If you have recently adopted a senior cat from a cat adoption centre and are concerned about keeping your new pet in good health, here are a few tips which may help.
Take them for bi-annual health checks
Most young and middle-aged cats only need to go to the vet for a check-up once a year. However, due to the fact that cats are more prone to developing diseases as they grow older, senior cats should be examined by a vet once every six months.
Whilst this may seem excessive, the reality is that bringing your pet to the vet twice a year could actually save you a great deal of heartache and expense in the long run. Bi-annual check-ups will make it easier to diagnose conditions before they have advanced to a stage where they have started to cause serious health problems that could cost you a small fortune in vet bills and shorten your pet's lifespan.
During a typical check-up, a vet will perform a physical examination, during which they will look for growths or other abnormalities which could be indicative of disease. They will then usually take urine and blood samples from the cat and, if they feel it is necessary, take X-rays as well.
Feed them an appropriate diet
Feeding your senior cat a nutritious diet that meets their particular needs can not only vastly improve their quality of life but will also reduce the likelihood of them developing diseases and may even extend their lifespan.
Try to look for a cat-food brand that features a high level of protein, as this can help to minimise the muscle wastage that may occur as your pet's activity levels start to drop (senior cats are generally far less energetic and boisterous than their younger counterparts).
Lots of older cats also have dental issues (they may, for example, be missing one or more of their teeth). If this is the case for your pet, then you should also keep this in mind when selecting their food. Ideally, you should opt for very small, soft chunks of food which don't require too much chewing.
Lastly, if vet has informed you that your cat suffers from arthritis (an ailment which is very common among older cats), it may be good idea to either purchase some Omega 3 fish oil supplements to add into their food, or to purchase a brand of cat food which already includes this as one of its ingredients. This substance has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce the symptoms of arthritis in cats.