or middle-aged animals. Ask your vet for a recommendation.
  • Make sure plenty of water is available at all times. This is true for any age cat, but it’s especially important as your cat enters her older years, as dehydration can occur more easily and quickly.
  • If your elderly cat has trouble bending down to eat, raise her food and water dishes off the floor on some sort of elevated platform.
  • Make sure your senior cat has a warm place to hang out. Often times, this can be on a windowsill or a spot on the floor where sunlight comes through a window. Keep in mind, though, that if the spot is raised off the floor, such as a windowsill or ledge, your cat might have trouble reaching it. Consider purchasing a ramp or pet stairs to assist your cat—your veterinarian can advise you further on what sorts of products might be useful for your pet.
  • While your elderly cat might not be as active as she once was, exercise is still vital. Set aside time every day to play and exercise—try using cat toys or just a line of string. Consult your veterinarian to make sure the toys and treats you’re using are safe and appropriate for an older animal.
  • As your cat’s eyesight wanes, it will become harder and harder for her to see at night. Consider placing a nightlight in the room where she sleeps to help her stay properly oriented.

Your Carmel veterinarian can offer even more tips for keeping your beloved feline happy and healthy as she gets older. By following these tips and paying attention to the specific needs of your senior cat, you can improve your pet’s quality of life well into her golden years.

 

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