Caring For an Aging Cat

Eventually, cats reach an age at which they start to seem older. They slow down a little, their hair starts to look gray, and you may notice they gain or lose some weight. When your cat reaches this age, which tends to be when they are around the age of 10, it's time to start keeping their age in mind and providing a little extra care. Here are some ways you can and should care for an aging cat.

Have their teeth cleaned and examined

If you have not done so already, take your cat to the vet to have their teeth cleaned and examined. The vet will put them under anesthesia so they can take a thorough look and take some x-rays. If there are any teeth that are badly decaying, the vet will likely remove those teeth. They'll also clean tartar off the remaining teeth, which should help them resist decay as your cat continues to age.

Feed plenty of wet food

Since most aging cats do end up losing some teeth or suffering from some degree of tooth decay, you should put your aging cat on a softer food diet. This is easier for them to eat, and it will also make sure they get plenty of water in their diet, which is important for an older cat. You can still offer them some dry food, but also make sure you're giving them wet food twice a day. Food that is specially formulated for older cats is ideal. These foods tend to be fortified with nutrients that aging cats need more of, such as omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.

Provide toys that are easier to climb

Really tall, steep scratching posts and towers may be harder for an aging cat to use, and jumping up on them may be hard on their joints. Consider buying your aging cat a smaller, more accessible scratching post, and perhaps even some climbing toys that are shorter and easier to jump on. Older cats do need exercise, but you want it to be a choice, and not forced. When playing with your older cat, just remember to be gentle, and stop if they ever seem to be winded or sore.

Caring for an aging cat is not that difficult as long as you take the steps above. These steps should help keep your cat in good health, but make sure you also take them to the vet for regular visits, regardless. For more tips on aging pet care, contact a local vet near you.