Felines First Rescue

Finding Felines Furever Families 

Senior Cats

 
Cat Supply Checklist:
Before you bring kitty home!
Cat Food
Food Dish
Water Bowl
Interactive Toys
Brush+Comb+Claw Clippers
Safety Cat Collar w/ID Tag
Scratching Post or Pad
Litter Box + Litter
Cat Carrier
Cat Bed and/or Box with a
   Snugly Clean Blanket or Towel
 
 
What greater gift
than the love of a cat?
~Charles Dickens
 
 
CAUTION: Toxic Foods
Alcoholic beverages
Chocolate
Coffee
Grapes, rainins, avocados
Moldy/spoiled rood
Onion, garlic & chives
Poultry bones
Salt & salty foods
Macadamia Nuts
Tomato leaves & stems
Unripe fruit
Yeast dough
ANY human medications!
   (only Vet prescribed meds)

EMERGENCY

ASPCA's Animal Poison

Control Center (888) 426-4435

 
 
Our Person Favorites
  For Cat Information:
 
 
 
 
 
 

Care of Senior Cats

You've brought your wonderful senior kitty home and now what? If you've never had a cat before, here are some helpful tips to keep your kitty healthy and happy. If you are ever in doubt about how your cat may be feeling or acting, contact your veterinarian right away! Remember, we all want to grow old with respect, grace, and dignity...and we want the same for our pets.
 
TOPICS COVERED:
  • FOOD
  • BEDDING/HOUSING
  • LITTER BOX
  • GROOMING
  • HANDLING
  • ID = IDENTIFICATION
  • PLAY
  • SCRATCHING
  • HEALTH:
       Veterinarian, Medicines + Poisons,  
       Vaccinations, Ear Mites, Fleas + Ticks,
       Urinary Tract Disease, Internal Parasites
  • SPAY or NEUTER
  • TRAVELING WITH YOUR CAT
  • TOXIC FOODS (see sidebar)
  • CAT SUPPLY CHECKLIST (see sidebar) 
 
 
FOOD
Feed your cat one main, or 2 to 3 smaller meals a day. We suggest watching your senior kitty to see if it asks for one particular feeding schedule (they'll let you know!) and then stick to that schedule.
Dry Food:  Feed your cat a commercial brand of dry food that meets senior cat nutritional requirements and provides a well-balanced diet. There are many good brands of senior cat dry food available. Rule-or-thumb, if it is the cheapest brand, you get the cheapest quality of food!

Wet Food:  Always use a nutritionally balanced canned food for your senior cat. We prefer using canned food for our cats. There are many good brands of senior canned food available. Rule-of-thumb, if it is the cheapest brand, you get the cheapest quality of food! Also, remember to throw away any uneaten canned food before it spoils.

Milk: Do not give cats cow's milk, because it can cause diarrhea.

Refusing Food or Not Eating Enough: Try soaking senior dry cat food in a bit of warm water. Gradually mix with her regular canned food. Monitor your cat's food intake carefully, as obesity can become an issue. And, if all else fails, take your kitty to your Veterinarian and discuss what foods might be best, and if there needs to be a special diet for your cat...because cat food doesn't necessarily coming in a one-size-fits-all bag or can!
 
BEDDING and HOUSING
Their Own Space:  Your cat should have its own clean, dry place in your home to sleep and rest. Line the kitty bed (or box) with a clean blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often.

Indoor Cat:  Please keep your cat indoors. Cats who are allowed outdoors can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car and get into fights with other free-roaming cats and dogs.
 
LITTER BOX
Placement:  Your cats' litter box needs to be in a quiet, accessible location, such as a bathroom or utility room. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day.

Multi-level Home:  One box per floor is recommended. In a multi-cat home, each cat should have her own box.

Smelly/Messy Litter Box:  Cats won't use a messy, smelly litter box, so remove solid waste at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with mild detergent and refill at least once a week. Don't use ammonia, deodorants or scents, especially lemon, when cleaning the litter box, because cats have a highly sensitive sense of smell (and you want them to use the litter box!)
 
GROOMING
Bath:  Cats rarely need a bath, but you should brush or comb your kitty regularly. This helps to keep their coat clean, and reduces shedding and cuts down on hairballs.

Wounds: During your grooming sessions, check for wounds, hair loss and inflammation. Also look out for ticks and flea dirt: black specs of dried blood left behind by fleas.
 
 
HANDLING
Pick up your cat by placing one hand behind her front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck or the front legs!
 
ID = IDENTIFICATION 
Safety Collar: Should your cat escape from the house or is allowed outdoors for brief periods (although we caution against it), your cat should wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel, or specially designed clasp, will allow you cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something like a brush or tree limb.

Microchip:  We recommend a permanent ID microchip to help secure your cat's return should it become lost or accidentally get out of the house.

Missing Pet:  You can find some excellent missing pet information at Missing Pet Partnership.
 
PLAY
All cats delight in stalking imaginary prey. The best toys for your kitty are those that can be made to jump and dance around and allow your kitty to pounce on them. Please do not use your hands or fingers as play objects with kitty, as this could lead to biting and scratching behaviors. It would be wise to avoid strings and toys with pieces that can break off and lodge in intestines. Playtime should be fun and safe!
 
SCRATCHING
All Kitties Need To Scratch! When kitty scratches, the old outer nail sheath is pulled off and the sharp, smooth claws underneath are exposed. Cutting your cat's nails every 2 to 3 weeks will keep them blunt and less likely to harm you or your furniture. There are also nail tips available on the internet, and some people have success.

Scratching Post:  We suggest you provide your kitty with a sturdy scratching post that is at least 3 feet high, which will allow kitty to stretch completely when scratching. It needs to be stable enough so that it won't wobble during use, and it should be covered with rough material such as sisal, burlap, or tree bark. Some cats also like scratching pads. And a sprinkle of catnip on the post or pad once or twice a month will keep your cat interested.
 
 
HEALTH 
Veterinarian: Your kitty should see a veterinarian for a full physical examination at least once a year. When you take this precaution, it can be determined if additional vaccinations or diagnostics tests are necessary. If kitty is sick or injured, please seek help immediately!

Medicines and Poisons:  Never...EVER...give your cat medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. Did you know that acetaminophen and aspirin can be fatal to a cat?!! Keep mouse/rat poison away from your cat.

Vaccinations:  We can't stress this enough: Get Your Kitty Vaccinated! Your veterinarian will explain the different type of vaccinations your kitty should have and how often your cat will need to be re-vaccinated.  Here are a few you should know about: panleukopenia, calicivirus and rhinotatracheitis. Other vaccinations will be given depending on your cat's lifestyle and risk factors. These include vaccines for (FIV) feline immunodeficiency virus, and (FeLV) feline leukemia virus, which are two of the most common causes of disease and death in domestic cats. Keeping your cat indoors and away from cats who FeLV and FIV status is not known are the best ways to prevent your cat from becoming infected. Also, rabies vaccinations are required in most states throughout the USA, and it is a legally required in Oregon. Any questions, ask your veterinarian.

Ear Mites:  Is a common problem that can be transmitted from cat to cat. So if your cat is constantly scratching at its ears or shaking its head, or if you see dark colored wax or debris in its ears, then it could very well be infested with ear mites. Please make an appointment with your veterinarian right away.

Fleas & Ticks:  A flea insetation should be taken seriously! These tiny parasites feed off of your cat and can transmit tapeworms and irritate the skin of your kitty. We advise you check your cat regularly for fleas and ticks. If your cat is infested, you will also need to treat all pets in your household and get rid of the fleas in your home. Make certain that any product you use is safe for use on cats. It is a sad fact that many cats die each year from improper treatment with flea and tick control products. Check with your veterinarian first for the best flea control program for your pet and home.

Urinary Tract Disease:  Both male and female cats can develop urinary tract disease. Signs of FLUTD incude frequent trips to the litter box, blood in the urine, and crying out or straining when urinating. If your male cat looks "constipated" then he may have a urethral obstruction and can't urinate normally. Blockage, which is rare in females, can be fatal if not treated quickly. Please see your veterinarian immediately if you think your cat has FLUTD or appears constipated.

Internal Parasites:  Kitty can become infected with several types of internal parasites and worms. The key to treatment is diagnosis by your veterinarian, which is obtained by a miscroscopic examination of your cat's feces. Your vet will then prescribe the appropriate medication. To keep your cat from getting WORMS: keep your pet indoor to prevent kitty from hunting and eating infected prey, avoid exposure to infected cats, rodents, fleas and feces, avoid feeding raw meat and practice good hygiene when cleaning the litter box. Now about raw meat: we've found this information interesting: Rad Cat Raw Diet - which we are using to help our hyperthyroid foster kitty, CLICK HERE to learn more about Maghar kitty.
 
SPAY or NEUTER 
Spaying if for female cats. This type of surgery is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Cats can breed up to 3 times a year, so it is very important that your female cat be spayed to prevent unwanted litters. Older cats can be spayed, but it is always best to talk to your veterinarian about the age concerns associated with your female cat.

Neutering is for male cats. This type of surgery is the removal of the testicles. Because male cats can impregnate many different females, it is very important that your male cat be neutered to prevent unwanted litters. Older cats can be neutered, but it is always best to talk to your veterinarian about the age concerns associated with your male cat.
 
TRAVELING WITH YOUR CAT 
Some people like to travel with their pets, and being a cat person, you may want to consider doing this, too. We have provided you with a few tips via PetMed/UC Davis "Clinical Animal Behavior" Travel With My Cat .pdf:  CLICK HERE
 

PET SITTER IN OREGON

When You're Not There Pet Care:  CLICK HERE  (experienced and insured)