Senior Cats FAQ
As your cat ages, you may notice some changes in its behavior. The most important thing for you to know about older cats is that it’s completely common for them to slow down as they get older. This doesn’t mean that something is wrong—it just means that their body is working a little less efficiently than it used to because of an age-related decline in organ function (this happens in humans too). If your cat is getting up there in years, you can anticipate them to steadily slow down over time.
You may have more questions than answers about your furry friend, but don’t worry—we’re here to help! Here’s a list of common questions that come up when caring for geriatric cats:
Q: My cat used to be so playful—why isn’t it playing anymore?
A: As cats age, they lose muscle mass and their bodies become less flexible. Their joints can also become arthritic, which can make it painful for them to play or jump around. If this happens to your cat, just know it’s normal! Instead of getting your kitty to play with toys or other objects (which might be causing pain), try spending more time catting her and taking her on walks outside so she can enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.
Q: What should I feed my geriatric cat?
A: Feeding a senior cat is very similar to feeding an adult cat. However, there are some modifications that should be made based on your cat’s weight and health status. If you have any concerns about your cat’s weight loss or gain over time, talk with your veterinarian about how much food is appropriate for each meal
Q: What should I look out for as my cat ages?
The biggest concern when it comes to an aging cat is that they’ll have trouble getting around and eating properly due to arthritis or joint pain. Your vet will recommend ways for you to help support your geriatric cat’s joints with exercise (like playing with toys like laser pointers), supplements like glucosamine chondroitin sulfate (available from your vet), and even acupuncture if necessary!
Q: How do I know when it’s time to say goodbye?
This is a really tough question, but the best way to answer it is by thinking about what’s best for your cat—not what’s easiest for you. While there isn’t one right answer for everyone, there are some things that might help you figure out what feels right for both of you. Mostly we want to make sure that your cat still enjoys daily activities like playing with toys or going outside. If your animal companion is unable to go to the bathroom or refusing to eat, there is likely an emergent issue, and you should call us immediately. If you are still struggling with whether it’s the right time to say goodbye, discuss it with your veterinarian for more specific insight for your cat.