Greetings to cat families everywhere! Today, i want to touch on the subject of your senior cat’s teeth and the issues that usually can be expected at this stage in their lives. Going to explore the care and treatments that can be applied and of course, what foods and how to feed for what dental problems your senior cat may be facing. I will speak of the does and don’t’s when it comes to your cat’s mouth and teeth as well.
Common dental problems:
Dental abscesses. Infections.Trauma (to gums, mouth and teeth) and wounds. Cancer, periodontal disease, odontoclastic resorptive lesions (dental decay),plaque and tartar, broken teeth. Sometimes a cat will have an allergy to the tartar buildup and this will cause a stomatitis in all the mouth called “feline stomatitis syndrome” where there’s no cure and will leave your cat toothless. But have no fear! They will still be able to eat soft food and even kibble!
Visible signs of mouth and dental issues:
You take one look at your cat one day and you see they drool, food spilling from their mouth, weight loss, they won’t eat, they seem to be in pain (refer to another post of mine with the cat pain chart),your furry friend wants a kiss but their breath is atrociously nasty! Clearly missing pieces of or whole teeth absent. If you can get close enough and have the trust of your senior pet, you will notice that gums may be red and swollen up and bleeding if you pass a cotton swab all along their gum line. You might also notice spots and ulcers.
Predispositions to dental problems:
If your cat is a senior and they are a breed that has smaller teeth. Cats over the age of 3:50 to 80% of dogs and cat’s have been estimated to have a dental disease. Those with FIV. Or FeLV. If your cat is old, the wear and tear and the changes in the cat’s immunity and strength come into play for sure!
Some causes to dental diseases:
The food that your cat will eat weighs in the balance. If it’s too soft, it will stick to the teeth and if it’s dry kibble, there’s lots of carbs in it so it will get stuck between the teeth and advantage the growth of bacteria. Maybe your furry friend went places and ate stuff that wasn’t exactly kosher while outside.
It’s always best for a long life to leave your purry friend indoors so they avoid infections, broken teeth chew on things that will more than scratch the teeth and gums. Poor dental hygiene is a culprit too.
Care of teeth and gums of your cat:
Therefore it is recommended getting their teeth and gums brushed a minimum 2-3 times a week and ideal every day! Special treats exist to help your cat to clean up their teeth. Yes! Cat treats they can chew on just like the dogs! There is also the toothpaste with flavors like chicken and fish.
To achieve this with your old buddy, you must start slowly and progressively.
1-Use your finger to gently rub toothpaste on the cat’s teeth and gums. Short periods first and thank and praise your kitty and pet them or give a reward after for “being nice”. Do not use baking soda cause it is a health hazard and they WON’T appreciate it!
2-Once they are habituated, continue with a toothbrush. They’res many to choose from! Fish form or other toy form that you can even stick catnip in it! They’res finger toothbrushes too that slip on your finger and you brush away! There is even tooth wipes and cleansing pads now! Avoid human toothbrushes that can hurt your cat’s gums!
3-Brush gums and front teeth for the lower jaw and front and back for the upper jaw. Why not back for the lower jaw?Cats tongue is said to be just perfectly rugged for auto-cleaning this part. But then, you inspect your elder cat and you be the judge!
4-Cats that are 7 years and older:Dental exams every 6 months. Your cat might need x-rays to detect problems and cleaning under anesthesia from time to time. Although there are risks to your cat “going under”, we’ve got new and short acting anesthesia that is done by injection, make this option more secure for your pet. Ask what type the vet uses and how the effects are easily reversed.
Tartar removal is also every 6 months to a year.WARNING! do NOT detartar your cat yourself with any instrument!
You might then want to help your cat’s dental health by giving vitamins and supplements such as zinc, calcium and phosphorus. Or other things like seaweed that will take off plaque like this for example:
I have read that you can give, as a bonus, probiotics and digestive enzymes to support your cat’s gastrointestinal and general health and immune system which certainly will give a boost to their teeth and gums!
They recommend the Q10 vitamin too to prevent periodontal disease in the mouth of the mouth but this one goes waayyy beyond helping the health of the mouth!
Other supplements that have got a good reputation in oral health and squelching the bad breath of your cat are:Spirulina, silica and horsetail. And there’s much more like this supplement:
So my cat had dental surgery:Now what?
Post surgery, it can take 1 to 2 weeks for your cat to recover from a tooth extraction. They will eat wet food, baby food or you can moisten up the dry food so as to make it soggy for your pet. Some may needs a full liquid diet for a prescribed time from your vet.
Feeding might be tailored by your vet to promote healing and they will probably counsel you to feed them about 2 hours post op. This with avoiding certain foods and treats and some vets will recommend real meats instead of the usual cat food because there are no carbs and it don’t stick between the teeth. Chunks only, no rawhide and hard foods or chew toys as they can rip sutures and cause unnecessary pain to the cat.
You will monitor your cat for symptoms that are worrisome such as:Drooling, redness, swelling,pain,bleeding,post-op site is hot to touch or cat has a fever. You will determine if your senior cat is still sleepy 24 hours after a general anesthesia. If so, get your emergency vet number on speed dial! You can also check if breathing well and if has urinates well post-op.
Furthermore, since your cat is a senior, there is a heighten risk of side effects and complications. They may become delirious or cranky, lose appetite until the anesthesia wears off completely up to 24 to 48 hours after!Typically, though it’s supposed to be 12-24 hours after.
If they ate and have not fasted long enough before the surgery, they can vomit and this can aspirate into their lungs.
Thoughts to leave you with:
Now you know more about your senior cat and dental issues and now got the tools to take good care of the feline member your family. You can rest now that you know what to expect and be secure in knowing you will not need to get dental implants or dentures for your cat!
Yes!I said dentures! They have them in Britain under “Animal Solutions” from students that nicknamed themselves “fangs a lot”! See this story:
Today I will give you guys some insight into making your own cat food from scratch and that is nutritional but not dangerous for our furry little friends. Will talk calories and types of menus depending on your cats age, weight and condition. Knowing there are so many chemicals in store bought food and wanting to control the quality of what’s given by preparing and cooking it ourselves can change our cats quality of life!
Mind you, the store bought foods are trying to mimic homemade food and sometimes can look more appetizing than our own food! All kidding aside, let’s get right to it!
Benefits of raw food for senior cats:
Lots of reasons for than against! Shinier and softer coats, more playful and lively kittens and more of them in a litter! There is also more alertness to them. The mom has more milk to give, the stools are smaller simply because they don’t eat stuff with filler and fiber. Cleaner teeth caused by the fact of scrapping the teeth on bone. Survival rate post-op is way better, less premature dying.
One precision though:It must be raw.Why?Because cats cannot LIVE without Taurine… As essential as vitamin B 12 for human’s! And Taurine is eliminated in cooking. If you do go cooked meals, please supplement with Taurine.
Calories needed according to pounds:
So what does it need exactly?Let’s look at the calories needed per pound for cats that live indoors and those who live outdoors.
125-130 cal.\day for 4 pounds
155-160 cal.\day for 5 pounds
220-225 cal.\day for 7 pounds
285-290 cal.\day for 9 pounds
350-355 cal.\day for 11 pounds
140-150 cal.\day for 4 pounds
250-260 cal.\day for 7 pounds
400-410 cal.\day for 11 pounds
Your cat may need more or less depending, but do talk with your pets vet about calorie intake if they are above those 11 pounds! I know Garfield is adorable but fat on your cat’s health is anything but! If your cat is 15% more than normal weight, your cat is now in the “obese” category.
Pet food appellations:
Natural:Defined as not processed or transformed by chemical processes and does not contain additives or made in a synthetic fashion. The term may be used on commercial pet foods but natural here is a loose term because they are allowed to add vitamins and minerals as well as other elements that are synthetic in origin. The reason being that they put natural ingredients otherwise (chicken,fish,veggies).
Holistic:Seen this word before on your pet’s food packages?It means nothing really! There are no laws surrounding this term. It is supposed to mean of very good quality and nourishing but it’s all hype!
Organic:Well, it doesn’t mean “contains organs”, LOL!Simply the definition of food that is grown by natural means only.No chemicals or radiation or artificial means as in radiation.
They can say 100% organic if it don’t contain any other ingredients than what it’s made of and salt plus water and flavor if from organic source as well.
If it’s only labeled “organic food”, they must have at least 95% organic ingredients in it.
If it’s a “dinner”, it must contain 95% too but can contain diverse non organic ingredients.
Human-grade:Suitable for consumption by humans. Usually not seen on labels but there is something called “the honest kitchen”. They earned their right in court to put this on the label as they had the constitutional right to truthful commercial free speech.
Dry kibble:I think you guys are more familiar with this one but I will clarify. It is food that is 6-10% moist. More grain based but they are now catering to their customers in adding more meat or offering grainless food in the kibble.
Canned:Higher proteins and moisture but often with grains to hold everything together!Disadvantage with this type is that is spoils quickly and you pay for the container and the water…Bad for cat’s teeth and can cause bad breath. Makes for softer stools and smelly ones accompanied by flatulence in your kitty.
Also, do you want to bait insects in your home as well as rodents?Give them canned food with the bait and voilà!Just make sure your cat is not in contact with the “stew” for pests that you want rid of.
Semi-moist:Now more seen in treats because of scandal around the amount of preservatives, calories and sugars blended into it. Not to mention the dyes. Still dry but just a little more than dry. Food that can stick to teeth and gums and the chemicals can make your cat hyperactive so watch out if you normally give them semi-moist!
Refrigerated:Type of food that is fresh and vacuum sealed and refrigerated. Doesn’t mean they are organic.
Frozen foods:Foods you must thaw before serving. Can contain cooked or raw food.
Dehydrated:They are foods that you must rehydrate before serving. Helps preserve and safer than raw food. This is heated just enough to kill bacteria and out the moisture but not as high as dry food and may be labeled “raw” because the heat is insufficient to cook everything. Meat and eggs are exceptions though.
Examples of companies process dehydrated raw food:
The Honest Kitchen
Freeze-dried:May be cooked or raw and dried afterwards. Food prepped this way is flash-frozen and subjected to a powerful vacuum without chemicals nor heat.
What are forbidden foods:
Gluten:Gives GI upset in large quantities.
No sugars, even natural ones!:They cannot taste it and they don’t need it!
Cereal and grains:Don’t need. More calories and trouble than anything.
Milk:Most are intolerant to lactose BUT cream, on occasion as a “dessert”, is acceptable.
Anything with cellulose that has not been cooked and passed through the food processor to help undo the cellulose like plants and leaves and veggies, for example.
Feline diet combination:
Consists of high protein ( around 30%), moderate fat and low carbohydrate contents. Cat’s need more protein and fat than us and lots of other mammal’s too! And carbs provide energy but they must be from veggies and cooked. In the wild, they eat their prey’s with the intestines and partly digested matter. Calorie needs with age stay about the same but if your cat is less moving and playful,you should revise the intake.
With age, they digest fats with less ease so you might look into giving fatty acid supplements.Symptoms are:Loss of weight and dry skin and fur. Consult the vet who can help you with this.
There is a thing called the BARF diet that was developed by Australian Vet Ian Billinghurst which stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food” diet. This emphasizes raw meat, eggs, bones,fruits and vegetables of the highest quality.
Another Australian Vet, M. Tom Lonsdale, also leans towards the raw diet but with marking the importance of feeding it with the bone or even the whole carcass with it.
The rationale for this?Alley cats and other animals do this and are healthy so we should than feed our pets too in this matter.
As for the raw diet in itself, many high breed dogs and cats, sled dogs and racing dogs are fed this diet or a combination or raw and cooked. Something to think about!
The caveats to “paleo” for cat’s:
Our cat might THINK himself to be the Lion King, even if he looks just like Garfield mixed with Buddha but… What we’ve got now is not what feline we’re in the far past! They are of course, domesticated and adapted to their indoorsy\city life.
Secondly, the meats have diverse parasites and pathogens in it.
Thirdly, bones can be a risk to our furry friends because they can choke on the smaller ones or cause obstruction in the intestines. They can get stuck in the teeth or puncture an organ.
Fourthly, if our cat has a health history filled with chronic diseases like diabetes or is immunosuppressed or just older;extreme caution is in order in feeding them with this diet!
Is the natural diet expensive:
Well, let’s reason from the cat’s point of vue! If you feed him better quality ingredients, it will equal a healthy, thriving cat with a longer life to give you. A more fulfilling life too! Food that is not boring adds to a very loving and loyal pet! Would your kids thrive on Mc Donalds food all their years?No?Well, same can be said for our furry friends!
They’res going to be less waste because this diet is not boring as you can vary ingredients. They won’t be so finicky about their food either. Low priced commercial foods are decommended for seniors, by the way, as they don’t easily digest it and it’s less nutritious .
If you go dry, go high quality for the senior cat. Low quality foods contribute to allergies and behavior problems and poop that smells pretty bad because they put dyes and preservatives and might make your cat to vomit and lead to expensive vet visits cause many ailments your cat will develop with age is food related!
Just keep in mind that if a senior cat’s senses are less than stellar and cannot smell their food, they will likely be less interested in eating the food as they get older. I suggest putting a little warm water or salt less broth on the food or switch to natural\semi-ccoked food for your pet.
Plus, cat’s will eat less if filled with proper, rich nutrition but retain a health that is more robust overall!
It is more advantageous to go local to buy the food for your cat. They might give you great discounts if you’re a regular and you can easily trace the quality with which the food is handled and where it comes from, stuff they put in it, etc.
Green stuff your cat can eat:
You can feed your cat these plants and greens but be aware that they cannot provide a lot of nutrients to your cat. But they enjoy these usually because it’s either helps their digestive track or they just plain love the taste or “high” it gives’s them.
Wheat (but I would stay away unless organic)
Japanese barnyard millet
rye, but don’t feed ergot! That’s a fungal hallucinogen.
Grass-of course! Like bluegrass, fescue and rye grass.
Special appreciation for info in this post is brought to you:
-Animal Planet Senior cats by Sheila Webster Boneham, Ph.D. in 2007.
The completes idiots guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, By Liz Palika 2011
These books have been my companions throughout the COVID-19 confinement since the library let me have them longer because of the pandemic… How am I so blessed! I highly recommend buying them, not just reading at the library in view of all the completeness and rich info I can grab for you guy’s and my own now 23 ish year old cat!
Speaking of books, here is one you might like to get you started on cooking for your cat:
When it comes to homemade, true-blue food for your older cat, you must go very progressively in making the change. Whatever the reasons are:weight management, general health, preventing disease, stabilizing an existing chronic disease or pain control.
Spread the change on 1 even 2 weeks because we do not want the cat to lose too much of its weight in a short span of time.
It is extra important to clean everything as soon as you use it and to not cross contaminate meat and veggies as you would cook for yourself usually. Cutting boards, knives and other utensils must be disinfected as well as the counter top and the sink. Wash hands and do not prepare food if sick.Thoroughly clean your cat’s bowl, preferable with javel bleach and rinse and leave to air dry.
Recently, some cats and dogs have been known to contract the COVID-19 virus and some infections are transmittable to your pet so be vigilant and careful!
If your cat wants to eat the food on the floor, clean and disinfect it after your pet eats. Especially if they eat raw or semi-raw food.
Raw food diet recipes for cats:
1/2″ X 1″ slice of raw fish of any type. Slice into slivers. Mix with a few drops of cod liver oil and a pinch of finely diced wheat grass.
Seafood Delight: The recipe is adapted for 10 pound indoor cats,350 calories and is the cat’s daily ration of food.
2 TBSP. Grated carrots
2 TBSP. Finely diced broccoli florets
1 cup raw oysters
1/4 cup fresh tuna (not in a can),cut into fine pieces
1 hard boiled,shelled and crumbled chicken egg
1 TSP. Salmon oil (fish or cod oil will do too!)
1-Lightly steam the carrots and broccoli.Place in a bowl.
2-In a food processor, liquefy oysters, tuna,egg and salmon oil until the mixture becomes a thick paste.
3-Add paste mixture to the vegetables in the bowl.Stir well.
4-Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To serve, portion into small meals;depending on cat’s feeding times. Add any supplements and Taurine to the mix at meal time.
Turkey and Pumpkin:Adapted for most cat’s, even those not familiar with raw foods. Daily requirements of 350 calories for a 10 pound indoor cat.
1 raw chicken neck
1/4 cup fresh or canned pumpkin but without spices
1 cup of raw turkey or ground turkey
1 TBSP. Cod liver oil
1-chop chicken into quarters, bones and all. Freeze 3 pieces for future meals or recipes.Retain 1/4 for this recipe, and set aside.
2-Grate pumpkin and than lightly steam it. Place in a bowl.
3-Cut turkey meat into slivers. In the food processor, liquefy;turkey,chicken,pumpkin,and cod liver oil until it becomes a thick paste. If you need for processing, add a small quantity of water or chicken broth.
4-Store in airtight container in the fridge. Divide into meals for the day as-per cat’s feeding times. Add supplements, Taurine when you serve.
~~~You may use a turkey neck instead of chicken or chicken meat instead of turkey.~~~
That concludes the subject on homemade food!:
Whether you are a proponent of cooked or raw, dry or wet or anything in between, do take away from this post that you gotta have a variety of good ingredients that are well adapted to your senior cat’s condition and watch for hygiene and no chemicals or preservatives if possible.
Also very important is the holy grail of supplements-Taurine-that is a non-avoidable element to put into your cat’s diet. Change slowly and go back to the old food if they have symptoms like diarrhea and try again when the cat is better but with a little bit to see if they can tolerate less of the new diet.
If you do think of any questions to ask me, please comment below and I will be glad to answer you! I might do a part two or you can give me YOUR suggestions on topics that matter and are relevant to you!
Welcome again to my blog my dear feline enthusiasts who love their spouses almost as much as their cat! I will now touch on the subject of food and related issues that might stem from improper usage or feeding of it to your pet. I will also give you some awareness about lifestyle and how it will affect how you should feed your senior feline friend differently than if they were younger or with more energy to give.
Firstly, I would want you to see if this is your cat type…
Or is THIS what your cat is like?
A big difference between them, no?
Common issues related to nutrition:
As a cat ages, their basal metabolism slows down which means calories that are shed for regular body maintenance, repair, and temperature. This usually translates that they will either need to cut back on the caloric intake or we will need to get creative in keeping them active or even to supply them with foods that will rev-up their metabolism.
Direct effects of food on your cat:
Some are poisoning, choking, infection (gastrointestinal and parasitical), malnutrition, lack of energy, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, intestinal occlusion, dental and gum problems, obesity, food intolerance, and allergies.
Indirect, more long-term effects on cats:
Morbid obesity, anemia, fur and skin issues, thyroid problems, renal insufficiency and failure, liver diseases, heart failure, cancer, arthrosis and definitely a shorter lifespan.
How to avoid all the above:
Be always ready to take your cat to the vet at a phone calls notice. Treat your feline friend as if a child and gather all the numbers, names, and addresses of emergency response for animals, the vet, the cat sitter, the store your buy your food at, the cats known allergies and medications, their specs (name, weight, age,etc.) put on the fridge or any place the sitter or family will easily see and access it.
Be wise enough to keep the instructions of the food packaging and read ingredients carefully before buying. Weigh your cat every so often to adjust the recommended food quantities and frequency of feeding.
Give much freshwater to your cat and try to habituate them to wet cat food and/or alternate between dry and wet but wet is best to prevent renal difficulties in your cat. If you can, to buy a distributor of water and food.
Let me elaborate! The water distributor for cats is like a mini-sized version of our blue 18-liter bottles that we have and it will distribute water ad-lib from source water. Some places that sell bowls for the water offer a low-cost alternative to the blue bottle. The bowl will come equipped with a place you can screw an ordinary source bottle (around 500 ml.), flip it and it will distribute water to your cat as they drink.
The other option for hydrating kitty is the water fountain. It might be considered pricey with a filter to change but it might be worth it to keep your cat well hydrated!
Another option is classical. To leave 2 or more bowls of water at their disposition. Why? They might not be able to get around as easily as before and can have pain that is present at times or chronically.
As for the food, it depends on the cats weight and condition. If they are “chubby”, I wouldn’t recommend the food distributor that is in a blue bottle like the water and you screw the top that is their plate and reverse it so the food goes down in the plate by gravity and as your cat is eating away at the food.
No, if your cat is obese, not only do you not want that (he’ll be looking at the bottle full of food and take it as a challenge, LOL!) but you’ll probably need to acquire a food plate that has a timer that you can program so the cat gets his food at appropriate times and doesn’t overdo it!
You can connect your phone to this feeder and adjust the portions and auto-feed times. See this link for more interesting details about this intelligent dispenser:
Still, another option is the toys, also called “puzzles”, to make them work for their food. It is thought to be the best way as cats are hunters by nature. If you find that too “cruel” for your fur-baby, just put the treats in there for them! But I can assure you that it can be very rewarding for your cat to “hunt” and “catch” their food and it should keep them fit.
I have found a website that just amazes me and takes feeding your feline to the next level! To re-think how you feed your pet, check this out:
For the cat owners who are more conscious of their cats intake and who contemplate making the food themselves, please make sure that there is enough protein as cats are carnivorous and check with the doc for anything that could warrant a limit to calories, proteins, or water intake and specifications on texture that is more appropriate for your cat to assimilate the nutrients in the food.
I am pondering whether I should write a totally separate post about feeding your pet with “real food”. It deserves that I lean in on the issue as it can be considered very polarizing in certain circles.
I found, however, another option for water: a cat activated water fountain that is attached to your sink called Aqua-Purr and is 129$ with free shipping… Don’t we love to treat them like royalty, eh?!
Great practices to keep your elder cat healthy:
I don’t need to tell you what you already know about your elder cat, their ways and habits and what works versus what doesn’t, do I? The simple truth is that we don’t pay attention to changes in our aging cat enough. We must study our animal and search like a detective why they are as they are and why they act like they do.
I’ve seen some pins on Pinterest that make me cringe and frown! They posted pictures of their cats having done something “wrong” or “weirdly wrong or funny” and don’t analyze much out of it! I have given medical advice in my comments because some of them don’t know that certain behaviors are simply caused for alarm and to bring them to the vet.
Although there is this age-old wives’ tale that cats are independent-they are not! They are just more “choosy” and have more “class” when it comes to discern whom they want to socialize with and bond with because, after all, they ARE social beings! They need us and they must get our care and attention.
Another wives’ tale is that cats are low maintenance and that you can leave your cat alone all day or a few days with just water, food and a source of “presence”: TV., radio, another cat.NO! They are like kittens towards us and they need our interaction (talk, playing, “chilling” with us and on our lap, tending to medical needs).
Psychologically, they act like a kitten and stay that way with us because of the manner we have raised cats to become domesticated. So, they are needy little buggers! It’s been proven that it’s not good to leave a dog alone more than 4 hours at a time and cats are very intelligent and they got emotions and feelings and they too can get lonely and depressed and even…angry at our absences!
Playing with your cat at least 1/2 hour a day or by 5-minute increments if you can’t manage the former.
Giving interactive means for your cat to play and explore around the house and to look outside.
Sterilize your cat to avoid problems like cancer later on in its lifetime.
Register and chip your animal to make sure they don’t get lost if they wander.
Vaccines up to date, even if they are indoor as contamination can arise between an indoor and outdoorsy pet of the same household or if the cat wanders, they might get infected by wildlife that are living the “city life”.
Brushing your cat because it is like going to the spa for them and might relieve pain and comfort them and encourage circulation and nice shiny coat of fur. Good for the upping of endorphins and immune defense. It will prevent hairballs and constipation and cleaning up vomit-a bonus!!!
Not giving the same medication to them as for a human, unless you receive a special reference from your cat’s vet.
Brushing their teeth with a soft brush and “fish-flavored” toothpaste and get teeth tartar removed by your vet.
Helpful and nutritious to give meowsy:
In older cats, it can be a challenge for them to go do a bowel movement. Having some pumpkin mashed up can really help them get things moving. If they don’t like that, there are other options like this gel:
Oh, just so you can see what your cat is pooping and if you should take action:
Things to consider as a source of constipation:
Note: It is not recommended having your cat poop/pee on a “human” litter box. They can fall in and the bacteria they leave us is not for a hygienic practice so don’t get too creative… Even if your cat can learn potty training before your toddler!
How food relates to psychological problems:
Are you aware that your bundle of fur can be a big pile of nerves? Cats love their routines and habits and how things don’t change. Creatures of habit! But when someone moves with their pet, gets a divorce, the owner dies or any other change like a new pet in the house (that wasn’t properly introduced), etc. They can eat emotionally, frantically in “survival mode” and overeat.
They, in my experience, have been seen vomiting and leaving poop as a sign of disapproval for something we did or didn’t do!
A bored or neglected cat is also a candidate for an unbalanced relationship with food that tends towards a cycle of eating and sleeping but in overdoing so, thus getting more fat and sluggish and…depressed.
Cognitive and physical limitations to eating and hydration:
Older felines that are “senile” can forget how to “cat” and Alzheimer’s is something cats get too. Known as “Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome in cats (CDS)”, they can lose their sense of what to do and forget to eat or where their food for example.
You can read about this and get tips for your aging cat here:
I hope that I covered what is relevant to you in this post and I will probably elaborate on some above-discussed themes in the future if you need to clarify on a point or are interested or inspired to ask me about another one based on what you have seen and read today.
May you be living superrrrb holidays and looking forward to a promising and cozy new year with our little fur-babies!!!
Today,I will touch on the subject of getting health insurance or pet insurance to protect your senior cats health.
Get a plan before they get sick:
In this age, it is possible to do the same treatments and give similar medications to pets that humans have, albeit not the same dosages. Special diets, prescription medications, adaptive devices and surgeries cost a fortune for us humans that are without public or private health insurance-imagine now with our pets!
Moreover, it is advised to get health insurance for your furry companion early in life or as soon as you acquire your cat cause it’s easier to get them accepted and covered before they develop any ailments, diseases or disabilities that would cut your feline friend’s chance of getting covered or it can rack up the prices of premiums, deductibles and reimbursement rates!
HOW TO GET PERSONALIZED HEALTH INSURANCE FOR YOUR CAT’S NEED’S?
Now, we are aware that it can get quite expensive to treat and medicate a senior or sick cat. We must first of all start with a trusted Vet to get a physical check-up with all the usual blood tests to get a sense of where your pet is at in terms of needs.
Also, what are your cat’s particularities when it comes to your cat’s breed? Is it a full breed or mixed breed? What are the associated conditions and ailments related to your cat’s breed?
Has the cat been sterilized? Pre-existing or known diseases you’re aware of? Certificates and vaccines? What is your budget and what are you wanting the insurance to cover?
Reasons to get insurance:
Now why would you want to get insurance for your pet?Because it is way less costly than paying out-of-pocket the full amount of a treatment or an operation. God forbid you have more than one “fur-baby” to care of that has a chronic ailment which is highly possible and something to consider when keeping and caring for an older cat.
The tests alone can get very costly. Then there are the vaccines and medications… Well,you get the picture! What’s more, the insurance can assist you in counseling what is best for your cat for the age and condition that they are in.
Where to find the right insurance:
A veterinarian would know some of them but you can check out the website of your local animal shelters and SPCA. They may give tips for finding one as well.
The consumer review sites (report,advocate,review,best,etc.) are a good place to go to get an overview of pros and cons of each and not falling into the same mistake as other people.
You should also call up your existing auto and home insurances because they might have a pet insurance that you can bundle and save on the pet insurance in doing so!
Of course there is word of mouth but why not take it up a notch and go on a pet message board and ask others on the forum for their experience and counsel you on which one might be best for your pet!?
You can check out these neats websites for starters!:
There are a few types and sub-types to choose from and each with their limits to the benefits and payouts they give that are differential in that it rests on parameters like breed, conditions, age, how long you want the insurance to cover your pet and what deductibles-premiums ratio in the plans you choose to take-up.
In the first category, you can come across “wellness insurance” or named “preventative insurance” that goes for the regular stuff like vaccines and normal vet appointments, etc. This is thought to be not very advantageous and a waste of money. You might want to shop around and consider if your pet really needs this depending on frequency and intensity of preventative and maintenance care of your cat.
Next of, you’ll see plans that resemble accident only, accident-illness, full or comprehensive covered care that will include all of the above (routine care too). Mind you,there is a caveat to the full insurance:It won’t automatically cover prosthesis/artificial limbs, illnesses already present, abuse ( I suggest you can sue the one who would abuse your pet and report them to the ASPCA.,SPCA. or local policing agency), emergency transport and big surgeries like a transplant for example.
Thirdly,you’d need to pick one according to the breed of your cat because some have particularity of having diseases and conditions that are common to that specific breed.Some develop respiratory issues related to their build like Persian or angora cats that are flat nosed.Or,they are more stomach sensitive like the Siamese cat.
Forthly, do you want a yearly plan or for a lifetime?And in this plan, capped or no cealing to payouts from the insurers?It’s all things to take in consideration when getting pet insurance. Not to mention that you can get plans that you pay per condition individually,that is pay a deductible for each condition your pet has, individually.
I recommend to get a lifetime insurance because it can englobe so many things that we don’t always think about! Cat housing,your cat’s liability if it destroys something or…someone!The cost of the animal if lost or dead and funeral and burial costs,not to mention that some places offer “perks” with their coverage such as help line,bereavement counsel,poison hotline,compassion care for pet’s with long time illness, a magazine,emergency care coverage and LOL.! a “concierge” for your pet’s needs.
Don’t do what I did in the past.I payed out of pocket for anything cat and when I couldn’t afford treatments,I made the regrettable decision to put the cat to sleep.It had cost me once 500$ dollars for two 5 month old cats and I had to spend another 200$ for euthanasia a couple months after because the tests didn’t detect damage already done!They had 2 typeds of worms and probably from the womb.
They had all their blood tests for urine and feces and blood.They even had a worm treatment and their vaccine’s!Not to mention the food bought under Md. recommendations!
They both looked in pain and had symptoms of fecal and urinary incontinence.Had I taken an insurance I could’ve at least saved myself much problems and hurdles!
In the end it is always better to be safe than sorry!If you have any medical questions or inquire about something in my article,I would be most glad to know what “inquiring minds want to know”.
Do remember this:If there is something you need me to write about,give me a heads-up so I may do the research and heavy lifting for you and find the experts and “exhibit A” as a top notch detective would!
In my next post,it will be a cats problems and symptoms related to food and lifestyle of the senior house cat.
In this post, I will discuss the signs and symptoms of a cat that is an aging senior. I will begin with this subject because I would like to get you on the right track to caring for Mister Meowsy. What to expect with an elder cat and also I will discuss one way-right off the bat, to secure your cat’s health and well-being before applying all the other measures to prevent disease and give a quality of life to our cat’s.
You must know where your feline companion is with their general health. It’s important not to guess and try to remedy a cat’s condition on your own without the baseline information about him. Also, the internet has info-like mine! But it is to guide and not diagnose! You are warned!
Here at senior feline foods, I will get to the eating part but what to give your cat if you don’t know he has diabetes or tummy problem’s, etc. ? There are different diets and types of food you could consider but it’s ultimately up to the vet’s OK…. and the feline’s tastes and limitations!
I will go through the natural supplement’s that you probably didn’t know that your cat will appreciate more than you if you took those supplements! I’ll want to get to it in another post to properly do the breakdown of each.
The Sign’s of cat’s aging=like human aging:
For starter’s, we all know and have seen seniors like our grandparents or our aging parents.
They shuffle on with their cane or walker and don’t see or hear quite as they used to and they don’t eat as much as they once did or they have changed in their taste for food because their taste buds and sense of smell have all undergone a silver metamorphosis in the declining category!
Sign’s of aging and disease in a cat:
Well, the same can be seen and said about our pets. They get some same ailments that we as humans get with the wear-and-tear of aging. Think arthritis/arthrosis (especially in the hind legs),glaucoma,diabetes,heart problems, etc.
Some breeds are more prone to some ailments more than others as well. Depending on the breed, the genetics are kind or unkind and it can affect the lifespan of the cat. It is an important part in considering your pet’s diet.
Considering the built,structure,tolerances and daily requirements of your type of cat are factors to implicate as well.
See this table of breeds and corresponding lifespans to get a better idea:
The most natural and most obvious way would be to see your cats vet! The doctor can tell the average age of a cat by the amount of tartar amounted to the aspect of the teeth. The more tartar, wear and yellow on the teeth=the older the cat will be.
Another fun way to know is by their ears. The ears of an older cat will be pointier than a younger cats. The fur will be thicker and may go grayish.
Your cat’s epidermis will do like us when older.LOL! It will sag. The eyesight won’t be as sharp, and the lens might cloud up because of cataracts. They won’t move around as swiftly and might have difficulties jumping and climbing to their usual spots.
You might notice changes in bowel and peeing frequency too as their appetite and activity level’s change. They might not want to groom as often because of arthritis or even memory problems.
Some cats tend to get more vocal when they age. One culprit is thyroid problems. If no health problems;it might be due to a change in the household like a move or death, separation, etc. But if your cat is not listening to you, it could actually be hearing problem’s and not a hard-headed pet!
Finally, the cat that sleeps more and is less say “feisty” could be in their senior stage!
Changes in how your cat relates to food:
We are all aware that with age there is less activity and with that less appetite for food.
Digestion is transformed too. Slower and more difficulty to assimilate the nutrients. Chewing problems and tooth issues and a slower intestinal transit time that will lead to constipation. One thing that is dangerous but not that uncommon is Mega colon.
Cognitive and mental issues can affect a cats ability to eat and drink. Included in this is the will of the animal to eat/drink.
Pica, which is a condition where the cat will eat anything because of a nutritional and/or mineral deficiency. The cat can be seen eating rubber bands,plastic, textiles or licking you for need of salt.
So that’s how it is folks!:
We go through stages and seasons in life and so do they! Our feline puurrr-babies get old and transform and get the same ailments as us.
But just as we go to our doctor, looking for the “fountain of life” or at the very least, some extra years with quality in our life;let’s give our pet’s the same consideration! To give them more quality in their life if quantity is not possible!
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments;please freely write them in the comments section.
It will be my pleasure to get your feedback and answer any questions or even go on a “hunt” for all the topics you want me to write about!