Pussa was a year old when we got her and Soph was 2 when she moved in 12 months later. They have both had birthdays in recent months and are now 9 years old. That’s 53 in human years. Luckily, they are both still in good nick and carry on with a good quantity of cat antics every day…chasing their own tail remains my personal favourite. What Mr Pet Parent and I have noticed as time goes on is that they do seem to sleep more than they did when they were younger….who knew that was even possible? That made me consider what things we could do to to make life better for our Favourite Felines when they move from being middle-aged ladies to “seniors”?
The major changes you’re most likely see in your cat as they get older include variations in appetite, reduction in physical activity/ability, and increasing sleep. Just like humans, cats who have been cared for well throughout their life with a good diet, sufficient activity, and avoidance of illness and injury are more likely to have a better quality of life in their latter years.
Considerations To Help Your Cat Age Well:
- Preventative care: Good Pet Parents take their furry friends to the vet every year for their annual vaccinations and a general check-up. When your cats are older consider making it a twice yearly visit. Yes, I realise this will mean ANOTHER trip in the car in the dreaded cage, but many illness can be screened for and caught early on. This often results in a higher success rate and a less costly outcome;
- Home adaption: We aren’t advocating installing a lift in your home (unless of course you want to!), but you could think about laying a plank of wood along a set of stairs to act as a ramp. This makes it easier for your older cat to get around rather than trying to negotiate stairs. If your cat has say, a favourite window sill that they like to sit on, you could help them out by rearranging some furniture so they don’t have to jump to get to it;
- Litter box: Look at switching to a litter box with lower sides so it’s easier for them to step in and out of. A shallower tray will mean it holds less litter and needs more frequent changing but the alternative is for them to do their business on your brand new carpet;
- Check their weight: If your cat is already on the tubbier side then you should get them slimmed down. Remember, the cat can’t peel back the lid of the can or open the biscuit packet. If puss-cat is overweight that’s your fault and you’re the one who needs to fix it. Look at one of the diet formula dry foods and take particular note of the volume of food you are giving your cat. Calories in don’t want to exceed calories expended;
- Keep them active: Going hand-in-hand with an appropriate diet is maintaining an adequate level of activity, especially for indoor cats. Interactive toys like our Cat Teasers encourage puss to do short bursts of chasing, and independent toys like our Fur Balls, Mice or CAT-erpillars encourage pouncing, play fighting and batting;
- Sleeping arrangements: Similar to the litter box scenario if your cat has mobility issues, look at a cat bed with shorter sides that is easy to step in and out of. Our Slumber Yards are purrfect!