Easy Ways to Improve Your Older Cat’s Quality of Life

Simple adjustments can make her life continue to be worth living.


Is your aging cat suffering from degenerative joint disease, decreased muscle mass, or other problems that hinder her mobility and therefore are interfering with her quality of life? The American Association of Feline Practitioners offers some easy-to-do practical tips for keeping her happy as she grows older.

Provide steps or ramps to help her access elevated places. That will allow her to retreat to a “safe” place when she feels the need.

Make sure the litter box has low entry/easy access. She would prefer to use her litter box to some other spot in the house. Making it simpler to enter and exit will help.

Take over some of the grooming that she can no longer do because of difficulty twisting and turning to reach all spots of her body. That will keep her healthier by maintaining her coat hygiene — and happier, because she likes to be clean.

Raise her food and water bowls. Making it easier for her to access her food and drink will help maintain her calorie intake and hydration.

Provide warm resting spots. That will help her feel comfortable (you’ve probably observed that she likes to hang out in sunlight) as well as help her maintain her body heat.

Consider flavor enhancers for your pet’s food. Or gradually switch to stronger smelling food since with age, sensory function — including smell — declines.

Trim her nails regularly. The nails can become more brittle with age and make it difficult for a cat to engage in scratching, which is a biological imperative for felines.


  1. I have a male aging cat. This article seems to focus on a female cat. Would this apply to my male cat as well? Just curious.

  2. Once had an old cat-found a high sided litter box with a low entry. Made a big difference! He had arthritis in his back legs & couldn’t squat.


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