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Caring for Aging Cats
How to care for a cat when the kitten and young adult phase is gone. An older cat needs to properly be loved and nurtured, especially in the later years.
First things first, talking to your cat and acknowledging them whenever you see them means a world of difference. My dear Smokey is a guy full of chatter. Whenever he enters the room I make sure to say "Hi Smokey, how is your day?", and he is full of meows and tail wags.
Accidents do happen. Please know that bowels and bladders are a problem in humans as they get older, as well as animals. The problem is that cats don't necessarily like diapers attached to their backside. Who would have thought? It's important to not scold them on an apparent missed litterbox attempt. They honestly don't intend to leak or drop their business outside of the box. This is not to be confused with a cat that consistently urinates or defecates outside of the litterbox, as this could be a sign of a serious illness.
Cut back on snacks and junk food. Not you, your cat. Many people confuse feeding snacks to their cats as a way to show them you love them. There are other healthy ways to show that you care. Whenever I get home from work I pick Smokey up to talk and pet him. I walk around the house with him on my hip and carry on with my chores. Instead of him at ground level, he is with me and a part of what I am doing. If I just came home and rushed to give him snacks, the gratification lasts only 30 seconds.
Good food vs. Unhappy Cat. It is believed that cats do not like healthy food as much as they would love the food you got on sale for $2. Not true. Smokey actually LOVES the chicken diet food that helps with his digestion, urinary tract issues, and general health. It costs me about $30 a month but his health problems decreased by 100%.
Fork up the money . Taking your cat to the vet is an essential part of being a pet parent. Getting blood work and a physical is vital in their overall well-being and longevity. They do not have the ability to tell you that their stomach hurts everyday, or that they aren't seeing so well anymore. If you can buy that new electronic device, you can buy your cat another 5 years of life.
Physical Education. You have to be the positive force in your cats physical activity. Cats love things that are free. Got some new shoes? Have your cat play with the box and paper inside. Cleaning out your closet? That means playtime for the nosy cat! The best things in life can be free.
Understanding. Your cat is a part of your family the minute you took him/her home. As we all know, family can never be the exact way we want them to be. Cats have their own identity, and understanding that they are older and sleep18-20 hours a day make them unique and even more lovable.
Now go give your sassy senior a good rubbin', they have been waiting for you!