ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Caring For A Senior Cat

Updated on October 6, 2014

One of the wonderful results of a lifetime of healthy living, quality food and regular veterinary appointments, is a longer life for the average cat. While a few decades ago a cat may have been considered old at 10 years of age, it is now not uncommon for cats to live well into their late teens. Occasionally cats can even live into their early 20s, although this is still relatively uncommon.

As cats age, just as we age, their needs change and as owners we have to adjust the way that we feed and provide care for senior cats. Most veterinarians consider a cat to be in their senior years between 8 and 10 years of age. It is important to consider that each cat is different and genetics, health, history and even if they are an indoor or an outdoor cat can all impact how fast they age on a physical level.

Signs of Aging

Many cats that are in the early part of their senior years are still very active and have few if any changes in behaviour. However, most cats by the age of 12 to 14 will start to show signs of sleeping more, having less energy and interest in things that they used to attend to and in being less vigilant in their self-grooming routines.

Cats may also begin to have difficulty in hearing when they are called, which is sometimes initially assumed to be the cat just being a typical aloof cat. When the cat doesn’t seem to respond to unusual noises, the sound of favourite toys, or the sound of food rattling in the dish or the can opening, hearing loss may well the cause of the perceived lack of interest.

Some cats may also begin to have vision problems. Cats, just like dogs and people, can develop cataracts, which is a thickening of the lens of the eye. Cataracts will restrict vision and they can cause irritation and inflammation that can be painful. It is normal for a senior cat to have a slightly cloudy or bluish look to the eye but this is never associated with discomfort or signs of blindness or vision problems.

You may also notice that your cat is less physically able to jump, run or get up and down off of the furniture. This is very normal in an older cat and more pronounced if the cat has been injured or has had health issues in the past.

Ways to Help

There are several steps that owners of senior cats can take to provide their older cats with a great life. These include:

  • Good quality canned cat food that is easy to chew and digest and is formulated from meat proteins, a balanced amount of fat, and vitamins and minerals. This helps ensure that your cat is able to physically chew and digest the food, that it is the food that is best for the cat’s metabolism, and that it provides the moisture that a cat needs but may not consume on his or her own.
  • Ensure that cat has easy access to fresh, clean water at all times in places that he or she likes to be in the home
  • Feed the correct portion and food type to avoid obesity in senior cats that are less active
  • Maintain a regular grooming routine to help your cat’s coat and skin stay healthy
  • Provide soft bedding on the floor if the cat is no longer able to get up on the furniture
  • Look for pet steps or ramps that can help a senior cat get up and down of the bed or couch without the need to jump
  • Choose a low sided litter box and perhaps even consider more than one throughout the house
  • Spend time with your older cat
  • Schedule regular vet appointments on a quarterly basis or as recommended by your vet

It is never a good idea to introduce a kitten into a home with an elderly senior cat. If you are considering another cat talk to your vet and ensure that the cat will be a good match and not a problem for your older feline.

This hub brought to you....

by Julie-Ann Amos, professional writer, and owner of international writing agency www.ExquisiteWriting.com



Why not create your own HubPages?

It's fun and you can make revenue from Adsense and other revenue streams on your pages. JOIN HUBPAGES NOW - SIMPLY CLICK HERE...

This work is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ or send a letter to CreativeCommons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California94105, USA.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)