When Are Cats Considered Elderly Cats?

After a certain period of time, kittens will become elderly cats. Just like human senior citizens, elderly cats have special needs. Older cats need special diets, maybe special bedding and housing considerations and maybe even special medications, just like their human counterparts.

The Age of Elderliness in Cats

None of the experts can agree on an exact chronological age at which a cat becomes an elderly cat. Some veterinarians consider a cat elderly at only eight years of age, while others consider this age to be just middle aged and elderly to be closer to thirteen or fourteen years of age. There is no hard and fast consensus among cat experts on what age constitutes an elderly cat, but an age of eleven calendar years, which is sixty six in human years, is a good average at which you can consider your cat elderly.

Special Dietary Considerations with an Elderly Cat

Elderly cats are more prone to a number of medicals conditions, such as diabetes, osteoarthritis and dental diseases, just like their human counterparts. In order to keep your cat healthy during her older years, she’s going to need some special foods that she wouldn’t have needed as a kitten or even an adolescent. Your vet is going to be the best source of information on what special foods your elderly cat may need, but there are a number of high quality senior care feline diets on the market from a number of companies, such as Iam’s, Hill’s and Purina. One thing that you may have to consider is that cats’ senses of taste and smell degrade with age. What this means for you is that you may have to change to a cat food that is tastier than before in order to make sure she eats enough.

Special Physical Considerations

As cats age, they are no longer able to jump as high or climb as well as they could when they were younger. If her bed is up high, you may have to put it lower or give her a way to walk up to it, instead of having to jump. Also, as cats age, they tend to become less active. This can accelerate muscle and joint stiffness. You should try and get your cat to play a little every day to keep her joints and muscles supple and flexible. Your older cat’s immune system also weakens as she ages, so you should make extra sure to keep her up on her vaccines, especially if she doesn’t stay in the house all the time

Her Changing Emotional Needs

Older cats don’t deal with stress as well as younger cats do. An elderly cat isn’t going to be a good companion for a kitten because the older cat is going to want to rest more than play and will become easily annoyed with the younger cat. Your older cat isn’t going to deal with change well either, so things like boarding and a change in environment should be avoided whenever possible. Your older cat is going to need more TLC than before, so pay attention to her more than before.

These are just a few of the things you should be aware of when you have an elderly cat. Speak with your vet to obtain more information or do a simple Internet search and peruse the plethora of information available on this subject.