Remember Cracker? You might recall our 2019 article about her. She was 18 years young then. Now 20, we wondered how she is doing and thought you might like to know too. So we checked in with her mom, a Just Cats team member, to see what life is like for her and Cracker in 2021.
From Cracker’s Human Mom
Life is different for the both of us for a few reasons. First, Cracker gets more frequent vet visits. I take her in every three months to get her bloodwork done to monitor her kidney levels. Her kidney disease is progressing and she is in stage three.
She now gets fluid therapy at home every day. With kidney disease also comes nausea, vomiting and potassium deficiency. She is on an anti-nausea medication that helps the vomiting and a potassium supplement daily. We have a routine before bed every night and she is such a good girl about taking her meds. She occasionally gets an appetite stimulant if she is feeling particularly nauseated and doesn’t eat.
That also means for me that I cannot leave her home alone for an extended period of time. My husband is very squeamish about needles and is unable to give her the meds she needs. For me, that means very few out of town visits that are more than a night away from home. Given the pandemic, this hasn’t been much of an adjustment. If I do leave my home for more than a night, I need to find a qualified person who can give medications and fluids while I am gone. Thankfully the team at Just Cats helps me with that.
Since another side effect of kidney disease is increased thirst and dehydration, I have to make sure there are several bowls of water throughout the house and that each is changed a few times daily. I also constantly have fresh, wet food where she can easily get to it.
Going up the stairs is difficult for her. I have a very small home and her litter box has always been upstairs. I had to find a way to add one to my living room, so I bought a fake plant that is really a litter box.
She now has two heating pads that can be left on, so she can choose to be on the floor in a warm cozy bed or in the window looking at the birds. And I make sure there’s always a number of fluffy places she can choose to snooze. Sometimes she even allows her brother to use the other heating pad she’s not using!
Cracker has given me so much love and joy over the years, I want only to give it back. Though her aging adds some small challenges to my own life, I am happy to do everything I can to make her “purrrfectly” comfortable and happy. Every single day I feel fortunate to have my beloved kitty for a while longer.
If you too have a senior or geriatric cat in your home, also check out these Top 10 Senior Cat Tips from the American Association of Feline Practitioners.