Many of our rescue cats are aging and caring for them is definitely more challenging now. Skywalker (photo above) is almost 15 years young and was recently diagnosed with arthritis. He's definitely slowed down in the last year but he's still relatively active, eats great, and loves to be held.
Here are 5 important things you can do to help your aging cat.
Make an appointment for your cat to get a checkup and bloodwork
This is really important. Cats hide their pain and discomfort really well so it's really important to get regular checkups, including a dental checkup, along with bloodwork. You want to catch any issues as early as possible.
Get Some Cat Ramps
As cats age, they'll have a harder time accessing their favorite spots i.e. cat trees, beds, couches, etc. Give them a helping hand by adding cat ramps to their favorite spots around the house. I'm in the process of actually making my own simple cat ramps for our aging cats. As soon as I'm finished I'll do a separate "how-to make your own cat ramp" blog post.
Add some supplements to your cat's diet. I've added an Omega 3 oil and a pre or probiotic powder which gets added to their food. Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation and help with arthritis, kidney disease, and other diseases. Pre and pro-biotics can help support a healthy gut as well as the immune system.
Make sure you're giving them daily exercise. Even though they slow down as they age, they still need to keep moving. Skywalker still loves playing even if it's at a slower pace. Leave their favorite toys out for them and use a wand toy by dragging it along the floor. They still love chasing things.
Elevated Cat and Water Bowls
This is especially important as they age. Elevating their bowls can help reduce vomiting and other digestive problems and can also help them swallow their food better. It's also easier on cats who have arthritis.