From the Desk of Natasia:

Tips and Tools for the Geriatric Kitty

by Natasia Minners

                Well, hello again!  Your favorite ghost writer kitty is back!  I’ve been looking through my past articles and realized that I have offered my impressions on toys, tools, books and movies for your average kitties, but never for the older generation of felines.  Well, I’m heartily sorry for that omission and am now on a mission to rectify that.

                When I got older, I realized that I couldn’t move around as well as I used to.  I was still pretty fast, but my joints were starting to ache a tad.  My older brother had gone through this as well and he was a bit on the overweight side.  His joints were always hurting, but he didn’t complain enough.  I decided that the best thing to do was to tell my human so she could hook me up with some items that could ease my aches.

                One of the best tools for my arthritic bones was Cosequin.  It’s not a nasty pill, but a capsule that not only helps to lubricate arthritic joints, but is also good for your bladder as well.  You get two great results for the price of one and the powder in the capsule blends in rather tastily with Fancy Feast canned food.

                I always liked to lie on the bed, but jumping was becoming a problem, so my human bought another useful thing – a set of stairs.  They have a lot of cool varieties of stairs.  My human was cheap and bought a simple set of carpeted stairs, but they have other cool styles like stairs with storage in them and ramps with carpeting and more.  At first, I was a little leery about climbing those stairs, but then I saw an opportunity for a little fun.  Climb up the stairs and shout “Mreow!” at the top of my lungs…each and every time I got to the top.  Loads of fun!  Especially when the human was sound asleep!  Hee hee!

                Of course, with achy bones, I enjoyed a nice soft, warm place to sleep.  There are loads of beds that are ultrasoft for pained bones.  My favorite bed was the Petco Brown Puffy Cat Box Bed, a really soft and comfy bed that I could sink into and curl up in.  And when I wanted warm, I would nudge the human until she would pop my Petstages Kitty Cuddle Pal Heated Mat into the microwave for a few seconds and I would have all the soft, fuzzy warmness I could need.

                For those elderly kitties who have lost their teeth, there are a variety of canned cat foods that will make for a tasty dinner.  I prefer Fancy Feast, of course.  However, as we get older, some of us lose a bit of that sense of smell.  When that happens, we tend to lose interest in some foods – if we can’t smell it, we won’t eat it.  That’s why I ordered my human to buy (in addition to Fancy Feast, of course) some smellier gourmet brand canned cat foods to please my palate.  Those who still have some teeth will enjoy a variety of cans featuring bits and cuts and the like.  I still had some teeth, but I preferred pâtés, the fishier smelling, the better.  And if you have digestive issues, may I suggest the Natural Balance Duck and Green Pea can – delightful and great for your tummy.

                For those who still have their teeth, but hate getting them cleaned, make sure that your humans buy you loads of Greenies, preferably the fishier varieties.  These things taste great, are fun to chase when thrown and clean your teeth as you chew them.

                Now, let’s not forget that we like to play, simply because we have gotten older and sleep a bit more.  In fact, playing is a must for an older kitty to keep her brain sharp.  Although it is rare, kitties can get that forgetting disease.  Humans get it and dogs have been diagnosed with it, but most humans don’t realize that cats get it, too.  My brother had it and it was sad.  He would start yowling pitifully and hunch down even when my human called him in her nicest voice.  She finally realized that if she got on the floor, with her face at his level, and talked quietly to him, he would eventually come out of it. 

To try to keep these bouts of forgetfulness away, my human bought loads of interactive toys puzzle toys and such that would keep Rascal’s brain active.  In keeping his brain more active, my brother enjoyed a happier, less forgetful life.  Toys like puzzle boxes and treat balls come highly recommended…and we still love our mice and kickeroos at an older age.

And grooming is even more important than ever as we get older.  Changes in our skin and hair oils make brushing our hair a must.  Get your humans to buy you those neat combs that mount on the wall, so you can brush yourself any time.  If they are annoying about mounting stuff on the wall other than gross pictures of themselves, get them to buy you one of my favorite kitty groomers – the Stylin’ Kitty Hair Groomer.  And make sure that you rub against the humans’ legs incessantly to get off any excess hair.

Oh, and make sure your human buys a book about caring for a senior cat.  There are a lot of them out there, and even though you’ve been training them for a while, sometimes they still need a bit more help understanding you at this age. 

Well, that’s all the tips and tools I have for now.  I’ll chat with some other ghost writer kitties out there to see if they can come up with more for my next article. 

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