Caring for a Senior Cat: The Complete Guide


As our cats begin to age, we would notice a change in behavior so we might have to begin to vary how we take care of them, too. Or when you adopt an older cat, you is perhaps wondering – how can I make my senior cat as comfortable as possible?

To help your older cat enjoy their golden years, we put together this full guide to senior cat care. Aimed toward helping those silver whiskers stay completely happy, healthy & cuddly for so long as possible. 🙂

We’ll be discussing top suggestions for how you can make a senior cat as comfortable as may be, in addition to answering incessantly asked questions that may crop up for you and your distinguished fluffy kitty.


  • Establishing just how old is a senior cat?
  • Why adopting a senior cat might be perfect for you
  • The 2 key ways to maintain their health in check
  • Environmental changes to assist a senior cat’s comfort
  • Practical hacks & suggestions for completely happy golden oldies
  • Your FAQs answered

Let’s jump in by figuring out when a cat is definitely “senior” in the primary place!

The best way to Take care of a Senior Cat

Years ago, a cat was considered senior from around 8 years old. Now, advances in nutrition, medicine and indoor lifestyles have bumped up our kitties’ life expectancies.   

Today, it’s common for veterinarians to have feline patients into their 20’s!

For this reason, it’s now generally agreed that a cat hits the senior stage of their life cycle at between 11-14 years of age. 

To place this in perspective, a 16 yr old cat can be the equivalent of an 80-year-old human. Which is why senior cat care is pretty vital, considering how we would feel about our surroundings at such a ripe old age! 

Why Adopt a Senior Cat?

Pondering of adopting a senior? You then’d be doing a tremendous thing by helping them enjoy their twilight years in completely happy comfort. Plus there are just a few added bonuses of caring for such a mature kitty:

  • Personality – Older cats often have really distinguished personalities which are already clearly established. Meaning they’ll make for wonderful companions with wonderful funny quirks.
  • Low maintenance – If you could have a busy lifestyle with not much time to spare, adopting an older cat is perhaps an important fit for you. They are frequently far more independent, meaning you’ll be able to sit up for post-work snuggles, without dedicating large portions of time every single day to wearing that excess kitten energy out!
  • Less mess – They’re nearly all the time fully house trained, which implies less probability of any accidents across the home!
  • Family fit –  An older cat will often have a behavior history, meaning you’ll benefit from knowing how they’re more likely to behave in certain situations. Like how they’re around children and other pets, so that they can fit into your current lifestyle needs. 

Despite their grace and charm, competing with cute kittens may be tough on older cats on the lookout for their fur-ever homes. But so long as you’ll be able to provide them with the needs outlined below, they’ll make wonderful, loving pets for years to come back.  

Caring for Senior Cats – Things to Consider:

1. Health

What can postpone many from adopting a senior cat is the concern of declining health. But many veterinarians are quick to indicate that aging just isn’t a disease. 

Just as some 80 yr old humans are still energetic, healthy individuals – given the precise care a 16 yr old kitty may be fighting fit too!

After all, it’s a indisputable fact that senior cats usually tend to encounter different conditions or illnesses, but some older cats are perfectly healthy into their 20’s too. 

To provide them one of the best shot of a healthy life, go for regular vet check ups. Early diagnosis is essential in terms of treating any potential issues, so regular checkups for seniors are highly really useful. 

It’s also a great idea to weigh your older kitty frequently, as a swing in either direction may be a great first indicator that something might be up. 

Be careful for mobility issues, akin to flinching when the back legs are touched, difficulty jumping, or stiffness when walking. These might be early signs of arthritis. 

2. Nutrition

What to feed senior cats is a standard query, with many wondering is senior cat food really vital?

Let’s start by asking, what’s the difference between senior cat food and regular food? 

Recent research actually found that:

 “the one difference that was found between the senior diets and the adult diets was higher fiber within the senior diets.” aside from “calories were higher within the diets labeled for 11+ years than those for 7+ years.”

Which highlights the importance of really checking those labels. But what do you have to be on the lookout for?

While some older cats do need assistance to maintain their weight on, others don’t. In reality, it appears others might need a completely different weight loss program altogether…

That’s because this study also found that:

 “despite the common occurrence of chronic kidney disease in older cats and evidence that prime phosphorus (and potentially high sodium) diets cause worsening of kidney disease, the senior diets on this study were no lower in these minerals than the adult diets.”

Subsequently, one of the best strategy to be certain your senior cat is receiving the nutrients and weight loss program they need is to seek the advice of together with your veterinarian in an in depth way. They’ll give you the option to keep in mind your senior’s medical history, their weight level and the present research on feline nutrition. 

This fashion, you’ll be able to each select a weight loss program to your senior kitty that’s chosen for his or her individual & specific needs, leading to a healthier happier cat. 

Need some options to begin you off? 5 Best Foods for Senior & Aging Cats {Reviews + Guide}

3. Hydration

As we have now seen a bit of already, senior kitties are more vulnerable to kidney issues. This may be prevented or managed by upping their water intake, which also can keep other common issues like constipation and confusion at bay.  

To assist your older feline friend stay hydrated try the next:

  • Add to food – Some owners wish to serve wet food mashed up with warm water, as this may make mealtimes more appetizing in addition to hydrating.
  • Multiple sources – Have a pair of various water points across the house to encourage extra top ups, and a few outdoor sources in the event that they still enterprise into the garden.
  • Try a fountain – There’s a theory that cats wish to drink more from flowing sources, fairly than stagnant ones. Fountains also can contain filters which improve the taste and filtration to your pet. 

Cat fountains we love:

4. Comfort

Some senior cats might have just a few environmental tweaks to assist them stay energetic & comfortable. 

  • Warmth – Ensure sleeping areas are away from drafts to maintain older limbs completely happy. A heated cat bed is an alternative choice to maintain them cosy and ease any aching joints. 
  • Noise – Older kitties might need a quieter place to rest and chill out, especially in the event that they are more easily startlaed as a consequence of deterioration of their sight or hearing. A covered bed is an important option for helping them feel protected and sound, and a nightlight may help them find their way at midnight much easier too. 
  • Playtime – While they might have less energy, your fur friend will still need to have some fun! Just make sure you be careful for panting and take a look at to maintain the pace moderate. 
  • Stimulation – While playtime is perhaps less frequent, it’s still good to maintain your aging kitty mentally energetic. Spend money on some puzzle toys, DIY some eco-friendly activities, or allow them access to a window spot for a little bit of “cat TV” time.
  • Stress – Senior felines might be more affected by stressors, so keeping a consistent routine and consistent space around them is extra vital. If you happen to do must move them or take those vet visits, try reading our ​​guide on How To Help A Stressed Cat. 
  • Grooming – Sustain with regular groomings, especially as your kitty gets stiff joints or may lose the flexibility to adequately groom themselves. 

5. Access

Your older kitty might need a bit of extra help reaching those familiar spots. 

In case your older cat can now not jump on his favorite windowsill for some viewing time, try using a ramp or constructing some box steps.

Pet stairs are one other great option, just be certain whatever you select has a firm footing. 

This also applies to their litter box too! Be open to the concept of eventually switching to a low or uncovered box to assist your older cat get out and in easily. This can help prevent any unwanted house accidents!

Our favourite senior cat litter box options:

  • Create a ramp to your existing litter tray from the choices above. 
  • If you could have a compost heap, you can use the biodegradable trays, and cut a straightforward entrance way with some scissors, for an eco-friendly option. 
  • You’ll be able to even use an old cookie tray!
  • You may want to take a position in a washable mat to stop litter escaping too far too. We love this super cute eco-friendly option.

Common Senior Cat FAQ’s – Questions and Answers:

Why is my old cat peeing all over the place?

Your first job is to have a checkup together with your vet, as an older cat peeing all over the place might be the symptoms of a urinary tract infection, bladder infection, kidney issues, diabetes, or just a few other possible causes.

It can also be the case that your senior cat is having trouble with access, stress or is combating cognitive function. Keeping your litter tray accessible and simply reachable should help, in addition to keeping their routine as regular as possible.

Why is my senior cat so skinny?

After ruling out any medical reasons for weight reduction, the following port of call can be to evaluate your fur-friend’s weight loss program.

While a standard higher fiber weight loss program is helpful for keeping our middle-aged cats slim, this may be unhelpful for seniors. Older cats might have a more high calorie and simply digestible weight loss program as their dietary needs change – especially in the event that they are vulnerable to weight reduction. Your vet will give you the option to advise on the precise food selections to your golden oldie. 

Read also: 10 TIPS for The best way to Make a Skinny Cat Gain Weight

Why does my senior cat yowl?

Pain from arthritis or other medical issues could cause your older cat to cry at night, when there is perhaps less happening to distract them. So bring up the noises together with your vet and see if upping their pain medication, or a heated bed, could help. 

Cognitive dysfunction is one other common explanation for yowling in senior cats. Much like dementia in humans, other signs include disorientation, excessive sleeping & eliminating outside the litter box. 

Final Thoughts – Caring for Senior Cats

The common consider all the happiest & healthiest senior cats I’ve met? Attentive, loving owners.

By reading this post, you’re already providing your cat with an exquisite begin to their twilight years, with (we hope) a lot of handy suggestions in your back pocket to implement.  

My final thought? Stay connected. Whether it’s with our lovely Fluffy Kitty community, or with senior cat Facebook groups. These groups and networks may be really helpful in spotting any issues early on, providing fun activity ideas to your cat & offering support for you while you need it.

Do you could have a golden oldie? Tell us who they’re and the way you make them feel purrr-fectly comfortable. We’d like to know 🙂


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