Some of my cats have lived exceptionally long lives and I can say this – nothing in the world is any sweeter, more enjoyable, or more lovable than an older cat. Older cats do, of course, require extra consideration.
Recently, we had a kitten (Guen) move into the house – a house where a 13 year-old-diva-cat (Alexa) reigns supreme. The entire process has amazed me for several reasons. For one thing, do kittens ever run out of energy?!?!
Naturally we’ve enjoyed outdoor kittens over the years, but this is the first kitten we’ve had in the house in years. The energy level and amount of wonder and curiosity are pretty amazing and I’m loving every moment.
Ironically, caring for (and preparing your home for) a kitten is very much like caring for (and preparing your home for) an older cat.
- You have to make sure there’s nothing that can fall on them if they (kitten) ram into a table or shelf or (older cat with dimming eyesight) accidentally bump into the same table or shelf.
- You have to make sure they have comfortable beds in several places throughout the house. Kittens and older cats are liable to have a nap attack at any given moment and a nice, comfortable bed all their own is highly important. Younger cats often climb onto furniture to nap, whereas older cats (whether they’re lazy, have a little arthritis setting in, have diminished eyesight, or simply lack the wherewithal or inclination to jump if they don’t have to) usually favor low-to-the-ground beds. I have a bed for Alexa in my home office – right beside my desk, so she’s always near me during the day. I have another bed in the den, so she can retire near the tv at night to stay close to my husband and I (though, most of the time her favorite place to sit is beside “dad” on the couch). She also, of course, has a huge bed in our bedroom where she sleeps (and snores!) through the night. Multiple beds are simply one of the kindest and most loving things you can do for an older cat. But make sure they’re easy to get in and out of – the less they have to jump, the better. The Deluxe Easy Entry Cat Bed (pictured at the top) makes a perfect cat bed for an older cat. More on it in a minute…
- Two words: Fresh water. This tip (as well as others, obviously) is applicable for cats of all ages, but it’s one that I list any chance I get because so many people overlook it. We wouldn’t want to drink day-old, dirty water, so we shouldn’t make our cats. I provide fresh, cool water throughout the day for our cats (inside and out).
- If you have reason to suspect that your older gal or guy would need glasses, if available (don’t you wish they were?!?) – keep this in mind at all times. When a cat or dog begins to have trouble with their vision, extra care must be taken to keep them safe, comfortable, and confident. Be CERTAIN you don’t move furniture around or place anything (even a new rug) along their preferred paths. Cats with failing vision get around amazingly – but they do so because they’ve made a mental map of their home. If you change anything, it’ll make for one very confused and frustrated little one.
- This tip is for older cats and/or cats with vision problems: No loud or sudden noises. Bad for the nerves! Always try to keep the house as calm as possible. This, of course, doesn’t count the noises he/she is already accustomed to. If my husband and I didn’t make plenty of noise while watching our favorite baseball team (St. Louis Cardinals!), Alexa would think something was wrong. She’s VERY accustomed to us questioning the umps, cheering for our team’s home runs, booing for the other team’s home runs, etc. Again, if all that racket stopped, she’d think something was rotten in Denmark! Also, if you have kids or grand-kids and the cat is used to their noise… it shouldn’t be a problem. Just be sure everyone knows to approach an older cat slowly, calmly, and to… by all means… let them know you’re headed their way.
- Never “roughhouse” with an older cat – it’ll only frighten them and you could very well hurt them, without meaning too, of course.
Basically, this is the time to pamper your little girl or boy more than ever!
One final tip from someone who has had quite a few cats who lived WAY longer than you’d expect: When you look at your cat (whether they’re 10, 15, 20, or 24), do NOT think of “losing” them. Think only of “having” and “loving” them. This is something I realized when one of my cats (Prissy) hit 15 years old. Every time I looked at her, I found my heart feeling heavy – thinking about how badly it would hurt when I lost her. That sort of pain is bad enough to feel just once… when you actually have to say goodbye. Don’t invite those feelings into your life a minute before. Think of how blessed you are to have this little bundle of fur, how much you love her/him, and how you are going to do everything in your power to make them as comfortable as possible.
I caught myself (when Prissy turned 15) and turned my thinking around. She went on to have 5 more birthdays!
Why The Deluxe Easy Entry Cat Bed Makes a Perfect Bed for Older Cats:
This beautiful bed has “easy access” – the older cat doesn’t have to jump in or out of bed, which is something older cats greatly appreciate. The material is incredibly soft and comfortable – perfect for an older cat. I also love that its “walls” provide extra support and comfort. The fact that it’s so darn good-looking (and machine washable) are icing on the cake. Click through Deluxe Easy Entry Cat Bed for more information. This deluxe beauty is just the thing your pampered baby would love to curl up in.