Taking Care of the Mental Health of your Ageing Cat
Believe it or not, cats are deemed to be “mature” from the age of 7 years (equivalent to 44 human years) and “ageing” or “senior” from the age of 10 years (equivalent to 57 human years).
Cats require a different level of care in these life-stages and one of the areas you may see a change in your cat is in his behaviour and mental agility.
Age related behavioural changes are caused by an increase of free radical formation and a decrease in anti-oxidant formation, which leads to damage of many cells in the body including brain cells.
The signs your cat may show are:
- Decreased interaction and play
- Increased daytime sleep and restless night-time sleep
- House soiling
- Decreased recognition of familiar people, places and pets
- Increased wandering, pacing and restlessness
There are many things we can do to slow down the ageing process in your pet including diet, specific supplements for mental health and keeping your cat’s general health tip top.
You can also play a huge part in keeping your older cat’s quality of life excellent by
- Keeping your cat fit and healthy and at a correct weight by feeding an appropriate diet
- Encouraging your cat to play with appropriate toys
- Spending time gently stroking and grooming them
- Making sure your cat has enough litter trays that are kept clean and easily accessible
- Keeping changes in the environment to a minimum
At the German Veterinary Clinic, we offer a “Senior Health Package” which includes a full consultation and examination by a vet, a number of blood and urine samples, dietary advice, a full dental check and a care plan tailored specifically to your pet.
We advise that older cats should be seen by a vet every 6 months in order to catch any health changes at the earliest.