Senior Cat Care
Cats who are healthy and well cared for can live very long lives. It is not unusual for cats to live to 18 and sometimes 20 years of age. Rarely, some cats live into their early 20’s. It is our goal to help your cat to live a long, happy and healthy life. We will work with you to educate you on the needs of your senior cat and provide you with the best possible support and care for your feline companion. We also have an annual ‘celebrating seniors’ quarterly focus, where we will host an information night on senior cat health care and encourage health screening for all of our senior patients.
What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of ageing?
Once a cat reaches 7 years of age and until the age of 10, they are considered to be mature. At this age, there may be an early onset of senior health problems that can be difficult to detect without careful examination and laboratory testing. From the age of 11 to 14, a cat is considered to be senior, and from the age of 15 onwards is geriatric. Signs of ageing typically occur in the senior and geriatric life stages, and can include decreased activity, stiff gait or limping, weight loss, changes in appetite, changes in thirst, poor hair coat quality, dental disease/ bad breath, lack of socialization and other behavioural changes.
My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?
Weight loss is an important indicator of underlying medical problems in senior cats. This symptom should not be ignored. If you are noticing weight loss in your senior cat, please call us to book an examination. We will assess your cat’s health and recommend any necessary further testing.
How can I care for my senior cat?
Senior cats require high-quality nutrition that is appropriate for their health conditions and calorie needs. Having a nutrition consult with one of our veterinarians will ensure that you are feeding a diet that meets all of your cat’s needs. Senior cats should be examined by your veterinarian at least once per year. Cats with chronic health problems should be examined every 6 months. Senior cats should have a comprehensive blood panel and urinalysis at least once per year to help detect and track chronic health problems.
What are some common health issues?
There are many health issues for our senior cats, the most common ones include kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, arthritis, dental disease and obesity.
Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?
Behavioural changes are common in senior cats for several reasons. One of the most common causes for behavioural issues (such as urinating outside the litter box or frequent vocalization) is pain. Pain can be due to arthritis, dental disease, bladder infections, digestive issues or other chronic illness. Another cause for behavioural issues in senior cats is cognitive dysfunction, which is a gradual loss of mental function over time, due to age.