Senior Cat Care
At Fairview Animal Hospital we strongly feel that senior care for cats is very important. Cats age much faster than people do therefore health problems can arise very quickly, so it is good to know what signs to watch for in your aging cats.
What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of aging?
There are 3 stages to the senior cats life they are as follows:
● Mature – 7-10 years.
○ May be less active, not as playful, will sometimes eat slower, may notice changes in dental health (smelly breathe, discoloured teeth)
● Senior – 11-14 years.
○ Changes in mobility (having a hard time jumping onto things, climbing stairs), sleeping more, decreased intake of food, increased water intake, may have difficult time with high sided litter boxes.
● Geriatric – 15 years and over
○ More changes in mobility, spine and hips can become more visible due to muscle loss, increased urination, decreased appetite, sleeping most of the day, can experience vision and/or hearing changes/loss
My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?
Senior cats can have different health concerns that can cause weight loss. The best way to determine what is going on with your feline friend is to do a physical exam, bloodwork, and urinalysis testing. It gives us better look at the health of your cat both inside and out.
What are some tips for how to care for my senior cat?
Regular veterinary check-ups ideally twice yearly are the best way to care for your aging kitty. It allows us to catch any problems as early as possible. Some things you can do at home are using raised water and food dishes. Another great way to help your cat as they age is using low sided litter boxes so they can walk in and out without climbing.
What are some common health issues experienced by senior cats?
Some of the most common health issues with senior cats involve changes in mobility generally from arthritis. Your cat may sleep more to avoid pain when being active. Also common as cats age, we tend to see changes in the kidney or liver health and function, as well as thyroid issues.
Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?
As cats age, they can have cognitive dysfunction which can cause them to have behavioural issues. Often changing things in the environment (moving a litter box, putting food dishes in a different area, adding a step/ramp to furniture) can help. In some instances, medication can be used.