打造貓咪幸福晚年生活｜Essential Senior Cat Care Information
Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Essential Senior Cat Care Information
Cats over the age of 12 are categorised as a senior cat.
"Why has my cat become like this?" is a question we often hear in a session, or even at the reception desk where a poorly conditioned cat is presented to us. Many might believe it was a sudden change, but diseases and their symptoms develop over a period of time. The time your elderly cat has left depends on their condition when brought in. Unfortunately it is sometimes too late for treatment to have any effect. That's when palliative care comes in.
Humans are busy creatures, and gave all sorts of goals and pressures during different stages of their life. Exams, internships, job interviews, arguments between partners or family, getting married, buying a house, raising a child. And our cats are always there watching us, and growing old slowly at the same time. Before you know it, they might have breached the age of 18.
Tending to senior cats is almost like looking after a kitten: extra attention is crucial. Yet, if you are well prepared, and are providing the recommended care, you might just save a fortune and get a happy and healthy old cat that can stay on your lap for years to come.
Here are the 10 things we think might help:
Weighing your cat at a weekly basis is the most life-changing thing you can do at your own home for your cats. Many diseases start small, and your cat's weight is the front line for this battle.
Provide easily digestible high quality protein and fat; food that's closest to its natural form should be your top pick. Good sources of food can decelerate the depletion of muscles.
Watch out for leftover food! Picky eating and a bad appetite are not the same.
As senior cats can have a lower activity level, it can be harder to tell if they are not feeling well. This is the reason why they need regular weighing. They might also develop dementia, and got lost in a room and making long calls at midnight. If they have been docile for the past 15 years and suddenly display aggressive behavior or kitten like activeness, you can ask your veterinarian test your cat for hyperthyroidism.
Monitor your cat's water intake. Any dramatic change of quantity can be a sign of possible diseases. The kidney must be checked regularly with blood tests and sonar imaging for older cats, especially if eating a dry food diet.
Beware of vomit problems. Any vomiting that does not show hairballs and happens more than three times per week and/or three days in a roll should be taken seriously. Many older cats tends to vomit water in early morning, and it means that your feeding routine needs to be adjusted. Provide less food per meal, and increase the number of meals per day. You can also just add one light meal before you go to bed.
Observe walking posture, looking for lameness or a limp. You can also pat them at different areas, being wary for their reaction. If they show impatience or even aggressive behaviour, it is possible that there is a joint problem.
Creating an accessible home for your cat is essential. An elevated food bowl can release pressure on a cat's neck. Some stairs or steps to ensure easy access to their litter tray and comfy spots is also a good addition.
Joint degeneration often causes mild to extreme pain for senior cats. Some may become less attentive to grooming and scratching, which can lead to a dull coat and thickened nails that can easily grow into their paws without more frequent nail clipping.
Regular health checks are crucial for senior cats, from imagery exams such as X-rays and sonographic exams to full blood exams. Health exams should be done once every six months. If there are any remarkable results, you should follow your veterinarian's orders. Do not fall for false advertisement of unapproved drugs, healthcare products or even folk remedies.
Many senior cats that came in a really bad shape are quiet cats, or very aggressive cats. Due to their own personalities, are often brought in too late, because they were found lying on the floor.
If you are caring for an aggressive cat, you need to establish routined, positive interactions with them, so you can monitor their health conditions. As an owner, it's your responsively to ensure their living quality and health. It's never too late to start, and you should start the practices listed above now.
For other cats owners, start your daily snuggle now, share your stories today, and check those little paws and weigh them now - 20 year old cats are no legends.