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"Ain't it funny how time slips away" sang Willie Nelson. Well sometimes it's not only funny but downright scary too! You look at your cat and realize, although it seems like only yesterday you brought her home as a very playful kitten, she is now a senior cat. Time has marched on, for both you and your cat. Older cats of course, can give you just as much delight and love, as young 'uns, but they do need a bit of senior cat care to help them enjoy their later years. At what age does your cat become senior? Many veterinarians consider a cat to be senior at around ten years of age. But this is a very loose figure. There are plenty of well cared for ten year old, or older, felines who are as fit as the proverbial fiddle. What Does Senior Cat Care Entail? It may mean more regular visits to your veterinarian, not necessarily for expensive treatment, but so that conditions related to aging can be diagnosed and treated before they cause problems. It is an important part of senior cat care to keep a check on your cat's teeth. Many older cats suffer with dental (and gum) problems. The pain can cause them to loose interest in their food and hence not get the nutrition they require. On the subject of your older cat's food, cats nutritional needs change as they advance in years. As cats get older they become less active and, if kept to the same diet she or he enjoyed as a younger kitty, may become overweight. Senior cat foods are designed to benefit the digestive system of elderly cats and cut down the chances of obesity. Your senior feline may find several small meals throughout the day easier to digest than one or two larger ones. Senior Cat Care and Behavioral Change. Caring for a senior cat means being aware of any change in their behavior. Perhaps your cat cannot now move like they were once able to. This could be due to painful arthritis, seek advice from your veterinarian. Your pet may not be able to leap up onto their favorite perch as they once did, fixing another perch lower down as a midway point may help. Sometimes cats that have been friendly become aggressive when they age, this can be because worn joints are causing discomfort. Likewise an older cat may be less tolerant with young children and other pets.

Senior cats sometimes have accidents when using the litter tray. This happens for a variety of reasons and you will want your veterinarian to check if there is any medical problem. One simple reason that your senior cat may be missing the tray is that it is too high sided. No problem when your feline friend was young and fit, but now he or she needs a tray that she can easily climb in and out of. Failing eyesight, hearing and sense of smell all mean that you may have to make allowances for your aging feline friend. Remember that, reaching out to pick up a cat that cannot hear your approach is likely to startle him or her. Cats of any age snooze at least for some of the time during the day, but your older cat may have taken to sleeping most of the time. As part of your senior cat care, enjoy a gentle play session with your cat each day. Playing helps your cat exercise and this may help to slow down aging. Naturally the exercise should not be too strenuous for your older cat. Caring for a senior cat also means making sure that she or he is warm and has somewhere to sleep out of drafts. You may need to groom your cat more frequently too as older cats often become less able to groom themselves. Your cat has brought you joy through the years and she, or he, can continue to do so now they are older with the help of senior cat care.

Larry Chamberlain is a life long cat lover and writes about all things cat related for the Best Cat Art website. Discover what he has to say about Cat Care Want to tell the world about your cat?

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