Keep your Older Cat Mobile
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

eniors and post-surgery or ailing cats have special needs around the home. Pain or decreased mobility limits their ability to climb stairs, leap onto ledges, or enjoy other freedoms that healthy adults enjoy.

Yet, they still crave their favorite window perch or sleep spot. They need not be denied these comforts; simply make a few household changes to provide them some assistance.

Rather than take down your cat's perches, try a ramp or stair-steps to give her the no-leap, soft approach she needs to access these treasured spots. Stairs and ramps also assist your cat onto beds, sofas, and other furniture. An orthopedic bed, such as our slumber nest, or a heated pet bed is especially comforting to arthritic joints at bedtime.

If your cat once enjoyed outdoor walks, consider trading in your lead and harness for a pet stroller. Your cat sits within a protected compartment, taking in outdoor sights and sounds without strain on joints.

She may also need help accessing litter boxes or food bowls. If you live in a multi-level house, your cat may avoid using a long flight of stairs to get to these items. To avoid problems, move these items to the level she stays on most frequently. There's litter box help, too. Catty Corner, with its dipped entrance, or the Nature's Miracle® Self-Cleaning Litter Box, with a ramp, is easier to get into and out of for impaired cats. Make sure her toys are accessible, too, and offer toys that require no chasing or pouncing, such as a Crinkle Sack.

We also recommend you talk to your veterinarian about a joint supplement and/or pain management techniques. With some alterations, you can assist your senior or ailing cat with many of the activities she was accustomed to in her prime.

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