Senior Cat Care

Age is not a disease. We want to be able to help our senior cat companions live out their golden years as well as possible. Let us help you ensure that your cat has the best quality of life throughout its senior years. Regular exams will give us an opportunity to spot subtle physical changes and perform wellness blood work.

What are the stages of a senior cat’s life? How to spot signs of ageing?

After seven years of age, cats are considered seniors. This is when we sometimes begin to see some changes. Changes can be very subtle at the beginning or not at all. Subtle changes that can be seen are sleeping more, not playing as much, hesitant to jump, and using the litterbox slightly more often, just to name a few. As cats age further, they can develop more obvious signs that organ function is changing, or joints are not working quite as well. These changes could include not jumping on furniture, difficulty with stairs, urinating outside the litterbox, drinking or urinating more, vomiting, losing weight. These can be signs of either osteoarthritis or changes in organ function. Many of these can be helped, whether it’s slowing down a disease process, treating a disease, or supplementing for joint health.

My senior cat is losing weight, what can I do?

The best thing that you can do if your senior cat is losing weight is to book an exam. At this exam, the veterinarian will perform a full physical exam and make recommendations for their assessment. Most likely bloodwork will be recommended. This is important, as cats are very subtle and don’t tell us when something is wrong. Pending bloodwork, the veterinarian may suggest a treatment plan, which could include medication, supplements, and a diet change.

What are some tips on how to care for my senior cat?

Often we have to make changes in the home such as changing to a shallow litterbox, stairs to the bed/couch, and non-slippery surfaces, to name a few. Some senior cats require more frequent nail trims and grooming care. As cats age differently, it is best to discuss with a veterinarian team member.

What are some common health issues experienced by senior cats?

The most common health issues we encounter in senior cats are kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. Other conditions that may be found include diabetes, lymphoma, and IBD.

Why is my senior cat having behavioural issues?

It is not uncommon for owners to mistake a behavioural issue for a medical condition. The most common “behavioural” issue we see in a senior cat is one that begins to urinate outside the litterbox. Most often, these cats have a medical condition, especially if they used their litterbox normally for years. The medical condition usually ranges from a urinary bladder infection or arthritic changes to kidney disease or diabetes. Many of the conditions we find are treatable. Some conditions, such as a bladder infection, can even be curable. Findings such as arthritis, kidney disease, or diabetes can be maintained with specific nutritional recommendations, supplements, and medication(s). Although not all diseases can be cured, we want to do our best to keep your cat comfortable and happy as best we can.


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Last updated: December 11, 2020

Dear Clients,

As Ontario continues its reopening, we are excited to see our community get closer to a sense of normalcy. We applaud the significant effort and sacrifices you and your family have made to help us get this far.


At Manitou Animal Hospital our primary goal is to care for your beloved pets. By extension, this means keeping you as a pet parent healthy as well. Many of you have already recently visited the hospital and have personally experienced the additional safety procedures we have put in place to ensure the well-being of you and your pets using our “closed waiting room” policy.

Our "closed waiting room" policy:

  1. When you arrive in the parking lot, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call 519-893-1360. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns.
  2. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination.
    We ask that you remain in the parking lot and keep your phone turned on.
  3. The Veterinarian will call you once the physical exam is complete to discuss the recommended treatment plan.
  4. We encourage credit card over the phone as the preferred payment method. We can also accept e-transfer.
  5. A staff member will bring your pet and any medications back outside to you.

During the coming months and as long as COVID-19 continues to circulate in our community we at Manitou will continue to offer our services using these enhanced safety procedures, including the curbside and closed waiting room service model. For the health and safety of everyone, we will not be able to have you accompany your pet(s) into the clinic for procedures at this time. We unfortunately would just not be able to meet proper physical distancing requirements and ensure your safety and our team's.

We typically have a significant number of clients [100+] visit our clinic daily whether it be for medication, food or for a visit with the veterinarian or vet technician. Space in the front room and the exam rooms is very small, a well documented factor for increased risk of COVID transmission. If everyone were to come inside our clinic, even with masks on, it would significantly increase the risk of COVID exposure to each client entering the clinic as well as our staff. We are simply not willing to risk the health of you, your family and our staff. We know that with continued effort we will get through this together. We sincerely appreciate your patience and help in working with us during these challenging times.

Until then, we promise to give each and every one of your pets the very best care and a ton of hugs and kisses when they are in for a visit. We always treat them as if they were one of our own and look forward to seeing them!


Your dedicated care team at Manitou Animal Hospital


We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Thursday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (food and medication pickup only)
Sunday: CLOSED