If there is one thing all of us feline-lovers know, it is that you do not choose your cat - your cat chooses you! And if indeed you have been blessed by furry paws willingly making a home for themselves out of your living space, you can be sure they are here to stay and are not going anywhere!
Senior cats are a testament to your care and love. However, there may be some common health-related conditions that affect aged cats, as opposed to the cutest of kitties. To be able to take care of your older cat, you might have to provide a little more extra attention to their dietary needs, exercise, and sleep schedule.
Research conducted has revealed that cats, given the right care, love, and support, can enter their twenties with gusto! As much as 35-40% of the population of pet cats in North America live to be more than 7 years of age. With good nutrition and improvements in preventive healthcare, cats are now proving to be companions for a long and enjoyable time.
There are, however, certain aspects that need to be kept in mind with regard to your cat’s aging body. No, old age is definitely not a disease, but as time passes, older cats become more susceptible to a range of diseases and medical problems. The disease of the heart and kidney, in addition to cancer, are among the most common reasons for the death of cats. However, proper nutrition can work wonders to mitigate any risks for developing chronic and painful conditions.
As your kitty completes another trip around the sun, enjoys their birthday cakes with delight, and reaches an older age, their dietary needs change just as their interests do.
That makes it crucial for the pet owners to ensure that their little feline friend follows a balanced diet that is full of easy-to-digest proteins and essential nutrients like antioxidants and Vitamin E and C are a part of their daily meal. These nutritive qualities help your old feline pet as they go through a weak immune system and issues like arthritis or degenerative joint diseases.
A healthy diet ensures that they still enjoy their days and time just like the other younger kitties.
Another factor to consider is to ensure that their daily diet consists of lesser portions of fats and rather focuses on producing energy.
Easy to digest food ensures that the food is digested even when your cat has trouble moving or they have lost some of their teeth.
What exactly should your cat’s diet be like?
We know, nothing could make you happy than seeing your cat healthy and joyous, which makes it all the more important to feed them food that is specially prepared for them and their health conditions.
As one size does not fit all, food products meant for kittens might not be fit for the senior cats given their health conditions.
Ensuring your cat has healthier food helps to maintain a healthy weight and helps tackle obesity issues so that they are always playing with delight while being in good shape.
An occasional basket of treats can make them actively engaged in outdoor activities they enjoy the most while also relishing their taste buds. Perhaps a NovaBall could be perfect to spend some quality time outdoors.
Introducing new foods should be done gradually and not like a sudden shift as your cats might find it overwhelming and can not be easily accustomed to it. If your fluffy friend does not welcome the new food with open arms, there could be something fishy following which you should immediately get in touch with your vet.
How does old age affect cats?
Age can affect humans as well as cats alike.
As time proceeds their smelling and taste can be weakened which needless to say can’t be retained to their former glory.
Chewing with lesser teeth and a slow digestive system can be a task too and that is why they’d require tinier and softer chunks of food to eat that can be digested easily.
An efficient diet ensures that they are not overweight, which might lead to inactivity.
Among the many other signs, one such sign that your feline friend isn’t doing that well is that they aren’t eating as well as before, or their behavioral patterns have changed, as these could be possible signs of diseases on the horizon.
How to feed them right?
As mentioned before, the contents of your dear friend’s diet cannot be introduced to them all at once. The food should be served at room temperature to ensure that the cat can taste and smell it properly, with its freshness intact.
Along with the food, it is important to ensure that your senior kitties drink a lot of water to avoid issues like dehydration or urinary tract infection.
Quality over quantity
As we have said above - One size simply doesn’t fit all
And that’s why it is important to consult your vet to make sure how much quantity will suit the needs of your kitties given their age! Vets can also help you craft the diet that suits their nutritive needs, lifestyle, age, and their health conditions.
It is also important to the guidelines at the cat food packaging to ensure that your cats are not overfed or underfed and that that food is meant for their nutritive requirements
In a nutshell
It is important to ensure that your cats are active at all times, to not only ensure a strong bond and that they are in their cheerful mood, but also that they are physically active, have their muscles and joints exercised, and boredom doesn’t affect their happy lives. And hence that makes it all the more important to reach out for professional medical help whenever necessary.
Needless to say, the kittens should also be regularly examined to ensure that they are in good health and problems, if they arise, can be nipped in the bud.