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November is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! If you’re looking for a new feline buddy, please don’t overlook that sleepy older cat no one wants. Kitties in their golden years often make absolutely wonderful pets, but they have a really hard time competing with kittens. Here, an Ashburn, VA vet offers some advice on helping Fluffy get settled.
You’ll need to make a run to the pet store to pick up some supplies. Keep your pet’s age in mind when you go shopping. Fluffy will need a good, high-quality senior-formula food. She may also benefit from certain supplements, though you’ll want to get recommendations from your vet. A thick, comfy bed—or two—is also a must. Your feline friend will also appreciate having a litterbox with low sides, which will be easy for her to get in and out of. Your furball may also enjoy some kitty furniture. Just choose things that are easy for her to get on and off.
Petproofing for an older pet is a little different than petproofing for puppies and kittens. Set out nightlights to help your little buddy get around after dark. You may also want to put fences or baby gates in front of potential dangers, such as pools or fireplaces. If Fluffy can’t see well, you can use things like air fresheners as scent markers.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is take your new buddy to meet their new doctor. An older cat will probably already be fixed, but Fluffy will still need a nose-to-tail exam, as well as recommended vaccines and parasite control. Try to be gentle getting her in and out of her carrier. Senior kitties can be very stiff and sore!
Don’t be surprised if your new furry friend sleeps a lot at first. This is normal. Older cats are often very sad and traumatized at having been abandoned by or separated from prior owners. They need to recuperate from that, and from the stress of being scared and lonely in a shelter. Just let your kitty relax. Offer lots of love, and make sure she feels safe, comfortable, and loved. Don’t be surprised if Fluffy becomes extremely affectionate!
Please do not hesitate to reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Ashburn, VA animal clinic, we’re here to help!