Your cat has been your friend for many years. She has followed you around the house and played with every piece of string you have given her. Recently, you have noticed that she is moving more slowly, and more reluctant to chase that string. If you have had your kitty for a while, then she is probably going through a normal aging process. To make her more comfortable, there are some things you can do to help out.

Is your cat getting old or is she getting sick? Often, the signs can be similar: loss of appetite, discoloration of the gums, and decreased activity can signify a number of things. More than likely, if your cat is upwards of twelve years old, she is aging. An aging cat may also have bad breath, be less responsive, and have graying fur. Just because your cat is getting old in no way means she is done with life. Many people resort to euthanasia at the first sign of hearing or eyesight loss, because they think their feline is in pain. More realistically, these losses are just part of the natural aging process.

More important than ever, your cat needs to continue regular visits to the veterinarian. An older cat has a weakened immune system, and can develop problems from just a scratch, making veterinary visits even more important. If it is obvious that it hurts your cat to move around, then consider bringing the vet to your home. Your vet may recommend a special diet or supplements to keep up your cat’s health.

At home, there are a number of things you can do to make your kitty more comfortable. Excess weight will only cause more pain to a cat that is experiencing arthritis. You need to keep your cat’s weight down. Since she probably isn’t as active as she was in the past, she needs to consume fewer calories. You should feed her less and use food recommended by your veterinarian. An aging cat still needs to try to move around as much as possible. Try to encourage her to move around the house to warm up her joints. Be mindful though, she may be experiencing arthritis pain. Your vet can also help you figure out if pain medication is right for your cat.

An aging cat will need more warmth than a younger cat. You can buy a heating pad made especially for animals at your local pet store. Make a comfortable place for your cat, close to where you spend a lot of time. Add extra blankets or bedding to make the area soft. The heating pad should remain on a low setting whenever your cat is lying in the area. You can also leave a toy nearby, just in case she feels frisky.

If you have a multi-level or large home, you should consider making more than one comfy place for your cat in multiple areas of the house. As cats age, they may also have litter box accidents, so it’s also a good idea to keep a litter box wherever she spends the most time. Make sure you clean each litter box out daily; your cat will still value cleanliness.

More than likely, your cat has groomed herself for most of her life. She bathes numerous times a day to keep herself clean. As she ages, she still wants to maintain this cleanliness. The problem is that she may not be able to do so. Now, it’s your turn to take over the grooming. Gently brush your cat daily to get rid of the extra fur. Coughing up hairballs can be painful for your kitty; daily brushing will help keep hairballs to a minimum.

If you must go out of town and leave your cat behind, then try to make sure she is as comfortable as possible. A noisy kennel may frighten her, while relocating her to a friend’s house will cause stress. Consider hiring a pet sitter or having a friend check on her daily. She needs the comfort of her own home. If possible, an aging cat’s routine should not be broken. Breaking the routine can also cause stress.

Your kitty is aging, and you must help her cope. Keeping her on a schedule and making your house more comfy are just two ways to ease the process. Your cat should be placed on a diet so that she is not eating unnecessary calories. Regular visits with the vet will also keep her healthy. Most importantly, your cat needs the love and attention that you have always given her!

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Article written by Shelly Seigler. Find Elite pet products at low prices with Discount Pet Mall. Shop Uniquely for pet training collars, dog tracking collars, & electric underground pet fences