Living with an older cat is different from when they were younger and more active.
Now the concerns are age specific foods, physical wellness issues and the need to provide a relaxed and comfortable environment, all of which I will touch on in this post.
I want to declare that I have no medical diploma and have only my opinions from many years of living with my furry friends. But you will soon find out that I have plenty of thoughts originating from a rich and varied experience living with kitty cats in the family. As the saying goes: truth is debatable and in the end there is only consensus, and I rely on getting feed back and back feed from you also.
Wellness and Health Transformations Typical in Aging Cats
This is much like your own older human family members, think of the health issues and what measures you can take to them more comfortable.
Primarily I suggest scheduled visits to your veterinarian starting at an early age.This will get your cat used to the handling, both by the vet and also the experience of being placed in the traveling cage, and she will realize that the trip will always end back home in her own domain.
A suddenly ill cat should not have to be scared by a new stressful situation. Besides all the early vaccination shots being important, this also provides your pet clinic to get to know your kitty and to collect a prior history should you ever have to come in with an emergency.
Longevity depends on both the blood-line of your cat (it's cat parents) and also on the preventive measures and care that was given to it as a youngster.
Your girl cat ages at a slower pace compared to her brothers, and the first signs are often behavior and mood changes. Please chose to have your cat "fixed", spaying (girls) or neutering (boys) can prolong your cat's active years by as much as 1.5 to 2 times as opposed to non-treated cats. I adore all my cats - the ones I have had in the past, currently live with, as well as the ones who will wander into my life in the future - and I welcomed many into my household through the years.
It seems that I was a passive participant in this and the cats themselves always made the choice. Now, I don't think I'm better in any way, it seems that ALL cats ultimately have the control to pick for themselves on whose lap they will curl up and even people who profess that they don't even like cats get a stroke as kitty walks by - or even a much envied purr.
What I mean by passive is that I never actively went out and purchased a cat from a pet store, nor did I ever research expensive specialty breeds and blood-lines for a "designer cat". All of my furry children came to me on the sly, through an open door when gardening on a sunny day, or made their entrance fast like quicksilver when the front door was opened.
Let me tell you about Queen: On a warm day when all my doors are left open she leisurely paraded into my back room where all food bowls are lined up for my cats, and she seemed to approve of the selection as her visits repeated and became more and more frequent. By the end of the season she was always seen sleeping near the food and when fall came she made sure to find herself inside my now closed doors. By now my other cats had grown familiar with her and so Queen had managed to secure a place in our family for herself.
Before you cry out in alarm - yes, I did everything in my power to find her rightful family including posters on telephone poles and in grocery stores, even door-to-door searches. In the end after I had made every effort - Queen lived out her last days with us.
Sometimes a friend pleaded for me to take over a cat circumstances wouldn't permit them to keep. This subject is of special importance to me.
The standard length of life for cats is around age 20, and when the decision is made to bring a kitty home this should be deeply considered - if your family's lifestyle is movable, make sure you can bring all your children with you to the new location. Some apartments or condos exclude young children, much like some exclude pets, and would that mean you ask a friend to take in your youngest child? When you make a commitment to a pet, be prepared to find a place to live that at the least allows you to bring it, and at the best provides all the comforts she deserves like a back yard, no predatory animals or cars endangering her, etc. If this is not practical for you, please consider a hamster instead (I'm not a hamster-hater, reality is they have a shorter life expectancy).
Owning a cat has pleasures and responsibilities all of it's own and requires some forethought, even with all the calls for help from the overflowing pet shelters.It is my opinion that felines have a developed sense for territory and they certainly do bond with their space, rooms, fellow kitties, and other family members to include us humans as well.
The current lord and master of our family is Spice, and she was found in a discarded (and I thought empty) chest of drawers left on the sidewalk some 18 years ago. You could barely find her nose among the tangled, flea-infested fur, and she was so young her eyes were not yet open. How could I resist? I pleaded with my family to take in "yet another one", went to the vet for deworming, shots and flea-control advice on one so young (one quick bath with diluted flea shampoo and then a clean indoors only environment until she was old enough for a flea collar or even drops) and then proceeded to introduce her to my other family members.
More on Spice in a later post. By the way, her name derives from how she smelled when I found her, not bad exactly, just a little pungent. But now it simply means she smells like cinnamon and spice, which is nice!
Cat Longevity and Ageing Comparison Table
How Old is Your Cat?
Human Years = Kitty Years
6 Months = 10 Years
8 months = 13 years
1 Year = 15 years
2 years = 24 years
4 years = 32 years
6 years = 40 years
8 years = 48 years
10 years = 56 years
12 years = 64 years
15 years = 75 years
18 years = 88 years
20 years = 100 years
30 years = 136 years Several cats have reached this ripe old age
34-36 years = 152-160 years There are longevity claims of this age in the Guinness Book of Records
43 years = 188 years There are only unverified claims of this occurring.
If you are interested in more chats about my cats as well as health and cat care tips, follow this link to my site where I will be posting more articles on the special needs and considerations involved in sharing your family with a senior kitty. Click here http://livingwitholdercats.blogspot.com/ How to Live with Older Cats
Catman's blog is full of pointers and health advise collected from his long experience with his feline friends. Take a peek at How to Live with Older Cats in http://livingwitholdercats.blogspot.com