senior cats

Loving Our Older Cats: Age is Not a Disease

senior-cat

Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

Cats are living longer and healthier lives, thanks to improved veterinary care, better nutrition, and the fact that most pet cats are indoor cats. A cat is usually considered a senior between the age of 11 and 14, cats older than that are considered geriatric. Senior cats usually require more care than younger cats, and when problems occur, they can often be more serious or more difficult to deal with.Continue Reading

Kitty Box Ramp: Make the Litter Box More Accessible for Your Senior Cat

kitty-box-ramp

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Senior cats may need special consideration when it comes to litter boxes. Most seniors will have some degree of arthritis, a common condition that affects as many as 3 in 10 cats. It is often not diagnosed in cats because it is difficult to recognize even for the most dedicated cat guardian. Litter box avoidance may be a symptom of arthritis, since getting in and out of the box can be painful for a cat with aching joints.Continue Reading

Health Tips for Senior Cats

senior-cats

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 are considered senior between the ages of 11 and 14, and geriatric over the age of 15. Aging is a slow and gradual process, and there are things you can do to help keep your senior cat happy and healthy well into her golden years.Continue Reading

Your Hypecarnivore: Why Senior Cats Need Protein to Thrive

senior-cat

Guest post by Elizabeth Colleran, DVM

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. This can be challenging as aging changes associated with decreased ability to smell and taste can cause appetite to decline. Additionally, many aging conditions in cats result in pain, which can also distract from interest in food at a time when more food is essential.Continue Reading

Feline Dementia

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Can cats get Alzheimer’s and dementia? As cats are living longer, they get diseases that are commonly associated with aging.  If your senior cat seems to be a bit forgetful at times, meows loudly or seems anxious for seemingly no reason, or appears to get lost in the house, he may be showing signs of the feline version of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Can cats get Alzheimer’s?

In 2006, scientists at the University of Edinburgh identified a protein that can build up in cats’ brain nerve cells and cause mental deterioration. “We’ve known for a long time that cats develop dementia, but this study tells us that the cat’s neural system is being compromised in a similar fashion to that we see in human Alzheimer’s sufferers,” says Danielle Gunn-Moore, one of the researchers participating in the study.  “Recent studies suggest that 28 percent of pet cats aged 11-14 years develop at least one old-age related behavior problem, and this increases to more than 50 percent for cats over the age of 15,” adds Gunn-Moore. For more on the study, please read Cats Can Get Alzheimer’s on the Washington Post website.

Symptoms of dementia

The following symptoms can be indicators for feline dementia:Continue Reading

Conscious Cat Sunday: aging gracefully

senior_cat_on_window_perch

After having just celebrated a birthday, the subject of aging was on my mind this past week. Even though this birthday wasn’t one of the “traumatic” ones – you know, the ones that have a zero at the end – I like to take time each year on my birthday not just for celebration, but also for reflection.

I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my age. Most of the time, it really is just a number to me. I haven’t felt my age for a long time, and I’m frequently caught by surprise when I look in the mirror. How is it possible that someone with grey hair and a few wrinkles is looking back at me, when, at heart, I still feel like a much younger version of me?

I won’t claim that I have the answers to aging gracefully, but I think maybe our cats do. When I worked at veterinary clinics, I was always drawn to the senior cats, especially the really old, grizzled ones. There was just something so beautiful about these cats who were clearly on a path of physical decline, yet their spirits were as full of life as that of a newborn kitten. Cats don’t care about getting white muzzles,Continue Reading

Free e-book: 6 Natural Ways to Help your Cat Live Longer by Liz Eastwood

6 natural ways to help your cat live longer

Liz Eastwood, the publisher of the Natural Cat Care Blog, has put together a wonderful e-book titled 6 Natural Ways to Help Your Cat Live Longer.

When Liz, a certified nutritionist, lost her soulmate cat Bastet to cancer at barely 12 years of age, she was shocked and devastated. Says Liz “most people seemed to think that it was perfectly normal for a cat to get cancer and die,” but Liz refused to accept that. Her childhood cat had lived much longer than Bastet, even though, on the surface, he hadn’t received nearly as good care as what she thought she gave Bastet.

With a background in holistic health, plus some of her own “miracle” health changes through natural means, Liz knew there must be something she could do differently in order to help her dearest feline friends live longer. So Liz began her research. She put a lot of time into it because she wanted to know – and share – how to help cats live to be 20 years old.

Topics in Liz’ book include:Continue Reading

Could your cat benefit from Omega-3 DHA supplements?

tuxedo cat and kitten

Guest post by Dr. Serge Martinod

Sometimes it seems like your cute little kitten is growing up in the blink of an eye. In order to ensure that your kitten grows into a happy and healthy mature cat, it is important to understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle so your cat can get the most purring, toy chasing and ear scratches out of life.

Aging is a complex biological process that predisposes cats to chronic diseases including behavior changes, limited mobility or kidney malfunction. To help them develop properly as kittens and age gracefully into senior cats, added Omega-3 DHA is a major dietary need for all cats.

Benefits for kittens

DHA is an important building block of the brain and, kittens will experience a sharper nervous system and visual abilities when supplemented as pre-natal kittens and up until the first nine months of life. Daily supplementation of DHA is recommended for pregnant and lactating cats for proper brain and nervous system development of their offspring. Improvement in neurological development will not only better your kitten’s life, but play a significant role in enhancing the bond between the two of you.Continue Reading