How to Care for an Elderly Cat
Maturing & Aging
Tidy knows time flies. Your cat may look like a bigger version of her kitten self. And she may still love to bat her favorite toy around. But on the inside, things are changing.
The middle years: 8-12
You saw big changes her first year. After that, you may have barely noticed the subtle changes she went through. But once she hits “middle age,” take a closer look and regularly take her to the veterinarian, who might suggest a few changes in kitty’s diet.
The later stages: 12-15 and up
When your cat approaches her golden years, keep an eye out for behavioral changes. Noticing more catnaps? Totally normal. In fact, she may sleep more than 18 hours a day (but, thank goodness, not in a row).
As kitty gets older, her joints may stiffen. Since that makes it harder for her to move, she may stop playing and may even slack off in her grooming. As much as you may want to jump in and give her a good brushing, check with your veterinarian. Sometimes lack of grooming can signal sickness instead of laziness.
Tidy knows it’s tempting to treat your cat to table scraps. Resist the urge! Overfeeding a cat at any age (especially with not-good-for-you-or-your-cat fatty foods) sets her up for obesity and other health risks. So stick to her regular diet. She’ll still love you.
Most importantly, keep a close eye on your aging kitty. She may seem healthy for weeks on end, then suddenly show signs she’s not feeling well. No need to be alarmed, but don’t just hope for her to get better. Visit your veterinarian and find out what’s up and how you can help.