As you stand on your back porch, watching your cat play around in his cat cage and cat condo, you suddenly notice that he seems to be slowing down. He doesn’t jump quite as quick or as fast from cat condo to cat condo. He seems to be walking instead of running towards the door when he sees you approaching his cat cage or cat cages. Instead of greeting you with a happy meow and bounding leap when you enter his cat enclosure or cat cage with his dinner, he just lifts his head and waits for you to come towards him. All of this is totally natural and a part of the aging process. Although we want out beloved cats to stay young forever, it doesn’t work that way. Just like humans, cats slow down as they grow old. Here are a few more signs that your beloved feline may be entering the golden years:
- He may not seem interested in his toys. When your cat was young, no doubt he spent hours playing with the toys in his cat cage or cat enclosure. Whenever you tossed a new toy into his cat condo or cat cage, he seemed to literally leap for joy. Then he would spend the next hour tossing, chasing and clawing that expensive little gadget. However, as your cat starts to age, he may be less interested in toys. Although a number of older cats still maintain their playful spirit, it is definitely less pronounced. Your cat may still get excited when you place a new toy in his cat cage or cat condo. But he may only sniff it for a few minutes before he heads back to his bed for a snooze.
- Your cat may develop thin hair or bald spots. Older cats are much more susceptible to skin irritations or diseases that cause them to bald. Others simple experience a thinning coat. If you notice large patches of hair in your cat condo or cat cage, it could be a sign that your pet is aging. If the hair loss is dramatic and sudden, take your pet to a veterinarian for an official diagnosis.
- He may develop cataracts. If cataracts develop in your pet’s eyes, he will not be able to see as well while in his cat cage or cat condo. He may bump into things or not notice distance objects until he is quite close. As a result, do the best you can to provide your pet with a safe environment. Remove any dangerous items or large areas of standing water that your pet could accidentally fall into. Clear your cat cage or cat enclosures of sharp objects or protruding edges. This will help protect your pet as his vision decreases. Cats with cataracts and failing vision are especially sensitive to bright lights. If you have a light in your cat cage or cat cages, be sure it is dim and comfortable.
- He may eat less. As a cat ages, his system slows down and requires less fuel to function. The danger is that your pet can grow thin and develop an unhealthy weight. If you notice that the food bowls in your cat cage or cat enclosures are constantly full, look for ways to help your pet get his appetite back. For example, if you usually only feed dry food, try placing some wet food in your cat cage or cat condos. This change in the menu may capture your pet’s curiosity and tempt him to taste the food. If necessary, sit with your cat in his cat enclosure or cat condo, encouraging him to eat. If you need to hand-feed your cat, do it. Remember, your cat is a senior now and deserves special care and attention. If you normally feed wet food, but your pet is suddenly ignoring it when you place it in his cat cage or cat condo, switch to a different brand or flavor. Adding variety to your pet’s diet is also a good way to keep him interested in meals. Toss a few teats in your cat enclosure or cat condos each day. Observe which foods you pet likes and which ones he ignores. Then shop accordingly.
Caring for Your Pet In His Cat Cage
Elderly cats often require increased care from their owners. You should take your cat to see a veterinarian regularly to monitor his health. Since removing your pet from his cat cage or cat condos and driving him downtown may be stressful for him, do everything possible to make the ride as comfortable as it can be. Wrap your pet in a warm blanket, or take a back road that it is quieter than the freeway. Keep your vet up-to-date on any changes in your pet’s behavior, appearance or appetite.
It is also important to make sure your elderly pet gets plenty of exercise. As he ages, your cat will be more inclined to snooze the day away in his cat enclosures or cat cage. He will move less frequently and much slower than usual. If you allow your pet to give in to this sedentary lifestyle, he will start to lose muscle tone and strength. Exercising your elderly pet doesn’t mean you have to give him a vigorous workout around his cat enclosure or cat cage. Instead, take your cat on a short walk. Play slow-moving games with him that encourage him to move his paws, walk across the room or even pounce a little. Spending time like this with your pet in his cat enclosure will go a long way in keeping him mentally sharp and feeling young.
It is also important that you are sensitive to your cat’s needs. Elderly cats are less tolerant of change or stress. So try to minimize these factors as much as possible. If loud noises bother your cat, don’t leave him alone in his outside cat cages or cat condos during the Fourth of July. Instead, bring him inside where he can rest in a quiet room. Keep in mind that seeing strangers approach his cat cage or cat condo may cause your pet needless anxiety. If this is the case, try to eliminate these issues. Perhaps you could reassemble your cat cage on the back porch, instead of the front porch. In this way, your pet will experience less disturbances and noise.