As your cat gets older you may notice some changes in their health and overall comfort. Today, our Lakewood geriatric vets offer some advice on how to care for your senior cat allowing them to live happily into their golden years.
How to Care For a Geriatric Cat
When you have an elderly cat, you are probably spending a large amount of time taking care of their needs. You are probably getting pretty good at spotting signs of potential health complications in their behavior. Even so, some subtle signs may be overlooked. As a result, yearly (or twice yearly as they get older) geriatric veterinary care, as well as at-home care, is critical to their long-term health.
Changes That May Affect Your Aging Cat
As your cat approaches their golden years, you will need to change your approach to their veterinary care. You should think about making some changes to their diet, environment, and care, as well as keeping an eye out for changes in the cat itself.
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
Senior cat food can be given in wet or dry form but our geriatric pet veterinarians in Lakewood recommend offering your senior cat wet food as well as adequate access to water as they tend to not drink enough water resulting in dehydration.
You can also focus on giving your cat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than larger ones to allow for easier and more effective digestion.
Your cat's cognitive abilities will also start to deteriorate with age, which may result in your cat forgetting where their food is and overeating when they do find it. This can result in problems such as vomiting from overeating, which can lead to poor nutrient absorption.
Your geriatric veterinarian in Lakewood 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
It's important to maintain a good relationship with your pet's veterinarian because they can help you determine proper diagnoses for your pet as well as help you in the treatment journey. When your vet is familiar with you, your pet's needs and their health history, they are better equipped to keep your cat healthy.
During your cat's visit, your veterinarian will probably conduct a routine examination and diagnostics, such as bloodwork, but they will also provide any preventive care that your cat requires. Your cat's teeth will be examined by your geriatric pet veterinarian, who will also recommend preventive dental care, any necessary vaccinations, and parasite protection to help your cat live comfortably into old age.
What To Expect From Veterinary Geriatric Care
During your senior cat's routine checkup, your geriatric pet vet in Lakewood will focus on the following:
- Review of Habits and Behavior
- The Weight and Condition of Your Cat
- Ears and Eyes
- Dental Health
- Skin and Fur Quality
- Thyroid Gland Palpation
- Abdomen Discomfort
- Lungs and Nose Health
- Heart and Circulatory System
- Muscles and Joints
- Blood Pressure
- Bloodwork and Urinalysis
At Red Rocks Animal Center in Lakewood, our geriatric pet veterinarians will also carry out any necessary testing for feline diseases and provide any preventive care during your cat's visit.
At-Home Care For Your Senior Cat
Keeping your cat healthy and content throughout its life requires more than just routine visits to the vet. In order to maintain their safety, health, and mental stimulation, you will also need to provide care at home.
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
- Providing the Necessary Medications
- Keeping a Veterinary Care Routine
- Making Changes to Make Your Home More Accessible
- 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.