Help Make My Senior Cat More Comfortable

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, shares ways to make a senior cat comfortable.

Posted: April 29, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Q: How can I make my senior cat more comfortable?

A: Our senior cats are very precious. They may not have the vim and vigor of their younger cat selves, but I have found many older cats to be more in tune with us and the special bond we share. One of my friends has a cat named Peggy who has been with her for 15 years. This cat is like a dear old friend who can be counted on to enjoy the routines they have established, dispense TLC when she is in the mood and comment clearly when she as a problem with “the management.” Peggy used to be more aloof, but she now likes to be near where my friend is either working or relaxing. She picks a warm cozy spot to alternate between snoozing and keeping an eye on my friend. I hope they have many more loving years together.

Senior cats do have special needs that, with a little effort, you can accommodate. A nice cat bed near a warm spot is a treat for your senior. If they have trouble climbing up to a favorite perch or chair, get some pet stairs to make it easier. Bending down to reach food and water bowls can be tough on senior cats, so get feeding platforms sold at pet shops. In a pinch, a plastic container about 2-3 inches high can double as a platform for a cat food bowl.

Some senior cats have health issues such as arthritis and kidney disease, so I always recommend they have check-ups at the vet every six months. A special diet can help older cats' health. Ask your vet or browse the pet store aisles — many manufacturers make excellent senior cat food. Also have plenty of fresh water available and please change the kitty litter regularly. Grooming might become more difficult for your senior cat, so brush him well each day. This will also help with hair matts. Keep tuned to his moods — you want to spot any potential issues early.

As said, our senior kitties are very special and worth every bit of time we give them. I welcome your comments and stories.

See more articles by Jeanne Adlon>>

 

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Reader Comments

CatChannelEditor    Irvine, CA

6/14/2011 3:57:15 PM

Here's a link to our Writers' Guidelines: www.catchannel.com/magazines/catfancy/writers_guid- elines.aspx

You may also try sending your story to letters@catfancy.com

Anita    Burlington, MA

6/13/2011 8:00:26 PM

How can I submit a story about my cat?

Sandy    Ogden, IA

5/24/2011 8:40:04 AM

My Sunny is 16 and he is so special. I got him from a cat breeder who wanted to get rid of him because his teeth stuck out of his mouth and he had another "deformity" that showed in his kittens. The first time I saw him (he was 5) I said he had the sweetest face I had ever seen. The owner kind of rolled her eyes and said " He's sweet alright". I love him more than I can say. He has his share of health problems, most of which came from having improper care in his first home but he is my special baby.

Linda    Toowoomba, YT

5/10/2011 8:49:49 PM

I've had my Ginger Meggs for around 2 years now. I 'claimed' him when he was about 14 from the previous owners who he had been handed down to and was seen as a burden. They kept saying 'he wont last another winter outside in the cold'. He wound his way around my heart and two years on he has become my best friend! He sits on my chest on cold nights for mutual warmth and will sit near me during the day or night to keep me company. He still likes to misbehave and play with our two younger cats but likes a warm spot in the sun or on the sofa where he'll sleep for about 16 hours a day! Age has not wearied him and although he is a little slower, he'll still jump onto the roof and other places with a bit of extra effort. Sometimes he'll have what I think are nightmares and wakes up disoriented yowling so then I cuddle and stroke him until he's purring again. I love him dearly and look forward to many more years of his affectionate company.

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