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Keeping An Older Cat Comfortable

January 24, 2023

Did you know that cats are officially seniors by the time they’re age nine? Of course, Fluffy usually ages very gracefully, so you probably won’t notice drastic changes right away. However, as your kitty enters her golden years, she will benefit from some extra care and attention. A Sandstone, MN vet discusses keeping your furry retiree comfy and purring below.

Beds, Beds, And More Beds

While all of our feline pals are exhausted, senior cats are particularly tired. Floppy can sleep up to 20 hours a day! Make sure your kitty has plenty of comfy napping spots. These should be easy for her to get in and out of.


Fluffy is very diligent about keeping herself clean, which is one of the things we love about her. However, as your furry buddy ages, she may have trouble reaching her entire body. (This is why older kitties sometimes look a bit unkempt.) Help her out by brushing her gently. Just don’t pull or tug too hard on mats. Senior cats have very delicate skin!

Senior-Friendly Litterboxes

Older cats sometimes have a hard time getting in and out of litterboxes with high sides. Look for one that will be easy for Fluffy to manage. If you have more than one floor in your home, keep litterboxes and water bowls on every floor, so your feline buddy doesn’t have to use the stairs as much.


Just like people, kitties sometimes develop issues with their vision in their golden years. Keep a nightlight on after dark, so Fluffy can find her way around more easily at night.

Pet Ramps

Fluffy may have a hard time jumping and climbing up to her favorite perches. Things like footstools, ottomans, and pet ramps can all make life a little easier for her. 


Getting old comes with many challenges, and can be daunting for both people and pets. Fluffy may become senile: kitty dementia is not uncommon. Understandably, older pets sometimes get confused and distressed about the changes they are going through. Pay lots of attention to your little buddy, and make sure she feels loved and safe. If your feline friend seems unsettled, just do what you can to comfort her. 

Our Advice on Keeping An Older Cat Comfortable in 2024

How can you make your older cat’s sleeping arrangements more comfortable?

To enhance your older cat’s sleeping comfort, ensure she has multiple soft beds in accessible, quiet locations around your home. Beds should be easy for her to enter and exit, considering any mobility issues. Opt for orthopedic or heated beds to soothe aging joints and keep her warm. Place these beds in her favorite spots, including sunny areas for warmth and near family activities, so she doesn’t feel isolated. Regularly washing these beds can also help keep her comfortable, ensuring a clean, cozy environment for her rest.

How can you help your older cat navigate the house if her vision is declining?

To assist your older cat with declining vision, maintain a consistent layout in your home, avoiding frequent furniture moves to prevent disorientation. Install nightlights in key areas to help her navigate in low light. Consider pet ramps or steps for easier access to her favorite spots. Use scent markers near essential areas like food bowls, beds, and litter boxes to guide her. Keep pathways clear of obstacles, ensuring a safe environment. These adjustments can significantly ease her movement, enhancing her confidence and comfort as she navigates her surroundings.

Should an older cat’s diet be adjusted?

Yes, an older cat’s diet often requires adjustments to meet changing health and nutritional needs. Senior cats may benefit from diets that are lower in calories but higher in easily digestible proteins and essential nutrients to support kidney health and maintain muscle mass. It’s also important to include omega-3 fatty acids for joint health. Increased fiber can aid in digestion, and ensuring the food is palatable and easy to chew is crucial for cats with dental issues. Always consult with a veterinarian to tailor the diet to your cat’s specific health conditions and needs.

How frequently should you be taking your senior cat for checkups?

Senior cats should visit the veterinarian at least once every six months for checkups. These bi-annual visits allow for early detection and management of age-related issues such as kidney disease, arthritis, or dental problems. During these checkups, your vet can assess your cat’s overall health, adjust any existing treatment plans, and recommend dietary changes or supplements as needed. Regular blood work and other diagnostic tests may also be advised to monitor your cat’s health closely, ensuring they maintain the best quality of life in their golden years.

Besides age-related confusion, what are other health issues to watch for in older cats?

In older cats, besides age-related confusion, watch for signs of chronic kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and arthritis. Dental issues are also common and can impact eating habits and overall health. Look out for changes in appetite, weight loss, increased thirst or urination, lethargy, and altered mobility or vocalization. Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to catch these conditions early. Managing these health issues promptly can significantly improve your cat’s quality of life and potentially extend their lifespan.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns about your kitty’s health or care. As your local Sandstone, MN animal clinic, we’re here to help!