Senior cats are lovable and cuddly, but some cats will have habit changes and health concerns in their elderly years. Dr. Chelsea Luedke has these recommendations that can help your furry best friend as they grow older.
- Regular wellness exams: cats are notoriously good at hiding serious medical conditions until they are difficult to treat. Annual bloodwork screens can help to detect issues such as kidney disease or thyroid issues early in the course when treatment is easier to manage.
- Monitor drinking and urination habits at home: increased drinking and urination volumes are the best way to pick up on renal issues or even diabetes. Some cat litters can now help to detect issues early on with pH measurements.
- Keep food/water/litter accessible: it’s easy to forget that our cats can no longer easily jump onto higher surfaces when they get older. Their discomfort can sneak up on us as it’s often a gradual change but cats can have joint pain in their golden years. CBD can be very helpful as an anti-inflammatory with minimal risks; VetCS Hemp Extract for cats is a good option for cats that have decreased mobility.
- Litter box accidents: new litter box (urine or stool) accidents in a previously litter trained cat can signal possible medical or anxiety conditions. Discuss these changes with your veterinarian for further guidance.
- Encourage adequate water consumption: cats can be difficult to keep drinking adequate amounts of water. A popular option to encourage drinking are cat water fountains.
- Avoid stressing your senior cat: bringing in multiple pets or younger cats can easily make a senior cat anxious. Keeping separate litter boxes and areas of the home can help substantially in transitioning with new pets or after a big move. For those cats that don’t adjust well, consider using pheromone diffusers, VetCS CBD for Cats, and enrichment toys like hunting feeders.
- Know your cat’s normal weight: weight gain or loss is a notable change in cats. For overweight cats, encouraging more activity with hunting feeders and activity centers can help keep weight gain at a minimum. Sudden or rapid weight loss is cause for concern and should be brought up with your cat’s veterinarian.
- Dental disease is common in senior cats: keep up on regular examinations and note any changes at home in their appetite or ability to chew. Dental issues left untreated can cause stomatitis, pain, and leaves them at higher risk for infections.
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