As our feline companions age, their needs evolve, necessitating adjustments to ensure their continued comfort and well-being. Recently, the classification of feline ages and life stages has been updated. Cats are now considered seniors at 10 years old. However, cats of certain breeds and lifestyles may be considered seniors even earlier.

Senior cats require special attention to accommodate changes in mobility, health, and behavior. Here are six essential considerations to keep in mind when caring for your aging feline friend.

1. Create a Senior Cat-Friendly Environment.

Senior cats may experience mobility issues, particularly those with degenerative joint diseases like arthritis. To promote their comfort and independence, it's important to tailor their environment to meet their changing needs. Provide age-appropriate safe spaces, such as low-level perches with ramps or stairs for easy access to favorite elevated spots. Additionally, ensure their sleeping areas are warm and cozy, but avoid using heating pads - they may pose a risk of burns. Consider offering soft, padded bedding to alleviate pressure on achy joints and muscles.

2. Adjust Resources for Accessibility.

As cats age, they may encounter difficulties accessing their food, water, and litter boxes. To facilitate ease of use, elevate food and water bowls to reduce neck strain and discomfort. Choose low-entry litter boxes with shallow sides to accommodate decreased mobility, avoiding tall or top-loader designs that may be challenging for senior cats to navigate. Provide multiple litter boxes throughout the home, especially in multi-level dwellings, to ensure easy access at all times. Opt for clumping or soft litter substrates to promote comfort and encourage regular use, avoiding liners and deodorizing agents that may deter senior cats from using the litter box.