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Caring for a Senior Cat

Our sweet rescued kitty, Morty, passed away this last year.  We rescued him when he was already up there in age (somewhere around 12).  He was being brought into the vet's office where I worked to be put to sleep due to some health issues and his owner was going into a rest home herself and couldn't bring him with her. 
Morty
 
He was so beautiful, wonderful and sweet, that I asked permission to care for his medical needs and then keep him.  His prior owner was as thrilled as were we.  He was with us for almost 4 years.
 
Our pets are all microchipped and registered with Home Again.  They send out some wonderful newsletters and information.  The following is on "Caring for your Senior Cat" and has great information.  I hope you enjoy it as I did.
 
Cats age differently than humans. By the time a cat is one year old, she’s about as old as a teenager in human years. By the time she’s ten, she’s considered middle age, and when she’s thirteen, she’s well into her golden years. Here are some “senior signs” to watch for as your cat ages, but unless you notice something very out of the ordinary, there’s no need to rush Kitty to the veterinarian.
 
Hearing loss: Many cats and dogs (and humans, of course) experience hearing loss as they age. This is normal and may eventually result in a total loss of hearing. If you notice your older cat not coming when you call as she used to, don’t be alarmed. It’s likely just a natural part of the aging process. However, hearing loss can also be caused by parasites, infection, or other ailments of the ear, so have your veterinarian check your cat’s ears to make sure that the loss isn’t caused by something treatable.
 
Slowing down: Most animals slow down as they age. Your cat may no longer be able to jump as high as she did in her prime, and she may sleep a lot more than usual, as hard as it might be to imagine her sleeping more! Her grooming habits may trail off a bit, as those hard-to-reach areas become more difficult to groom. Also, older cats tend to lose muscle mass, causing them to slow down considerably and even have gait problems, especially in their hind legs.
 
Vision problems: Cat and dog eyes often become cloudy with a bluish tint in the pupil as they age. These are not cataracts. The condition is called lenticular sclerosis and is a normal sign of aging. You may want to have your cat’s eyes checked by your veterinarian just to make sure that the condition is normal and not another medical issue. Also, cats can become more photosensitive as they age, so older cats may not appreciate bright sunlight or well-lit areas. Often, when this condition occurs, the eye becomes lighter and has a tattered appearance.
 
Senility: Just like humans, cats can develop memory loss and dementia associated with old age. In cats, this may mean that they have trouble finding their litter box, meow or cry for no apparent reason, or undergo a general change in behavior. Alzheimer’s research has shown that cats can also get the disease.
 
Dental problems: As cats age, they may develop dental issues or tooth loss and may need to start eating softer food. If you suspect dental problems—perhaps your cat is drooling abnormally or isn’t eating as much—consult your veterinarian.
To care for your senior cat, make sure that she’s on the correct diet for her age group—your veterinarian should be able to give you dietary advice.
 
Also, provide your cat with a couple of comfortable beds in her normal sleeping areas. Try to keep her away from busy or noisy situations, such as holiday parties or when kids come to visit. She may need a little more peace and quiet in her old age.
 
Thanks Home Again!!