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How to Care for Senior Cats in Winter

How to Care for Senior Cats in Winter

  • by Rufus and Coco

Providing comfort to senior cats during the colder months can present some challenges. Due to their advanced age, older cats are more susceptible to the cold and require additional measures to ensure their well-being. It's important to prioritise shelter and comfort for your geriatric feline companion. To help care for your cat during the cold season, here are some useful tips.

 

5 Ways to Care for Your Senior Cats in Winter

Heated bedding

Senior cats, like all felines, crave warmth for both comfort and pain relief, particularly if they suffer from age-related health issues or previous injuries. A heated cat bed is a great option, but you don't have to break the bank for an expensive electric model. Often, your cat will be content with a cozy spot where you've placed a hot water bottle or a microwavable magic bag. Providing a warm and snuggly resting place for your geriatric cat is essential, especially during times when the thermostat is lower and you're not home to keep an eye on them.

Keeping your senior cat warm is vital for their well-being, and there are plenty of affordable and effective ways to do so. Whether it's a heated cat bed or a DIY solution like a hot water bottle or magic bag, providing a cozy spot for your feline friend can help alleviate joint pain and provide overall comfort during the colder months. Don't forget to ensure they have a warm place to rest, even when you're not at home.

Don’t miss your cat’s regular check-ups

Monitoring the health of senior cats is crucial, as this species tends to conceal symptoms until a disease has progressed significantly. It's recommended to take your feline companion to the veterinarian for checkups at least twice a year, as routine blood tests such as a CBC or blood biochemistry can detect underlying health issues before clinical signs appear. In the case of geriatric cats, early intervention is key to managing and treating any potential health concerns.

Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet for your senior cat is also important. A diet rich in protein and minerals can help support their immune system and overall health. Additionally, offering healthy snacks like our Reel Fish Crunchers can be a great way to provide added nutrition and enjoyment for your feline friend. By prioritizing regular check-ups and a healthy diet, you can help ensure your senior cat has a long and happy life.

Keep your cat active

Even though the cold weather might make us all want to snuggle up in bed and watch a nice TV show while sipping on a cup of tea, it’s important to keep your pet active and entertained.

Playing with your cat is not only fun but also essential for their mental stimulation and well-being. Studies have shown that regular playtime can help prevent Cognitive Dysfunction, a condition similar to Alzheimer's in humans. To ensure your feline friend stays mentally sharp and engaged, consider incorporating playtime with a Laser Mouse Toy into your daily routine. Not only will it benefit their cognitive health, but it's also a great way to bond and have fun together.

Grooming is important in the winter, too

You might think that your cat’s coat doesn’t go through a lot of changes in the cold season, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. It's true that cats don’t shed as much as they do when spring comes around, but that doesn’t mean that their coat isn’t constantly being replaced.

Use a Self Cleaning Slicker Brush to keep up with your cat’s shedding and to give them a nice massage. And if you see that your cat isn’t keeping up with their grooming as they used to (it can happen especially in seniors), use a dry shampoo such as our own Water Free Wash. It's convenient and easy to use, and it even has a hypoallergenic fragrance.

Spot arthritis signs quickly

If your cat already has arthritis, you probably know what to look for in terms of mobility and pain levels. When it starts to get cold, your pet’s joints become more achy than usual, so it's important to talk to your vet and ask if they can recommend some supplements or some type of alternative therapy.

For a pet who has problems with mobility, it wouldn’t hurt if you got one of those litter boxes where your cat doesn’t have to step or jump into it.

 

Final thoughts

Caring for a senior pet in the cold season can be a little more difficult because you need to pay a bit more attention. It can also be somewhat more expensive since you have to make sure you don’t skip your vet’s appointments.

But if you make a plan and keep an eye on your cat’s comfort and pain levels, you can definitely care for them properly.

 

References:

Cognitive Dysfunction in Cats: Update on Neuropathological and Behavioural Changes Plus Clinical Management, Lorena Sordo & Danielle A. Gunn-Moore, 2021: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34651755/

Inflammatory Joint Disease in Cats: Diagnostic Approach and Treatment, Julie Lemetayer, Susan Taylor, 2014: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24966280/

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