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Senior cats: A few things to keep in mind

Vladimir is a regular contributor to PetMD, the largest global source of pet health information. PetMD's content is created by veterinary professionals and covers 9 different species.

Getting older

While cats aren't going to need Botox or face-lifts as they grow older, they will need you to keep caring for them the way you have been -- with love and devotion. Caring for a senior cat is really no more difficult than caring for a kitten or an adult cat. But there are a few things you should watch for.

Woman with Senior Cat

PetMD shares tips for owners of senior cats:

Proper eyecare

Like people, a cat's eyesight worsens as it gets older. Make sure your vet examines the cat's eyes on the next regular checkup. If your cat should become blind or its eyesight diminish, a familiar routine will be very important. Keep things clean and in their normal spot, and make sure the cat's water, food bowls and litter are all in the same place.

Did someone say supplements?

Have your cat's bone density checked. If your cat is losing density, it may need to be given calcium supplements. Also, you can keep an eye on your cat and make sure it doesn't need to jump up on furniture to get to things. If the cat likes to sit in a window, on a chair, or sleep on your bed, perhaps you could try doggy stairs to help it out -- just name them kitty stairs. They won't know the difference, and it'll make them feel younger.

No dentures, please

A cat's teeth are very important for eating and tearing into flesh. If your cat is losing its teeth, and still eating dry food, or on a raw food diet, you may need to switch to canned wet food for easier eating. Ask your vet for tips on teeth brushing and always remember to ask if it's time for a teeth cleaning on your next doctor visit.

Watch the ol' ticker

While cats of all ages can succumb to heart disease, they are more prone to complications as they get older. Routine health examinations are recommended, because when left unchecked, heart disease can lead to fluid buildup in the lungs, high blood pressure, and other serious health conditions.

Like people, cats will age at different rates. Just make sure you provide your cat with everything it needs to enter its twilight years with a clean bill of health.

For more pet health information, visit PetMD.com; and don't forget to visit PetMD's new Topic Centers.

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