When cats age, warmth, ease and convenience become priorities.  There are things you can do to make life comfortable for your aging cat.  Conveniently located food bowls and litter boxes are essential.

As cats age nerves and brain cells die off forever, leaving the messages sent from the brain to the body and back taking the long road.  Once the message is received the body might not want to do what was requested.  As nerve and brain cells die the senses become dull.  In turn, vision gets blurry; the sense of smell lessens, as does the hearing. Cats cope with these changes – they really don’t have a choice.

But old doesn’t mean dead.  Older cats still like to play, still are affectionate and want your company.

Here are things you can do to make life better for your senior cat.

  • Provide water – you cat needs plenty of easily accessible freshwater. Cats are susceptible to kidney and urinary problems, and drinking plenty of water is very helpful in combating these.
  • Chubby kitty? – Once your cat reaches the double digits, you should weigh him once a month. If there is any drastic weight change up or down more than 15%, you should contact your vet. If there’s weight loss when there has been no change in diet it may indicate kidney, dental, thyroid or other problems.  Get your cat to the vet ASAP.
  • Being overweight strains a cat’s entire system and makes it more likely kitty will get diabetes, heart problems, and if he needs surgery it’s more likely there will be surgical complications. You may need to change your cat’s diet.  Consult with your veterinarian for recommendations.  Get baseline blood workups.  It is a good idea to see your vet twice a year.
  • Check your cat’s breath – If your cat’s breath is bad it could indicate a real problem – gum disease or infection, a toothache. Check your kitty’s mouth every couple of weeks – look for inflamed swollen gums or foul odor.  There could be more problems.  If you suspect a problem, please see your veterinarian right away.

The older cat needs more convenient surroundings.  Here are some ways you can help.

  • Keep water and food bowls on the floor near where he sleeps.
  • Always have a nice sleeping spot that is private, warm and cozy.


If at all possible, please do NOT board your senior cat.  Boarding is very stressful for any cat but especially stressful for older cats.  Even if it is an excellent facility, the stress is still there and in some cases can be enough to cause the senior cat to become very ill, sometimes fatally ill.

A pet sitter is so much better for your cat.  Your cat is most comfortable being in his own home.  A good pet sitter can offer companionship and affection in your absence.  Kitty can sleep on your bed, relax, and be happy.   (For information regarding how to find a good pet sitter, please refer to “Cat Sitting” under my article entitled “If your Cat Gets Lost.”)