Holidays With Senior Cats

With the holidays ramping up, many people are busy with seasonal events and activities. Our feline friends also have their own annual traditions, like ‘helping’ with gift wrapping, investigating empty boxes, and dozing under the tree. However, older cats will need some extra TLC at this time of year. An Ellicott City, MD vet offers some tips on keeping senior kitties purring over the holidays in this article.


Don’t forget to pick up a few things for Fluffy. Sodium-free broth is a good snack for kitties. It contains electrolytes, which can help prevent dehydration. Your furry pal may also appreciate a soft bed. (Note: it doesn’t matter if your furball already has several beds. Rule number one of being a cat? You can never have too many napping spots.) Toys are also great. Look for ones that are easy for senior pets to track and ‘capture.’


Yummy snacks are a big part of many holiday celebrations. However, older kitties sometimes have very sensitive tummies. Stick with safe options, like plain, cooked, boneless meat, fish, or poultry. Don’t give Fluffy anything that contains a lot of salt, sugar, or fat. Dairy products are also a no-no. Your vet can give you more information about safe and unsafe foods.


Although Fluffy won’t be as frisky as she once was, she’ll never completely outgrow her capacity for mischief. Keep potentially-dangerous items, like candles, tinsel, and ribbons, out of paws’ reach. Many popular holiday plants, such as poinsettias, ivy, yew, and mistletoe, are also unsafe.


Older cats sometimes get stressed out quite easily, especially when their daily kitty routines are interrupted. Fluffy can also get a bit uneasy if there’s a lot of commotion around. If your furball gets nervous or uneasy around guests, give her a comfy, quiet spot to retreat to when you have visitors. This can be a back room, a kitty tent, or even a spot under a bed.


Are you planning to travel over the holidays? If so, you’ll need to make arrangements for Fluffy. We really don’t recommend leaving older cats home alone. Boarding is one option, but you may also be able to find a good catsitter for your kitty. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Happy Holidays from everyone here at Marriottsville Animal Hospital, your Ellicott City, MD pet clinic. Please feel free to call us anytime!

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