May 19, 2022, 19:05 | Animals
What care is needed for elderly cats.
During the years of living with you, the cat gave you countless hours of love, laughter and communication. Now that she is getting older, it is time to surround her with special care to ensure a happy old age for her beloved pet, informs Ukr.Media.
Signs of an aging cat< /p>
In some cats, the physical signs associated with aging begin to manifest as early as seven years of age, while others are more active than kittens at ten years. Generally, a cat is considered 'senior' if it is over 11 years old.
If you are the owner of an elderly cat or cat, you need to watch for changes in behavior that may indicate an underlying problem. Here are six of the most common symptoms and illnesses you may notice in an elderly pet:
Sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all
While a decrease in movement speed as a cat ages is a normal process, sleep disturbances can indicate more serious health problems. If you noticed that the cat constantly sleeps and sleeps more deeply than usual, or, on the contrary, has become more active at night, this may indicate age-related changes. The Society for the Protection of Animals also notes that an elderly cat or cat that suddenly has much more energy may be suffering from hyperthyroidism. If you have any doubts about your pet's general health, consult a veterinary specialist.
If a cat becomes confused by ordinary tasks or objects by which it is used to orient itself, for example, it has difficulty finding its bed, it may be that it has approached its golden years. It can also be a sign of cognitive problems, so if you notice this behavior in your pet, you should contact your veterinarian.
Problems climbing stairs or jumping
< p>Arthritis is common in older cats. Although she may not have a limp or other obvious signs of joint disease, she may notice that it is becoming increasingly difficult for her to jump into the litter box, climb stairs, or climb on furniture.
Unintentional weight loss or gain
According to the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois, weight loss in an elderly cat can be a sign of health problems, from heart and kidney disease to diabetes. Some pets' food and energy needs may increase as they age, and cats may lose weight faster than they make up for the loss with food. On the other hand, as cats age, their metabolism slows down, so they don't need as many calories as they used to. If you notice that your cat is gaining weight, you may want to switch to a senior cat food that is better suited to meet her biological needs.
< p>Does your pet have cases of involuntary urination, which did not happen before? Does she avoid communication with a person? This can be a symptom of kidney failure, as well as a sign that she is in pain or suffering from a mental disorder — these conditions are most common in older cats. A veterinarian will help you understand behavioral changes in your pet.
Dull or greasy coat
A cat that has stopped grooming itself may be in pain due to arthritis or problems with teeth.
Senior cats should be seen by a veterinarian every six months. But if you notice any changes in the behavior or appearance of your pet, you should not delay and it is better to immediately visit a veterinary specialist who knows all the signs of aging in cats.
Caring for your elderly pet
You can also improve the quality of life of your cat in adulthood:
- Choose a high-quality food for senior cats: These are specially formulated to improve brain function, support energy and vitality, healthy kidneys and bladder, healthy digestive system and luxurious coat.
- Give her a warm place to rest, especially if she suffers from arthritis. The cat will be grateful to you for moving her bed away from drafts.
- Consider free access to food and the toilet: place a cat litter box, a water bowl, and a food bowl on each floor of your home. If she has trouble getting into the litter box, choose a litter box with lower sides or try using an old baking sheet.
- Help her groom herself: Many people rarely brush their cats because they do a great job themselves. But as your cat gets older, brushing her coat does a double duty: the process helps you bond emotionally and keeps your pet's coat healthy while she's no longer able to groom herself.
- Continue to encourage her physical activity.
It is important to remember that aging is not a disease. Cornell University's Feline Health Center notes that aging is a natural process, and the body, whether human or feline, undergoes many physical changes over the years. But even if some diseases of your pet are not easy to cure, they can be controlled. Help your cat enjoy her old age by providing her with veterinary care and plenty of love and attention.