For the older cat:
- Make any changes in your cat’s environment gradually. Sudden changes can cause undue stress.
- Keep your cat comfortable. Your cat’s bed should be in a dry, draft-free area.
- Don’t leave him outside for long periods of time in cold weather.
- Provide regular grooming. This helps remove dead hair and helps prevent hairballs. Groom also gives you a chance to inspect your cat for parasites, skin disorders and unusual lumps or lesions.
- Encourage moderate exercise. Though older cats tend to rest more, it’s helpful to play, stroke, talk and cuddle with them.
Senior Pet Wellness Plan
When caring for older pets, they will have special health needs and may require more attention and care than younger pets. As you pet ages, changes occur in his physical condition that requires more frequent visits to the veterinarian.
If medical problems are recognised and treated when they are first detected, the treatment may be easier for your pet and less costly for you. In order to diagnose medical problems in their early stage, twice-a-year wellness examinations are recommended for older dogs and cats.
A baseline senior wellness examination should be performed so it can be used as a benchmark for measuring changes in your pet as he or she ages. A geriatric exam is more extensive than a simple check-up and includes:
- A complete physical exam
- Oral examination
- Recording of body weight and body condition
- The veterinarian will also examine your pet’s ears, eyes, and various internal organs.
- Some laboratory work may be done, including a complete blood count, urinalysis, faecal exam, and perhaps endocrine blood tests and other examinations.
Keep your cat’s litter box clean and in the same place. Older cats may sometimes forget a lifetime of litter-box training due to disorientation or loss of balance. Litter-box mishaps also may indicate a health problem.
Keep your cat’s surroundings familiar and try to make as few changes as possible. This helps compensate for reduced hearing, eyesight and smell. As a cat gets older, the recovery period from stressful conditions, such as illness and exposure, take longer.
Observe your cat for changes in behaviour, eating habits or other signs of illness. Prompt diagnosis and treatment by a vet is recommended. When detected early, many conditions can be stabilized, and some degenerative processes can be slowed, enabling an aging cat to lead a more comfortable life.