November is Nationwide Senior Pet Month and Nationwide Sleep Consolation Month. It’s vital for our senior pets to have a cushty spot to sleep, notably in the event that they’re affected by arthritis or one other age-related situation. In the present day we’re rounding up suggestions to assist your growing old cat sleep extra soundly, from encouraging mild train to providing supportive cat beds.
Do you know? Arthritis in cats is undertreated.
As Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, DABT, explains in a earlier submit, most pet dad and mom don’t know how prevalent arthritis in cats is. In a single veterinary research that evaluated X-rays of cats over 6 years of age, 61% of cats had proof of osteoarthritis in not less than one joint, and virtually 50% of cats had osteoarthritis in multiple joint.
It may be troublesome to acknowledge arthritis in cats. Some signs embody adjustments in mobility, altered gait, being slower to leap or go up and down stairs, performing stiff when getting up, atypical aggression, or decreased exercise.
8 suggestions to assist your growing old cat sleep higher
Whether or not your senior cat has arthritis or is simply coping with the aches that include age, there are some things you are able to do to assist her get the restful sleep she wants.
Encourage mild train earlier than mattress.
One of many greatest causes of arthritis and different continual sicknesses in cats is weight problems. In case your growing old cat can also be overweight, you must work along with your veterinarian on dietary modification to assist your cat reduce weight.
One other smart way to assist maintain the load off? Exercising your cat. Take not less than 5 minutes within the night to encourage mild train in your cat. This could be a session with a laser pointer, a cat wand with a feather connected, or rolling crinkle toys. Not solely is the train good on your cat’s well being, it’ll assist tire her out for mattress.
Supply a small meal earlier than mattress.
For an uninterrupted block of sleep (for each you and your cat), you don’t need your kitty going to mattress hungry. Give her a small quantity of canned or moist meals, or a handful of wholesome treats. However do that after your train session: Exercise on a full stomach may trigger an upset abdomen.
Present a quiet area with low stimuli.
Nervousness is a standard downside amongst growing old cats. Attempt to present your cat with a sleeping area that’s as calm, quiet, and stress-free as attainable. Ideally, this area received’t be shared with louder, extra lively members of the family (two-legged and four-legged).
Buy a reminiscence foam pet mattress.
Reminiscence foam presents consolation for higher sleep as our pets age. Offering your cat with a spacious and supportive reminiscence foam pet mattress could be simply what she wants for a restful night time’s sleep. Reminiscence foam helps relieve strain from achy joints or muscle tissues by forming to your cat’s physique. It’s finest if the reminiscence foam pet mattress additionally has a detachable washable and/or waterproof cowl.
Flip the warmth on (low).
Warmth remedy can be utilized to scale back ache, joint stiffness, and muscle spasms in cats affected by arthritis. For 20 to half-hour earlier than you go to mattress, place a heating pad on its lowest setting in your cat’s mattress and canopy it with a skinny blanket on your cat to lie on. Be aware: At all times supervise when your cat is utilizing a heating pad or one other warmth supply. Your cat shouldn’t lie immediately on the heating pad or be uncovered to the warmth for too lengthy.
Present further ground cat beds.
Accessibility is extraordinarily vital for an growing old cat. Modifications would possibly embody including a ramp to her litter box, elevating her meals and water bowls, or inserting cat beds on the ground so she doesn’t have to leap for a cushty spot.
Relating to snoozing, give your cat a wide range of heat, cozy cat beds to select from. A few of our favorites embody the Cat Nest—comprised of 100% wool—and the Pet Pouf, an oh-so-soft cat mattress that is available in a number of sizes and colours.
Plug in a nightlight.
In case your senior cat experiences imaginative and prescient loss, it’s finest to offer a light-weight supply at night time that may information her to the litter field or water bowl. Moreover, a light-weight supply akin to a nightlight can provide consolation for cats that get up disoriented or anxious.
Medicate with assist out of your vet.
Lastly, discuss to your veterinarian about ache administration on your growing old cat. None of us needs a furry member of the family to lose sleep as a result of they’re in ache or discomfort. Your vet can prescribe secure treatment choices akin to gabapentin or tramadol. Don’t give your cat human drugs with out speaking to your vet first.
From a delicate train session to a reminiscence foam pet mattress, there are a number of methods you’ll be able to assist your growing old cat get extra restful sleep. When unsure, discuss to your veterinarian about which choices are finest on your kitty.
Picture by MICHAEL CHIARA on Unsplash