Cats with mobility problems, whether through injury or old age, need extra care and attention. Follow these five tips to help your cat maintain a good quality of life.
Keep Your Cat Active
Weight gain is a real problem for less active cats, and the heavier your cat is, the higher her risk of developing further health conditions. Use toys to encourage her to get up and play, and regularly take her outside where her natural instincts will kick in and lead her to explore the yard. Advances in animal orthocare have made it easier to obtain supportive braces that will significantly improve your cat’s mobility. The process uses a simple fiberglass casting kit to make a mold of your cat’s leg, which is then used to make a custom fitted brace.
Adapt Your Cat’s Environment
Make life easier for your cat by making some changes to your home. Place a low stool or cat tree next to her favorite windowsill, and install a ramp next to steps.
A feeding stand raises bowls up off the floor ensuring she doesn’t have to stoop to eat or get a drink of water while switching a high-sided litter box for a shallower tray gives her easier access to her toilet.
Help With Grooming
When your cat has aching joints or limited movement in her limbs, she won’t be able to groom herself properly, so you’ll need to help her out. As well as brushing, combing, and washing your cat, you will need to give her plenty of all over scratches to relive those annoying itches she can’t reach.
Provide Mental Stimulation
Cats with mobility problems often become depressed. All of the fun things she used to do – stalking mice out in the yard, chasing leaves, jumping at shadows – exercised her mind as well as her body, keeping her alert, stimulated, and satisfied. Now that she prefers to lounge around on a comfy chair, it’s up to you to find things that arouse her curiosity.
Toys with compartments for food are a good choice, and simple toys like a feather tied on a string will spark her predatory instinct. Scratching is another stimulating and highly enjoyable activity for cats, but once mobility problems set in your cat might not be able to use her scratching post like she used to. The solution here is to replace your scratching post with a scratching pad you can lay on the floor.
Use Omega-3 Supplements
Inflammation is the cause of a lot of joint problems in cats and it’s also present at injury sites. Omega-3 dietary supplements can reduce that inflammation, ease the pain, and improve mobility. For the best results, use Omega-3’s with a high-quality diet. Cheap, processed cat food is made with grains, which actually cause inflammation. Check food labels and avoid anything containing rice, corn, wheat, or millet. By making these small changes, you’ll make a big difference to your cat’s comfort and happiness, and give her the quality of life she deserves.