"Catification" for Senior Pets

Aging is a fact of life for all of us, including our beloved feline family members. Cats between 7 and 9 years old are considered senior cats; once our cats reach this life stage, there are certain needs we must look out for. As cats age they may develop arthritis or other mobility issues, so you’ll need to make sure they have easy access to necessities like food, water, beds, litter and scratchers. They also need things to keep them active, both mentally and physically. But meeting your senior cat's needs doesn't mean giving up on good design; catification is all about providing for your cat's needs to climb, perch, rest and play without compromising the beauty of your home or your own personal style.

If you have a senior cat, or if you’re thinking about adopting one, make the most of the golden years and enjoy this special time together. Here are some simple ways to "catify" your home and help keep your older feline happy and healthy.

Catification for Senior Pets

pet stairs


Pet Stairs

Pet stairs can make reaching the bed or sofa a little easier for your senior cat. They come in a variety of styles, and some even fold for storage when not in use. Look for stairs that have carpeting or sisal on the treads to help prevent slipping.

Merry Pet 1-2-3- pet steps, $125.04

non slip mats for pets


Nonslip Mats

Senior cats can have difficulty navigating slippery surfaces, so consider adding a nonslip mat anywhere your cat might try to climb. Sisal mats with nonslip backing are perfect for window sills and chair seats. You can buy sisal rug remnants and cut them to the exact size you need.

Sisal rugs remnants, $24.99 for 10 pounds

easy access litter box


Easy Access Litterbox

It may be difficult for your senior cat to climb in and out of his litterbox. Consider switching to a litterbox with a very low opening. It will be much easier for your cat to step over.

Puppy Go Here litterbox, $26.99

raised food dishes for pets


Raised Feeding Dishes

An elevated feeding dish can make mealtime more pleasant for your senior cat. With her food at just the right height, she won’t have to bend over to eat, which can hurt cats with neck or back problems.

Two-bowl feeder by Catswall Design, $55

drinking fountain for pets


Drinking Fountain

A drinking fountain can encourage your senior cat to drink more water. Place fountains around your house in easy-to-reach places, so your cat has ample access to fresh water.

Drinkwell pet fountain, $25.49

heated cat bed


Heated Beds

A heated cat bed can provide welcome relief for senior cats, especially those with arthritis. Heated cat beds come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some have orthopedic foam cushions for extra comfort and support. 

Large heated cat bed, $75

floor scratcher for cats


Floor Scratcher

Make sure your senior cat has an accessible scratching surface. Consider getting a large, flat scratcher that sits on the floor. Your senior cat may also enjoy lounging on the scratcher.

SmartyKat SuperScratcher, $11.01

cat dvd



Your senior cat may not be as physically active as when she was younger, but she still needs mental stimulation as part of her daily routine. Consider playing a video for her while you’re away. "Cat Sitter" videos are filled with images and sounds from nature, including birds, mice, fish and other entertaining critters.

Cat Sitter DVD, $8.99

puzzle treat ball


Treat Dispensers and Puzzle Toys

Keep your senior cat moving with an interactive cat toy, such as a treat dispenser or puzzle toy. These toys entice your cat to play and stimulate her brain.

SlimCat treat dispenser, $4.49

Cat style expert Kate Benjamin is the author of "Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!)," and the founder and editor of Hauspanther, the premier online magazine for design-conscious cat people. Find more of Benjamin’s feline design finds at Hauspanther.com.

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