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How to care for elder cat?



(February 24, 2010)

Caring for an older cat is always a tough job when compared to caring for young cats. It is a sad moment when you discover that your cat is growing old; it is a big responsibility to take care of your pet. Cats are known to have an average life span of 17 to 18 years, but good care and a healthy, nutritious diet during their old age may increase their life span. It is very important for you to recognize the aging symptoms of your cat to prepare yourself to take better care. Here are some aging symptoms in cats:

•    Old cats become less active and prefer to sleep more. Their muscle tone gets reduced and so does the ability to run and jump. Lack of exercise contributes to the stiffening of joints.

•    Old cats usually avoid eating a proper amount of food due to poor appetite, poor tasting, and poor smelling abilities and age-related tooth problems.

•    Old cats suffer from poor vision and therefore, take a longer time to recognize you.

•    Poor bowel function in older cats can cause constipation and less absorption of nutrients leads to weight loss.

•    Older cats suffer from frequent dehydration due to lower amounts of water consumption or due to poor kidney function.

•    Frequent infection is common in older cats due to decreased immunity.
It is very important for you to examine every aspect of care for your older cat. Here are some suggestions regarding what you can do for your old cat:

•    Older cats can develop diseases such as arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes; hence, it is very important to schedule regular visits to a veterinarian, at least twice a year. Regular visits can help in recognizing the symptoms early and timely treatment helps avoid conditions deteriorating.

•    Older cats have poor bowel movement; therefore, maintain a liquid diet or wet food that is easily chewable. Ask your veterinarian for a dose of vitamins that are important for an old cat to help cure its bowel movements.

•    Older cats are prone to dehydration due to their inability to get up and drink water. Always maintain a clean water fountain for your cat, which will encourage your cat to drink more water.

•    Allow your cat to sleep as much as it wants because sleep can help it relax and boost its immunity level. Maintain a separate room for the old cat where there is no disturbance.

•    Always put your hand in front of the cat’s eyes and allow it to recognize you. Call your cat by its name before entering the room so that it will be aware of your presence; due to poor vision it might take a long time to recognize you.

•    Pay special attention to your old cat. Take time out and play with it, bring toys for it, brush its fur, and clip its nails regularly. By doing this, you show your affection and spend quality time with your old cat; this will help keep it healthy and happy.

Submitted by M A on February 24, 2010 at 11:59

 

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