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How To Care For An Elderly Or Sick Kitty

Dec 12, 2007
As cats age, they require more and more attention and loving care from their owners. Though cats tend to lead uneventful, happy lives, disease and discomfort increase as they age. Listed here are a few conditions and diseases to keep an eye out for that are common in elderly cats, in addition to a few tips in caring for your cat to aid in their graceful and comfortable aging.

Like humans and dogs, as cats age, they begin to show signs of degeneration. One of the most common signs of aging felines is their loss of litter box training. Some elderly cats acquire conditions such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, or decreased proper kidney function. These health issues can in turn lead to irregular urination and elimination processes. You may find your cat relieving him or herself outside the litter box. If this becomes a common practice, it is a good idea to buy one of or two more litter boxes and place them in various locations throughout your home. This will make litter boxes more accessible to your cat and will aid in their proper elimination practices.

A common feline condition is arthritis. Arthritis is a condition in which inflammation of joints occurs. Signs of arthritis include swollen and tender joints, limping, lameness, and stiffness in joints, often occurring when they get up from lying down or when it is cold or rainy outside. You can help your cat by placing their litter box and food and water dishes in easily accessible places. If, for example, their litter box is upstairs and their food and water dishes are on top of the dryer in the laundry room, they will have difficulty getting to them when they are needed. The more you help ease the discomfort of your cat, the happier they will be!

Poor dental health and dental disease is fairly common in elderly felines. Tartar, gingivitis, and sensitive gums are often seen in older cats. Believe it or not, the tartar build up or dental disease in cats can spread to their heart or kidneys, which can cause serious problems. The best thing for you to do as an owner is to start early and clean your cat's teeth regularly in addition to feeding them dry cat food, which will help clean their teeth on a daily basis.

Lastly, as cats age, they seem to lose interest in basic grooming practices. This may be due to arthritis or dental issues, but whatever the reason, it is something you will most likely need to help your cat with. Giving them weekly baths and gently brushing their coat will help tremendously. Cats feel better and are happier when they are clean and well groomed. Don't forget to keep their claws trimmed regularly because their nails can become brittle in their older age.

Just as humans and dogs need extra care as they age, so do cats. By having a basic understanding of cats' diseases and basic needs as they age will help increase their comfort dramatically. Understand your cat, and learn to take them of them properly in their mature stage of life; this will keep them happy, and will help you enjoy the final years of your cat's life.
About the Author
Discount Pet Mall features dog beds & elevated dog feeders.
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