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Keeping a Senior Cat Purring

February 15, 2019

As your kitty ages, she’ll slow down and her needs will change a bit. Your pet will still need good food, a clean litterbox, regular veterinary care and lots of TLC. However, you’ll want to focus more on keeping her comfortable, and less on keeping her off your bookcase. Here, a Salem, VA vet offers some senior cat care tips. For more comprehensive advice on caring for your aging feline friend, explore our detailed article on ‘Senior Cat Care’.


As you’ve probably noticed, our feline pals are very sleepy. Older cats sleep even more than their younger counterparts, and can spend up to 20 hours a day snoozing. However, since senior cats are often stiff and sore, napping on the floor can be quite uncomfortable for them. Set out lots of comfy beds for your kitty. Pet beds are great, but you can also put folded blankets into boxes or wicker baskets.

Pet Ramps

Fluffy will have a harder time jumping up to her favorite spots as she ages. Set out pet ramps or stairs for her. You can also just arrange footstools or ottomans so she can use them as steps.


Playing may not make Fluffy feel like a kitten again, but it will brighten up her day. Play sessions are great for your feline buddy physically. They also offer her beneficial mental stimulation, which is great for her mind. Plus, it’s cute!


Older cats often have trouble reaching their entire bodies to groom themselves. Brush Fluffy regularly to remove dead fur and dander from her coat. This will keep her fur from getting matted and itchy.

Kitty Comforts

Little luxuries can go a long way towards keeping Fluffy content. For example, your pet will enjoy a litterbox with low sides, which will be easier for her to get in and out of. Keep a nightlight on for Fluffy after dark, and a TV or radio playing when your pet is home alone. Your furball may also appreciate a thermal kitty blanket.

Watch For Symptoms

Watch for warning signs of illness. Some common ones are changes in appetite or behavior; hiding; poor grooming; respiratory issues; vomiting; and litterbox woes. Call your vet immediately if you notice anything amiss. Staying on top of your senior cat’s health is crucial. Learn more about how our ‘Wellness & Vaccinations’ services can help you keep your beloved pet healthy and happy for as long as possible.


Last but not least, make sure Fluffy feels loved and safe. Senior cats are super cute, and make pretty awesome pets in our book!

Our Advice on Keeping a Senior Cat Purring in 2024

How can pet owners ensure the comfort of their senior cats through bedding?

Pet owners can ensure the comfort of their senior cats through bedding by providing multiple soft, supportive beds in quiet, easily accessible locations. Opt for orthopedic or heated beds to soothe achy joints and maintain body warmth. Placing beds in sunny and shaded spots allows cats to choose their preferred resting temperature. Additionally, consider beds with low sides for easy access, and ensure the bedding is kept clean to prevent irritation or allergies. Providing a variety of comfortable sleeping options helps address the physical needs of aging cats, promoting restful sleep and overall well-being.

Why are pet ramps and stairs beneficial for older cats?

Pet ramps and stairs are beneficial for older cats because they compensate for the reduced mobility, strength, and agility that come with age. As cats grow older, they may develop arthritis or other joint issues, making it painful or difficult to jump onto higher surfaces like beds, couches, or window sills. Ramps and stairs provide a gentle incline that eases the strain on joints, allowing senior cats to reach their favorite spots without discomfort. This aids in maintaining their independence and quality of life, ensuring they remain active and engaged in their environment.

What grooming considerations are essential for older cats?

For older cats, grooming is crucial due to decreased mobility and flexibility, which can hinder their ability to self-groom effectively. Essential considerations include gentle brushing to remove dead hair and prevent mats, which are more common as cats age. This also stimulates blood circulation and skin health. Regularly checking and cleaning their ears, trimming nails to prevent overgrowth and discomfort, and monitoring for any skin changes or lumps are essential. For cats with dental issues, gentle dental care may also be necessary. These steps can help maintain their hygiene, comfort, and overall well-being.

What are some kitty comforts that can enhance a senior cat’s quality of life?

To enhance a senior cat’s quality of life, consider kitty comforts such as heated beds for soothing achy joints, shallow litter boxes for easy access, and plenty of soft, accessible resting places throughout the home. A gentle grooming brush can provide comfort and help with coat maintenance. Installing pet ramps or steps can help them reach their favorite spots without strain. Additionally, interactive toys or puzzle feeders can keep their minds engaged, while a calm, stable environment helps reduce stress. These adjustments acknowledge their changing needs, promoting comfort and contentment in their golden years.

Why is it important to continue showing love and attention to senior cats?

Continuing to show love and attention to senior cats is vital for their emotional and physical well-being. As cats age, they may experience changes in health, mobility, and sensory capabilities, leading to increased anxiety or isolation. Regular interaction and affection reinforce their sense of security and belonging, helping to combat stress and depression. Engaging in gentle play and providing comfortable companionship can also encourage activity, supporting their cognitive health and maintaining muscle tone. Continued love and attention nurture the bond between pet and owner, ensuring senior cats feel valued and cared for throughout their later years.

As your Salem, VA vet clinic, we are dedicated to keeping kitties healthy. Please contact us anytime!

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