You might also have to create an easier way for your cat to get to her favorite elevated perch. A multi-perched cat tree is a good option. If your cat likes to sleep on the bed she may need stairs there to make it easy to go up and down. And speaking of beds, she may appreciate having a heated bed for those cozy cat naps. You can find heated window perches and beds at your local pet product store or online. You can also find pet stairs there as well. If you do get a heated bed make sure your cat is still mobile enough to be able to move away from it. Provide some non-heated options as well.
Minimize Your Cat’s Stress
As we all know, stress can cause havoc with health and as your cat ages she’s less able to deal with the effects of stress. Be aware of potential stressful situations in her environment so you can reduce her exposure. For example, if you’re having lots of company over it might be best to put the senior cat in a separate room where it’s quiet. In a multipet household, be aware of whether your senior cat is becoming the target of aggression or whether she’s getting nosed out of her food bowl or favorite napping areas.
Your Cat’s Temperature Intolerance
As cats age they can become more sensitive to temperature changes. If your cat normally loves to sit in the window in order to watch the outdoor activities it may be too drafty there in winter months. Ensure that your cat’s favorite windows are securely sealed to reduce drafts. You can also find heated window perches in several styles. Look for a heated bed that adjusts the temperature back down to room temperature when your cat isn’t on it. For some cats, just being able to curl up in a donut-shaped or pyramid-style bed can be cozy enough and can help retain warmth, and as mentioned previously, if using a heated bed, make sure your cat is mobile enough to be able to move away from it.
Time to Move Your Cat Indoors
If your cat has been an indoor/outdoor cat in the past, this is the time to make that indoor transition. A cat with declining senses and limited mobility is at a higher risk of being on the wrong end of a fight with another animal. She is also more vulnerable to injuries caused by accidents as well as being susceptible to disease and parasites. In colder months, being outdoors can aggravate pain from arthritis.
Be Tolerant and Compassionate with Your Cat
Age isn’t easy for anyone – human, cat or dog. As your cat ages she may develop poor aim when in the litter box, she may become less tolerant of things she used to accept willingly, she may not have the best table manners when eating, she may not groom herself to perfection and she may not want to give up her side of the bed in order to make room for you. Be careful when picking up your cat as she experience pain from arthritis or stiff joints. If she has experienced a decline is senses, be aware of not startling her if her vision or hearing aren’t what they used to be. Help her with the things you can and be tolerant of the things you can’t change. With your help, your cat can have a wonderful and comfortable life as a senior citizen.