Mr Ringo is 18 years young and according to International Cat Care he is a super senior! That is equivalent to 88 human years, so I think he is due a good happy retirement don’t you?
As many cats are living longer lives what can we do to ensure they are living the best life …..
- Regular vets checks are a must, Ringo’s wonderful vets picked up his various health issues including kidney failure, hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure. He also had a dental last year, which made him much more comfortable and happier. He also had some pain relief prescribed for arthritis which can be common in many cats over 8 years.
- Giving your older cats medication doesn’t have to be a highly stressful thing for both you and your cat, there are many things on the market that can help. I use easy pill (available online) a type of yummy putty that you hide the pill inside, stuck to the back of a Dreamie for added fun. Some liquid medication can be added to food or yummy gravy type treats such as Lick-e-Lix. Ringo loves his treats and medication giving is a lovely bonding thing for both of us. I realise not all cats are so easy going so chat to your vet if you are worried.
- Due to Ringo’s arthritis issues we have made several adjustments to his environment including a ramp for his cat tree that has also been lowered. A soft ramp to the bed so he can join us at night. He can’t get out of the garden now but is very happy just pottering about with us. I worry that another cat or fox might stress him so we always accompany him on his walks.
- We have placed more lower sided litter trays around the house so he has a choice of where to go and cleaned as soon as used if possible this ensures he keeps going back to use them as he’s very fussy with his hygiene as most cats are. He has a soft sandy type litter as it is soft on his paws.
- He has many water bowls around the home and garden, not placed near his food as cats wouldn’t drink where they eat in the wild. The water bowls and food bowls are high up so to help his neck, you can place on an old book or block of wood.
- Many older cats with mobility issues prefer to use a horizontal scratcher, Ringo likes the cheap cardboard ones. Older cats claws need to be checked regularly as they can grown very quick and sometimes grow into the pads. Because older cats can have arthritis, scratching to get rid of claw sheaths often isn’t done, this is also common in cats that need dentals because it hurts their teeth to nibble out the dead sheaths on claws, so attention to claw health is very important and often forgotten.
- Just because a cat is older doesn’t mean they don’t want to play, often cats will like to attack toys and kick them. Large soft toys that can be hugged and kicked with back legs can be popular especially if filled with catnip etc.
- Puzzle toys can be a great way for an older cat to get some mental stimulation.
- Lots of comfy cat beds and heat pads can be invaluable to older cats, great on chilly days when the homes heating may not be turned on.
- Ringo’s cat flap is now permanently closed, this is to keep him safe as I worry that other cats will be in the garden if he goes out on his own and we are not around. I don’t want other younger cats bullying him.
I hope that has given you some tips if your cat is nearing their retirement 🙂
Love & Purrs Rachel and Mr Ringo xx