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Our pets eventually age. They start slowing down, start feeling bad occasionally, and start developing diseases and disorders common to old age. Most people don't think about cats as being old, I guess because it reminds us that we are getting older too.

Inside cats live longer, healthier, happier lives than those that stay outside. Sunset years are happier and more comfortable.

Have your cat spayed or neutered. A veterinarian should see the animal at least once a year, and should run a complete blood panel, including a thyroid panel. Be alert to changes, such as feeding, bladder and bowel habits.

Like humans, arthritis is one disorder that greatly affects cats. As they get older you may want to consider cat ramps, and low sided litter boxes. Be sure the cat has a confortable place to sleep, not to hot and not to cold.

Cats should be encouraged to have physical activity. A few minutes each day can help keep an older animal physically and mentally sharp. Older cats also like their routines, familiar surroundings, and may also lose their hearing as they age.

Caring for an old cat is much like caring for an elderly person. They need love and attention and their owners should keep an eye toward keeping them as comfortable, secure and happy as possible.

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