by Soojin Um
The current oldest cat in the world celebrated a birthday back in June. How many candles would’ve been required if there had been a cake? Thirty. You read correctly: 30! Now, that’s far from the norm, the average cat lifespan (for an indoor cat) is between 14 and 16 years. Even that is pretty good, and many cats today are living into their late teens and early twenties. Of course, older cats will require a little more care and attention. However, if you’re diligent about vet visits and healthy habits, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, caring for an older cat shouldn’t be much different than when they were younger.
Cats get older, just like the rest of us. They may not be as active as they used to be, or climb as high or run as fast. These changes are usually indicative of aging. If your cat is still relatively young (under 8 years old) and exhibit these changes, a visit to your veterinarian might not be a bad idea. Even if your cat is over 12, you should still check with your vet. However, in most cases, these changes are normal as cats get older.
One noticeable change might be difficulty in getting from place to place. This could be the result of arthritis. This might be subtle at first. You may notice your cat appears to avoid the stairs, the sofa, or your bed. At first it may seem like they’re being withdrawn, but it may be because they’re avoiding any situation where they have to jump up and down. Cats are not likely to display pain, but rather hide their discomfort. This most likely has to do with their instinct from their days in the wild to not show pain or injury in case any predator was watching them.
You may also need to start helping your older cat with grooming. Try brushing them on a regular basis, as they may not be able to reach areas of the body like they used to. When brushing, however, remember to be gentle. They may also not enjoy being brushed on their stomachs, so be aware of that.
The oldest cat ever on record was a cat named Creme Puff. She lived to be 38 years old. Creme Puff passed away in 2005. That means she was alive during the Apollo moon landings, Watergate, and the fall of the Berlin Wall! What stories she could’ve regaled young kittens with. One interesting note is that Creme Puff’s owner regularly treated her with bacon, eggs, and coffee with heavy cream. Many people might not regard that to be a healthy diet. However, the owner had another cat that was documented to have lived for 34 years, and he had fed that cat the same diet. Perhaps Fussie Cat should consider those recipes in the future.
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