As some cats age, their behavior, physical abilities, and therefore needs change. To make the cat’s life as a senior easier, humans can sometimes support their four-legged roommate by taking small steps.
If, when, how severe and which signs of aging occur in senior cats are different for each cat. Therefore, of course, the type of support should be tailored to the needs of each individual animal. We can only list here some of the most common signs of aging and some actions you can take to support your cat.
At what age a cat is considered a senior cat
An old rule of thumb says that one cat year is equal to seven human years. This conversion of cat age to human years is now considered obsolete and has been replaced by another model.
1 year old cat = 15 human years
2-year-old cat = 24 human years
4-year-old cat = 32 human years
7-year-old cat = 44 human years
10-year-old cat = 56 human years
12-year-old cat = 64 human years
14 year old cat = 72 human years
16-year-old cat = 80 human years
18-year-old cat = 88 human years
20-year-old cat = 96 human years
The average life expectancy of a cat is ca. 15 years. In individual cases, even a higher age is reached. Free-rangers, on the other hand, are assumed to have a shorter life expectancy, at least statistically, because the risk of an accident is significantly higher.
Generally, a cat between 1 to 7 years of age is considered to be an adult cat. From 7 years it is called "older cat" and from 12 years on the term "Senior cat" used.
Although this model may not always apply and each cat must be considered individually, it may give us a better idea of what stage of life our cat is in. If 12 years do not sound old at first, but then you compare the cat with a 64-year-old human, it becomes more aware of why the cat’s needs are now changing.
How cats change with age
From an age of approx. 7 years the sensory organs of a cat first signs of aging a. These can differ from animal to animal and are not always immediately recognizable by the pet owner. Many of these changes creep in slowly over a period of years.
Not only physical changes occur. The behavior of older cats can also differ significantly from their behavior in younger years. What has caused the cat as a kitten to run around and chase, can leave the same cat in later years, for example, completely cold.
Here you will find some things that change in many cats with older age.
With higher age often the movement urge of a cat decreases. She becomes more cuddly and seeks more the proximity of humans. Play phases and the forays through their territory are now shorter. Senior cats often sleep more as young animals. They prefer for it an warm, soft and elevated sleeping place, from which they have their environment in view.
Age stubbornness and a certain confusion can occur in senior cats. They cope less well with a changed daily routine than they did when they were younger.
Old cats are mostly are no longer as agile and mobile like their younger counterparts. For example, they find it much more difficult to jump onto windowsills, and when grooming their fur, they no longer reach all spots as easily as they once did. The coat may look a bit shaggy and the skin tends to be dry and flaky.
eating and drinking behavior
If the sense of smell deteriorates, cats can no longer identify their food so well. Since also Dental problems and a generally more sensitive mouth are not uncommon in old age, they often eat less as a result. Senior cats also often drink very little.
Common diseases that can occur especially in old cats are for example Arthrosis, a disturbed kidney function, heart diseases, Diabetes mellitus or thyroid dysfunctions.
The performance of the sensory organs decreases with age. So cats can partially worse seeing, hearing or smelling.
How to support an old cat
Not all animals experience the above-mentioned points. Every cat is individual. Some remain physically very fit until old age and have hardly any health problems.
Should one with its cat Signs of old age notice, there are different measures, with which the animal can be supported. Some of them can be for example.