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.