Help Make My Senior Cat More Comfortable

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, shares ways to make a senior cat comfortable.

Q: How can I make my senior cat more comfortable?

A: Our senior cats are very precious. They may not have the vim and vigor of their younger cat selves, but I have found many older cats to be more in tune with us and the special bond we share. One of my friends has a cat named Peggy who has been with her for 15 years. This cat is like a dear old friend who can be counted on to enjoy the routines they have established, dispense TLC when she is in the mood and comment clearly when she as a problem with “the management.” Peggy used to be more aloof, but she now likes to be near where my friend is either working or relaxing. She picks a warm cozy spot to alternate between snoozing and keeping an eye on my friend. I hope they have many more loving years together.

Senior cats do have special needs that, with a little effort, you can accommodate. A nice cat bed near a warm spot is a treat for your senior. If they have trouble climbing up to a favorite perch or chair, get some pet stairs to make it easier. Bending down to reach food and water bowls can be tough on senior cats, so get feeding platforms sold at pet shops. In a pinch, a plastic container about 2-3 inches high can double as a platform for a cat food bowl.

Some senior cats have health issues such as arthritis and kidney disease, so I always recommend they have check-ups at the vet every six months. A special diet can help older cats’ health. Ask your vet or browse the pet store aisles — many manufacturers make excellent senior cat food. Also have plenty of fresh water available and please change the kitty litter regularly. Grooming might become more difficult for your senior cat, so brush him well each day. This will also help with hair matts. Keep tuned to his moods — you want to spot any potential issues early.

As said, our senior kitties are very special and worth every bit of time we give them. I welcome your comments and stories.

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