Skip to content

    Healthy Pets

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    How to Help Your Aging Cat

    Our expert shares tips for keeping your kitty comfortable through her golden years.
    By
    WebMD Magazine - Feature

    In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our July/August 2012 issue, we asked WebMD's pet health expert, Drew Weigner, DVM, ABVP, about keeping a cat healthy as she gets on in years.

    Q: My cat is more than 10 years old. How can I help her age well?

    Recommended Related to Pets

    The Laying on of Paws

    By Julia Szabo Volunteering their time wherever help is needed, trained therapy animals and their human partners are helping to make the world a healthier place. If your outgoing pet thrives on attention, you can maximize your bonding time together -- and make a profound contribution to your community -- by becoming therapy partners. Across the country, these volunteer teams dedicate themselves to lifting spirits at hospitals, nursing homes, and anywhere else they're needed. "It's...

    Read the The Laying on of Paws article > >

    A: Cats tend to age more gracefully than dogs, but as the years go by, they can’t jump to the top of the refrigerator anymore. Their appetites wane. They sleep more.

    Marty Becker, DVM, a veterinarian at the North Idaho Animal Hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho, has this advice to help your cat age well.

    Schedule twice-annual "wellness" visits. "There’s a grace period for many illnesses: If you catch it early on, it’s usually less expensive and treatment is much more successful. We can do routine tests, such as blood tests or urinalysis, to pick up on the very earliest signs of health problems," Becker says.

    Make favorite spots easy to reach. Give her ramps or steps so she can get to the window to bird-watch.

    Buy a litter box with shorter sides. A tall litter box can be hard for her to get in and out of.

    Get your cat close to her ideal body weight. Your cat may also need a special diet to treat specific health conditions, such as a kidney diet or a liver diet. Ask your veterinarian.

    Make sleep and food appealing. Give her softer bedding. Heat her food to release the aromas. Cat fountains encourage cats to drink, which can be a big problem with older cats.

    Reviewed on May 12, 2012

    Today on WebMD

    Puppy digging hole
    Are you putting your pet at risk?
    Cat looking at fish
    Things we can learn from our pets.
     
    dog and kitten
    27 ways pets help your health.
    tick
    Get the facts about prevention.
     
    Woman holding puppy
    Article
    Sad dog and guacamole
    Slideshow
     
    Siamese cat eating from bowl
    Slideshow
    cat on couch
    Evaluator
     
    Cat People vs Dog People Slideshow
    Slideshow
    Kitten playing
    Quiz
     
    Orange cat nuzzling woman
    Slideshow
    German shephard reading a book
    Quiz