It’s one thing to talk about aging gracefully as human adults, but how do you help your senior cat transition confidently and with respect into the afternoon of his life? According to the Humane Society’s web site, there are ways we can help our senior cat age gracefully and with dignity.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. We receive a small commission on goods purchased via these links, at no additional cost to you.
Geriatric pets have many of the same health concerns as geriatric people, such as arthritis, reduced motor and cognitive skills, balance problems, hearing loss and vision impairment.
Other issues older cats face include:
- Muscle and weight loss
- Social withdrawal
- Unkempt coat
- Sunken facial features
How you set up the environment in your home is critical to helping your cat adapt and adjust to the changing tides of age. Granted, cats who are physically ill may realize a sudden decline in physical abilities, but an otherwise healthy cat will usually go through the effects of old age at a slow and steady rate.
Make Modifications Early
As such, it is imperative to change his living space to help him adapt and still enjoy a quality of life during his remaining months or years. Consider making modifications to your home early, even before your cat may need them. As we well know, change is stressful for cats, so small changes put in place over time help greatly.
The main goal during this transition is to keep your cat moving, as physical activity serves to loosen stiff joints as well as reduce the risk of pressure sores. Animals thrive on routine, and once their ability to remain mobile is compromised, it stresses them out.
Carpet Runners To Ease Navigation Around House
Now is the time to find out where your cat enjoys sleeping or perching, as well as the pathways he uses around your home and the things he likes to do. From there, think about the modifications you should make. For example, non-slip carpet runners provide stability on hardwood floors, tile and other hard surfaces.
Use these on the routes your cat takes to bed, to the base of the stairs, and even leading up to his food. Wherever your cat likes to roam, install carpet runners on hard surfaces…anywhere traction is required, as if he can still move about with greater ease as he ages, then he is more likely to continue being mobile. If your cat suffers from any vision impairments, carpet runners with vibrant patterns can help him identify safe places.
Food/Water Bowls and Litter Boxes for A Senior Cat
When it comes to your pets food and water bowls, litter boxes and pet beds, these should be placed in each of the rooms your cat frequents. Look for raised food and water bowls with a nonslip base. Raised bowls ease strain on neck and shoulder muscles for senior cats when they eat or drink. Look for large litter boxes with low sides for ease of entry.
There will be times your cat needs to escape from all of the activity in your home. For moments such as these, designate sanctuary spaces. Place a bed (preferably orthopedic to ease sore joints) against a wall to help him feel safe.
Older cats typically are more sensitive to heat and cold, so it is important to keep the space comfortable for your cat. Orthopedic, self-heating beds are a good option for older cats.
Older cats are more likely to fall, as well. Navigating once familiar places becomes more of a challenge. The idea is to modify your home and your cat’s environment, so he can stick to his normal routine as much as possible as he ages. The main idea is to keep your senior cat active yet comfortable.