Everything You Need to Buy for Your New Senior Cat

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Generally, cats that are 11 or older are considered seniors, and there are a lot of them in shelters, waiting for someone to give them a forever home where they'll be loved and pampered. There are a lot of great reasons to adopt a senior cat—they can be affectionate and loyal, and an older kitty will be content with a warm, safe, and comfortable place to live, so taking care of them isn't all that complicated.

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To get ready to welcome your new senior cat, check out the following list of items that you can buy for them to be sure they'll have all of the basic things they need.

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Preparing to adopt a senior cat

You may find that a senior kitty still has energy and is ready to play with a variety of toys. And they're going to be interested in the same things that younger cats enjoy, such as looking out the window and snuggling with you and the other felines in your family. So, you can prepare to adopt a senior by purchasing the same types of pet products that you'd buy for an adult cat.

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However, depending on your senior cat's age and overall health, you might have to buy certain pet products that can satisfy their needs better. For instance, a cat that has arthritis may not be able to climb to the top of a cat tree or jump to a window perch; however, you can help them access high places with the help of pet ramps and stairs.

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Food for senior cats

As cats age, their nutritional needs change. For example, adult cats shouldn't eat kitten food, and senior cats might need to start eating food that's formulated specifically for older felines. An elderly cat (11 years and up) might need more calories to maintain a healthy weight and energy level. Also, older cats may not be able to digest food as they used to, so switching to highly digestible food might be helpful. And felines that are diagnosed with certain health conditions might need to eat a special diet or prescription food. If you are not sure about which path to take when it comes to your pet's nutrition, consult with your veterinarian for recommendations.

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Our Pick: Bundle: Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Mature Chicken Dry Food + Chicken Canned Cat Food

The nice thing about this bundle is you can buy both wet food and dry food at the same time, so it's a good option for cats that like to eat both. This food is grain-free, it doesn't contain any artificial flavors or preservatives, and you won't find by-product meals in it either. Formulated for mature kitties, it provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Ingredients include chicken, chicken liver, chicken broth, and fruits and vegetables like cranberries and sweet potatoes.

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Food bowls for senior cats

Older kitties might have a hard time eating from a bowl that's on the ground. In that case, elevating it may be helpful. There are stands that can hold food bowls so they're off the floor. Or, you can purchase single elevated bowls and dishes. You can also find products that feature angled bowls that might make it even easier for your kitty to enjoy every bite. The goal is to make it more comfortable for your senior feline to eat and drink. Plus, you might notice that this type of bowl helps to reduce vomiting as well.

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Our Pick: Necoichi Extra Wide Ceramic Elevated Cat Food Bowl

This cat dish makes it easy to feed your senior cat without needing a stand to bring the food closer to their face. It measures just over four inches high, and it features a dish that is about six inches across. Also, the dish doesn't have high sides like many bowls do, so it can be a good way to help prevent whisker fatigue. Plus, it is made of porcelain, has a non-skid bottom, and can hold two cups of food. Because it is dishwasher-safe, it is simple to clean after every meal as well.

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Water fountains for senior cats

As a pet parent, you need to make sure your feline friend stays hydrated. You can do this by placing a bowl of clean water in an area that's easy for your cat to access, and you can also feed them a nutritious wet food that provides plenty of moisture. But if you have an older kitty and you notice that they don't drink a lot of water, you may need to take extra steps to help prevent dehydration—and it's also a good idea to consult with a veterinarian just to be sure there aren't any health concerns. A water fountain may be a good solution because the moving water might attract your senior cat. Just keep in mind that putting your cat's water bowls and fountains in the right places could also help ensure that they'll drink enough.

Our Pick: PetSafe Creekside Quiet Dog & Cat Fountain, 60-oz

This water fountain for pets is made of ceramic that is resistant to scratches. Your cat can drink from every side, as well as from the top of the tower where the water flows, so it might be a good way to get your feline to drink more. It can hold 60 ounces of water, and it's built to operate quietly so it shouldn't make a lot of noise. Also, to help ensure the water is clean, it comes with a replaceable foam filter and a replaceable carbon filter. Plus, every part of this water fountain, except the pump, is dishwasher-safe.

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Pet beds for senior cats

Cats of all ages, from kittens to adults, can benefit from having a pet bed to call their own. It can be their little spot where they can relax and sleep for hours while feeling secure and cozy. One thing to consider about seniors is that their joints might ache, they might feel cold, or they might have trouble getting into a bed that has high sides. Purchasing a good quality cat bed that provides plenty of cushioning is one way to keep your senior happy. You can find a variety of beds, including those that are designed to help your kitty feel calm, and there are beds that come in multiple sizes, so you can purchase one that's just right for your cat. Consider placing it in an area of your home that's quiet yet still allows your pet to be close to you. You can even add a blanket to make the bed warmer and more inviting.

Our Pick: Best Friends by Sheri Mini Pet Throne

This soft pet bed can be a good choice for senior cats, as it has a low entry and high sides. Because of these features, your kitty may find it easy to get in and out of it and can feel snug and secure while napping in it. Nicely cushioned, it might also provide the right amount of support to help your kitty totally relax without any discomfort. It is made of vegan materials, without unwanted chemicals, and you can machine-wash and dry this bed. Plus, it comes in multiple color options to perfectly match the rest of your decor.

Scratchers for senior cats

Every cat needs a durable scratcher, but a vertical one might be difficult for some senior cats to use. If you discover that your kitty isn't able to comfortably reach up to use a scratching post, don't worry, as there are plenty of other options available. Your cat might find it easier to use a horizontal scratcher, and there are some that are large enough for cats to lie on, too. Plus, you can find scratching pads and mats that can be placed flat on the ground, making them another option for older felines. And with scratchers made of various materials, such as cardboard, sisal, and carpet, it's just a matter of figuring out which type your cat prefers.

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Our Pick: PetFusion Cat Scratching Flip Pad

Because this horizontal scratcher is low to the ground, it could work well for senior cats that have difficulty using tall scratchers. It is also large enough that your kitty can rest on it if they want to. Available in two sizes, it boasts a two-in-one design and is built to be long-lasting. When one side gets worn out, you can simply reverse it so your kitty can continue enjoying it. And because it is made of recycled cardboard, it is softer on a cat's paws than other scratching post materials. Sprinkle the catnip that comes with the scratcher to encourage your kitty to use it if they are reluctant at first.

Litter boxes for senior cats

It's wise to look for ways to make it easier for a senior cat to access the litter box. In the same way that they might find it harder to get into a pet bed with high sides, they might experience discomfort when trying to get into a box with high sides—and if that happens, you might end up finding unwanted messes outside of the litter box. The solution is simple: buy a litter box that has a low entrance. Whether you and your cat prefer covered litter boxes, self-cleaning litter boxes, or open litter boxes, there are many designs that you can choose from. And, when it comes to which litter to use, it's simply a matter of figuring out your kitty's preference. Some seniors might like clumping litter, while others might be fine with pellets. Unscented litter might also be less irritating to a cat that doesn't like strong fragrances, so keep that in mind as well.

Our Pick: Shirley K's Senior Cat Litter Box, X-Large

Large litter boxes are roomy enough for a senior cat to move around and find the right position, and they can be the ideal choice for bigger kitties, too. Measuring 30 inches by 30 inches, this box has plenty of space, and could also be a good option for multi-cat households. It has 9-inch sides to help prevent messes, but in the front, it boasts a 3.5-inch entryway to make it more comfortable for your pet to walk right in and out.

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Pet ramps and stairs for senior cats

Older cats might not be able to leap as well as they used to, so they may have trouble jumping onto your sofa or bed. But you don't have to sacrifice cuddling with your furry friend. Instead, consider getting some pet stairs or pet ramps and placing them in areas like your bedroom and living room where your cat might have difficulty getting to a spot where they can relax and spend time with you. These products are available in a range of sizes, and many are adjustable so you can set them at the appropriate height and angle for your kitty to make their way up without struggling. When trying to decide between ramps and stairs, consider what your cat would feel comfortable using. For instance, if your feline has trouble going up and down stairs in your house, a ramp may be the better choice. Also, some pet stairs combine the best of both worlds with wide steps that have sloped edges, so they're an option as well.

Our Pick: Zinus Comfort Cat & Dog Stairs

These pet stairs are lightweight and available in multiple sizes, from extra small with just two steps to extra large with four steps, so you can select the one that will help your kitty get to the bed or couch most comfortably. Featuring high-density foam and a plush cover that is soft under a kitty's paws, this product is easy to set up without any tools. And the cover is removable and machine-washable, so keeping these stairs clean isn't a challenge.

Our Pick: Alpha Paw ScratchyRamp Cat Ramp

If you think that your cat would have an easier time walking up and down a ramp instead of stairs, this item might be a good fit. It has a replaceable carpeted surface that can help provide stability, and it can also be used as a scratcher. Although it's lightweight, it is designed to support up to 70 pounds. You can set it up quickly and easily, fold it flat when not in use, and adjust the height by choosing between 12 inches and 16 inches. Plus, it comes with a cute cat toy that can encourage your senior to play.

Final thoughts

Adding a senior cat to your family is exciting. With so much love to give, they're sure to bring you loads of joy every day. To help ensure they'll feel totally relaxed and happy, there are a range of products that you can choose from. Consider your new cat's unique needs and preferences, and bear in mind that those might change over time. Also, don't forget your veterinarian's recommendations, especially if your older kitty has been diagnosed with a health condition. Then, shop smart so you can find durable, high-quality items that your cat will enjoy using every day.

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