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Pets are not just animals you adopt in your home. They are considered as family,

Caring for Older Cats

As cats get older, they will go through many changes. From a reduction in energy levels to a penchant for a quieter life, even the liveliest kitten is one day likely to want nothing more than to curl up in front of a fire for as much of the day as possible.

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However, changes to energy levels and personality will not be the only differences between those senior felines and those much younger, livelier cats, and in turn once your cats reach a certain age, you will have to start caring for them in very different ways.

The biggest change will be diet. Not only might they struggle to eat the same amount that they used to, or indeed have trouble eating large, hard foods, but you will also need to ensure that your cat has all the right minerals in their food to keep their body healthy as it gets older. Extra antioxidants will be needed to keep aging skin and brains healthy, whilst specific ingredients may be needed to ensure healthy kidneys and urinary tracts are maintained in later years.

The good news is that cats are living longer than ever, due to a combination of increased awareness of potential dangers for animals, better healthcare and more nutritionally-balanced foods. This last one remains surprisingly important as, even just a few years ago, when it came to feeding animals, it was often a one-size-fits-all approach with growing kittens being offered very similar foods to those eaten by their grandparents.

The best foods will therefore be those that have been specially formulated for cats in their later years, not only ensuring that the food is focussed to keeping older cats as healthy as possible but also that the quantities suggested, the type of food offered and the taste of the grub are all as focussed towards senior pets as possible.

Of course, different pets will have different needs, and it will be important not to just choose a specific food due to the fact that it is formulated specifically for senior animals. Whilst this will help, when choosing food, it is important to understand any health concerns your own specific pet might have. Whilst consulting a vet might help here, it may simply be a case of seeing how they react to the food you offer, noticing whether they enjoy it and whether it makes them more vital or simply leaves them feeling ill. Furthermore, if your cats are overweight, they will need a different senior food to cats that are underweight, and weather you choose your food by calorie content or whether you simply offer extras treats to those who are underweight, taking size into account will be as important as considering age.

Once food is sorted, caring for an older cat should be relatively straightforward. Ensure you offer them plenty of warm and soft places to relax, offering little ramps if their joints are not what they used to be, and remember to keep the home warm for them in their old age. If they struggle to preen themselves, a helping hand with grooming may be required, but from here just be sure to offer them plenty of love and space.

About the Author – Adam Howes is a freelance writer and blogger. He regularly contributes articles to Home and Pet sites such as Hills Pet, watched eagerly by his fluffy white cat, Chino.

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