Caring For An Aging Cat – Health, Diet & FAQ’s

Growing old is a privilege, but not without its challenges.

The same could be said when talking about caring for an ageing cat.

Encore’s mission is to help keep your feline friend in the best possible shape at every stage of their life.

As your cat ages, you’ll want to provide the best (and comfiest) possible care

Cats are part of the family.

When family members grow old, we do everything in our power to keep them happy, healthy and of course, comfortable.

Signs your feline friend is entering his or her advanced years include a drop in activity, loss of appetite and behavioural changes.

Their immune system will also begin to weaken leading to the possibility of age-associated disorders.

With a whole myriad of old age obstacles to overcome, it is vital that our senior cats get the extra love and care they require.

Just because your cat is getting old, it doesn’t mean they should be experiencing pain or discomfort.

Perform regular health checks. Schedule regular vet appointments.

While dependence on their owners increases with age, cats are fiercely independent creatures and symptoms of pain may not always be outwardly noticeable.

Keep an eye on their behaviour; are they becoming restless or agitated?

It’s imperative that we make an elderly cat’s living environment as comfortable as possible.

Ways you can make life easier for an old (or ageing) cat

Once we spot those first signs of ageing it’s all about making life as easy as possible for our beloved pet.

Remember, age is not as disease, and there are plenty of things we can do to keep our feline friends in perfect condition for many years to come.

Sign your cat is ageing What you can do to help
Reduced activity Senior cats may not be as mobile as they once were, but they will still want to play. Experiment with different toys, ones they may find less intimidating. Exercise is important for physical and mental wellbeing. Develop a daily routine with appropriate activities but keep sessions short and monitor the response.
Loss of appetite A loss of appetite in older cats is quite common, however there are many varied reasons for this. If your cat shows a loss of appetite, take them to the vet and get them checked out. It could simply be the onset of a cold and the cat cannot smell their food, or a sore tooth or abscess. Best to get them checked out as soon as possible.
Dry skin / dull coat Grooming can become physically tricky for ageing cats. Frequent brushing will not just promote a healthy coat, it will improve skin health.
Behavioural changes Older cats tend to be a bit grumpier. It may be that their mood has been affected by injury or illness. Arthritis is also a common problem with senior felines. Check with your vet for pain relief options if this is the case. Avoid introducing new pets, if possible, to the home as this can cause added stress.
Reluctance to jump Transform the environment. If they can no longer reach their favourite windowsill in one jump, place a stepping box on the floor, or install steps, to assist them.
Easily disoriented Cognitive decline can lead to increased disorientation (i.e. wandering aimlessly, staring at walls, getting trapped in corners). Avoid major changes to the house, keep their daily routine constant, and keep indoors as often as possible. Leave some lighting on at night. Especially important for cats with failing eyesight.
Fluctuating sleep pattern A cat’s sleeping pattern may alter the older they get. Light sleep may increase while deep sleeps decrease. Orthopaedic beds are ideal for cat’s recovering from surgery, illness, injury or just struggling with old age. Memory foam pillows can also be bought for added comfort. Make sure their bed is somewhere warm. The extra warmth will help increase circulation and reduce stiffness.
Litter tray problems Toilet accidents increase with age. Buy large, low-sided litter trays that are easier to access, and place additional trays around the home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I adopt an elderly cat?


When adopting an elderly cat, you are offering him or her the chance to live out their later years in a caring home surrounded by a loving family.

Older cats are perfect companions for young and old. They’re not as mischievous as kittens, but they’re still a playful addition to any household.

They will most likely require no training, demand little attention, and are an ideal cuddle buddy (stroking a cat is one of life’s great de-stressors).

Senior cats’ personalities are also fully established, so you know the type of cat you’re getting before they even set a paw in the door.

Even though they may be ‘getting on’ in years, an elderly cat will provide countless memories, becoming part of the family in no time.


What are the common signs that my cat is getting old?

A common sign that your cat is getting old is weight loss. Even if a cat’s appetite doesn’t diminish as they age, their body may not be able to absorb all the nutrients it once did. A change in diet can help some older cats retain normal body weight.

Decreased mobility and/or a change in temperament are further signs of ageing. Senior cats are not as spritely as their younger counterparts, and some have a tendency to become a bit grumpier in later life.

Other signs include sunken eyes, increased thirst, digestive issues, fluctuation sleeping patterns, vision and hearing loss, bumping into things, and excessive meowing.

Share this article