Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: November 1, 2022 by Crystal Uys
This post is sponsored by Assisi Animal Health
Cats are living longer and healthier lives, thanks to improved veterinary care, better nutrition, and the fact that most pet cats are indoor cats. The definition of an older cat is usually preceded by the term “senior” or “geriatric.” Cats 10 years or older are considered senior. Aging is not a disease. It is a slow and gradual process, and there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your senior cat happy and healthy well into her golden years.
Regular veterinary care
Regular veterinary care is important at any age, but becomes especially important once your cats becomes a senior. Most veterinarians recommend annual visits for cats up to 6 or 7 years of age, and bi-annual visits for older cats. Depending on their health status, senior cats may need even more frequent visits.
Feed a species-appropriate diet
The nutritional requirements of senior cats are unique when compared to those of humans and dogs. Elderly cats require more energy to maintain their body weight, in part because their fat and protein digestion is impaired. To compensate for impaired nutrient absorption, senior cats need to eat more food relative to their body weight than younger cats. While there are plenty of “senior diets” on the market, often advertised as “light” and lower in calories, they are generally too high in carbohydrates and too low in protein.
Help your cat maintain a healthy weight
Due to their reduced levels of activity, senior cats may gain weight. Obesity can lead to numerous health problems, including diabetes. Increased weight will also aggravate arthritis. On the flip side, some cats, especially once they reach the geriatric years, may start to lose weight and will need to have their food intake monitored closely.
Weigh your cat regularly
Your cat’s weight can be a good indicator of her health – but only if you keep track of it. Gradual weight loss or gain can be difficult to recognize in cats. Consider that the average cat weighs 10 pounds. Weight loss of only 6% of a cat’s body weight is considered a clinical sign – that’s less than ten ounces. While you can weigh your cat by weighing yourself on a human scale, then weighing yourself while holding your cat, and subtracting the difference, your results will not be accurate enough. Your best bet is to purchase an inexpensive digital scale designed for babies. These scales measure pounds and ounces accurately.
Watch for signs of arthritis
Recognizing and treating arthritis, a condition that affects as many as 1 in 3 adults in the early stages will considerably improve your senior cat’s quality of life. Arthritis develops when the cartilage within joints wears down, leading to inflammation and pain. As the condition progresses, the friction can wear down to the point where it damages the bones themselves. This kind of arthritis is most common and causes the most pain in the weight-bearing joints like the shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, and ankles.
Modify your senior cat’s environment
If your cat can no longer jump up on beds or other favorite sleeping spots, consider getting a ramp or steps to make it easier for her. Make sure that your cat has easy access to the litter box. Some litter boxes may be too high for older cats to get in and out of comfortably.
Maintain good oral health
Your senior cat’s bi-annual vet exams should include a thorough examination of your cat’s teeth and mouth. Good dental health is one of the most important health issues for cats, especially as they get older. Dental disease not only causes pain and decreases quality of life, it can also result in damage to other organs such as kidneys and heart.
Watch for behavior changes
Any deviation from your cat’s regular routine, no matter how subtle, can be an indicator of a health problem. Changes such as increased vocalization, problems with elimination, different sleeping patterns, or increased thirst or urination can all be indicators of medical problems and will require veterinary attention.
Keep vaccinations to a minimum
Work in partnership with your veterinarian to evaluate risk, and determine whether there is a need for continued vaccinations. Consider blood tests in lieu of vaccinations to determine protection levels.
How the Assisi Loop or Lounge can keep your senior cat comfortable
Cats are masters at hiding pain, which is why so many parents of senior cats often don’t realize just how much pain their cats are in. They may notice them “slowing down.” Maybe they don’t jump up on furniture as much as they used to. Maybe they take longer to lower themselves into a sitting position. Most cats will develop arthritis in their senior years. Incorporating Assisi Loop treatments into your daily care routine can keep them comfortable even before they show overt signs of pain.
How does the Assisi Loop work?
The Assisi Loop features targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (tPEMF™). This modality was first studied in the 1970s and is FDA-cleared for use in humans. It uses low-level pulses of electromagnetic energy to stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms to help relieve pain and swelling. For a detailed explanation of the technology, please visit the Assisi Animal Health website.
Assisi Animal Health found that this technology works especially well on feline arthritis. It is a non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive treatment. Cats tolerate it much better than many medications. Not only that, but a lot of cats really enjoy receiving Loop treatments. Because the Loop stimulates the body’s own healing process, rather than introducing a new substance (like a medication), even a sensitive cat body can handle it easily.
Proven science with positive results
A two-year double blind clinical trial on dogs recovering from spinal surgery at NC State College of Veterinary Medicine showed that the Loop not only reduces pain, but also helps the injured nerve tissue recover faster. This enables the pet to return more quickly to normal function.”
13-year-old Emma chills on her Assisi Loop Lounge while watching Netflix with her human.
“Emma is a 13 1/2-year-old foster fail. She has bilateral hip dysplasia and her surgeons have recommended a procedure called an FHO. It’s pretty drastic, so we have Emma on a cocktail of anti-inflammatories and her new Assisi Loop. We may still need to get the surgery, but we definitely want to give her some options to be more comfortable. She loves it. Sinks in. We have an ugly reclining couch and it’s perfect. Emma and I just Netflix and chill during her treatments.” says Laurie Ruettimann.
Kitty Girl’s human Rita has been using the Assisi Loop Lounge for several years after first hearing about it when Lil BUB benefited from it, and later reading about it on The Conscious Cat. She quickly had an overall increased sense of Kitty Girl’s well being. “We were trying to be very objective and not read anything into any differences right away,” said Rita. “That said, it only took a few days of using the Loop before we noticed that she seemed more energetic and interested in things in the evenings, after her sessions. Rita places the Lounge under one of Kitty Girl’s favorite beds.
For more information about how the Assisi Loop or the Assisi Loop Lounge could help your cat, visit http://www.assisianimalhealth.com or contact Assisi Animal Health at [email protected], 866-830-7342.
Exclusive discount for Conscious Cat Readers
15% off Assisi Loop and Loop Lounge
Use code FELINEMERRY at checkout. Discount valid through December 31, 2021.
Photo at top of post by Healthy Paws Forward Veterinary Hospital, used with permission
*FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that I believe are of interest to our readers.
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.
Table of Contents
- Regular veterinary care
- Feed a species-appropriate diet
- Help your cat maintain a healthy weight
- Weigh your cat regularly
- Watch for signs of arthritis
- Modify your senior cat’s environment
- Maintain good oral health
- Watch for behavior changes
- Keep vaccinations to a minimum
- How the Assisi Loop or Lounge can keep your senior cat comfortable
- How does the Assisi Loop work?
- Proven science with positive results