Cat diapers are an example of a marketplace that is brimming with help for elderly cats and feline diapers are just one of the product options for senior cats. Although it may seem like yesterday that you had your kitty bouncing around your legs....today he moves slowly and with a bit of limp.
It's hard watching our aging cats as their energy ebbs, maybe in their aging we see a glimpse of our own future. Over 20 years ago it was rare for a cat to live to 18, but today indoor cats are reaching their 20's and, in rare cases, their 30's.
In later years, even with the best care and nutrition, arthritis sets in, circulation slows down, grooming becomes a chore, and litter box accidents increase and cat diapers become a possibility.
Fortunately, some products give senior cats a better quality of life and also lessen the strain on owners. Many feline health experts believe that cats can begin to experience geriatric type health problems as early as 8 years old.
This stage of life is complex and there is a long list of traits that your cat may experience as he ages. His coat may grown thin, he may not enjoy the rigorous games he did in his early days because of arthritis or changes in his heart and circulation. His muscles may weaken and he may urinate more often or become incontinent (unable to hold his urine).
Having cared for several cats that reached their 20's and a few cats that had disabilities belonging to friends, I've tested some products in order to find items that help remedy the cats' problems. In the past, Tart,( who passed at age 21) and Tuffy (who also made it to 21) benefited. Now I have two 12 year olds (Revlon and L'Oreal Blaze), one who is 11 years old (Max Factor) and the two younger ones (Coty (almost 7 years) and Chanel #5 (almost 5 years).
In choosing products, I shopped at pet supply stores, through cat catalogs, and on the Internet. I also talked to veterinarians and knowledgeable cat owners. I picked items that would either directly assist or make life easier for the cat and those that would make caring for an aging cat easier.
Some of the items are obscure and difficult to find, like the ramps. In my case, my husband made a ramp for Tart because I hadn't yet found one although I've seen them recently. Other items can be found in most pet stores.
Although incontinence is relatively uncommon in cats, it can happen. It can be a smelly inconvenience and uncomfortable for the cat. Litter box accidents tend to happen more often as cats age. You can add additional litter boxes around the house to make it more convenient and quicker for your cat to reach one. Another alternative is cat diapers. Some brands are available at Entirely Pets Simply enter "diapers" into their search box.
The cat diaper that has been around for over 10 years and has been successful is Joybies Piddle Pants. These resemble adorable small overalls, which come in red, hot pink and navy blue and have a waterproof liner and an appropriately placed pad to contain small amounts of liquid.
Cats aren't particularly fond of wearing Piddle Pants at first, but I highly recommend them over the need to clean furniture or carpeting frequently or put an otherwise happy cat to sleep. The good news is that cats adjust relatively quickly to wearing these.
The well-made overalls can be machine washed and line-dried. Pad liners come in a pack of 30. However, check with your vet first to make certain that your cat doesn't have an underlying health problem that can be treated.
There are other brands such as Peepers available at petdiapers.com and they run around $13 for a 10 pack. Target has SimplyOut priced at $10 for an 18 pack. You will it see below that both Joybies Piddle Pants and Simple Solutions are listed on Amazon.com (simply click below) and there is quite a variety. You will also find some of these at PETCO.com Again, simply enter "diapers" into their search box.
Tinkletrousers.com has a pricey harness that looks effective but they don't come with the disposable pads.
Another solution that is easier on the wallet is taking thick terry cloth or cotton cut in the shape of a T and measuring about 3 inches wide and 9 inches long for a small cat. Cut a hole for the tail and use Velcro on both ends to fasten around the stomach. Cloth diapers are easy to use, green on the environment and machine washable.
For extra protection, a panty liner cut in half can be placed inside with the sticky side down and it's easily replaced. Also, since cats will scratch at the diaper in the beginning, there is a product called Sta-on Pet Diaper Harness that is about $13. It's washable and also works with baby diapers if you adapt those by cutting a hole for the tail.
You can see that cat diapers have a number of uses including cat spraying (as a last resort), for an invalid cat who has lost mobility or has a disability and cats that have aged and lost their ability to hold urine.
This just gives you an idea of the cat diaper options that are out there for you to utilize. They can also be useful when you are travelling with your cat or a cat that is in heat.