Did you know that the average cat ages 12 cat years in each of their first 2 human years, then 4 cat years for every human year after that? So your 18 year old cat is a very respectable 88 year old lady. Knowing your cat’s human age puts things into perspective and reminds us that older cats require special attention and extra care. Take a moment to organise your older cat’s environment such that all of her resources are within easy reach. Give her a litter tray or two indoors and consider having food and water dishes on each level of the house. Make sure she has a warm, comfy bed and give her a ramp up to it if necessary. Older cats commonly develop chronic disease such as kidney disease or hyperthyroidism so keep a close eye on her weight, appetite and drinking habits and have her checked out regularly by the vet.
- International Cat Carewww.icatcare.org/advice/life-stages — a great summary of all of the feline life stages, simply click on each one for tips on how to care for cats of different ages.
- Cornell University Feline Health Centerwww.vet.cornell.edu/FHC/health_resources/topics.cfm — has a nice section on ageing cats.
- American Association of Feline Practitionerswww.catvets.com/cat-owners/brochures — a nice brochure on caring for an older cat and also one about improving your cat’s environment.
- Cats Protectionwww.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/cat-care-leaflets-2013/EG16_Elderly_cats.pdf — a good overview of some of the conditions that older cats are prone to getting, along with an excellent section on how to improve the quality of their life at home.