Keeping an elderly cat comfortable means being aware of their needs.
Cats are independent creatures and generally go about their life on their own terms. However even that fiercely independent furry creature, will one day be elderly.
He will cross the threshold from older cat to elderly cat and once this happens we really do need to pay extra attention to keeping our elderly cat comfortable.
Some links may be affiliate links. We may get paid if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of 'these'.
10 Ways Of Keeping An Elderly Cat Comfortable, Cosy And Happy
There are some very basic things that you can do to keep your elderly cat comfortable. Many are commonsense. It is definitely a case of observing your cat as he ages and noticing if he is having difficulty with usual routines or with mobility.
- Keep daily routines the same, as much as possible. An elderly cat is less likely to react in a scared or aggressive way if everything is carrying on in much the same way that it always has.
- Try not to move furniture unless absolutely necessary so that kitty knows he can negotiate the way to his bed, food bowl, litter tray and so on without encountering objects that were previously not there.
- Regular veterinarian checks are now mandatory.
When your cat was younger it may just have been a quick trip to the vet for vaccinations. Now it will depend on you being more observant regarding the cat's behavior or noticing physical symptoms that are causing a problem for the cat.
Not all of these symptoms necessarily require a trip to the vet. Simply choosing a raised feeding platform will help your cat reach his food bowl with ease, alleviating joint stiffness and eliminate having to bend painfully to the floor.
- Your aging cat won’t be able to move as easily as he did when he was younger. For example, it may become difficult for him to jump onto the bed.
You can help with this by placing a halfway station for him to jump onto. Your kitty may need a ramp or steps or at last a halfway point to navigate to his favorite places.
Our kitty had a ramp so that he could stroll up to the window ledge where he liked to sit and observe the goings on in the front garden.
- A warm and cozy place is a haven for elderly kitties. Make sure that bedding is warm especially in the colder months. You may want to try a heated bed or a bed with soft sides that offers support for weary old bones.
- Feed the cat the right diet for the stage of life.
This may include formulations to assist with joint problems or dental problems.
Keeping an elderly cat comfortable includes maintaining a healthy weight which is vital as your cat ages. Being overweight adds complications to medical conditions and makes it harder for the cat to move about.
- If you live in a two story home make sure that there is a litter box upstairs and downstairs and that your cat is easily able to enter and exit the box.
As joints stiffen with older age or if your cat has arthritis it becomes more difficult to step into some of the higher sided litter boxes. There is more information here about litter boxes that are suitable for senior cats.
- Is kitty starting to look a bit ragged around the edges? Give him a brush with a soft brush or invest in a pet grooming glove to give him a brush and take care of shedding hair at the same time.
Read how to use a pet grooming glove here. Even if he has previously not tolerated brushing, he may be okay with it now. This also gives you both time for a cuddle and helps with coat maintenance and grooming.
- Try to ensure that landing places are soft and that he won’t skid or slip on landing. Even being aware of potential dangers means that you can keep an eye on kitty as he lands in a possibly hazardous location.
Places that he could navigate fearlessly without disturbing anything when he was younger become places of danger. Eventually he will abandon the thought of some of the higher placer he used to frequent.
- Has your cat’s demeanor changed over the years? He might now enjoy being picked up and carried for a stroll around the yard. Quite possibly this may have been a no no for his whole life.
Elderly cats enjoy the cuddle and chat time and he can also keep an eye on the general state of things in the yard. Your cat may enjoy a light massage. Full details here.
There is often much debate about the ages and stages of a cat's life.
The Life Stages Of A Cat Compared To Human Years
More Reading About Senior Cats
How To Recognize The Signs Of An Aging Cat
Perhaps your cat isn’t as agile as he used to be and may show signs of difficulty jumping to some of his favorite high places.
Cat Beds For Older Cats
Make sure you read - Four things to consider when buying a bed for an elderly cat.
Litter Box For A Senior Cat
The main thing to consider for a senior cat is the height of the sides of the litter box.