Senior Cat Care
As your cat reaches old age, their health, nutrition, and exercise needs change, requiring adapted routines and more frequent checkups. Your cat may not help you spot any health issues. Instead, they may deliberately hide them. That’s why it’s important to be observant around the house, as well as conscientious about scheduling regular veterinary checkups. With a little preventive care and regular checkups, you can help ensure that your senior cat stays happy and healthy.
What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How can I spot signs of aging?
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), here are the typical age ranges at which senior feline citizens reach various life stages:
– Mature to middle-aged: 7 to 10 years
– Senior: 11 to 14 years
– Geriatric: 15+ years
Here are a few of the more common things to watch for: stiffness, dementia, constipation, hearing loss, vision loss, urinating more, eliminating outside of the litterbox, increase or decrease in appetite, drinking more, not keeping up with daily grooming and losing weight.
My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?
A subtle decrease in your cat’s weight can be the first indication of illness. If you are concerned that this is an issue with your kitty, please schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians as soon as possible. The doctor will be able to get a detailed history and start performing screening tests if required.
What are some tips for how to care for my senior cat?
Senior pet food is one of the easiest ways you can help care for an elderly cat. These diets are nutritionally balanced and enriched with supplements to help protect vital ageing organs. You may also want to keep a journal to write down any unusual behaviour or to note how they are eating and drinking.
What are some common health issues experienced by senior cats?
Renal failure, hyperthyroidism, arthritis, and dental disease make up the majority of the health problems that we see in senior cats. An annual checkup and possible blood work are the best ways to screen for these issues.
Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?
Changes in behaviour, such as aggression, hiding, vocalization or excessive grooming, may be an indication that your cat is in pain. Lethargy and weakness could be a sign of dehydration or illness. Since changes in behaviour may be the first indication of illness, it is strongly recommended to have a consult with one of our vets, since early diagnosis and treatment will often result in a better prognosis in the long run.