Old cat's problems
These problems seem to be the same as we have. Let's analyze them one after another.
1. How to calculate the age of a cat in regard to a human one? The first year of life of a cat agrees to fifteen human years. A two year old cat is equal in its age to a twenty-four year old man. Then each following year equals to four human years. So twelve cat's years are equal to 64 human ones (24 + 10*4 = 64).
2. When does the cat become old? Like people, cats grow old at different ages. If the feeding and veterinarian services are good then eighteen-, nineteen-, and twenty-year old cats are not rare.
3. Do their habits change with the growth? Changing of character as a rule is expressed by the reduction of activity (they hunt less) and constant tendency to have a rest and to sleep. Some nervous cats grow reserved because they try to avoid stress; some of them become irritable.
4. What are the usual illnesses of old cats? In most cases they suffer from the combination of some illnesses but not from only one of them as it was earlier. They seldom suffer from arthritis, as the dogs do, but they often have kidney diseases. If your cat drinks and urinates more than usual and it loses weight and in general feels itself bad, then take it to the doctor. Constipations and problems with urinating are also characteristics of an old cat. If your cat spends too much time in its toilet, you should better consult the veterinarian. If your cat suddenly becomes dull, sleeps almost every time and, perhaps, coughs, then ask your veterinarian about probable heart diseases. Look if there is no swelling on the cat's body. There are often swellings on the old cat's body, but most of them are not dangerous. But pay your attention to each swelling and say about it to the veterinarian. Fatness may increase the general condition of the cat and even ccause new problems. That is why don't let your cat put on extra weight. And remember, please, that toothaches and gum aches are often remain unnoticed and as a result grow worse.
5. Can the cat invalids be happy? Most of the old or deaf cats take their situation easy. If your cat is deaf write on its collar "I am deaf" and your own surname and address. Then if it is lost itself the good people will bring it back to your home. Cats may get used even to the lost paw or tail. But in the case of paralysis many problems appear and the cat, that can't urinate or do the other things and also wash itself without somebody's help, may be very unhappy.
6. Do the behavior problems arise? Rather often the problem is meowing at night. Some cats make their owners get up at night to caress and support them. Some old cats feel uncertain when they have to do their things in the yard or in the garden because there are younger and more aggressive cats there or even because it is cold and wet. Then set the toilet for such a cat in the flat or house.
7. Is the special diet necessary for old cats? Now there is a special diet for old cats (as it is for dogs), but veterinarians give special diet prescriptions in the cases of kidney or heart diseases and you may get such advice. The growing older digestion system becomes less effective and takes the changing worse. That's why try to follow that feeding will be various and balanced.
8. How will the old cat take the new kitten home? Some cats like to live together with the other cats or kittens but some don't. That is why we can't draw the general conclusion. The lively kitten may make the old cat leave the house in spite of supporting it. That's why I think about this before taking a new pet.
9. Must you give the old cats to somebody when you are not at home? If you have good kind neighbors I suppose they will visit your cat some times during two days. But if you leave for a week or more, try to find the nurse for the old cat or give it to people whom your cat knows well.
10. Do the old cats need much care? If your cat is older than eight or nine years it is necessary to take it two or three times a year to the veterinary with the aim to find out defections before.
11. How to make the life of an old cat more comfortable? You can make this period of your cat's life easier and safer if you follow some rules.
Provide your cat with water
Provide your cat with much fresh water at the place it can easily get. The older your cat grows the more often it has illnesses of kidneys and urine channels. If it drinks much fresh water it will help it to avoid such problems.
Control its weight
Weigh your cat once a month. If it changes too fast (increasing or decreasing more than 15%) you should better consult the veterinarian. Reducing the weight without changing the menu shows the toothache, kidney diseases, thyroid gland and some other illnesses. The extra weight causes problems with all organs. It may cause such complications as diabetes, surgeon illness and heart diseases. I know that it is very difficult to oppose a hungry cat but you will win if you really love your pet. It cannot control its weight itself, that is why you have to do it.
Make your cat's life easier
Put the plates with food and water on the floor near the cat's favorite sleeping place. As the cat is not as adroit as before, the walls of the toilet box must not be too high Put the toilets on each floor of the house. The old cats can't control their urinary bladder as they could before. If your cat has its favorite "roost" but it is difficult for it to get there, put any piece of furniture closer to this place to make the stairs. If you put the trunk under the window-sill it will be just what the old cat which is suffering from arthritis wants.
Provide your cat with its own corner
Sleeping is the favorite time for each cat. For old cats it is very necessary. If you have a very noisy family or your cat simply likes solitude, provide it with a special warm and comfortable place. Put the bed to your cat near the radiator or put the box with a blanket in it under the lamp, make the roost near the window in the sunshine. There is nothing difficult there, just a comfortable place where one may sleep quietly.
Regularly show it to the doctor, cut the claws if it is necessary, help to keep its fur warm, brush it regularly (especially if it is a longhair cat). Very old cats need the warm room because they move less and the old fur warms not so good.