Taking Care Of That Newly Adopted Senior Cat

Posted on: 20 April 2016

Congratulations on adopting a senior feline! These cats have often lost a previous owner or have been abandoned. They deserve a forever home, too, and are capable of giving back a lot of love. Because of their age, they may need some extra help and attention. Here are a few ways that you can give them a comfortable life for their remaining years.

1. Adjust their diet according to their changing body.

Many senior cats develop arthritis, which causes pain and inflammation in their joints. Your veterinarian can suggest food options to help your cat have healthy bones and joints. A low calorie diet keeps your cat lean and removes the weight from painful joints. A high protein diet that emphasizes animal protein with limited or no grain gives your cat the energy it needs and is easier on their digestive system.

Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids have a mild anti-inflammatory effect on the joints. Foods fortified with calcium provide the building materials for new bone and cartilage to replace the joint surfaces worn away by arthritis. The food supplements glucosamine and chondroitin promote new cartilage growth in your cat's joints.

2. Make mealtimes easier for your senior cat.

If your new cat has stiffness in its spine, it may have difficulty getting to the food and water dishes on the floor. Raise them slightly so your cat doesn't have to bend down to eat and drink. Use smaller bowls so your cat doesn't have to stretch across a large dish to get to the food.

Your senior cat may eat slower than the other cats in your household. This can put stress on your cat as they try to eat as much as they can before the other cats compete for the rest of the food in their dish. Solve this problem by feeding your senior cat in a quiet place by themselves so they can take their time eating.

3. Adjust the litter box for easy access.

If your new cat has painful joints, it may find it hard to step up over a high lip on a litter box to get inside. If possible, cut down the opening to be as low as possible. Get a new litter box with a lower edge or use a cookie sheet lined with newspaper and litter.

4. Create hideaways for your senior cat.

Some older cats need to periodically get away from the hectic nature of a household and other pets. Create some spots in the house where your cat can go to rest and not be disturbed. On the floor of a closet with the door left partially open is a good spot. Behind heavy furniture or under a bed are some other possible locations.

5. Make access to upper levels of the house easier for your cat.

If your new cat enjoys being on the couch or bed with you or sitting in a window sill, make getting up to those areas easier for the cat. Climbing and jumping may be jarring to your cat's joints. Arrange some small boxes into stairs to make it easier to access those higher places. Or make or buy a carpeted ramp for the cat to use.

Make sure to choose a reputable vet service like Canal Road Animal Hospital for your senior cat's needs.