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How to Care for Senior Cats: Expert Tips for a Long & Happy Life

Bringing home a furry little feline and raising it to an adult senior cat is quite an experience. But as your furry feline ages, you have to take extra care of its health and well-being. Elderly cats rarely show strong disease symptoms and thus missing symptoms is nothing unusual.

With proper elderly cat care, you can ensure that your cat lives a long life. Talk to your vet clearly to understand various aspects of senior cat care including senior cat nutrition and changing health needs. Regular visit to the vet also helps in identifying illness at the preliminary stage for quick remission.

This blog covers various aspects of senior cat care and how to care for older cats. 

Specific Age-related Issues for Senior Cats

Senior cats develop various kinds of age-related health issues. Some of them are:

  • Arthritis –

    Osteoarthritis is common in elderly cats. Senior cat joint pain has subtle symptoms. Senior cat joint pain prefers sleeping over playing or hunting and don’t like being picked up.

  • Kidney ailments –

    This is the most common ailment in older cats. When cats age, their kidneys become less efficient, developing various kidney ailments.

  • Obesity and diabetes –

    Older cats are often obese particularly when their feeding routine remains the same and activity decreases, and overweight cats are highly vulnerable to diabetes.

  • Dental disease –

    A slowly progressing ailment, dental diseases develop over a lifetime. Some common diseases include cavities, gingivitis, bone infections, teeth reabsorption, etc.

  • Thyroid disease –

    Many senior cats develop thyroid issues particularly hyperthyroidism leading to increased metabolism and various other problems like heart diseases.

Wondering how to care for older cats and the preventive steps you must take to keep your old cat healthy? You can try the following for older cat care:

  • Regular vet check-ups
  • Proper diet and nutrition
  • Daily exercise and grooming

Senior Cat Nutrition and Diet

Elderly cats have specific dietary and nutritional needs. The cat should have a healthy weight. Aging cats require a high-protein diet to prevent loss of lean muscle mass.

With aging, cats need fewer calories as activities decrease. Consult your vet for guidance on the best senior cat nutrition and older cat care.

As an integral part of elderly cat care, focus on the cat’s digestion. Offer them small but frequent meals throughout the day and night. Maintaining proper weight helps in relieving senior cat joint pain as well.

Aging cats are prone to kidney ailments and constipation. Hence, if you want to know how to care for a senior cat, increase your elderly cat’s access to fresh water by placing water bowls or water fountains in different parts of your house and offer more wet food with senior cat nutrition for increased hydration.

How to care for a senior cat?

Elderly cat care covers many important things right from dental health, vet visits, mental and physical stimulation, keeping an eye on disease signs, and so on. 

It is recommended to keep a close watch on the dental health of your cat. Check the gums and teeth regularly for any kind of abnormality. 
An important part of senior cat care is providing mental stimulation to elderly cats through games and daily exercises. This keeps their brain sharp and alert for a longer time. 

A mandatory part of older cat care is taking your cat to the vet a minimum of twice yearly so that if there is any problem, it gets diagnosed early and treatment can start at the earliest. 

Cats conceal pain excellently. So, if you are wondering how to care for a senior cat you have to look for pain spots and signs of discomfort in senior cats. 

Elderly cat care – what should be my role?

As a caretaker of an elderly cat, you have to be highly observant and aware of the cat’s natural behaviours, patterns and habits. If you notice any subtle changes in their lifestyle, food habits or behaviour, you must seek assistance from the vet immediately for elderly cat care. Cat diseases don’t show very prominent symptoms and you should be cautious. 

When it comes to wellness visits to the vet, make sure that you do it twice a year. This will give you an idea of the exact health condition of your feline friend. You will also get guidance on the dos and don’ts of how to care for a senior cat. 


How do you take care of an older cat?

If you are a first-time cat parent, here’s how to care for older cats: you have to be highly observant and aware. You have to notice if there are any changes in the daily habits or behaviours of the cat. Ensure proper nutrition and regular vet visits to maintain a healthy senior cat. 

What is considered old age for a cat?

When a cat reaches 11 years of age, it is considered elderly. Senior cats are usually between 11-14 years while super senior cats are of 15 years or more. However, the figures might vary for cat breeds. 

How often should I feed my senior cat?

The best way to feed a senior cat is by giving them meals in small proportions consistently throughout the day and night. This helps in proper weight maintenance in cats. 

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