While the majority of the suggestions and concepts in this book are appropriate for cats of all ages, we must consider the various needs of kittens and elderly cats.
Kittens and older cats both require some changes to your home’s layout to give it the optimal indoor place for their stage of life.
As a result, litter boxes, beds, and toys should be more tailored to different stages, as seen below.
Table of Contents
Meeting The Needs Of Kittens
Adult and geriatric cats require more play and enrichment than kittens and young cats. It’s crucial to have a variety of activities to play with them as well as interactive toys to keep them occupied when you’re not at home.
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As discussed before in this book, toys with long lengths of string, feathers, or small objects that your kitten could potentially chew off and swallow should be avoided. If swallowed, these can induce a gut obstruction, and this is a regular occurrence in young kittens.
Catnip mice, as well as toys that can be utilized in chasing activities, are excellent choices. Kittens typically keep themselves busy with the correct toys due to their inquisitive nature, so simple objects like a ball with a bell in it or a life-like mouse are often all you need!
Because litter box training takes time and destructive activity is usual at this age, it’s best to keep kittens in one area of the house when you can’t oversee them.
This might be a bathroom or laundry room with a litter box, bed, toys, and food and drink bowls for the cat. The ideal option is to keep this area as your kitten’s safe haven for the first month or two, until they are toilet-trained and at ease in your home.
If you’re introducing a kitten to other pets in your house, sequestering is very beneficial. After this initial phase, you can set up a bed and a secure spot in a more suitable room as a long-term solution. However, keep the secure spot at a low level so that your kitten can easily access it.
Because kittens vary in size based on breed and age, it’s best to have a small litter tray that your kitten can easily access. Kittens’ incorrect toileting is frequently caused by high-sided litter trays. To assist avoid this from occurring again, clean up any inappropriate urinating or pooping with a non-ammonia-based solution, follow up with a pet odor neutralizer, and then feed your kitten on the spot.
Once the sequestering time is finished, make sure the food and drink bowls are far away from the litter box, preferably in different rooms if feasible.
Make it a point to spend time with your kitten on a daily basis. Have fun with them by playing with them, brushing and grooming them, and trimming their nails in a stress-free manner.
Introducing grooming and nail clipping at this age will help them maintain these healthy habits as they grow older!
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The Needs Of Older Cats
Arthritis is common in older cats’ front and hind legs, especially in the carpus (wrist), elbow, stifles (knees), and hocks (ankles). As a result, elevated view spots are often too tough to reach when setting up your home for these cats. Even stairs might be a problem for senior cats on occasion.
Making a safe environment for an older cat is not invasive and will improve your cat’s quality of life. In fact, if you have a young or adult cat with a joint problem or arthritis, these recommendations apply to them as well.
Toys and activities are still important for senior cats’ enrichment, but attempt to make them more stationary. Instead of high-energy chase games, encourage toys that will keep your cat occupied without requiring too much running. Treat balls and catnip toys are both terrific choices. You may also get a variety of interactive toys at your local pet store or online that will keep your cat occupied without requiring them to run and jump excessively.
For elderly cats, getting to various heights can be a great challenge. If your cat’s safe haven has always been on top of a wardrobe or a shelf in a cupboard, this may become increasingly challenging as they age. In these situations, the recommended course of action is to lower the safe location to a ‘bush-dweller’ height.
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The Hepper Pod bed is the ideal height for senior cats and is an excellent method to keep them warm. If your cat enjoys sleeping on your bed but is having trouble getting up, placing an additional piece of furniture next to the bed to assist them in getting up is always a good idea.
If you have a lot of stairs in your house, it’s best if you can keep all of your cat’s necessities on one floor. If your cat is in pain as a result of jumping up or onto furniture, or as a result of going up the stairs, you should consult your veterinarian to arrange for suitable pain medication.
Avoid high-sided litter trays for older cats, as with kittens, because these trays can be difficult to get into and out of for those with arthritis. Keeping an older cat in a high-sided litter box is a common cause of inappropriate toileting in the house. Find a low-sided tray with adequate depth to keep litter from flying all over the room while allowing your elder cat better access.
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