As cats get older, they lose the ability to move about as freely as they did when they were younger. When your cat has limited movement or low mobility, it is important to accommodate them so that they can maintain their quality of life as much as possible. There are several ways to help your aging cat when he or she has limited mobility.
Aging cats can benefit from elevated food and water bowls so that they don’t struggle to eat or drink. When they are elderly or sick, you want to encourage them to eat to gain strength and maintain weight, place bowls so that cats have easy access to the nourishment they need.
Keep litter box clean and change frequently so that you minimize the soiling of your cat when they depart from the litter box. Litter boxes used should allow the cat to walk or enter the box without raising their paws and climbing into the litter box. Eliminating one of the border edge to assist the cat when entering the litter box. Also adding a slight ramp into the litter box will help too.
When you arrive home with your cat, after an extended stay at the hospital create a special area for your cat. Create a 4 x 4 living area for your cat, a recovery or healing area where you can monitor your cat’s recovery and healing.
- Select an area that is away from any stairs, doors or windows, so that there aren’t any drafts or breezes that might create any discomfort for your cat.
- Lay a sheet of plastic to protect the flooring. Careful with the plastic sheeting because it is slippery and your cat may feel uneasy walking on the plastic.
- Next, lay newspapers or packing paper over the sheet of plastic. Change either twice or once daily so that any food droppings or litter waste does not cling to your cat’s fur.
- Place a few old blankets or towels by their bed in one area to create a sleeping area. If possible, between the litter box and food/water bowls. Although your cat may not be able to climb into a bed due limited mobility, place a pet bed close by. Your cat can cuddle between the old blankets and towels to sleep. As your cat’s health begins to improve and strengthen, they may try to crawl into the nearby pet bed.
- Place litter box nearby so that access or entry to the box doesn’t require the pet to raise their legs up. Considering having a box with one side that doesn’t have a wall. Change the litter box frequently so that your cat isn’t soiled with the litter waste. Many cats with low mobility are unable to groomed themselves and need assistance in keeping themselves clean.
- In a smaller cardboard box, place the food and water bowls elevated so that the cat does not struggle to eat. I use two wide short stemmed glasses that are heavy and place a metal bowl inside each glass. The weight of the glass prevents the glass from sliding and elevates the bowls off the ground.
- Consider using bath mats that have either a rubber or non-skid backing so that they have better footing when attempting to walk around their enclosed area.
- As your cat ages, your cat may begin to lose weight. Cats with less weight tend to be colder. Consider placing a space heater close to your cat’s bedding or provide a heated bed that they can sleep in. If you use a space heater, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when utilizing the space heater. Never leave the space heater unattended!
- Place a Kitty Cam to help you monitor your cat’s movements. This is especially helpful if you are away from home for a few hours. Many Cams have apps that can be downloaded on your smartphone. You can check on your cat’s activity or lack of activity using your Kitty Cam. We noticed that whenever we checked on our cat to see if she was alright, we seemed to wake her up. Using a Kitty Cam allows us to check up on her without waking her up. With a Kitty Cam, our cat gets the much needed rest she needs to recover.
- Hospitals may be able to stabilize your cat’s health issues or conditions. However, real healing happens at home surrounded by their caregivers and loving family. Offer as much attention and affection as your cat desires.