My Golden (actually black) Oldie, Felino
Respect to my elderly cat
When you first see her, you think she's not that old. In fact she believes that herself as well. She runs, jumps, purrs and hiss like a new born kitten. The only thing that gives away her age is the fact that she is really deaf and she can't miaow with a sound. She's just making a dry clicking sound with her mouth wide open. She probably won't notice the difference because she can't hear it. This lens is about my eldest cat Felino of almost 20 years in age (in July 2013) who lived in our house for only a couple of years now.
How she joined the family
A couple of years ago in October 2010 an acquaintance of my mother got a friend who died. Her husband died a year earlier and they had no children, only two old cats and one dog. The cats were that old that they would be taken to sleep in the animal shelter.
My mother told me that story and I said to her: "If they can't find anyone to take the cats, we will take them." A few days later (guess they didn't search any further) we could get our two oldies. We were told they were 17 and 19, this later turned out not to be exactly true.
When we went inside the house of the woman who died the cats were very frustrated. They were living alone in the house for almost a month now, with just occasionally someone taking care of them and feeding them. The dog already moved out to another foster home.
We tried to catch them and they were in total panic. That even got worse when the neighbour put one of the cats in the pet carrier. But finally they were both caught and we just wanted to go home quick.
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The First Weeks
As I said before there were two elderly cats we adopted. Felino was the oldest and the lively one. Joey was the other one and she (yes) didn't trust anybody in the first couple of weeks. Poor kitty.
We set up a room upstairs just for them and we first let them adjust to their new environment. After a short period of time we introduced our other cats. Pooh was the only one that was accepted to enter the room. If you red my lens about Pooh, you'll understand why that is.
Felino was accepted by the other cats very fast. She was very confident about herself and she wouldn't let my other cats bully her. As tiny as she is! Very soon she was sleeping downstairs and had the other cats leave her alone.
Below is a photo that I just had to take. They were all in the same area in the living room. We just got a new couch and they had to try it out. Joey was the only one not lying on it, but she was there.
Photo Credit: Pietje, Pooh, Felino and me, and Balou
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Taking care of an elder cat
A couple of things that we learned from having a couple of oldies will I describe below.
Turn on the heater at night. We always turned the heater off at night, but those oldies have troubles with their rheumatism, joint and muscle disorders. We noticed a change in how they walked when we let the heater burn a little. We know we can expect a higher bill from the power company, but first we had to get painkillers for Joey and now she doesn't need that anymore.
Avoiding dangerous situations Our Felino will climb almost anything she can climb even when she actually can't. She has fallen sometimes because she misjudged the situation. Then we had to take here to the vet because she couldn't walk properly. She has dislocated her bones.
Grooming is very important When we had them, they were not groomed for a couple of months. Their fur was all tangled up and they couldn't even walk properly of that. They would have been in a lot of pain. It was a really pain full job to get it right again. Because they can't groom themselves so good anymore, it's important that it's been taken care of.
Choosing the right food When cats get older they can get problems with their health. Almost every older cat will have kidney failure. My other (not old) cat Pooh is on a special diet and we choose to give all the cats in the house the special diet. It may be a little expensive, but hopefully we'll keep our cats healthier and enjoy our cats longer .
Watch out were you go Because old cats suffer from impaired hearing they don't hear you coming. You easily step on them or bump into them. We also have a Roomba vacuum cleaner and we really have to watch out that it doesn't bump into the cat. She doesn't hear it coming and though it should stop, it doesn't.
Photo Credit: Felino + Joey
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