10 Ways to Spoil Your Senior Cat


Did you know that a 12-year-old cat is the equivalent of a 64-year-old human? And like humans in their senior years, many cats will start to "slow down." And, hey, they deserve it! Their golden years should be enjoyed with as much verve and unequivocal sass as The Golden Girls themselves. 

And much like the Golden Girls spoiling themselves with a slice of cheesecake (or two) every few episodes, our senior cats deserve to be spoiled.

1. Give them ALL the comfy places!

Although cats aren't nearly as large as humans, they still suffer from the same aging process, and thus they often suffer from the same ailments that we do. Osteoarthritis is common in older cats and can lead to decreased mobility and make lying on tile or hard surfaces uncomfortable, even painful. Providing your cat with plenty of soft, comfortable orthopedic beds can help ease joint pain and lead to more restful and comfortable sleep. 


2. Make room to groom.

Arthritic joints (especially in the spine and tail region) can prevent your cat from properly grooming themselves. Cats are normally fastidious groomers who like to keep their fur clean and tidy and even use grooming as a form of self-soothing and easing stress. So gently brushing your cat's fur will not only help keep your senior's fur shiny and full of that same old luster, but it is a great way to spend some quality time with them as well. If your cat doesn't like brushes, try incorporating grooming into quality petting time with a grooming glove, which fits over your hand and acts as petting but grooms your cat at the same time. 

3. Provide fun and games.

Keeping your aging cat active can help keep them fit and healthy. While you don't want to play too rough with them, don't forget that senior cats are often still as ready to play as they were when they were a kitten!  In fact, they might even be bored. Try giving them some new toys to pique their interest. Those filled with catnip or silver vine are a great choice, as the strong scents stimulate and encourage exercise.  And don't forget the benefits of "brain games" — use food puzzles to keep her body moving and her mind active.


4. Give them a step up.

cat stairs orthopedic cat stairs

Help your cat become Stair master / Ramp champ! Cats, like humans, can develop painful arthritis. Install a set of stairs to their favorite sleeping spots that happen to be high up - like your bed or maybe a cat perch they love - to ease the strain and stress on your cat's sensitive joints and bones. 


5. Consider raising their food bowls.

If you notice that your cat is struggling to bend down and eat from their normal, flat food bowls, consider giving them easier access to the dishes by getting a raised or elevated feeding platform or tall bowl. 


6. Change your cat’s diet to better suit their needs

senior cat diet special senior diet cat diet

Speaking of food, as your cat ages, their bodies and needs change, just like humans. Various specialized cat foods designed to fit the dietary needs of senior cats are available, but you should consult your vet before switching foods. Based on your cat's individual needs (such as chronic conditions), they may benefit from supplements. Again, it is important to check with your vet!


7. Increased Veterinary Care

cat vet senior cat care adult cat care

Cats are notoriously skilled at hiding illnesses. But there are a few common issues that senior cats are prone to developing, such as kidney issues, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. Increased visits to the vet can help catch any signs or symptoms ahead of time. It is suggested that senior cats should visit the vet every 6 months.

8. Make their litter box more accessible

cat litter box

If you notice your older cat struggling to get in and out of a high-sided litter box, it might be time to consider lowering the barriers. If your cat doesn't feel comfortable or struggles to get into the litter box, they might start eliminating outside the box (which no one wants, not even your cat!) You might even consider adding additional litter boxes around the house to really spoil your golden-aged feline. 


9. Install a nightlight.

House cats are crepuscular, which is why they like to prowl around in the late-night hours while the rest of the house is sleeping. But as your cat ages, their "night vision" might be less effective. By plugging in a nightlight, your senior kitty can safely and confidently navigate the house at night. 

10. Keep a regular routine. 

cat comic cat meme funny cat

Cats thrive on routine: especially senior cats, who, in addition to decreased mobility, may also be losing their vision and hearing. This can cause your cat to feel insecure in her ability to navigate her environment. By maintaining a consistent schedule of feeding and playtime, you can help her feel safer and more comfortable in her environment.





  • Dick Smoker

    My cat thinks my bed is his litter box and takes a dump daily.
    Pisses me off to no end.

  • Tess

    My baby girl, Ettie, will be 15 soon. She is my world. I was not able to have children so I always just put all my energy and love into my animals. She is suffering with chronic kidney disease and hypertension. I want to keep her as comfortable and happy as possible. Lately she hasn’t been keeping up with her grooming and I have been trying all manner of different brushes/combs to help her keep her coat untangled. I recently purchased her a tilted pedestal bowl for her food and some personalized pet stairs to help her into bed. It is my life’s privilege to be her caretaker. Any other ideas to keep her comfortable would be welcomed. Thanks!

  • Denise

    Hello. I enjoyed the stories. My cat Cher is 12 now and over weight. I feel bad because it’s my fault. I rescued he myself while at a Friend’s. She came up to me and jumped up in my lap. We were outside on a nice summer evening. She was a stray and it was love at first sight. I love her more than anything else. I was wondering if the meds that are available to prevent joint problems are a good idea? I worry with her being so big. She’s a BIG ( not just fat) Tabby cat. I wish I hadn’t have loved her so much with food. She’s always loved to eat. I worry about her joint health. She’s doing well so far. I can ask the vet about it but was wondering if you all have tried consequen or whatever that stuff is. I do know that Pedialyte is good for them. I put 1-2CC’s in her drinking water everyday. I can tell it made her feel a lot better. More energy. More alert. Thanks for any advice. Ps.. her favorite son is I got you babe by Sonny and Cher! Lol.

  • Barbara

    I believe my kitty is around 17, I adopted him, sort of. From my daughter. We now all live together. Lately he wants to sleep on top of me, or finds a spot near the bed. But separate. He feels a little skinny, but eats well, when interested. I am worried because he seems to zone out, then is very affectionate. Also, I moved his litter box into my room instead of the hallway and he seems to forget where it is. He does find it tho! Also, I really believe he may be almost blind, so worried about him. Are there special treats or food that may help him, what about catnip? Thanks for any advise…😻

  • Kim Grotle

    I recently got a senior cat who was rescued in a snowstorm. He was diabetic and lots a few of his 9 lives through a long respiratory illness while at the shelter. I met Connor while I was volunteering, and made him my special project as spending time petting him sparked his fragile appetite. Well, of COURSE he’s home with me now. He is totally deaf and LOVES to ride in the car to go places (we volunteer together at the shelter). Being deaf, I can vacuum Connor when he’s shedding! His health and strength have improved hugely, and he has a large fan club. He’s got a home for life.

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