Changes In Senior Cats
Cats are known to live for fifteen to twenty years and even more. There are breeds like the Siamese cats which are known to live even longer, for twenty to twenty four years. That means, when you have adopted such a cat, it is for more than two decades or so of your life. When the decision to adopt a cat is a well researched one, you are sure to reap the rewards of adopting a feline companion. If you can understand the behavioral traits of every breed of cat and steer them accordingly to the desired behavior you want them to exhibit in your home, you and your cat are sure to have a great time together. When your cat grows old, there are certain body changes that you need to look out for.
Obesity In Cats
While fat cats may look adorable and chubby, you know that it is not good for the health of your aging cat. You need to take steps to ensure active aerobic exercises for some part of the day and make changes in its diet so that the obesity problem is taken care of. Why does obesity occur in cats?
- This may be due to a change in the metabolic rate. Cats, as they age, their metabolism rate slows down. Thus, if you have given it the same amount of fats and carbs in its diet, it might be a good idea to change the diet to a low fat one.
- Obesity may occur due to reduced activity levels in the cat. By nature, as they age, cats tend to exhibit lesser energy and they are less active. You can engage in play time with them or take them for a walk in the garden to keep their energy levels up and the metabolic rate up as well.
Loss Of Muscle Mass
The other effect of the senior years in the life of a cat is that of loss of muscle mass. Protein is the building block of all muscle tissues. It is important that the muscle tissues are maintained as well as their strength and tone. As the cats age, the following symptoms show:
- Bulging belly
- Drooping arm and leg muscles
- Loss of muscle tone and vigor
Senior cats thus need to be put on a high protein diet in order to retain their muscle mass. You need to provide your cat a high protein diet and increase the amount of protein in the diet as compared to the fat or the level of carbohydrates included in the diet. That is optimal for muscle maintenance. Also, engaging the cat in playtime will keep them physically active.
Loss Of Coat Shine
The coat health of the cat reduces with age and the shines lose the luster. You need to supplement such a loss by enriching their food with omega -3 fatty acids and omega 6 nutrients as found in fish. That will ensure healthy luster of the coat and a natural healing process.