Is your cat beginning to show his or her age? Though there isn’t a “retirement age” for cats, the AAFP classifies 7-10 year olds as middle-aged cats, 11-14 years olds as senior cats and 15+ as geriatric cats. Unlike dogs, cats seem to develop aging issues that are very similar to the aging issues we humans experience.
Since our oldest cat is now 20 years of age – and (incidentally) more active than our 5 year old kitty – I want to share with you our top 5 tricks to help senior cats.
1. Species-Specific Diet
All cats need a species specific diet, but this is especially important for older cats. What I mean by ‘species-specific’ is nutrition that mirrors the diet that he/she would get in the wild: a diet that is high in moisture (wet food is an older cat’s best friend) and animal protein as the number one ingredient. As with humans, a cat’s ability to absorb needed nutrients begins to slow down over time. Because of this fact, it’s imperative that we feed them as much of those nutrients as possible. Believe me, increasing the quality of wet food for senior cats makes a tremendous difference. Just this alone can bring back the twinkle in your aging cat’s eyes.
Don’t skip this step. I know – when reading a list of stuff we need for ourselves or our pets, it’s easy to skip the sections that speak about “antioxidants”, “omegas” and other bigger nutritional words – but it’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. There are many ways to easily add antioxidants into your senior cats’ food without breaking the bank or going through 10 courses in nutrition.
Antioxidant supplements are going to help to reduce inflammation in the body, which slows down and/or reverses arthritis. It will also increase energy levels, support detoxification and build strong immune functions. These are crucial things for senior cats. If you want more years with your kitty, this is a great and easy way to start. Keep reading below for our antioxidant recommendation.
3. Regular Routines
Senior cats will often become disoriented. It’s kind of like the early stages of dementia. Keeping their meal times to a regular time (and in the same place) every day is going to reduce the confusion and increase excitement in aging cats. Keep the litter box in the same place as well. And try to interact with your kitty around the same time every day to give him/her something to look forward to each day.
4. Regular Exercise
Senior cats need exercise too! They may not play with the ‘little red dot’ or the ball and string as much as the others, but it will intrigue their minds and get them moving more than they would just laying around the house all day. Remember, “a body in motion tends to stay in motion, while a body at rest tends to stay at rest.”
5. Extra Special TLC
Give your senior cats more attention. After all, we never know how much time we have left. It’s amazing how much power is behind real love – and cats seem to understand this far more than we humans do. Consider adding a comfy pillow next to yours and inviting your senior cat to sleep next to you. Hold them more. Brush them more. Talk to them more. Cats with plenty of love tend to live longer than those without love.
We’ve followed these steps with our cats and the results are astounding. Just check out this video that we took a few months ago if you don’t believe me. This is our oldest cat, Scotch. He’s laying beside me as I type now. He’s so full of life and we hope to have him with us for many years to come.
Get Your Senior Cat Healthy With CATalyst