Cats are creatures of habit. Sitting in the same window same spot on the couch day after day. Most cats do not respond well to changes to their daily routine. They may not know what to do when they become a disabled cat. You may find that your little furry friend is confused and doesn’t know what to do. You can step up and learn how to care for a cat that is disabled.
Disabled Cat Limit Outdoor Time
While some cats prefer staying inside, others love the great outdoors. No matter what type of disabled cat you have, you need to limit the time they spend outside. Never allow your disabled cat to spend time outdoors unless you or another responsible human is there. It’s also helpful to invest in a harness that fits the cat properly. This harness allows your cat to explore while you keep them within reach.
Follow a Set Schedule for Disabled Cat
Disabled cats often do well when they follow a set routine or schedule. This is especially true of those that have hearing or vision problems. Cats that have trouble walking or running will also like knowing exactly when it’s time to eat and do other things. Sit down and think about the things that your cat does with you and other humans as well as when they’re on their own or with other animals. Divide the day into different periods when they can do those things. You might serve meals at specific times and play with the cat or change its litter box at the same time every day.
Change Your Home
You need to make some changes to your home to both keep your cat comfortable and safe. This often means adding a pet or baby gate if you have a home with more than one story. This gate will keep the cat confined and prevent injuries caused by the cat falling down the stairs. You may want to install a small set of steps to help the cat get into your bed or a specific window. If you let the cat sleep in your bed, it’s helpful to keep the door closed at night to make sure they don’t get out.
Spend Time with Disabled Cat
Making time for your pet is one of the best things you can do as the owner of a cat with a disability. If you adopt a disabled cat, you might find that the pet is nervous and afraid of people because the previous owner(s) gave it up. For cats that become disabled later, you’ll notice that it seems upset at the things they can no longer do. Making time for your pet lets them know that you love them and that even if other things change, they can always rely on you.
Consider the Expense
Caring for a disabled cat is often more expensive than owning a healthy cat because you need to go to the vet so often. You should always put back some money to cover those appointments. If you have a tight budget, look into cat insurance. While some policies will not cover disabled cats, you can choose a policy for any cat you own today. If that cat becomes disabled later, your policy will cover some or all of the extra care your cat needs.
Disabled cats need just as much love as healthy cats do and a little more love. Taking care of one of these pets will require that you make time for them and change your home to help them stay safe and comfortable.
Lizzie Howard is a Colorado native who after graduating from the University of Colorado spends her time as a freelance writer. When Lizzie isn’t writing, she enjoys going on hikes, baking for her friends and family, and spending time with her beloved yellow lab, Sparky.