When Your Cat’s No Longer A Kitten
This original post on how to care for your aging cat is sponsored by Hill’s.
My husband has never been a morning person. Tsunami – my husband’s cherished Maine Coon – has always loved daybreak.
As a kitten, Tsunami engaged in a very special wake-up routine with my husband. At the crack of dawn, Tsunami would jump in the window above our bed, noisily stroll back and forth between the blinds, and shine the bright morning sun directly in my husband’s eyes. Then, if my husband failed to rise and shine, Tsunami would jump from the window onto my husband’s chest, run to the foot of the bed, and attack his toes to get his adrenaline flowing!
Fast forward six and a half years.
These days, Tsunami isn’t as rambunctious as he used to be. Instead of running across the sofas chasing feathers, he’s turning into a couch potato. He’d rather sit on the sofa all night watching television with dad than play chase the birdie with mom. He plants himself in the center of the sofa when he sees us coming, defying us to take his seat. Instead of diving under the covers to play in bed, he’s turned into a bed hog who refuses to get out of the bed, day or night!
America’s Cat Population Is Aging
It’s no secret that America’s population is aging but here’s a little known fact: America’s feline population is aging right beside her! Did you know that the senior cat population in our country has increased by 6%?
This makes me wonder:
When does a cat officially become a card-carrying “senior” and how do I help Tsunami achieve that status?
I’m sure you’re wondering how you can help your cat achieve – or prolong – their senior status as well!
How Old Is Your Cat In Human Years?
Start by determining what stage of life your cat is in. Which side of 7 is your cat on? According to the experts at #HillsPet, ages 7 and 11 are particularly significant years in a cat’s life.
- Cats ages 7-10 are classified as Mature Cats. That’s equivalent to Middle Aged!
- Cats ages 11 and beyond are considered Senior Cats. Help them to live out their twilight years in style!
As your cat enters these crucial life stages, your goal as a pet parent should be to maintain and/or improve the quality of their lives.
Cat Age Chart & Calculator
To help you better understand just how old your cat really is, use the handy dandy Cat Age Calculator from #HillsPet to calculate your pet’s age in people years.
I was shocked to learn that Tsunami – my once spry kitten – is now 47 to 49 in human years! When did my little ball of fluff become a middle aged Maine? No wonder he and my husband hang out on the couch all of the time. They are currently in the same stage of life!
How To Keep Your Aging Cat Healthy
How do you help to ward off the aging process in your beloved cats? Many of the same common-sense principles that apply to humans also apply to your furry felines! For example:
- Schedule veterinarian appointments twice a year. The older your cat is, the more important this becomes.
- Clean your cat’s teeth on an ongoing basis!
- Make sure your cat gets regular exercise to keep their muscles flexible and their bones and joints strong.
Pay Attention To Your Cat’s Nutritional Needs
Just like diet and nutrition make a huge difference in our lives, paying attention to what your cats eat as they age is extremely important. Your cat’s nutritional needs change over time. As your cats age, they require less sodium, phosphorus, and other nutrients to reduce kidney stress.
Hills Science Diet makes it easy for you to provide the right nutritional balance for your cats throughout their lives.
Maintain your Mature Cat’s health with their line of Science Diet Activity Longevity foods for cats ages 7 to 10.
Defy the visible signs of aging in your Senior Cats with their Science Diet Senior 11+ Age Defying food.
Caring For Your Senior Cat
As your cat ages, you may notice changes in his behavior. Like humans, cats can experience physical and cognitive declines as they age. You may notice changes in their sleep routines, their litter box behavior, and their vocalization through increased meowing. Feeding your cats a balanced diet with the right nutrition for their life stage can help slow down the signs of aging.
As a pet parent, my goal is to provide my cats with the healthiest, happiest lives possible. For more information about this important topic, check out these articles:
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s Science Diet for Cats. However, Create With Joy only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
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Thank you for the helpful info. My 6 cats are all currently at the “mature” or “senior” level. They are healthy, but prefer sitting in daddy’s lap to active playing. It’s very hard to see them age because I’ve been there before and know what’s inevitably coming. The only thing we can do is keep them as healthy as possible.
I’m so glad you found the article helpful, Joyce! I miss the active days of play. Tsunami likes to bat at things but run around and chase them?
No way! The only time he truly runs is at mealtimes – lol!
Our Zee is just like Tsunami – years ago we couldn’t get him to snuggle with us, now at 9 years old, he is a total couch potato too! Very good article!
Thanks Deb! I can’t believe Zee is 9 already! Time flies much too fast!
A very interesting article on aging cats and how to keep them healthy and happy. Their diet plays a major role at this stage; and Science Diet is just what the doctor would recommend to keep them fit. Looking at Tsunami he’s the perfect model for the food plus all the TLC his parents lavish on him.
I also love the pictures you posted of Tsunami.
So glad you enjoyed the article and the photos of Tsunami, Reta!
Have a wonderful week!
My cat, Floopy, is now 13 years old. She’s on senior food now, has had her teeth cleaned & had regular check ups. She’s more chilled nowadays, but still races about the place & doesn’t look her age!
Floopy is styling! I hope I am in as great a shape when I am her age Anita! 🙂
We’re all mature but we still manage to drive Jan nuts, so guess we’ve still got a little spunk left. Must be that we keep our brains active by blogging. 🙂
Keep blogging and keep keeping Jan on her toes! 🙂
Our Aunty Peanut is a senior and she is checked every six months, fed the best Hills has to offer and the vet says she is brilliant!
Hello to Tsunami and you have taken care of him well all these years!
Thanks! He’s one of the most important members of our household! 🙂
Our three kitties (all male) are 4, 3, and almost 1.5 years respectively. The older two (named Melvin and Arlen) are very much like their human ages: Relaxed, comfy and likely to hang out next to you or on your lap. Our youngest one (named Pip) is very much like a teenager: Hyperactive, playful, and likes to be a rebellious pain in the butt. It’s a lot of fun (albeit sometimes annoying) to watch them change and mature and interact with each other. I wouldn’t have it any other way. =)
Thanks Kim for sharing about your cats – I love reading about everyone’s different personalities!
They are all at wonderful places in their feline lives!
Won’t you share their photos with us at my Wordless Wednesday party?
We are a pet-loving bunch over there!
Great informative post! Looks like Alice will be headed into middle age on her birthday in February. No wonder she has slowed down so much. Thanks for that chart too. That’s a neat tool to be able to reference. 🙂
So glad you found the information useful Michelle. I like the chart too!