Senior Cat Care

Have you noticed your kitty slowing down recently? Cats are adorable and cuddly at any age, but they grow even more charming as they get older. While kitties are known for being self-sufficient and easy to care for, your furry friend will want extra attention as she ages. A local London, ON veterinarian provides some advice on this below.

What Are Some Common Health Problems in Older Cats?

Senior cats are more likely to develop certain illnesses, and are in fact at risk of developing several kinds of health issues. Cancer, diabetes, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, visual disorders, and dental issues are just a few examples.

In between veterinary consultations, look for symptoms of sickness. Kitties are inherently discreet about this. Fluffy may try to disguise her symptoms until she becomes very ill!

Here are some red flags:

  • Respiratory Issues
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling
  • Withdrawal
  • Uncharacteristic Behavior Or Vocalizations
  • Discharge
  • Changes In Appetite
  • Increased/Decreased Thirst
  • Increased/Decreased Urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Limping
  • Lesions, Lumps, Bumps
  • Skin Irritation
  • Hair Loss
  • Appetite Changes
  • Increased or decreased urination
  • Hair Loss

It is worth noting that untidy fur is often mentioned as a sign of illness in cats. However, it is not uncommon for senior cats to appear unkempt. For starters, they frequently struggle with personal grooming habits. Senior cats can be quite stiff and sore, which makes it difficult to bend and stretch. Also, their skin frequently produces a lot of oil.

We always suggest that people err on the side of caution. Call your London, ON veterinarian immediately if you observe anything strange.

How Should I Look After My Older Cat?

For the most part, your feline companion will require the same necessities as any other cat: good food, fresh water, a clean litterbox, and, of course, regular veterinary care. However, you may need to make some minor changes.

Let us start with diet. Your veterinarian can advise you on when it’s appropriate to switch to a senior-formula food. Fluffy may also need to eat more or less food, transition from kibble to canned food, or vice versa.

Make sure your pet has access to fresh water at all times. You’ll want to start tracking her water intake. One method to accomplish this is to fill her bowls at the same time every day. Of course, if you have a large house, you may wish to set up more water stations, especially in the summer.

As far as veterinarian care goes, Fluffy may need to come in more frequently as she gets older. Cats, like humans, become more susceptible to certain health conditions as they age. Ask your London, ON veterinarian for an appointment schedule.

How Can I Make My Home More Comfortable for My Senior Cat?

When it comes to caring for an aged cat, small gestures can be really beneficial. One of the many great things about cats is the fact that it doesn’t take much to please them. Fluffy will never grow out of her love of boxes and sunbeams, and while she may eventually become less sensitive to catnip, she will continue to appreciate things like cat grass.

Here are a few things you can do to help Fluffy:

Get Nightlights

Cats, like humans, can develop eyesight problems as they age. Fluffy may have difficulty finding her way around a dark house at night. Set out small nightlights for her.

Pet Ramps

Your feline friend won’t be able to jump or climb as well as she used to. She may also become clumsy, increasing her chances of slipping and falling. Set up pet ramps or steps so she can access her favorite areas on beds and couches. You can use chests and footstools.

Scenic Overlook

It’s always safer for cats to stay indoors. However, our feline buddies require fun and stimulation. Birdwatching is a favorite pastime for many kitties. Fluffy can slumber for hours, sunbathe, and watch birds and squirrels. Give your furry pal a comfortable window seat with a nice view. Make sure it is easy for her to reach! An appealing idea is to use a storage ottoman or bench. Put a lovely blanket on it that complements your decor.

Beds, Beds, Beds

Senior cats are napping ninjas, capable of sleeping up to 20 hours every day. Fluffy’s ability to sleep so much required years of practice. Make sure your drowsy pet has plenty of beds and napping locations to pick from!

Senior-Friendly Facilities

Your pet may have difficulty getting in and out of a litterbox with high walls. Get one created just for seniors. These are often easier for older cats to get into and out of. We would also propose putting litter boxes on each floor of your home. You could also wish to test various litters. Some can detect hormonal changes that could suggest a medical issue. Ask your veterinarian for particular guidance.

When Do Cats Become Seniors?

Fluffy’s official retirement age is 10, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners. However, other accounts place the age at nine. Some people regard kittens to be seniors as young as seven years old! There is some rationale behind the variations. A seven-year-old cat is roughly equivalent to a 45-year-old person. That is around middle age for people. Of course, a seven-year-old cat may still behave like a kitten, but that’s another topic.

All that said, Fluffy can definitely be considered a senior by 11 or so. A 15-year-old cat is considered geriatric.

There are some common misunderstandings about how to compare cat years to human years. You may have heard the old proverb that one year of human life equals seven years of feline life. That’s not exactly correct. For example, that crucial first year of Fluffy’s life is roughly equal to 10-12 human years. The second year would bring your animal friend up to the equivalent of 24 human years. Following that, the comparisons fluctuate.


Senior cats also require entertainment and stimulation. Playing is quite crucial here. Your pet may not be as lively as she once was, but she will still love expressing her inner lion from time to time. This will also help your cat maintain her physical fitness.

Older cats, like humans, can experience cognitive impairment. Playing can also assist with this. To land those pounces correctly, kittens really have to focus on that small red dot! That concentration is great for them mentally. Even leaving the radio on can aid with excitement and enrichment. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

How Can I Keep An Older Cat Happy?

Fluffy will spend the majority of her time resting, so taking care of everything we’ve discussed here will be really beneficial. Aside from that, simply give your pet plenty of attention. Talk to her, play with her, and allow her to curl up on your lap.


Last but not least, ensure that Fluffy feels loved and safe. Purrs from senior cats are truly precious as far as we are concerned!

Schedule An Appointment At Your London, ON Pet Clinic

Do you have any queries about senior cat care? Is your furry little retiree due for an appointment? Please contact us, your London, ON  veterinary clinic, at any time. We are always delighted to help!

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