Kittens are cute, but senior cats are an absolute joy to have in your life. And with the right care and support, they can be by your side for many years. So, at what age is a cat considered senior? Research tells us that it depends on the size of an animal, but a cat typically becomes a senior between the ages of seven and ten.
Whether your feline friend is in fantastic shape or isn’t looking as good as she could be, it’s never too late for pet parents to pick up a few positive habits and begin providing some extra support. You may find that some tips work better for your cat than others—after all, each animal is unique. Here are some simple steps you can take to improve your senior cat’s health and quality of life.
How Often Should My Senior Cat See the Vet?
Most healthy adult cats only need a yearly checkup at the vet, but once your cat hits senior age, you should up that number to twice or even three times a year. Even a senior cat in great condition will eventually begin to show natural signs of aging such as stiffer movement and thinning skin or fur. Your vet can help you keep an eye on these changes as they progress, as well as catch any more significant issues like kidney disease or cancer early on.
Switch to a Senior Diet
Be sure to stay aware of your cat’s changing weight as he ages. Identify his ideal mass with your vet while at one of those checkups, and take note of whether he’s gaining or losing a few pounds too many. As your cat’s metabolism and activity levels naturally slow down, you may notice him gaining fat. On the other hand, a variety of health issues could lead to a loss in appetite or a thyroid issue, which could, in turn, lead to a senior cat losing weight. If you do notice any abrupt fluctuations in his weight get him checked out to identify any underlying health problems.
At some point, your vet may recommend tailoring her diet to control health issues like diabetes or even switching your cat to a senior cat food. These mixes are specially formulated to be more easily digestible for older cats. In addition to adjusting your furry friend’s diet, you can provide some additional support for kidneys, joints, and the immune system with Wapiti’s ReVitalize for senior cats. Just be sure to check with your vet before introducing a supplement into your cat’s routine!
Make Your Home Comfortable and Accessible
If your older cat is having mobility issues, a few strategic changes in your home could make life a lot easier and more enjoyable for him. Make sure he has plenty of soft spots to lay on throughout the house so that he can be comfortable wherever you are!
On top of that, take some time to examine his daily habits. Is he having trouble stepping over the sides of his litter box? What about jumping up onto the couch? Is he spending less time in a favorite spot because it’s too painful for him to reach it? Consider investing in an accessible litter box with lower sides, as well as a ramp or small set of steps to help him reach his preferred spot on the couch or your bed. These small changes will go a long way in making your cat more comfortable and more likely to stay active.
Make Time for Playtime and Other Activities
Mental health plays into your cat’s overall quality of life as well. Though aging cats can seem more mellow than their playful counterparts, they still need attention and stimulation. Take some time each day to engage your cat with a toy, and consider getting him a puzzle or treat toy to help keep him occupied while you’re away.
Lastly, make sure he can keep up with his daily habits. Older cats may be unable to groom themselves as well as they once could, so your feline friend might need a little help by way of a good brush. You should also clean his teeth or offer him a dental stick that can help keep his pearly whites healthy in between professional dental cleanings.
Support Your Senior Cat with Wapiti
Whether your feline friend is a young kitten or a geriatric cat, he deserves the best care possible, and our goal is to help you provide exactly that! Pets are our passion here at Wapiti Labs. We’re dedicated to creating high-quality supplements and acting as a source of information for pet parents everywhere, so that you can spend more good years with your pet by your side. Contact us today to learn more about how our supplements can support your feline friend.