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Kazz's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 04:03 PM   #1

Article Pensioner Puss


Here's what I;ve come up with this afternoon any and all ides/suggetsions/HELP welcome In fact Help desperately need I think

Pensioner Puss

How to recognise old age
Cats rarely like people and dogs go grey. How do you know your cat is getting older, apart from counting the candles on their birthday cake.
It just depends on your cat. One of the oldest recorded cats was a female tabby Moggy from Devon called Ma who died in 1957 aged 34 years 5 months…
It is not unusual to hear of cats reaching their late teens and beyond.

Try to be aware of the signs of aging in your cat and try to make the golden years as comfortable as you can. It will certainly slow down, becoming much less active than before as its body undergoes many changes. It may be less concerned about going out and its surroundings and more interested in and dependent on you its owner.
There is a good chance they will sleep more, eat smaller amounts more often, and drink a little more, become less tolerant of noise and change. Become restless and sometimes be unable to get to its litter tray or outside in time.
But the benefits of an older cat outweigh the “negatives” by now you know your cat inside out, and he/she you each recognizing each others moods and routines. So listen to yourself if you think something is not right with your feline chum then act on it. No one knows you cat better than you do.

Vets.
Regular yearly visits to the vet for boosters should still happen although some cats have built up an incredible resistance to illness by old age, others have lowered tolerance.
Older cats usually dislike change and new routines so a visit to the vets can be stressful. So it may be worth asking the vet for a home visit, instead of taking your cat to the surgery.
Make sure your vet checks your cat’s teeth, among other things tartar will build up on a cats teeth though the years and if ignored, will lead to gum disease and your cat may be reluctant to eat due to this as it may be painful to do so.
Professional cleaning of your cats teeth will involve using an anesthetic, which always carries a slight risk, but particularly so for an older cat. But anyone who has suffered toothache will know how painful teeth trouble can be. If your cat begins to drool, this could be a symptom of decay or tartar on the teeth and a visit to the vets should be top of your list.
Older cats also suffer from constipation, arthritis, kidney disease and diabetes.
So please remember you know you cat best so any change at all should be considered and acted upon if you feel it is needed.


The Menu
An ideal food for older cats is spaghetti Bolognaise.
Because an older cat has quite different dietary requirements to a youngster.
Older cats should be fed less protein than younger cats, but it should be higher quality protein. Carbohydrates should be increased, so add pasta, rice, potato or bread to your cat’s food. You may be surprised how many cats enjoy Spaghetti Bolognaise. But nowadays the mainstream cat food manufacturers – make superb packet/canned food for senior citizens. So don’t worry too much and just change to the “senior” make of your chosen cat food.
Constipation is not uncommon in older cats, as they become less active. Veterinary advice should be sought and the vet may advise adding a little bran to food, or try feeding food to which a little water, stock or soup has been added to make a thick broth/gravy.
Older cats seem to either loose weight or gain weight. Either way mention it to your vet, as both can be a sign of something else.
Eating for older cats can become difficult if they have stiff joints, so maybe try raising their food bowl from the ground a few inches.

More Toilet Breaks
Increase litter trays for an older cat as getting about quickly may not be as easy as it once was. And older cats that have always been clean may become distressed if they have accidents.
You may also consider introducing a litter tray to a cat that has always gone outside in the winter months. Just think if you were 100 would you want to go to an outside WC?

Personal Appearance
A little help with personal grooming may be appreciated as time rolls on. Even if you have always left your cat to groom himself, consider starting to groom him as there may be lots of parts of his body he cannot any longer reach. And regular grooming will make your cat feel better, as well as reducing the risk of furballs forming, which your
Cat’s aging muscles may be unable to expel.
Sometimes claws and dewclaws need trimming also if you are unsure get your vet to check and trim for you.

Hearing Aids
You will never see a cat with a hearing aid but remember as we all get older our hearing and eyesight deteriorate. You put down your cats hesitation in jumping for instance to arthritis as they get older but it may be their eyesight is deteriorating, the yearly checkup at the vets and your normal interaction should be able to pick up on this.
Reduction in these two senses may prevent cat from being OTT but will not stop them still enjoying life. Animals adapt better than people do. But older cats even those who have been particularly active in their youth may choose to spend more time indoors.

Forty Winks.
As has already been said older cats sleep more. And dislike their routine being upset. So an extra blanket and or a bed by a heat source will be much appreciated. So to change an older saying “Let sleeping cats lie”
And remember older cats have difficulty jumping so a well thought out positioned step up to the sofa or your bed will be a nice thought.

Con't next post it is too long otherwise.



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Kazz's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 04:06 PM   #2

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


Con't from above.....again please any and all help/advice/suggestions most most welcome. And needed I think

Playtime
Even the oldest cat will still like a few moments play with her owner everyday, if nothing more than patting a paper ball backwards and forwards. It also helps with a little gentle exercise, and you have the double benefit of "quality" time with your cat.
So playtime should continue okay the timescale will not be the same and the games may need to be different but hey you're not about playing knock door run anymore either are you?
And playtime is an excellent way of gauging your cats mental and physical condition on a daily basis. Giving you a baseline to compare with. So keep up the playtime you'll enjoy it as much as your cat.


Euthanasia....
Attitudes towards euthanasia vary enormously. But as you cat gets older it is natural that your thoughts turn occasionally towards the end.
But as very few animals die in their sleep it’s something best considered when you have a young cat sitting on your lap than an older one.
There comes a time when prolonging your cats life is not right.
Reasons for having your cat put to sleep include.
: Overwhelming physical injuries.
: Irreversible disease, to the point that distress or discomfort cannot be controlled.
: Old age “wear and tear” permanently affecting quality of life.
: Physical Injury, disease or wear and tear causing permanent loss of control of body functions.
: Is your cat no longer responding to treatment?


If the answer to any of these questions is yes then having your cat PTS could be discussed with your vet.
Opinions vary about if you should be present while your cat is PTS, but it is your own personal choice. And no decision is the wrong one, it is your choice.
Your cat will receive an injection of the same type as it would if it were being getting ready for surgery – but in a larger dose. A cat will become drowsy in five seconds, asleep in ten seconds and in cardiac arrest within less than fifteen seconds. Your cat will go to sleep and does not struggle or feel and apprehension. He/she will quietly cease to be. There is no greater gift for your cat than making that decision at the right time for both of you.

An older cat is a joy to live with, so rather than worry, try to enjoy the new road having a pensioner puss leads you down.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please have a look at other catsey articles about cat care.



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dinahsmum's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 04:30 PM   #3

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


That's realy good Kazz.
Can I suggest a sentence or two about not making assumptions that the PP will not be interested in various 'stuff'. We forget that, in the wild, they would still need to hunt until the day they died, so, in theory, they should still be interested in some sort of play. It's good for their brain and body and good for continued owner/cat bonding. A daily play session is also a good time to gauge just how PP is feeling and compare their physical and mental condition with yesterday/last week etc.



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Donna's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 04:34 PM   #4

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


Very interesting article Kazz.



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dandysmom's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 04:40 PM   #5

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


Great, Kazz! And DM has an excellent point about the play...Patches continued to enjoy a little play until she died; much less vigorous of course and of lesser duration, but she did enjoy it. Misty, who'd lost both sight and hearing didn't, but she had never been an active cat in her younger days.



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Kazz's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 05:20 PM   #6

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


Point taken ladies and how stupid of me to forget old age.
I will make the ammendments.

Karen



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31-08-2007, 07:49 PM   #7

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


Well done Kazz, excellent!



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Kazz's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 08:19 PM   #8

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


Playtime added.

Anymore suggestions/idea/help people. Come on Oldie owners.



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dandysmom's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 08:56 PM   #9

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


How about something about watching out for blindness? Cats are so very very good at hiding things, I did not to my embarrassment, realize she'd lost her sight until I realized that her pupils didn't contract when I turned a lamp on when she was on my lap. I had attributed her hesitation about jumping up on things and the occasional slip to old age and/or arthritis...had no idea she was blind! And whatever you do if your cat loses her sight, don't rearrange the furniture!!!! You would never know she wasn't sighted the way she found her way around, she knew where everything was. Oh, forgot to say that was Misty.
Kazz, this is great so far...keep it up!



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Mags's Avatar
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31-08-2007, 09:52 PM   #10

Re: Article Pensioner Puss


That's an excellent article Kazz ......well done!



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