As your cat ages, they will have ever-changing needs that you will have to meet in order to keep them healthy and comfortable. Today, our Pleasant Hill vets offer some advice on how to care for your old cat, allowing them to live happily into their golden years.
How to Care For Your Senior Cat
Your old cat has probably been in your care their entire life. This implies that any behavioral changes should allow you to detect any early warning signs of potential health issues. However, there may still be some undetectable subtle signs. Because of this, yearly (or twice yearly as they age) geriatric veterinary care is necessary for their continued health, in addition to at-home care.
Changes That May Affect Your Aging Cat
You will need to change how you approach your cat's veterinary care as they enter their golden years. You will need to think about making some adjustments to their diet, environment, and care in addition to keeping an eye out for changes in the cat.
Some of the changes that your senior cat may experience include:
- Altered Sleep Cycle
- Changes in Thyroid Function
- Decreased Kidney Function
- Vision Impairment
- Decreased Sense of Smell
- Brittle or Ingrown Nails
- Circulatory Issues
- Inability to Absorb Nutrients and Digest Properly
- More Easily Affected By Stress
- Decreased Mobility/Joint Diseases
How a Proper Diet Can Help Your Senior Cat
While feeding your cat a healthy diet throughout their life is important, it can become a crucial aspect of their health during old age.When you feed your cat a healthy diet that is specially curated for senior cats or super-senior cats, you can help:
- Manage weight
- Increase lifespan
- Maintain healthy skin, coat, and bodily functions
You can serve these senior cat foods either wet or dry. Our geriatric pet vets in Pleasant Hill recommend offering your senior cat wet food as well as adequate access to water as they tend to not drink enough leading to dehydration.
In order to facilitate simpler and more thorough digestion, you can concentrate on giving your cat a few smaller meals frequently throughout the day as opposed to larger ones.
With aging, your cat's cognitive abilities will deteriorate, which could cause them to forget where their food is and overeat when they do find it. This may result in problems of its own, such as gorging that reduces nutrient absorption through vomiting.
Your veterinarian in Pleasant Hill will be able to help you determine the best food to offer your senior cat based on their needs.
The Preventive Care Needed As Cats Age
A good relationship with your geriatric pet vet is essential because they will be able to help you when something is wrong with your pet. They also know you and your pet, as well as the specifics of your life and your cat's specific needs.
During your cat's visit, your vet will most likely perform a routine exam and diagnostics such as bloodwork, but they will also provide any preventive care that your cat requires. Your geriatric pet veterinarian will examine your cat's teeth and recommend preventive dental care, as well as any vaccinations and parasite protection that will allow them to live comfortably in their golden years.
What To Expect From Veterinary Geriatric Care
During your senior cat's routine checkup, your geriatric pet vet in Pleasant Hill will focus on the following:
- Review of Habits and Behavior
- The Weight and Condition of Your Cat
- Skin and Fur Quality
- Dental Health
- Ears and Eyes
- Thyroid Gland Palpation
- Heart and Circulatory System
- Lungs and Nose Health
- Abdomen Discomfort
- Muscles and Joints
- Blood Pressure
- Bloodwork and Urinalysis
During your cat's visit, our geriatric pet vets at Diablo View Veterinary Hospital in Pleasant Hill will also perform any necessary testing for feline diseases and administer any preventive care.
At-Home Care For Your Senior Cat
The veterinary clinic is only the beginning of ensuring your cat's long-term health and happiness. You'll also need to provide care at home to keep them safe, healthy, and mentally stimulated.
Some of the things that you should consider when it comes to at-home senior cat care include:
- Ensuring Easy Access to Food and Beds
- Making Changes to Make Your Home More Accessible
- Keeping a Veterinary Care Routine
- Providing the Necessary Medications
- Lifestyle Accommodations
By understanding the health and lifestyle needs of your cat you can help ensure that they live comfortably well into old age.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.