Adopt a Senior Cat Month has come to an end but the message continues. Of the estimated 90 million cats in the U.S. 40% are considered seniors and they have special needs. I would know: Merlin, my 20-year-old cat and ASPCA poster boy is sitting on my lap as I write this, expecting extra attention. Cats are living longer than ever and yet older cats are the least likely to be adopted and most likely to be euthanized. The joys of senior cats are many but it’s up to us as responsible and informed pet owners to ensure their physical and emotional well being. Cats of all ages are notorious for hiding their symptoms. To love our cats is to know all about them. That means being education from reliable sources. Informative books are a good start.
Please note: No book is a substitute for veterinary care. When in doubt about your cat’s well being, please consult a veterinarian.
To celebrate responsible senior cat ownership we’re having a double senior cat book giveaway with two winners.
At the recent CWA (Cat Writers’ Association) conference in Atlanta, I picked up two books about senior cats. Both are excellent but different in their packaging and scope.
Complete Guide To Your Aging Cat by Amy Shojai was first published in 2003 but newly revised and released last month. Amy Shojai is the co-founder and past president of the CWA and a multi-award winning writer and pet expert. Her book about older cats is a thoughtful and clearly written A to Z on senior cat care from defining the aging process, quality of life to nutrition, environmental accommodations, health conditions, end of life options and choices. Included is a handy guide with additional resources. I can see this 320-page soft cover edition become a well loved and well thumbed addition to any cat lover’s library.
I asked Ms. Shojai what her biggest take-away message for readers of her book. She replied, “Old age” is not a disease. Today, many cats live happy, healthy lives into their late teens or even early twenties, and making environmental adjustments/accommodations help keep cats feeling youthful and engaged in life. It’s not “quantity of life” but “quality” of life that matters. Recognizing what is your cat’s individual “normal” means you can be alerted to problems as early as possible, address them with your vet and/or home nursing care.
Connect with Amy Shojai at her Website http://www.Shojai.com and blog: Bling, Bitches & Blood where two posts about senior pets include:
Everyone who attended the CWA awards dinner received two books from the Animal Planet Pet Care series of books. One of them was Senior Cats by CWA member and multi-award winning author Sheila Webster Boneham. The small 112-page hardcover book is a visual treat, jam-packed with gorgeous photography and nuggets of senior cat care. The topics touch on everything from signs of aging, nutrition, grooming, geriatric veterinary visits to hospice care and includes an appendix of resources. While not comprehensive, it provides enough valuable information as a primer. Especially useful are the quick “at a glance” pages on symptoms requiring veterinary visits and warning signs indicating disease.
I spoke to the author of Senior Cats recently and she said:
“Senior cats have a special dignity, and adopting an older adult may be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, and for many people, a smart choice. A senior is what she is – you can see whether she’s a big cat or small, vocal or quiet, longhaired or short. She is past the curtain-climbing crazies of kittenhood. She knows what life is about., and she needs you as much as you need her.”
Merlin gives a “Four Paws Up Rating” for both these senior cat books. To enter our giveaway, simply leave a comment, mentioning which book you would prefer to win. We will select at random a winner for a copy of each book. For extra chances to win, social media share this post and leave a separate comment mentioning where you shared. This giveaway is on until 11:59 pm ET, Dec. 14, 2014 and open to residents in the U.S. and Canada.
Disclaimer: We received complimentary copies of two books which no way influenced our opinions. At Cat Wisdom 101, we never accept fees for book review/reviews and only provide products we feel are of value and interest to our readers.