When is a cat considered a senior pet? For many years, cats started to gain senior status when they hit seven or eight-years-old. Although cats that age are still considered seniors, most cats in that age range don’t act like seniors.
Several factors like advances in veterinary care, pet foods and supplements have been a fountain of youth for many older pets. If your cat is approaching his or her senior years, here are tips to help keep your kitty feeling younger longer –
Age assessment – Age is really just a number. A variety of factors like weight, activity level, diet and other health issues all factor into how much your cat has really aged. If you monitor all of these factors and work with your vet, chances are good that you can help your cat live a longer, healthier life.
Visit your vet – Cats are very good at hiding symptoms when they don’t feel well. Visiting your veterinarian on a routine basis great preventative medicine and help you detect problems earlier before your cat may have a health crisis. Once your pet hits senior status, you should visit the vet at least twice a year. Don’t just assume a change in your cat’s behavior is due to age. Consult your vet when your cat acts odd or in anyway changes his or her behavior.
Healthy body and mind – Pets do become bored with inactivity. Look for toys that engage your cat and keep their minds active and engaged to fight senility and depression. The Nina Ottoson Treat Mazes from the Company of Animals offer cats a challenge and treats. Other great toys include ‘da Bird, Cat Dancer and Neko Flies keep your cat active and engaged, and you can set the play pace.
Watch the weight – Just like with people, too many cats are facing the battle of the bulge. Obesity contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, feline diabetes and arthritis, all conditions that age your cat. Skip table scraps, limit treats and focus on serving your pet the appropriate portions of natural, grain-free food. Keep low caloric treats on hand like feline Lickety Stik.
Read the label – Take time to read the label on your cat’s food. Skip anything that leads with meat by-products and look for real meat as the first ingredients. Stay away from rice-based products (because cats are carnivores that don’t process most grains well). Make sure that your senior cat’s food has quality ingredients like a formula of antioxidants and omega 6 fatty acids, alongside wholesome ingredients that address the four signs of aging, helping senior cats feel younger.
Supplement their diet – There are a lot of supplements on the market that help keep your pet healthy and balance the aging process. Wholistic Pet Organics offers a variety of supplements that focus on skin and coat, digestive systems, joint support and overall health.
Increase agility – Cat’s love their favorite perches and resting spots. As they age, it not only becomes more difficult for them to climb but jumping down could be hazardous as well. Consider using ramps or pet stairs to lead to their favorite places. Treat your kitty to a daily message to stimulate their muscles and give you quality time together. Orthopedic and heated beds can help ease the aches and pains as your cat ages. Look for heated beds that only turn on when your cat climbs on.
November is Adopt-A-Senior Pet Month. If you are considering adding a senior cat to your home, check out the many cats available for adoption at your local shelter or rescue.
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