August 10, 2022

Caring for Your Cat

By Karen Anderson

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  • Not an alternative choice to skilled veterinary assist.

When our aged tabby cat started sleeping stretched out on the sofa, we had been puzzled. She had cozy, soft cat beds. Why wasn’t she utilizing them anymore? It was solely when somebody gave us a giant rectangular canine mattress that we realized what was happening—and why canine beds are such nice beds for senior cats.

Zoe took to the canine mattress instantly. We discovered her stretched out in it or utilizing the agency bolsters on the edges to help her arthritic again when she lay down. She was constantly selecting a bigger mattress with firmer surfaces over a comfortable, squishy cat mattress. And as we talked with our mates, we found that she wasn’t alone.

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Her expertise prompted us to dig into why older cats want particular beds—and what a canine mattress can provide {that a} conventional cat mattress can’t.

Why Arthritic Cats Need Soft Surfaces—Not Squishy Ones

According to the oldsters on the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, cats start to indicate bodily indicators of ageing between seven and ten years of age. By the time a cat is 12, they’re thought-about outdated. Degenerative joint illness, what we name arthritis, is fairly frequent by this time.

Arthritis impacts mobility, which suggests older cats like Zoe could attempt to keep away from climbing stairs. They’re much less doubtless to make use of cat timber or perches. They could even have bother climbing right into a litter field with excessive sides.

They may also begin selecting totally different sleeping spots. For instance, you’re extra more likely to discover them napping on comfortable however supportive surfaces, corresponding to sofa cushions or a pile of rumpled blankets (particularly when bolstered by a pleasant human’s leg).

Older cats might also generally tend to sleep stretched out on their sides. For Zoe, meaning taking over nicely over 20 inches of house—considerably extra room than most cat beds accommodate. No surprise she gave up her beds and headed for the sofa!

The Solution? Dog Beds for Senior Cats

Medium-sized canine beds provide a novel reply to a senior kitty’s want for a roomier nest and a firmer, extra supportive floor.

Their cushions must be agency to help a 30- or 40-pound pup, they usually’re typically topped with a layer of supportive “orthopedic foam” or “reminiscence foam,” a really dense, elastic foam that doesn’t squish down an excessive amount of. Memory foam is designed to adapt to the physique in response to strain, which suggests it could possibly distribute body weight evenly. (Memory foam additionally tends to heat up barely from physique warmth, which could be very interesting to older cats.)

Dog beds are sometimes outfitted with detachable covers for straightforward cleansing and supportive bolsters, two options particularly necessary for older cats like Zoe and Matilda—one other senior Rover cat who has found the enjoyment of a canine mattress.

Zoe loves the PetFusion Calming Cuddler, a small-size canine mattress measuring a spacious 25 x 21 x 8 inches. The mattress is two-inch-thick reminiscence foam in a water-resistant cowl, and that’s wrapped in unfastened fleece. When it involves cleansing, it’s fairly fantastic—you may take off the fleece mattress cowl to clean, then additionally take away the velvet mattress cowl (it unzips). Both are machine cleanable and could be tumbled dry.

Senior cat relaxes in PetFusion Ultimate Dog bed

Matilda rests outdated (however swish!) bones in consolation.

For Matilda, it’s all concerning the PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed (in dimension small). Matilda’s human, Gwen, discovered it had a variety of the options she was having bother getting in a cat mattress—particularly a detachable waterproof cowl, supportive bolsters (since Matilda likes sleeping along with her head raised), and an orthopedic foam base for Matilda’s arthritis.

Of the mattress, Gwen says, “I used to be happy with the standard—the froth itself goes into a water-resistant zippable liner, which you then zip into the mattress cowl. If you’ve ever had a smelly, stained pet mattress with no detachable cowl, you’ll know that is an particularly sensible function that can preserve the mattress cushion stain and smell-free for years (and prevent a expensive substitute someplace down the road). The bolsters are very supportive (in contrast to the floppy partitions of a budget donut mattress I removed), lined with a water-resistant lining, and detachable once you need to wash the mattress cowl.”

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She does want that they made it in a spherical fashion. But for her cats, that hasn’t made a distinction but—they had been testing the mattress earlier than it had even completed decompressing, they usually welcomed the addition to their increasing mattress empire. Gwen, nevertheless, is considering it’s more likely to outlive and change some tattered conventional cat beds round the home.

Cat leans against side of Petfusion bed

Ramona additionally appreciates bolstered sides.

What To Look for in a Dog Bed for a Senior Cat

If you assume a canine mattress may assist your older kitty, there are a couple of options you’ll need to bear in mind when procuring.

  • Size. Unless your senior cat is actually tiny, you’ll in all probability need to search for dimensions that exceed 20 x 20 inches in width and depth. Look for sturdy, rounded bolsters 4 or extra inches excessive. Zoe’s canine mattress is 25 x 21 x 8 inches, and it really works wonderful for a 10-pound cat. Since these are canine beds, “small” will in all probability get the job achieved—although it’s at all times a good suggestion to verify their measurements in opposition to your stretched-out cat’s.
  • Comfort. The tough twill surfaces of some canine beds (designed to resist canine chewing) could not enchantment to fluff-loving cats. Look for canine beds achieved in plush or suede-type materials. If it’s within the funds, we advise a mattress with a great reminiscence foam base.
  • Maintenance. If you’re used to tossing the kitty mattress within the washer and dryer, needless to say canine beds are a lot heavier when moist. For that purpose, they’re typically designed so you may take away and wash the mattress cowl (after setting the reminiscence foam). It’s not that difficult, however make sure you verify the cleansing directions of the mattress before you purchase.
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Here are a couple of of our favourite canine beds for senior cats:

Zoe’s Bed: The PetFusion Calming Cuddler (Small)

Hand pats plush dog bed with fleece blanket

Find on Amazon

Matilda’s Bed: The PetFusion Ultimate Dog Bed (Small)

Dog in PetFusion Ultimate bed

Find on Amazon

More Options: Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed

Friends Forever Orthopedic Dog Bed

This mattress has a stupendous suede-type floor and appears nice in a lounge (notably as a result of it is available in 4 impartial colours). It measures 25 x 20 x 5 inches and has thick, supportive bolsters. The mattress cowl zips off and is machine cleanable, whereas the reminiscence foam mattress inside is protected by a water resistant liner.

Find on Amazon

FurHaven Orthopedic Cat & Dog Bed

Furhaven dog bed

If the costs of canine beds for senior cats appear a bit a lot on your funds, that is a cheap mattress with a lot of the nice options older cats want. The FurHaven mattress measures 20 x 15 x 3.5 inches, has bolsters, and supplies a washable cowl. The foam on this mattress isn’t fairly as spectacular as reminiscence foam, however a fairly good thickness of “egg-crate” foam will nonetheless present plenty of help.

Find on Chewy

Frisco Plush Orthopedic Bolster Cat & Dog Bed

Cat in Frisco Plush Orthopedic Pet Bed

Here’s a full-featured canine mattress for senior cats at an affordable value. The Frisco Plush mattress has one inch of reminiscence foam atop a 3-inch slab of standard foam. The dimension you’ll in all probability need is the medium, which measures 25 x 21 x 7 inches. The high-quality cowl is offered in both grey or beige and is detachable for machine washing.

Find on Chewy

Further Reading

  • Give Your Senior Kitty a Paw Up With These Cat Trees for Older Cats
  • Snuggler? Sprawler? We’ve Found a Cat Bed for Your Cat
  • The 10 Best Foods for Senior Cats: Top Picks for Healthy Aging

Karen Anderson is a Seattle-based freelance author specializing in know-how and way of life matters. Her hobbies embody dancing, gardening, science fiction, and pet-sitting for mates and neighbors. She’s a member of the Cat Writers’ Association and shares her home with a pleasant clowder of quirky rescue cats.

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