We’ve had senior cats in our family for over 15 years and we’ve learned lessons from each one of them. One of our most recent lessons came from our 19 year old who was declining in health after grieving the sudden loss of his bonded buddy. I’d like to share this lesson with you, as keeping our senior cats happy is an immeasurable gift we can give them.

Mr. Twister was the most perfect cat. He never had a health emergency, didn’t require ample attention and literally took care of everyone in our home. When we began to see his decline, all of our attention went to him.

So, lesson number ONE is… don’t wait until there’s a decline in health before giving your cat the attention they deserve.

Because we knew he was grieving the loss of our other cat, Pooh Bear, we wanted to do everything we could to enrich his soul. This meant making the time to do things we didn’t normally do. We started taking him outside, which was always his favorite thing to do. When he was younger he was our door dasher, but even when he escaped without us knowing he would be back home within hours. He also loved the smell of roses, so every weekend we would go to the flower shop and buy a dozen roses for him. When he was outside, we’d lay a rose on the ground and he’d eventually make his way over to lay on in and nap.

These small acts of enrichment made a big difference in his overall mental health and stability. We could tell that it was helping the grief. He had something to look forward to each day. Making your senior cats happy by allowing them outside time is priceless.

In addition to mental enrichment, we made some adjustments to our senior cat’s meals. A raw food diet was no longer his preference, so we gave him a gently cooked diet. There are certain calming herbal teas that help with digestion and can be added to the food. The one we purchased took 15 hours to make, but we knew it was helping his health by the health of his stools. And, of course, we gave him all the supplements to support his health.

The grief took such a toll that eventually we had to say goodbye. However, I’m so grateful that the later portion of his life was spent enriched, loved, adored and happy. It saved us regret too.

Please don’t wait until it’s too late. Think of ways that you can make your senior cats happier and more enriched – and implement that daily.

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