Sleep, exercise and your older cat
To encourage your ageing cat to get into a good sleep routine, you can play with it during the day so tire it out at night. Make its bedding comfortable using cushions to encourage it to sleep there and prevent pressure sores forming in less mobile cats. Pheromone sprays are useful as these can help relax your cat and help reduce anxiety or sleeplessness.
Your ageing cat and their diet
Regularly changing a cat's diet to provide varied food can actually result in unnecessary stress for an ageing cat. So long as they are being fed an appropriate diet adapted to their changing needs, there's no reason to alter this unless otherwise recommended by your vet.
You can increase the palatability of its food by heating it to release the aroma, and choose one with an easy-to-digest texture. Older cats tend to drink less, which can lead to urinary problems, so make sure fresh water is easily available; water fountains can be a useful way to encourage your cat to drink.
Considering the wellbeing of your older cat
It’s important to visit your vet regularly, at least twice a year, to check on the health of your older cat. If your cat is exhibiting symptoms of breathlessness, reclusiveness, a reluctance to move or severe pickiness about its food, it may be in significant pain and you should immediately consult a vet.
Your vet will be able to advise you on the extent of your pet’s distress and give you recommendations on whether it’s best to provide hospice care or consider other options.
Your senior cat’s wellbeing and quality of life towards the end can be improved through adjusting your home, their diet, and by working with your vet to provide them with the medical support they need. If you’re unsure of the best ways to help your older cat, make an appointment with your vet who will be able to advise you.