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Senior Cat Care

March 15, 2023

Is your kitty in her senior years? Fluffy usually ages gracefully, so you probably won’t notice huge changes happening quickly. What you’re more likely to notice is your cute pet slowly getting sleepier and sleepier, and maybe needing some extra help here and there. A Sandstone, MN veterinarian offers some senior cat care tips in this article. 


Fluffy’s nutritional needs will change over time. Pay close attention to serving sizes! Even overfeeding your kitty by a little bit can cause her to pack on extra pounds. Take note of any changes in your cat’s appetite or eating habits. Cats with thyroid issues, for example, are often hungry all the time. You may also want to set out some extra water dishes.


Kitties are very good about keeping their coats clean, but they often need a helping hand with their beauty needs as they get older. Brush your feline buddy regularly to remove dead fur and dander from her coat. 


Fluffy may have trouble getting in and out of a litterbox with low walls. Consider getting her one made just for seniors, which will be easier for her to manage. If your place has more than one floor, get some extras, so there’s one on every level. That way, your cat won’t have to use the stairs as much.


Fluffy won’t be as silly or playful as she was during her kittenhood, but she’ll still have her frisky moments. Try to play with your feline friend every day. Even a few minutes of jumping and pouncing can be beneficial. (This is also really cute to watch.) 

Veterinary Care 

As Fluffy ages, she may develop certain health conditions. Diabetes, hyperthyroidism and kidney disease are three of the most common ones we see in older cats, but they aren’t the only ones. Make sure your furry pal sees her doctor regularly. You’ll also need to bring your kitty in right away if you notice any potential signs of health issues. Don’t be shy about asking for specific care tips while you’re here!


Making small changes can go a long way towards keeping Fluffy safe and comfy. Things like night lights, pet ramps, and cozy beds can all be beneficial. We also strongly recommend keeping your feline pal  indoors.

Our Advice on Senior Cat Care in 2024

What specific dietary changes should be made for senior cats?

For senior cats, dietary adjustments should focus on supporting their changing nutritional needs and managing health issues. Foods formulated for senior cats typically have lower calorie content to prevent obesity and are easier to digest. Increased fiber can help with gastrointestinal function, and enhanced levels of specific nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids can support joint health. It’s also crucial to ensure adequate hydration, so incorporating more wet food can be beneficial. Regular veterinary check-ups will help tailor the diet to any specific conditions like kidney disease or diabetes that often affect older cats.

What are some signs of dental issues in senior cats?

In senior cats, signs of dental issues include bad breath, red or swollen gums, and visible tartar on the teeth. Cats may also exhibit a reluctance to eat, especially dry food, or chew only on one side of their mouth. Drooling, pawing at the mouth, and a noticeable decrease in grooming behavior can also indicate oral discomfort. Weight loss is another critical sign, often resulting from pain while eating. Observing any of these symptoms warrants a prompt veterinary examination to address potential dental disease.

How can owners make their home more accessible and comfortable for senior cats with mobility issues?

To make homes more accessible and comfortable for senior cats with mobility issues, owners should consider several modifications. Installing pet ramps or steps helps cats reach favorite elevated spots or furniture without strain. Providing low-sided litter boxes facilitates easier access, reducing discomfort during use. Placing extra water and food dishes on multiple levels of the home can prevent the need for frequent stair climbing. Additionally, ensuring plenty of soft, accessible bedding in quiet areas helps relieve joint pain and encourages rest.

What are some common age-related cognitive changes in cats?

Common age-related cognitive changes in cats, often referred to as cognitive dysfunction syndrome, include disorientation and confusion. Affected cats may wander aimlessly or appear lost in familiar surroundings. Changes in sleep patterns are also typical, with increased restlessness at night. There may be a noticeable decrease in social interaction; cats might withdraw from humans and other pets or show less interest in play or affection. Altered vocalization, such as increased meowing without apparent reason, and lapses in litter box training are additional signs of cognitive decline in senior cats.

What are some signs that a senior cat may be experiencing pain or discomfort?

Signs that a senior cat may be experiencing pain or discomfort include reduced mobility, such as difficulty jumping up or climbing stairs, and a noticeable decrease in activity level. Cats in pain might also exhibit changes in grooming behavior, grooming less frequently or excessively in one area, which can indicate discomfort. Behavioral changes like increased irritability or withdrawal from social interactions are common. Additionally, changes in eating habits, such as decreased appetite and vocalizations like unusual meowing or growling, can also indicate that a cat is in pain.

As your local Sandstone, MN veterinary clinic, we are dedicated to offering great care. Contact us anytime!