Old and Aging Cats Care
Cat’s old age could be tough just like old humans. A senior cat has special needs as compared to young cat and there could be several reasons that make life of old cats miserable. People must look for signs of old age in their cats once they reach a certain age limit because after that time, a cat would no longer be able to act like a young cat. Elderly cats are sometimes perfectly young at heart and hardly show any symptoms of old age.
Life of all living beings is unpredictable. When it comes to cats, the average age is said to be around 15-20 years, which is equivalent to 80-90 years of human age. Old and aging cats ask for an extra share of care which is necessary to live comfortably in that phase of age. Some cats die early due to many diseases or environmental threats. Indoor cats which have access to healthy food and water, along with a safe environment, live longer and healthier.
Food Care in Old Cats
It is suggested for old cats to feed them according to their needs. Some old cats suffer from some disease, for example diabetes, then in such cases, foods with low fats and carbohydrates are advised for cats. Some cats need to be given moist food because they suffer from some kidney problems. Dry cat food causes dehydration as water requirements of cat are not being fulfilled. In this case, the cat should be given food in such proposition so that the water intake is appropriate.
Cat food quantity matters a lot in this regard. Old cats sometimes become very lazy and they tend to rest most of the time. This could lead to obesity. Obesity in cats could be extremely risky. This could be the forerunner of many diseases like arthritis, heart problem etc. Foods should be given in measured quantities and cats should be enticed to have walks around the house to keep them in shape.
There are commercially available foods for “senior cats” in the market. These foods are low in calories (to control obesity) and easy to digest. Such foods are best for cats which are obese or gain weight easily. But weak cats should not be given such formula diets as they don’t require low fats or calories.
Apart from regular food, the elderly cats could be given supplements of Vitamins and minerals. These supplements are suggested by Vets sometimes as a safeguard from certain weakness in cat’s body. Whenever the cat’s owners choose to give diet supplements to the cat, they should always refer to the Vet first to find out if cat really needs them.
Dealing with Dehydration
Old and aging cats are extremely prone to become dehydrated because they don’t feel thirsty due to lack of activity and will to move around and look for water. Always keep cats well hydrated so that their organs work properly. The Renal infections and diseases often start from dehydration. Moist food is a good way to keep cat hydrated. Milk and egg also play very important role here.
Some Important Tips
Here are some other important tips for old cats care:
- Help old cats in grooming them as they might not very actively self-groom themselves.
- Keep the teeth of old cats clean. If cat is on canned food, then make sure that cat’s mouth stays clean.
- Choose the type of cat food according to cat’s health needs. If cat needs high proteins and low carbohydrates diet, then choose accordingly.
- Regular check-up of old cats becomes a necessity. It is important to keep an eye on all organs. The liver, kidneys, heart and teeth all are very sensitive in old age. The cats could also develop hypertension, psychological problems, diabetes and some other diseases related to body glands.
- If cat is losing weight rapidly and appetite seems abnormal, then never wait for long. Old cats could not tolerate rapid weight losses.
- Tumors and cancer is also a big threat to cat’s life. Never ignore any physical change or any signs of pain that old and aging cat shows.
- If despite all the care, love and attention, the cat falls terminally ill and some unfortunate accident happens to her, then it will cause an end of a beautiful life. The cat is a great companion and we can just enjoy the company of these adorable creatures as long as possible.