Like people there are many similar problems that occur to older cats. Issues like arthritis, heart, kidney, hearing, and sight problems and brain ageing (similar to Alzheimer's).
Cats with brain ageing may get disorientated. This will change the way they may relate to you and other pets in the home. Examples of this could be: always hiding, house soiling, eating less, and poor grooming.
Some of these examples can be related to medical conditions and this should be checked with a vet first. Find your nearest vet.
Everyday activities can be more challenging for old cats, especially if their sight or hearing is impaired.
Cats like routine and this becomes even more important with older cats (and more notably with brain ageing). Change will often cause far more stress than before.
See the following video advice from our veterinary advisor on older cats:
Keep a routine, as this helps your cat predict what is going to happen each day.
If changes are impossible to prevent, try to make them as slowly as possible.
Plug in a Feliway Diffuser in the room your cat spends most of their time to reinforce confidence and make them feel more safe at home.
Some cats may be so easily disoriented that they may benefit from having a restricted living area (for example, having access to only a single room), containing all they need: food, water, a litter box, a scratching post and resting and hiding places.
Ensure your older cat has easy access to their resources (food, water, litter box). Avoid stairs or anything to climb to access them. Ensure the litter box has lower walls as this is often a problem when cats get older and have difficulties getting in, due to arthritis or any other painful condition.
Maintain short interaction / play sessions to still keep their brain active.
Other actions you can take to help is older life stage diet or provide supplements (these should contain antioxidants) to help protect the brain and increase memory and comprehension.
If you cat is showing severe signs of brain ageing your vet may be able to prescribe medicines that could help. Find a vet near you.
International Cat Care (ICC formerly FABCats) has even more advise on older cat care.
We have Feliway® to thank for transforming Stig into the loveable and friendly cat that he is...