old cat

Most of us tend to have a really special relationship with our older cats. Chances are that they have seen us through a lot by the time they reach their golden years.

Senior cat care is a little different than care of a younger animal, and it can hold a great deal of impact on how your cat ages. Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital understands how important your cat is to you, and that is why we are excited to share our favorite senior cat care tips. 

Proactive Care

As with many things, when it comes to senior cat care, the best defense is a good offense. While our veterinary staff cannot prevent everything that ails older kitties, early detection and intervention are key to keeping them as healthy as possible.

Two routine wellness care annually allow us to perform regular physical examinations on your pet, ensuring that we stay on top of subtle changes or emerging concerns. We will also recommend routine blood testing, dental care, urine screening, and screening radiographs (X-rays). This type of care helps us to identify and treat senior cat problems like:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Osteoarthritis and other sources of pain
  • Heart disease
  • Cataracts and other vision changes
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Constipation/megacolon
  • Dental disease
  • Cancer

The sooner we pick up on a problem, the more options we have to help.

Keep Your Kitty Sharp

As cats age, their physical and mental prowess can decrease. Keep your pet’s mind and body active by taking some time each day to encourage activity. Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • Getting out a lure toy or laser pointer for a few minutes each day
  • Encouraging kitty to “hunt” for their food by hiding their bowl each day or using a hunting feeding system
  • Installing a bird or squirrel feeder outside of a cat-accessible window
  • Turning on a video designed for cats
  • Letting your cat explore a few cardboard boxes
  • Partaking in a grooming session

Keeping your cat moving and using their mental capacities on a regular basis can help keep them healthier longer. 

Knowing Your Pet is Key to Senior Cat Care

Perhaps the most important component to successful senior cat care is to really know your pet. Paying close attention to what is normal for your pet can give you a dramatic advantage to detecting signs of trouble. 

Take note of your cat’s:

  • Daily routine
  • Eating habits
  • Drinking habits
  • Personal grooming 
  • Litter box usage
  • Social norms and interactions

Knowing if there are changes in these areas and what is normal for your pet can be very important tools. Alert us right away to changes to help us to  provide the best care for your pet and keep them happy and healthy even through their twilight years. 

Taking care of an older pet is all about working together, and we hope our senior cat care tips will help you to team up with us to provide the best possible outcome.