Our cats bring us so much love and joy during their lives, and it is important that we return the favor as they age and need us most. It is hard to see your loving kitty become less energetic, and have physical problems when he’s old. As pet owners, it’s our duty to give our pets as much care as necessary to assure high quality senior years. In order to do this, it sometimes takes a little research on our cat’s physical problems, and veterinary consultation whenever warranted. It’s best to go to the vet if there is abnormal behavior of any kind, to make sure nothing is seriously wrong. After a lifetime of raising cats, these are a few tips my family uses to assure our cats live the longest lives possible.
Feed quality cat food that is low in magnesium
Cat food with magnesium can cause urinary tract problems in especially male cats. It’s not a good idea to give male cats fish flavors, either, unless the food is specifically magnesium reduced. A vet told me about this, when my cat had a case of crystals formed in his urinary tract. After changing his diet to only low magnesium, higher quality food, his condition subsided. But, he will always be on that diet, to keep from the problem recurring. The urinary tract is a weak point in many older cats, and so it pays to make sure they are fed high quality food. My food of choice lately is Doctors Foster and Smith Adult Cat Food. Before that, Purina One Urinary Tract Formula was good, too. Ask your vet to recommend brands of food best for your pet.
Keep the fleas on the down low
Fleas make cats miserable, and can cause health problems like tapeworm, ianemia, skin rashes and other nasty things. In warmer states, the fleas can become relentless and hard to kill, even on indoor cats. If one flea medication isn’t working, the next month, switch to a different brand and see if that works better. It pays to use high quality flea products that are cat safe. Ask your vet to prescribe a flea medicine for you if the over the counter ones don’t work. Read labels and don’t overmedicate, because flea killing substances are poison, and must be used very carefully.
Be sensitive to your older cat’s needs
If kitty seems to get cold easily, get him a heated pet bed, or one that is shaped like a cup, with fleece lining. Put the bed someplace away from drafts, and near to where you are. That way he can be with you, and be comfortable. Your love is an old cat’s greatest need, in most cases. Make sure to reach out and pet or talk to him from time to time. Especially when cats are sick, a little moral support is important to his healing and well-being. Whatever your cat needs, provide him with it. Whatever makes your cat content, like a catnip mouse, soft cat treats, and brushing with a soft brush; do something nice for him, to show that you care.
Give your pet as long as life as possible.
Some people have their pets put to sleep just because they’re old and not as active, thinking that they’re not right anymore. Unless your pet is in pain that cannot be fixed, and all options for treatment have been exhausted by the vet, don’t put it to sleep! Cats can have quality lives at older ages. Many of our cats have lived to be over twenty years old, and enjoyed themselves to the end. They were usually thinner (it happens a lot in older cats), but with the correct foods, a vet checkup here and there, and love, they were very happy. If a cat’s human or another cat in the household dies, that isn’t a reason to put it to sleep, either. Give the pet to someone who will love it, if you cannot care for the animal. There are many quality websites nowadays with pet adoption help, such as Petfinder.com or Catster.com who are communities of pet lovers. Your cat’s life is in your hands. Be good to him by looking out for him, through thick and thin. It’s the loving thing to do, to give an older individual the love and care he or she needs, whether human or animal.
With patience and love for your older cat, it benefits both of you. Take a moment and pet your furry friend today. By being sensitive to your pet’s needs, you’ll assure a good life for him, and peace of mind that you’re doing your part to make those kitty senior years rewarding to the end.