Bits of Knowledge About Living with an Elderly Cat
Do you know? Japan's cats are aging
[ENGLISH DESCRIPTION PLS]
In the last 10 years, the cat's life expectancy is +0.5 years. A survey of changes in the average life expectancy of cats from 2008 to 2017 found that it had increased significantly in the last 10 years. Cats are 0.5 years old (6 months) longer, and when converted to human age, cats are about 3 to 3.5 years longer.
Source: Anicom Family Animal White Paper 2019
Physical changes in older catsPhoto was taken when Chakun was 7 years old. With age, his hair has become frizzy. Chakun now at 15
The Aging Phenomena of Elderly CatsFrom daily observations
- The hair has become dull and split.
- The frequency of maintenance has decreased compared to when he was younger.
- He grew a beard of a different color.
- He didn't like the hard, large, and crunchy grain
- He started throwing up the rice.
- He eats less and less.
- A spot is found in a place where hair does not grow.
- When he was young, he used to go up and down the stairs at a tremendous speed.
- He no longer sharpens his nails.
- He felt cold because he couldn't regulate his body temperature well.
- He’s been thin since he was young.
- Weak muscles? He used to be able to open the door by himself, but now he can't open it and calls his owner.
- The color of his teeth is getting duller.
- His mouth stinks.
- Sometimes he has eye discharge.
Healthy longevity support! What you can do for an elderly cat
We want them to live a long and healthy life. The happiness of the cat is the happiness of the owner. We thought about what we owners can do to make elderly cats live comfortably.
Review of elderly cats’ diet
(1) Cats have disliked hard, crispy, large-grain dry food
As cats get older, they may not be able to swallow crispy (dry food) well and start throwing up right away.
I gave him dry food for old cats, but the grains seemed to be big, so I tried to make them smaller.
When I tried pulverizing and making the grains smaller, he started eating without vomiting, probably because it became easier to eat.
Ingenuity to get elderly cats to eat crispy
(2) Throw up the food
Here are two photos. The first picture shows how the dishes are placed directly on the floor. The second one is how the dishes are placed on the table. Compare.
One of the causes of regurgitation in elderly cats is that the stomach is pressed by the posture of placing the dishes directly on the floor, and the rice flows back.
To prevent backflow, we recommend that you use our Manma stand to make it easier for them to eat and reduce the burden on the elderly cat's body.
Regurgitation measures for elderly cats
(3) They eat less food
Appetite declines with age, but we want them to eat even a little. We just hope.
If you use tableware that is easy for elderly cats to eat, it may increase the amount of food they eat. Here are two photos sent by our customers:
If you use common tableware, the rice will spill out of the tableware and you will not be able to eat it even if you want to.
If you use tableware specifically made for cats, the food will always be in the middle, making it easier to eat. The special shape prevents the rice from overflowing outside the bowl.
Countermeasures against loss of appetite in elderly cats
Caring for an elderly cat's nails
He no longer sharpens his nails
A nail sharpener with no power, like stroking the surface of a nail sharpener. They feel like they want to sharpen my nails, but they can't put in the effort.
Before you know it, their nails may grow and curl inwards, sticking into their paws and injuring themselves.
A detached cat claw sack that you often see near the scratching area.
If they do not sharpen their nails, the old nails will not fall off and will become thicker.
It's hard to cut the thick nails of an older cat. If you don't use a sharp nail clipper, you won't be able to cut it off in one go. If you don't use a nail clipper, you can't cut their nails in the first place.
Our Nekozuki nail clipper. Range of motion corresponding to the claws of elderly cats. The blade can be opened up to 15 mm, so you can easily cut the thick claws of older cats.
Caring for an elderly cat's nails
Indoor environment for elderly cats
They easily feel cold because they couldn't regulate their body temperature well.
Although his whole body is covered with hair, Chakun was so sensitive to the cold that his owner could always hear his voice saying, "It's cold."
When I'm with him, I can adjust the temperature while watching him, but I'm worried about a fire if I leave the heater on when I leave him alone. Biting into electrical cords is also a scary place.
To an elderly cat who is sensitive to cold
Review of care environment for elderly cats
The frequency of grooming has decreased compared to when they were younger.
I think the number of times they take care of themselves has decreased as they get older.
They enjoy brushing as a form of communication as well as checking their body.
When it comes to choosing a brush, they prefer a gentle one so that they don't get hurt when the blade touches their body because it has lost weight compared to when they were younger.
They loved it when they were young, but after losing weight, it started to hurt.
They’ve come to prefer curved ones that don't hit the skin directly.
Supporting the care of elderly cats
Relieves stress in elderly cats
Vigilant cats are said to be very stressed until they get used to new supplies. Senior cats are especially prone to this. You can reduce the cat's stress just by giving daily necessities that can be used for a long time.
For example, this nail sharpener is a favorite item that Chakun has been using all the time since he was little.
Cats who have now become stars, Naruto-san (born in 1997) and Pon-chan (born in 2005) have used it for generations. It is also one of the pleasures that the color of the wood changes with the passage of time.
The photo shows Pon-chan (grey white cat) and Naruto-san (brown tiger) who are scratching their nails.
Looking at the nail sharpener brings back memories of Naruto-san and Pon-chan, and it is memorable as proof of the time we spent together.
Reduce stress in older cats
In this article, I introduced what I actually incorporate in my life with Chakun.